US Arctic Research Commission
July 26, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider two judicial nominations. The Senate will also consider legislation to increase the debt limit. The House will consider legislation to expedite the permit approval process for a crude-oil pipeline. The House will also continue to consider the Interior-Environment Appropriation bill for FY 2012 funding.


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.   

Merit Review Process and Science Funding, today. The Research and Science Education Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Merit Review Process: Ensuring Limited Federal Resources are Invested in the Best Science." 


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Caleb Pungowiyi, Alaska Native Leader, Dies at Age 69. Alaska Native leader Caleb Pungowiyi, a fighter for his people, died today. He was 69. A Yup'ik Eskimo from Savoonga  on St. Lawrence Island, Pungowiyi was former president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference and the Robert Aqqaluk Newlin Sr. Memorial Trust. During his lifetime, he held numerous other positions that helped give Inupiat a voice in state, national and world affairs. The Arctic Sounder 



redoubt volcanoThanks to the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory, Alaska Volcano Observers Kick Serious Ash. The Observatory keeps tabs on the four Cook Inlet volcanoes nearest Anchorage and others throughout the state, providing hazard reports and eruption notifications to federal, state and municipal agencies.

Frontier Scientists  


Canada Goes Ahead With Arctic Patrol Ships. Canada is going ahead with a $3.3canadian flag billion plan to beef up Arctic security and assert its sovereignty amid competing measures by other countries increasingly interested in the thawing region's immense potential. The funds will be used to build up to eight Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships, the navy said. In addition to more than $3 billion in acquiring the vessels, another $4.5 billion will be needed to maintain them over an expected 25-year lifespan. UPI 


New Evidence of Arctic Climate Change. Over the past ten years, the year-round core of the Arctic ice shield has lost up to two thirds of its surface area and become almost 25 percent thinner. Last spring, the concentration of stratospheric ozone above the High Arctic was down to levels above the Antarctic. The media heard this Monday from Dr Vladimir Sokolov, who led the exploration team at Russia's North Pole-38 research outpost. The North Pole stations sit on thick Arctic ice flows. The Voice of Russia  


Toxic Chemicals Released by Melting Arctic Ice: 1st Evidence of Suspected Link Between Climate Change and Pollution. Climate change is boosting levels of banned pollutants such as PCBs and DDT in the atmosphere, Canadian, Chinese and Norwegian scientists have found. A "wide range" of persistent organic pollutants, or POPs, have been increasingly released into the Arctic atmosphere since the early 1990s, says the study led by Environment Canada scientist. Jianmin Ma, "confirming that Arctic warming could undermine global efforts to reduce environmental and human exposure to these toxic chemicals." CBC News 


begichBegich Speaks to Arctic Workshop in Fairbanks: We must make investments to be leaders at the top of our globe. Speaking to 60 Arctic experts and policymakers from 12 countries through a video teleconference, Sen. Mark Begich shared the steps the U.S. must take in response to a warming and rapidly changing Arctic. "The coming years bring great challenges and opportunities to the Arctic. The U.S. has a major role to play along with other Arctic nations," Sen. Begich told the workshop. "To fulfill that role and responsibility, we must address the broader policy implications of an ice-diminishing Arctic on the diplomatic, scientific and national security fronts. We must make the needed investments to maintain leadership at the top of our globe." Senator Mark Begich  


Coast Guard, Multiple Agencies to Conduct Joint Search and Rescue Exercise Off Coast of Barrow. Coast Guard, Air Force, Alaska Air National Guard and North Slope Borough personnel are scheduled to conduct a search and rescue exercise off the coast of Barrow Tuesday and Wednesday. This search and rescue exercise is a way for these organizations to interact with each other to assess how best to produce a coordinated response to an emergency off the coast of Barrow in the Arctic waters. The exercise will consist of two main activities. Coast Guard  


Melting Ice Forces Polar Bears to Swim Farther, Study Finds. Polar bears arePolar Bear Eating Fish swimming longer distances because of melting sea ice, according to a new study conducted with satellite tracking devices. The research, presented July 19 by U.S. Geological Survey biologist Anthony Pagano at the International Bear Association Conference, identified 50 long-distance swims by adult female polar bears between 2004 and 2009 in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Washington Post 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 2584, Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies (Simpson, considered by the Whole House)


S. 1410, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for life sciences research (Casey, introduced and referred to Senate committee) 

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. 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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