US Arctic Research Commission
March 1, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is in session to consider patent law legislation.  The House will consider legislation to fund government operations through March 18th.



Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Two-Week Spending Bill Expected to Advance in Senate. It looked increasingly likely Monday that Senate Democrats would accept a House Republican proposal for a short-term spending measure that would avoid a government shutdown at the end of this week, even as they try to shape a longer term bill that would be more to their liking. "This is a good-faith effort, so I'm prepared to be a part of it," Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., said of House Republicans' two-week spending proposal to avoid a government shutdown. Congressional Quarterly


Final Report Available: Climate Change Impacts on Defense Assets in Alaska Workshop. The final report for the Climate Change Impacts on Defense Assets in Alaska Workshop, held 7-9 July 2009 in Anchorage, Alaska, is available. The purpose of the workshop was to provide a venue for the discussion of impacts and adaptation methodologies addressing the Department of Defense (DoD) assets in Alaska. This was accomplished through a two and a half day workshop that included pre-workshop white papers, presentations, and working group discussions. Defense Assets Workshop


Arctic Sea Ice Extent in January is Lowest in Recorded History. While extremethinice weather conditions and unusually cold temperatures have gripped much of North America and Europe this winter, unusually warm temperatures farther north produced the lowest Arctic sea ice extent ever recorded for the month of January, according to NASA. Areas such as Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and Davis Strait - which typically freeze over by late November - did not completely freeze until mid-January, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). And the Labrador Sea was also unusually ice-free. In the graphic, blue indicates open water, white illustrates high sea ice concentrations, and turquoise indicates loosely packed ice. Environmental News Network 


Begich Addresses Center for Native American Youth: Launch of Program Addresses Suicide Prevention, Awareness. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today attendedbegich the launch of a new policy program, the Center for Native American Youth, at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. The program, founded by former Sen. Byron Dorgan, is dedicated to improving the health, safety and overall well-being of Native American Youth through communication, policy development and advocacy. Sen. Begich was one of the invited guests asked to participate in a roundtable discussion focused on suicide prevention and awareness among indigenous peoples. Senator Mark Begich


Oil Studies Find Commercial Fish in Arctic Waters. Surveys for possible oil and gas drilling off Alaska's northern coast have found commercial fish such as Pacific cod and walleye pollock in Arctic waters where they have not been previously documented. The Anchorage Daily News reports studies of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas are generating research of value beyond oil exploration. Seattle Post Intelligencer 


Ulmer: New Safety Effort Needed for Arctic Drilling, Protection: Alaska's oil spillFranUlmer commission member speaks to Legislature about response to Gulf disaster. It was a series of mistakes by top managers at BP and other companies that led the disastrous Deepwater Horizon blowout, but Alaska oil spill commission member Fran Ulmer said that should not preclude drilling for oil in the Arctic. The commission's report, requested by President Barack Obama, provides a "roadmap for how we can proceed in the Arctic in a way that's as responsible as possible," she said. Juneau Empire


Russia Border Service to Set Up Network of Arctic Monitoring Posts. The Russian Federal Border Agency plans to establish a monitoring network in the Arctic, from Novaya Zemlya to Wrangel Island, the FBA first deputy head said on Tuesday. "This will ensure effective control over the Arctic," Col. Gen. Vyacheslav Dorokhin said. The Northern Sea Route is currently controlled from the air, at sea and along the coast, he said. "This has enabled us, among other things, to detect and stop illegal shipping operations. Thus, British yachts and a Chinese ship were detained along the Northern Sea Route in 2010." The Arctic is a priority area for the FBA, which is part of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the general stressed. RIA Novosti


New Inuit-Owned Fisheries Enterprise. A pair of Baffin Island fishing groups have teamed up to form the first 100 per cent Inuit owned company to manage and operate fishing vessels, licenses and quotas. Cumberland Sound Fisheries Ltd. of Pangnirtung and the Arctic Fishery Alliance (AFA) joined forces and announced the formation of the Umiat Corporation on Feb. 22 in Iqaluit. Northern News Services

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 1, continuing appropriations act (Rogers- received in the Senate)


H.J.Res. 44, further continuing appropriations amendments (Rogers- considered in the House)

Future Eventsfutureevents    


Fiscal 2012 Budget: Interior Department, March 2.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the Department of Interior.


Fiscal 2012 Budget: Forest Service, March 3.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the U.S. Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture.


International Conference on Arctic Marine Science, International Law and Climate Protection, March 17-18. The German Federal Foreign Office is hosting an event that will take place on the Berlin premises of the Federal Office. The event is co-hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, with additional support from prominent research institutes. The Conference will discuss the legal framework for marine scientific research in the Arctic Ocean at present and in the future. Scholars, scientists and diplomats with an interest in the Arctic Ocean are invited to attend. For more information, please contact


Arctic Dialogue & Study Tour, March 22-24, 2011. For the past four years Norway's Bod? University Graduate School of Business, the High North Centre for Business and Governance (affiliated with the University), the International Institute of Energy Politics and Diplomacy (MIEP) at MGIMO University in Moscow, Russia, and HBW Resources have hosted an annual Arctic Dialogue and Study Tour.  The tour brings together stakeholders from all Arctic nations (government, industries, academic, native and local peoples) to discuss issues involving resource development in the Arctic, and share common experiences, best practices and solutions. For more information contact Andrew Browning.


Arctic Science Summit Week, Seoul, March 28-April 1, 2011. The purpose of Korean Flagthe Arctic Science Summit Week is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science. The Arctic Science Week 2011 is supported by the Korean government, the Korean Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology, and the Seoul Tourism Organization, among other groups.  


The Arctic as a Messenger for Global Processes- Climate Change and Pollution, May 4-6, 2011. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), the University of Copenhagen, and Aarhus University. The conference will include talks by invited keynote speakers, oral presentations selected on the basis of submitted abstracts, poster presentations, and short oral presentations of selected posters. A panel discussion will develop messages to be communicated to the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting that will take place in Greenland one week after the conference. 

Sixth International Conference on Arctic Margins, May 31-June 2, 2011 at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks.  The International Conference on Arctic Margins (ICAM) will examine current geological and geophysical research on the Arctic. Topics include: hydrocarbon potential and gas hydrates; science issues relating to UNCLOS Article 76; geodynamic significance of Arctic magmatism; vertical motions in the Arctic, tectonic, and glacial; geology and palaeogeography of the Arctic continental margins; evolution of the Arctic Ocean basins, including plate reconstructions, magmatism, and sedimentology; modern Arctic environments, including geological, climatic, and oceanographic processes; recent advances in Arctic research technology. More information email.  


American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium, June 5-14. This policy colloquium brings together a group to consider atmospheric policy.  The colloquium will cover policy creation basics, interactions with congressional staff, and information on the current atmospheric policy issues. 

7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011myvatnThe 7th Congress, "Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences Beyond the IPY," will be held in Akureyri, Iceland. The International Congress of the Arctic Social Sciences is held every three years. 
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 Muskokaddresses 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. The conference 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.   


Operating in the Arctic: Supporting the US Coast Guard Challenges Through Research, Sept. 21-23, 2010. This workshop, held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the US Arctic Research Commission, explored and identified ways in which scientific research and development can improve the ability of the U.S. Coast Guard to operate and carry out its statutory missions in the Arctic region. Participation in this event included state, local and international stakeholders, academics and researchers, and USCG and other federal agency officials. A funding opportunity associated with this activity is described here.


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference permafrostwill be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008.  More details to follow.   

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