US Arctic Research Commission
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January 28, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents

 

The House and Senate are not in session.

 

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. 
 

 

Media Reviewtodaysevents  

 

Senate Finalizes Panel Ratios, Doles Out Assignments. Senate Democrats shed seats on key committees, but it appears departures and electoral losses spared leaders from having to make deep cuts from key panels as assignments were finalized Thursday. The distribution of committee seats ends a three-week waiting period that had caused some frustration among lawmakers. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had been negotiating the new ratios as a result of the GOP gaining six Senate seats in November. Roll Call

 

Senate Adopts Procedural Changes. The Senate on Thursday approved a standing order curtailing "secret holds" that senators use to anonymously block legislation and nominations, a change that Senate leaders agreed to as part of deal announced on the floor Thursday to avoid some of the procedural battles that have hobbled the chamber in recent years. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also said they agreed to cut by a third the number of executive branch nominees requiring Senate confirmation. Congressional Quarterly

 

Oil Spill Legislation a Top Priority for Democrats in Both Chambers. House and Senate Democratic leaders vowed Wednesday to make oil spill legislation a top priority for the 112th Congress, with two bills introduced in the House and a leading Senate Democrat promising to develop bipartisan legislation in the near future. Top House Democrats, including the ranking members of the Natural Resources and Energy and Commerce committees, unveiled legislation to establish new safety standards and improve oversight of the offshore oil industry. Congressional Quarterly

 

Alaska Coast Communities Push for Local Control. The state could lose its legal authority to have a say in projects that are overseen by the federal government in coastal areas -- including offshore oil development, mining operations and timber harvests -- if the Legislature fails to renew a state law that is set to expire in July. It may seem like a political no-brainer to keep the Alaska Coastal Management Program intact, and certainly most lawmakers don't want to see it go away. But the looming sunset date has sharpened the debate, begun late in the last legislative session, over whether local coastal communities are being shut out by the state when it comes to making decisions on development in their own backyards. Alaska Dispatch

  

Alaska Sen. Begich Assigned to Homeland Security Committee. Sen. Mark Begich has been named to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Begich's office says the panel has jurisdiction over issues concerning Alaska Native corporation contracting and improving national security, issues of interest in Alaska. Begich's office says the Democrat also will remain on the armed services, veterans affairs, budget and commerce committees. Fairbanks Daily News Miner 

 

Alaska Sen. Murkowski Keeps Same Committees as Last Congress. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will serve on the same committees as she did during the last session. The Alaska Republican says she's confident she will retain her position as ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Her party will make that decision. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner  

 

Scientists Share Research Results. Twenty-one International Polar Year research groups returned to Inuvik last week to update the community on what they discovered. "The researchers needed to come back here and talk to the communities and the logical site was Inuvik because this was where the vast majority of the work was co-ordinated," said Alana Mero, International Polar Year co-ordinator with Aurora Research Institute. Northern News Services

Legislative Actionfutureevents
 

No legislation of Arctic-interest was formally considered yesterday.

Future Eventsfutureevents
    

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 504-s@diplo.de.
 

Arctic Dialogue & Study Tour, March 22-24, 2011. For the past four years Norway's Bod? University Graduate School of Business, the High North Centre for Business and Governance (affiliated with the University), the International Institute of Energy Politics and Diplomacy (MIEP) at MGIMO University in Moscow, Russia, and HBW Resources have hosted an annual Arctic Dialogue and Study Tour.  The tour brings together stakeholders from all Arctic nations (government, industries, academic, native and local peoples) to discuss issues involving resource development in the Arctic, share common experiences, best practices and solutions. For more information contact Andrew Browning.

 

Arctic Science Summit Week, Seoul, March 28-April 1, 2011. The purpose of Korean Flagthe Arctic Science Summit Week is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science. The Arctic Science Week 2011 is supported by the Korean government, the Korean Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology, and the Seoul Tourism Organization, among other groups.
 

The Arctic as a Messenger for Global Processes- Climate Change and Pollution, May 4-6, 2011. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), the University of Copenhagen, and Aarhus University. The conference will include talks by invited keynote speakers, oral presentations selected on the basis of submitted abstracts, poster presentations, and short oral presentations of selected posters. A panel discussion will develop messages to be communicated to the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting that will take place in Greenland one week after the conference. 

  
Sixth International Conference on Arctic Margins, May 31-June 2, 2011 at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks.  The International Conference on Arctic Margins (ICAM) will examine current geological and geophysical research on the Arctic. Topics include: hydrocarbon potential and gas hydrates; science issues relating to UNCLOS Article 76; geodynamic significance of Arctic magmatism; vertical motions in the Arctic, tectonic, and glacial; geology and palaeogeography of the Arctic continental margins; evolution of the Arctic Ocean basins, including plate reconstructions, magmatism, and sedimentology; modern Arctic environments, including geological, climatic, and oceanographic processes; recent advances in Arctic research technology. More information email.
 
7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011The 7th Congress, "Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences Beyond the IPY," will be held in Akureyri, Iceland. The International Congress of the Arctic Social Sciences is held every three years. 
 
Holocene Glacier Variability from the Tropics to the Poles, July 20-27, 2011. Glaciers respond sensitively to climate change. Recent (Holocene) glacier fluctuations are a valuable proxy for terrestrial interglacial paleoclimate conditions. A main challenge for interpreting paleoclimate from past mountain glacier extents is distinguishing local and regional patterns from global signals. Reconstructing Holocene glacier extents involves many disciplines including terrestrial and marine geology, geochronology and glaciology. Organizers hope to facilitate an inter-hemispheric comparison of glacier records including locations in the Tropics, European Alps, American Cordillera, Southern Alps of New Zealand, Himalaya and Polar Regions and to identify future research questions and directions. For additional information contact: Meredith Kelly.
 
13th Arctic Ungulates Conference (AUC), August 22-26, 2011. The theme of the conference will be "Challenges of Managing Northern Ungulates." The theme Muskokaddresses the difficulties of managing ungulate populations that are faced with the unpredictable effects of climate change and an ever-increasing human presence on the land. The conference will also focus on the challenges associated with developing recovery actions for declining caribou and reindeer populations that are an integral part of Aboriginal cultures and ways of life. 
 
9th International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering, September 3-7, 2011. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk, Russia), the Institute of Northern Mining (Yakutsk, Russia), the Cold and Arid Regions Engineering and Environmental Research Institute (Lanzhou, China), and the Heilongjiang Institute of Cold Region  Engineering (Harbin, China) will host the Ninth International Symposium on  Permafrost Engineering to be held in Mirny, Yakutia. The aim of the Symposium i s to provide a forum for discussion of permafrost engineering issues, as well as for exchange of practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva.
 
Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011. The 27th Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, entitled "Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change," will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. This international symposium will provide a forum for scholars, fishery managers, fishing families, and others to explore the human dimensions of fishery systems and growing need to include social science research in policy processes. The conference is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program.

 

The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference will be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008.  More details to follow.
 

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