US Arctic Research Commission
June 9, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is considering legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration. The House is in recess for the week.


American Prosperity and Global Security: Ocean Solutions for the 21st CHOWlogoCentury, June 7-9.  Capitol Hill Ocean Week is coordinated by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Today, there will be a discussion on "Opportunity and Risk in a Changing Arctic: American Prosperity and Security on the Next Frontier." Senator Begich is expected to be a panelist. On June 9th, Senator Murkowski is scheduled to speak in a session entitled "Looking Ahead to Secure American Energy Supply Chain."


The Arctic in new
National Ocean PolicyObama2

"Changing Conditions in the Arctic" is the focus of a strategic action plan that's being developed under the "National Ocean Policy" signed by President Obama in July 2010. A 10-page draft outline of this plan is now available at a White House website for review and comment (and please do comment...). This plan is one of nine national priority objectives, and it's the only one focusing on a specific geographic region. The plan contains long-term themes, and six specific actions, below, to begin in 2012, when the final plan is released. The plan is being drafted by an interagency team co-led by Robert Winokur (Navy) and John Farrell (USARC). Public listening sessions on this effort will begin this week, including two in Alaska (June 9, Barrow, and June 10, Anchorage), and in DC (June 9). Details on the sessions are here.



An integrated Arctic observing network

Arctic climate and environmental change (understand, forecast, predict)

Arctic mapping and charting

A safe, secure, and reliable Arctic Marine Transportation System

Stewardship of the Arctic marine environment and sustainable development of resources

Resilient and healthy Arctic communities and economies

Domestic and international policy and partnerships in the Arctic



      1: Improve Arctic environmental response management

      2: Observe and forecast Arctic sea ice

      3: Establish a distributed biological observatory

      4: Improve Arctic communication

      5: Advance Arctic marine mapping and charting

      6: Improve coordination on Arctic Ocean issues

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


DeMint Maneuvers for Climate Debate With Attempt to End Aid Account.

Sen. Jim DeMint has a message for international negotiators gathering this week in Germany for the next round of global warming talks: Do not expect the United States to foot the bill. Among the raft of amendments the South Carolina Republican has filed to an economic development bill (S 782) is one that would terminate a federal fund that funnels aid overseas to help developing countries address climate change. Any unspent dollars in the fund would be credited to the general treasury, under the DeMint proposal. Congressional Quarterly


OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Hastings to Embark on Alaska Oil Tour. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) will take a whirlwind tour of Alaska Thursday as Republicans are putting increasing pressure on the Obama administration to speed up drilling in the state. Hastings will travel around the state Thursday with Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska). The Hill 


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts. Rebecca R. Wodder, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife, Department of the Interior Rebecca Wodder has served as President and CEO of American Rivers, a national river conservation organization, since 1995. From 1981 to 1994, Ms. Wodder served in several different capacities at The Wilderness Society, including Vice President for Organizational Development and Vice President for Membership, Marketing and Development. From 1978-1980, Ms. Wodder was Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson on environmental and energy issues.  Ms. Wodder began her career as an Environmental Planner for the Leo A. Daly Company, Architects, Engineers and Planners. In 2010, she was recognized as a Top 25 Outstanding Conservationist by Outdoor Life Magazine, and was named Woman of the Year by the American Sportfishing Association in 1998. Ms. Wodder holds a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas.  She also holds an M.S. in Landscape Architecture and an M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The White House 


Obama Administration Establishes White House Rural Council to Strength Rural Communities. The White House today announced the establishment of the first White House Rural Council.  While rural communities face challenges, they also present economic potential.  To address these challenges, build on the Administration's rural economic strategy, and improve the implementation of that strategy, the President signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Rural Council.  White House


'Healthy Oceans Are Everyone's Business' Remarks by NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco during Capitol Hill Oceans Week. Dr. Lubchenco discusses ocean health, the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, ocean governance, and the National Ocean Policy.  Complete remarks are available here


Norway to Start Tests in New Barents Zone in July. Norway will in July start collecting seismic data in a newly delineated region of the Barents Sea, after a new Norwegian-Russian maritime border agreement comes into force, the government said on Wednesday. The Oil and Energy Ministry said that the southeastern Barents Sea, which is now officially part of the Norwegian shelf after the border treaty finalized the disputed boundary, "may contain significant petroleum resources." Reuters  


Arctic Report Assesses Defense Role, Future Region. The Defense Department has sent to Congress a report on its Arctic operations that leaders say will put the department in a good position to shape U.S. interests as the region undergoes dramatic climate and social changes. The Report to Congress on Arctic Operations and the Northwest Passage, mandated by the fiscal 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, "was true value added" to U.S. policies on the Arctic, a DOD official speaking on background said June 3 when the report was sent to Congress. US Department of Defense


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


S. 50, Commercial Seafood Consumer Protection Act (Inouye, ordered to be reported by Senate committee favorably)


S. 782, Economic Development Revitalization Act (Boxer, considered on the Senate floor)


Future Events                 


The Arctic Imperative, June 19-21, 2011. The Alaska Dispatch, Aspen Institute,

Fran Ulmer

Commonwealth North, and the Institute of the North will host a domestic investment and policy forum titled "The Arctic Imperative." The forum, at the Alyeska Resort near Anchorage, will bring together international policymakers, industry, and investment leaders to consider topics such as security, resources, port development, marine shipping, commerce, and trade. The goal of the gathering is to "sharpen the world's focus on the policy and investment needs of Arctic development through a series of high-level meetings, presentations and investor roundtables." Confirmed speakers include Fran Ulmer, Chair of the USARC; Edward Itta, Mayor of the North Slope Borough; Thomas Barrett, President of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company; Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations; Mead Treadwell, Lt. Gov. of the State of Alaska; David Rubenstein, Managing Director of the Carlyle Group; Reggie Joule, Alaska State Legislator, among others.


4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval NOAA

and Maritime Operations, June 20-22, 2011 (downtown DC).  The symposium, co-hosted by the U.S. National Ice Center and the U.S. Arctic Research in Arctic Ocean sea ice on a wide range of maritime operations. Confirmed speakers include the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Research, RADM Nevin Carr Jr., the Commandant of the US Coast Guard ADM Robert Papp, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. The forum is a key opportunity to learn about changes in the Arctic environment, and the manner in which they are being responded to in terms of policies and practices. Registration is now open.


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.


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. 


4th International Sea Duck Conference, September 12-16, 2011. The seaduckconference is held to provide researchers and managers with opportunities to share information, research, and conduct workshops.


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


Arkhangelsk Arctic Forum, October 1-2, 2011.  Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society and the regional government of Arkhangelsk, 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 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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