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