US Arctic Research Commission
March 11, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider mortgage relief legislation.House appropriators are also expected to unveil a new stopgap spending measure to fund government operations beyond March 18th. The Senate is not in session.


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Interior and Environment, March 11, 15, 16, 17, 30, 31; April 6, 7, 12. The Interior and Environment and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2012 appropriations for departments, agencies, and programs under its jurisdiction.


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Homeland Security, March 11, 15, 16, 30, 31; April 6, 7. The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2012 appropriations for departments, agencies, and programs under its jurisdiction.


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, March 11, 15, 16; April 5, 7, 14, 15. The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2012 appropriations for departments, agencies, and programs under its jurisdiction.


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies, March 11. The Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2012 appropriations for departments, agencies, and programs under its jurisdiction.  


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Budget: NSF and NIST, March 11. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on fiscal 2012 budget request for the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


 Media Reviewtodaysevents  


ulmerUlmer Appointed Chairwoman of the Arctic Research Commission. President Barack Obama has nominated former Alaska Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer to serve as chairwoman of the Arctic Research Commission. Ulmer, who is chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage, most recently served on the president's oil spill panel, which looked at the causes behind last year's explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Anchorage Daily News


GOP Senators Threaten to Stall Floor Activity.  Nine Republican Senators are threatening to block all legislation in the chamber not related to the federal debt. The lawmakers sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday saying they will object to bringing up any other legislation while the need to increase the national debt limit looms. The group, led by Sen. David Vitter (La.), said it would relent if Reid guaranteed ample time for debate before the debt limit vote. Congressional Quarterly


As Spending Talks Go Nowhere, House Prepares New Short-Term Bill.  Lawmakers are able to agree on two things in the current appropriations debate: Congress should avoid a government shutdown, and spending bills should include some measure of funding reduction. Beyond that, Republicans and Democrats have found little common ground for a broad agreement on how to fund the government through the end of September. Congressional Quarterly


Obama Said to Consider Kindler, Schmidt for Commerce Secretary. President Barack Obama may look to the business community for his next secretary of Commerce with former Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Kindler and Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt among potential candidates, according to a person familiar with the process. Bloomberg Business Week 


Russia Needs Investment, Geographical Expansion to Maintain Oil Production. Russia, the world's top crude producer, needs to pump billions of dollars into its oil industry and expand beyond the traditional oil area of West Siberia to maintain international leadership and reverse declining output, industry analysts say. The global financial and economic crisis that spread to Russia in 2008 forced domestic oil companies to cut investment in the development of oil fields, which has resulted in oil output decline by 2-3% annually. RIA Novosti


Norway to Study Barents Drilling, Cool on Lofoten. Norway will conduct an impact assessment study of oil and gas exploration in a recently delineated Barents Sea zone soon after Russian authorities ratify the sea boundary deal, the government said on Friday. Reuters 


Nunavut Infant Deaths, Flu Outbreak Revive Drug Debate. A flu-like illness that has swept through half of Nunavut's communities and which is suspected in at least two infant deaths is renewing a debate on whether the territory should distribute a drug to all its newborns. More than half of Nunavut's 26 communities have experienced outbreaks over the last couple of months, says Isaac Sobol, the territory's chief medical health officer. CTV News


Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Project Finally Gets Green Light. Canada's National Energy Board on Thurday gave the official green light to the Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline, according to The Globe and Mail. The board's issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity came after Canada's federal Cabinet had approved the project and appeared to be the last regulatory hurdle facing the $16 billion, 743-mile pipeline. Canadian officials hope to tap Arctic gas reserves "discovered decades ago" via the Mackenzie project. The Alaska Dispatch


Wave Washes Alaska's Aleutian Chain; No Damage. Alaska Emergency shemya, akManagement says the tsunami from the Japanese earthquake caused a wave just over 5 feet at Shemya and about 18 inches at Adak and Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. Shemya is 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage. Emergency Management Specialist David Lee at Fort Richardson says there are no reports of damage and no significant damage expected on the coast of Alaska, although that could still depend on the surge in different areas. The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for the coastal areas of Alaska from Attu to Amchitka Pass in the Aleutians and an advisory from Amchitka Pass along the West Coast to Oregon. Washington Post


U.S. Navy Faces Up to a new Enemy- Climate Change. Climate change could take the US navy into treacherous waters. It will have to raise its game in a thawing Arctic and prepare coastal bases to cope with rising sea levels, concludes a review carried out for the navy by the National Research Council (NRC). The US Congress may still question the science of climate change, but the Pentagon already thinks a changing climate will be a significant influence on the future security environment. It said as much in last year's Quadrennial Defense Review Report. The New Scientist

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Eventsfutureevents    



SENATE: Fiscal 2012 Budget: Tribal Programs, March 15.The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed fiscal 2012 budget for American Indian tribal programs.


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. 


The Arctic Imperative, June 19-21, 2011. The Alaska Dispatch, Aspen Institute, Commonwealth North, and the Institute of the North will host a forum titled "The Arctic Imperative: Think of the Bering Strait as the Next Panama Canal."  The forum will bring together international policymakers, industry, and investment leaders to consider topics just as security, resources, port development, marine shipping, commerce, and trade.


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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