US Arctic Research Commission
January 20, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents


Yesterday, the House passed a repeal of 2010 health care overhaul legislation.  Today, the House will begin considering legislation to replace the health care law.  The Senate is in recess till the 25.

National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment, January 19-21. One of the conference themes is "White Arctic/Blue Arctic." This theme will address ice changes in the Arctic to consider several questions: What does science tell us about the future of the Arctic? How would issues about the future - white or blue - be resolved? What models and monitoring data will be required to support an emerging management regime that would allow for sustainable use of the Arctic? How can use of the Arctic and its resources be managed in the face of these possibilities.


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 17-21. Within each theme (Bering AMSS 2011 promoSea, Arctic Ocean, and Gulf of Alaska), presenters will discuss climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. 

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Alaska Natives Team With Software Maker in Language Project. And now an Inupiaq language lesson. Qaqasauraq. Noun. The modern Inupiaq term for a computer. Loosely translated, it means "little brain." Ready to learn more? Fire up the qaqasauraq for the latest of three new computer programs designed to teach variations of the fading Alaska Native language. Anchorage Daily News


Conrad's Retirement Impacts Indian Country. The unexpected retirement of Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D, is costing Indian country another ally at a time when allies are desperately needed. Conrad announced today that he will retire from Congress at the end of his term and won't run for re-election next year. In a statement, he said that he wants to focus on reducing the nation's $14 trillion debt and on energy issues, adding it is more important to "spend my time and energy trying to solve these problems than to be distracted by a campaign for re-election." Indian Country Today


Begich Requests Commerce Committee Hearing on TAPS: Holds meeting in Anchorage with Alyeska President Barrett. Citing the vital importance of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) to domestic energy production, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is requesting that the Senate Commerce Committee host a hearing on issues relating to TAPS in March or April of this year. In a letter to Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Begich identified the national economic importance of TAPS, which currently carries approximately 15% of domestically produced oil, and the need to examine how reduced throughput and decreased funds for maintenance and operations will impact the 33-year-old line. Senator Mark Begich


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts. President Obama announced his intent to appoint several people to Administration posts, including: Carole Goldberg to be a member of the Indian Law and Order Commission, Theresa Pouley to be a member of the Indian Law and Order Commission, and Ted Quasula to be a member of the Indian Law and Order Commission.  The White House


ENERGY: Expect Alaska's Glaciers to Heat Up Soon. Most of the world's mountain glaciers and small ice caps will disappear or shrivel dramatically by the end of the century, with Alaska glaciers and ice fields shrinking by 25 to 60 percent over the next nine decades, according to new findings published last week in the journal Nature Geoscience. The study -- the most comprehensive ever done on the role of glacier wastage in sea level rise -- has already received extensive news coverage for its global perspective. But Alaska's portion of the projected meltdown raises questions about the future of regional hydroelectric projects like the proposed multi-billion-dollar Susitna Dam, as well as Anchorage's drinking water source in Eklutna Lake and any other Alaska stream that relies on glacial melt for its summer flow. Alaska Dispatch  


Legislative Actionfutureevents

No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Eventsfutureevents

95th meeting of the USARC, Jan. 21, Anchorage. The USARC will meet in the usarc logo smallQuadrant room of the Captain Cook Hotel, starting at 8:30 am. A detailed agenda is now available at

Public Forum on Natural Gas Markets, January 22. The federal coordinator's office for the Alaska natural gas pipeline will sponsor a public forum on gas markets Jan. 22 to help Alaskans better understand the supply-and-demand fundamentals affecting the proposed pipeline project. The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects will bring to Alaska several national experts on Lower 48 supply and demand issues including shale gas, the effect of federal clean air regulations on natural gas demand, and foreign markets for liquefied natural gas. Panelists


Arctic Tipping Points, January 23-29, 2011. Arctic Frontiers will host a conferenceseesaw considering the following topics: Ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic;  Marine ecosystems and fisheries; Socioeconomic and institutional perspectives; and People of the North. 

State of the Union, January 25.  The President will address a joint session of Congress to present the State of the Union.


President's Budget, February 7. By statute, the president is required to submit his annual budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February.
Arctic Technology Conference, February 7-9, 2011. The Arctic is one of the few places on the globe which still holds enormous new petroleum reserve potential. A recently completed USGS survey estimated that 20% of the world's remaining reserves were trapped beneath the Arctic Circle. OTC's inaugural Arctic Technology Conference (ATC), 7-9 February 2011 in Houston, Texas, will be a truly global event focused on the cutting-edge technologies and innovative practices needed for exploration and production in the Arctic.

International Conference on Arctic Marine Science, International Law and Climate Protection, March 17-18. The German Federal Foreign Office is hosting an event that will take place on the Berlin premises of the Federal Office. The event is co-hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, with additional support from prominent research institutes. The Conference will discuss the legal framework for marine scientific research in the Arctic Ocean at present and in the future. Scholars, scientists and diplomats with an interest in the Arctic Ocean are invited to attend. For more information, please contact

Arctic Dialogue & Study Tour, March 22-24, 2011. For the past four years Norway's Bod