US Arctic Research Commission
July 15, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Behind the scenes, the White House and congressional leaders continue discussions on the deficit.  The House is expected to pass the Energy-Water appropriations bill. The Senate is not in session. 

Tribal Energy Development at the Federal Level, July 14-15, 2011. Law Seminars International will host a seminar for attorneys, tribes, industry executives, and government officials to discuss energy development on tribal lands.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Tom Coburn Wrong on Behavioral Research. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wants to end federal funding of basic research in the social and behavioral sciences. This is the key recommendation in his report, "The National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope." The senator is eager to reform the foundation, the nation's premier scientific research organization, reporting directly to the president. Some recommendations are sensible: greater emphasis on research that can transform science; stronger focus on institutional transparency and accountability, and new rules to prevent waste and abuse of federal money. But, the senator is dead wrong when he calls for terminating federal research that can strengthen our understanding of how we think, live, work and play. [NB: Among the research foci being called for by the USARC is social science research on the topic of "Indigenous languages, cultures and identities" which is the sort of research being questioned here.] Politico


Fast-Shrinking Greenland Glacier Experienced Rapid Growth During Cooler Times. Large, marine-calving glaciers have the ability not only to shrink rapidly in response to global warming, but to grow at a remarkable pace during periods of global cooling, according to University at Buffalo geologists working in Greenland. Science Daily


New Generation of Arctic Scientists Flourish at Stockholm University. These ice-covered regions, shrouded in darkness for much of the year, are blessed with unique environments boasting both flora and fauna unknown to the rest of the planet. Extreme, yet delicate, this polar environment is also an area of great interest for science. [article emphasizes the famous Dr. Martin Jakobsson of Arctic bathymetry fame.] The Local 


Eskimo Whalers Upbeat After International Whaling Commission Meeting.Gray Whale North Slope Inupiat whalers said today they are satisfied with the results of this year's International Whaling Commission meetings. As the convention wrapped up on the British island of Jersey, members of the AEWC/NSB delegation expressed hope as they look forward to IWC renewal of their bowhead quota in 2012. They also praised the U.S. delegation, including Bob King, from Senator Begich's office, for its representation on behalf of Alaskan subsistence whaling concerns. North Slope Borough Mayor Itta remarked, "We are very grateful that U.S. Commissioner Monica Medina (NOAA) has made the bowhead quota a top priority." The Arctic Sounder


IMO Takes First Steps to Address Black Carbon Emissions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has taken the first step to address black carbon (BC) emissions from shipping, with a focus on the impact of BC emissions on the Arctic region. Norway has proposed a work plan for the reduction of emissions of BC from international shipping, which was debated at the 62nd session of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee. Bunker World (subscription required) 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                    


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 addresses 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 is 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. 


Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, September 4-6, 2011."Our Ice Dependent World," organized by the Northern Research Forum and its partners as the Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, will be hosted by the University of Akureyri in the town of Hverager