US Arctic Research Commission
July 27, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Congressional leaders continue negotiations on debt reduction plans. The Senate will consider an FBI nomination. The House will consider the Interior-Environment Appropriations bill.


U.S. Economic Interests in the Arctic, today. The Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on efforts to defend the nation's economic interests in the Arctic, focusing on the strategy or lack thereof. Witnesses include Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert Papp; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries David Balton; Vice President of Alaska Venture Peter Slaiby; Senior Fellow at the Institute for Global Maritime Studies Scott Borgerson; and assistant profession at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Andrew Metzger.


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    


Larger Brains and Eyes Go with Living in the High Latitudes: Study. Brain EyesCoping with the Arctic winter's long nights and short days may bring some hidden benefits to people living in the high latitudes. That's because the further away that human populations live from the equator, the bigger their brains and eyes become, suggests a new study in the journal Biology Letters. By studying skulls from 12 different populations at varying latitudes, Oxford University scientists determined that people living in places with long winters evolved bigger eyes and brains to better process what they see. Nunatsiaq Online 


CrayfishLittle Crayfish is Big Glutton in Arctic Waters. For years, the copepod Metridia has managed to remain hidden from science. However, this spring, during fieldwork at the Arctic Station, for the very first time researchers succeeded in filming how this constantly feeding little crayfish catches its prey. Science Daily 


 Arctic Towns Want Health-Care Control Back from Nunavut. canadian flagArctic towns fed up with the Nunavut government's poor record on health care want the territory to shift more control over services to them. "When we look at what's happened over the last 10 years, we look at problems that not only don't seem to be solved, but are getting worse," said Ron Mongeau, administrator of the Baffin Island community of Pangnirtung. CTV  


Alaska Scientists Make Squirrels Hibernate. Scientists in Alaska said Tuesday they have figured out how to make squirrels hibernate, a process that could be used to preserve brain function in humans who suffer strokes or heart attacks.But the technique only worked in squirrels that were awakened by researchers during their hibernation season, not outside normal hibernation times, said the study in The Journal of Neuroscience. DAWN

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


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

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