US Arctic Research Commission
January 21, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents


The US Arctic Research Commission will meet today in Anchorage where it usarc logo small
will hear from Senator Begich and from State and Federal representatives
on Arctic research issues. The Commission will discuss the development
of Arctic research policy, and recent efforts to revitalize the
Interagency Arctic Research and Policy Committee, responsible for the
approximately $400M per years spent by the federal government on Arctic
research. An agenda can be found here


The House and Senate are not in session today.

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. 

National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment, January 19-21One 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.


Public Forum on Natural Gas MarketsJanuary 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

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Plants Moved Downhill, Not Up, in Warming World. In a paper published January 20 in the journal Science, a University of California, Davis, researcher and his co-authors challenge a widely held assumption that plants will move uphill in response to warmer temperatures. Science Daily


Final Update: 112th Congress: House Committee Assignments. The House announced complete committee assignments for the 112th Congress.  Congressman Mica (R-FL) chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over many ocean activities.  The ranking member is Congressman Rahall (D-VW).  Congressman Hall (R-TX) is chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.  Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) is the ranking member.  Congressional Quarterly


From Hope to Action: Making Healthy Oceans Everyone's Business. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco presented the keynote address at the National Conference for Science and the Environment yesterday.  Full text of Administrator Lubchenco's address is available here.


Rep. Young Announces Transportation Committee Assignments. Congressman Young (R-AK) will sit on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Highways and Transit, and Water Resources and Environment subcommittees of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  Congressman Don Young


Survey Shows Good News for Porcupine Caribou Herd. After nearly two decades of gloomy population forecasts, the Porcupine Caribou Herd appears to be on the rebound. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game said an aerial photo survey conducted in July shows there are at least 123,000 caribou in the herd, with more animals left to be counted. That means the population has increased since 2001, when the last aerial census was conducted. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 


Prince William Sound Citizen's Council Pushes for Arctic Council. One of the recommendations from the president's Gulf Oil Spill Commission was to create regional citizen advisory councils modeled after the one created for Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez spill. The Commission also recommended establishing a citizen's council for communities in the Arctic. KTUU 


Legislation Would Minimize Impact of Dangerous Chemicals.  Two bills introduced in the current Alaska Legislature session would phase out certain toxic flame retardant chemicals known to cause health problems that are found in consumer products such as furniture and electronics. House Bill 63, introduced by Rep. Lindsey Holmes, D-Anchorage, and Senate Bill 27, introduced by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, target polybrominated diphenyl ethers, also known as PBDEs, which disrupt thyroid function and affect learning, memory and behavior. "We think that wildlife and people living in the north are getting a double whammy," said Pam Miller of Alaska Community Action on Toxics, in part because of the atmospheric conditions that draw toxics to the Arctic, and in part because homes in Alaska are closed in for a great proportion of the year, and well insulated. Many studies show that people are exposed through indoor air and dust to flame retardant chemicals leaching out into the atmosphere and found in household air and dust, she said. Miller also pointed to a 2009 study done by the Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program, which showed that women of childbearing age in Alaska's Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta had the highest levels of toxics in the circumpolar Arctic, Miller said. The Dutch Harbor Fisherman


Legislative Actionfutureevents

No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Eventsfutureevents

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