US Arctic Research Commission
March 14, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider a judicial nomination and a small business research bill.The House will consider several items under suspension of the rules.

 Media Reviewtodaysevents  


no child left behindObama to Ask Congress to Overhaul 'No Child Left Behind.' President Obama will call on Congress today to rewrite "No Child Left Behind," the nearly decade-old federal education law that helps fund the nation's public schools, before the start of the next school year in September. In a speech slated to be delivered at the Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va., he will focus on how the current law's rigid accountability system hamstrings teachers and principals from achieving the goal of "graduating students who are ready for college and a career." Congressional Quarterly


Short-term Funding Measure to Prevent Shutdown Expected to Pass. Senior lawmakers from both parties on Sunday said they believe a short-term stopgap funding bill to keep the government running will be approved this week, but they did not see an end game in sight for developing a comprehensive plan to bring down the nation's debt. The House is expected to approve a continuing resolution this week that would keep the government funded until April 8, with the Senate expected to follow suit. Negotiations will then continue on another short-term spending bill. Government Executive


Tribes Threatened in Oil-Spill Scenario Leery of Drilling. The Bureau of Ocean Energy hasn't done enough to consult with tribes about a proposed five-year plan on offshore oil and gas lease sales that includes the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, Alaska Natives charged at a recent meeting. A spill could devastate villages across the state and those villages deserve government-to-government meetings, they said. There's no way to remove a large oil spill from under the frozen sea ice, a scenario that could pollute the food Natives gather to supplement meager incomes, they argued. Increased shipping could also disrupt migration patterns, driving away seals, whales and walrus. Alaska Dispatch 


Norway Extends Ban on Arctic Shelf Oil Production Until 2013. Norway's government has extended a 30-year moratorium on oil production on its Arctic shelf until 2013 under pressure from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the environmental organization said on Monday. "The moratorium for Lofoten and Vesteralen [islands] in Norway's northern arctic waters is part of an overall management plan for the Barents Sea that is aimed at protecting important areas for fish, sea birds, seals and whales," the WWF said on its website, adding that the ban would last until 2013. RIA Novosti


Climate Scientists Battle Brutal Arctic. An elite group of scientists is heading research on iceto one of the coldest places on Earth to carry out vital research on global warming. The Arctic Circle that rings the North Pole is known as ground zero for climate change. It also has brutal weather that will batter the team virtually every moment. They will have to deal with subzero temperatures, severe storms and the threat of polar bears. CNN News


Beijing Weighs in on Canada's Arctic. When Canadians consider threats to this country's claims to Arctic sovereignty -- and they consider the issue more frequently than one might imagine -- they think of the usual suspects. There is Russia, the United States, Norway and Denmark, all the Arctic nations in their own right and all of them hungry for Arctic resources. And as global warming melts the ice on the Arctic Ocean earlier each year, and as it delays freeze up a little longer each year, the usual suspects increasingly cast covetous eyes on the Northwest Passage which, with a little more warming, may soon become a viable sea route between Europe and Asia. Ottawa claims that the Northwest Passage is a Canadian waterway. The usual suspects disagree, arguing that it is an international channel open to vessels of all nations. Now, some less usual suspects have joined the debate and few of them agree with the Canadian position. Winnipeg Free Press


bewick's swanBewick's Swans' Bottoms Sized Up for Science. Scientists at the UK's Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust are measuring the size of Bewick's swans' behinds, to see if they have the fat reserves to survive their long migration to Arctic Russia. The swans' population is in decline and the researchers want to find out if a shortage of suitable food at their UK wintering sites could be the cause. BBC News  


US Navy to Prepare for Arctic Missions. The US Navy and Coast Guard need to prepare for more missions in the Arctic, and plan for potential damage to bases from rising sea levels, as global warming increases, the National Research Council said on Thursday.  "Naval forces need to monitor more closely and start preparing now for projected challenges climate change will present in the future," Frank L. Bowman, a retired Navy admiral who was co-chairman of the committee that wrote the report, said in a statement. Independent Online

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R.1042: To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require that certain species be treated as extinct for purposes of that Act if there is not a substantial increase in the population of a species during the 15-year period beginning on the date the species is determined to be an endangered species, and for other purposes.

(Rep Baca - introduced, referred to committee)


H.R.1049: To amend the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to direct the Council on Environmental Quality to report to Congress annually on the number of permits required under Federal law for which applications have been submitted and that have not been issued because an environmental impact statement is pending, and for other purposes.

(Rep Johnson - introduced, referred to committee)


 H.J.RES.48: Additional Continuing Appropriations Amendments, 2011

(Rep Rogers - introduced, referred to committee)

Future Eventsfutureevents    


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Interior and Environment, March 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 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 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.


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