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 Hveragerđi, Iceland. Addressing the three 'poles' - the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Himalayan region- the sub-themes represent different  perspectives for viewing the subject of natural ice and evaluating its importance.  The event will consider implications of ice melt on humanity, communities, minds, perceptions and knowledge on ice; International law, 'soft law' and governance on ice.


4th International Sea Duck Conference, seaduckconferencelogoSeptember 12-16, 2011. The Sea Duck Joint Venture has helped sponsor a North American Sea Duck Conference once every three years since 2002. These conferences provide opportunities for researchers and managers to share information and research results, conduct workshops on specific issues, and to hold related meetings. The 4th conference will officially be an international conference and will be held in Seward, Alaska, 12-16 September, 2011, with participants from the U.S., Canada, Russia and Europe, focusing on sea ducks in the North and the Arctic. It will be held at the Windsong Lodge, with three days of presentations and workshops, and there will be a chartered boat trip the last day into the Kenai Fjords to watch sea ducks. Registration is available on the website for the conference and the excursion.


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.    


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future Fermo

September 20-23, 2011. A technical workshop, organized by Dr. Peter Wadhams, on the physical problems associated with oil spills and blowouts in sea ice will be held at the Istituto Geografico Polare "Silvio Zavatti," Fermo, Italy. Scientists, engineers and policy makers are invited to address the questions of how oil is emitted from a blowout or spill, how the oil and gas are incorporated in the under-ice surface, how the oil layer evolves, how the oil is transported by the ice, and how and where eventual release occurs. The aim is to incorporate the experience of those scientists who worked in this field in the 1970s-1990s, when large-scale field experiments involving oil release were possible, and to relate this to the needs of present researchers who are seeking solutions to the problem of a sustainable Arctic oil spill management system. Notably, the workshop will be attended by the oil spill work package of the EU ACCESS project (Arctic Climate Change and its Effect on Economic Systems). Registration forms are available here


Murmansk Arctic Forum, October 1-2, 2011.  Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society, the forum will host discussion on Arctic navigation, development of the Northern Sea Route, railway extensions, and construction of a deep-water port in Arkhangelsk.  The official website is in Russian.


The Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics, October 3-4, 2011. The conference is organized by the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul Dandurand Chair, in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Cartier (France), ArcticNet (Universite Laval, Quebec), and the Northern Research Forum (University of the Arctic; University of Lapland, Finland). This high-level international meeting reunites political scientists, lawyers, geographers, historians and practitioners to discuss, first, the socio-economic, political and security issues of developed or developing Arctic regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The meeting mainly seeks to adress security issue(s) of the various region(s) that make up the circumpolar world. Three Arctic regions will be highlighted: a) the North-American Arctic (United States (Alaska); Canada (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik) and Greenland; b) the North Pacific Rim (Alaska, Russian Far East, Beaufort Sea/Chukchi); c) the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland - and Russia).


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. Details to follow.   


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Heath, August 5-10, 2012. This kivalina girlevent is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and indigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change-health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and, behavioral health.


Arctic/Inuit/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World, October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature. For more information, please email Lauren Marr.


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