US Arctic Research Commission
July 22, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider the House-passed deficit reduction and debt limit bill. The Federal Aviation Administration's authorization expires at midnight. The Senate must act on the legislation to continue the authorization, but Senate actions on the bill are unclear. The House is expected to complete work on the FY 2012 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill.


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.


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Time to Take Alaska out of the Icebox. The Arctic might be the world's final - and coldwindsblowingpossibly most attractive - emerging market. While most investors are focused on the economic potential of lower latitudes, the Arctic is - due to increased access from climate change - quietly undergoing a radical transformation that is attracting the attention of savvy investors. But the U.S. is asleep at the wheel, leaving some of the world's largest oil, natural gas and mineral resources to be developed by others. G Captain 


President Obama Fills Vacancy on his Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint Mark Gorenberg to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Mr. Gorenberg, who has been a Managing Director of the software investment firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners since 1990, will fill the vacancy created when Harold Varmus left PCAST to lead the National Cancer Institute last year. Previously, Mr. Gorenberg was with Sun Microsystems, where he managed emerging new media areas and was a member of the original SparcStation team. The White House 


Paternity Testing Helps Fill in Family Tree for Puget Sound's Killer Whales: Inbreeding Could Reduce Whales' Genetic Diversity. In a study published online this month in the Journal of Heredity, NOAA researchers and others, using DNA testing to fill in a missing link in the lives of killer whales that seasonally visit Washington's Puget Sound, have discovered that some of the progeny they studied were the result of matings within the same social subgroups, or pods, that are part of the overall population. Science Daily 


New Danish SAO: Denmark has elected a new SAO; Nauja Bianco will represent Denmark, Greenland and Faroe Islands in the Arctic Council. Nauja Bianco was born (1976) and raised in the capital of Greenland, Nuuk. She started her studies in political science at the University of Odense, Denmark, in 1998 and finished her masters degree at the University of Aarhus in 2004 with a thesis on political culture and political awareness of the Greenlandic population. In the duration of her studies Ms. Bianco studied at Sciences Politique in Lille, France, and did an internship in Brussels.Arctic Council 


Protecting Caribou, Bison on Agenda for YK Conference. The three territorial governments are hosting an international conference next month, and one of the hot-button issues will be something very familiar to Northerners. Over 200 delegates from around the world will be in town for the 2011 Arctic Ungulate Conference, which aims at solving the problems many hooved animals face, including caribou, moose and bison. HQ Yellowknife 


Looking for Arctic Oil Spill Lessons Along Banks of the Yellowstone River. Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan is asking federal regulators to rethink their insistence that ConocoPhillips put an oil pipeline under a North Slope river channel in light of the recent oil spill on the Yellowstone River in Montana from an under-river pipeline. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected Conoco's plan to build a bridge across the Nigliq channel in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska as part of its so-called CD-5 project. The project would link the new development with existing infrastructure at the nearby Alpine oil field. The Corps said a pipeline under the river was better for the environment than a road and bridge to support the pipeline in the Colville River delta area that is a world class waterfowl nesting and gathering area. Alaska Dispatch 


Narwhal Co-Management Partners Strengthen Collaborative Approach. The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement: Representatives of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the Government of Nunavut, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and Fisheries and Oceans Canada met last week to discuss the co-management of narwhal. The meetings, held over three days, were arranged after the signing of an Alternative Resolution Agreement between Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and Fisheries and Oceans Canada on June 17, 2011. The agreement was instituted to ensure increased co-operation and discussion on the future of this important resource. Market Wire 


Itta Supports Offshore Revenue Sharing Proposal in Senate. The North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta supports a proposal in the U.S. Senate to share federal revenues from offshore development with local communities. If passed, it would also boost the state's share by millions of dollars. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat from Louisiana, have proposed the revenue sharing in an amendment to a bill that was set to be considered today in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The Arctic Sounder   


Coast Guard Supports the World Eskimo Indian Olympics. Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, Coast Guard District Seventeen Commander, addresses the contestants and the crowd at the 50th World Eskimo Indian Olympics July 20, 2011. For the second year, the Coast Guard has sponsored WEIO as an ongoing outreach effort with the people of the villages in Northern Alaska and the Arctic. The Coast Guard 


Secretary Locke Certifies that Iceland's Whaling Undermines the International Whaling Commission. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke certified to President Obama that Iceland's commercial whaling and international trade in fin whale products is diminishing the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and urged the Government of Iceland to cease permitting commercial whaling. Iceland killed 273 endangered fin whales in 2009 and 2010. Iceland has not harvested any fin whales so far in 2011, but the government continues to permit whaling and has issued a whale quota for the 2011 season. Iceland has continued to harvest minke whales in 2011. The IWC has in place a global moratorium on commercial whaling. NOAA 


NOAA Seeks Public Input on Sustainable Management of Halibut Stock. NOAA's Fisheries Service is seeking public comment on a draft rule, called a catch sharing plan, designed to sustainably manage the halibut stock in southeast Alaska and the central Gulf of Alaska. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended the rule to establish a clear allocation between the commercial and charter sectors that fish in these areas. NOAA

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                    


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 exchanging 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