US Arctic Research Commission
March 17, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is expected to pass a continuing resolution to fund government operations through April 8.Republicans would like any additional short-term spending extensions to include Department of Defense funding through the end of the fiscal year.  The House will consider a resolution requesting the President to withdraw from Afghanistan and legislation to bar federal funding for NPR.


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


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


Media Reviewtodaysevents  



Fiscal 2011 Funding Delays Pose Threats to Navy, Secretary Says. The Navy's top civilian leader warned Wednesday that delays in providing full fiscal 2011 funding could devastate shipbuilding accounts and create a $600 million shortfall in Navy and Marine Corps personnel accounts. The warning came in a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee a day after the House passed the sixth stopgap funding bill (H J Res 48) of the fiscal year that began last Oct. 1.The current continuing resolution (PL 112-4) expires March 18. The new CR would keep funds flowing through April 8. Senior congressional aides have indicated this could be the last CR the president would be willing to sign. Congressional Quarterly


Keep the Earmark Requests Coming, Say Some Lawmakers to Constituents. Some lawmakers are still seeking funding for their constituents, despite the voluntary earmark bans that have taken hold in both chambers of Congress. In letters and e-mails obtained by The Hill, lawmakers asked constituents for their earmark requests this year and said they will seek alternative means of funding them due to the prohibition on pet projects. The Hill


House GOP, White House Ramp Up Talks on Budget Deal. Talks between House Republicans and the administration are accelerating as both sides push for a deal in the next two weeks to avert a government shutdown. The negotiations are under way on several levels. Conversations between Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew and House Appropriations Republican staff have begun. Democratic aides said those talks are an offshoot of existing negotiations involving leadership staff from both chambers that helped produce a deal last week on a three-week continuing resolution. Talks between House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, and President Obama or a senior designee are set to begin as soon as this week, a senior GOP source said. Government Executive


Debate Over Policies, Not Numbers Dog Long-Term Budget Negotiations. Pressure on Republican leaders and the White House to hammer out a long term spending plan intensified Wednesday, as attention increasingly turned to a series of contentious policy divisions at the center of the budget standoff. With the expected passage of another stopgap spending measure, congressional leaders are looking at a three-week negotiating window to bridge the wide gap between the parties and avert a government shutdown. The Hill 


EPA Bill Passes House Committee, Amid Climate Science Debate. After a full day of debate on amendments and impassioned political statements, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted on Tuesday to slash the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. While the Republican majority voted unanimously in favor of the measure, which passed 34-19, three Democrats, Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, John Barrow, D-Ga., and Mike Ross, D-Ark., sided with the majority. Government Executive


CNO Assesses Russian, Chinese Navies. When Adm. Gary Roughead, the U.S. Navy's chief of naval operations (CNO), was asked Wednesday for his assessment of America's former Cold War opponent, he said, "The Russian Navy still has great ambition, still has great pride." The collapse of the Soviet Union significantly reduced the navy, Roughead noted, with most shipbuilding programs coming to a halt or dragging out. Defense News


The Navy's testimony was presented at an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.  The testimony is available here.


Arctic Challenge for Arctic Council. Traditionally a forum for Arctic science and low-tension political questions, the Arctic Council plans to change as the Arctic changes. Ministers meet in May. Barents Observer


Aspen Commission: Amid Climate Change, Arctic Cooperation Urgently Needed. The loss of Arctic sea ice has done more than herald the extent of global warming. It has opened up the prospect of new shipping routes and new access to natural resources. As the ice has retreated, nations and private interests have advanced on the wild, remote region that affects the world--both as home to unique species, and ecosystems that provide cooling for the planet. But the question remains how to manage the competing claims on the Arctic's 11.6 million square miles (30 million square kilometers), given the potential for the interests of eight separate nations to collide at the top of the Earth? National Geographic   


Canada's Unique Wetlands Under Threat: Report. Canada must limit large-scale industrial activity in its boreal forest, the world's largest intact timberland, to preserve millions of lakes and rivers critical to forming Arctic sea ice, a new report said Wednesday. The first of its kind study by the Pew Environment Group shows Canada's boreal forest contains more unfrozen freshwater than any other ecosystem, totaling more than 197 million acres of surface freshwater. AFP 


NOAA Administrator Unveils Arctic Plan During Aspen Speech. NOAA explained today how it will concentrate scientific, service, and stewardship efforts in the Arctic when it released its first ever Arctic Vision and Strategy. Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, made the announcement during a keynote address to the Aspen Institute in Washington. "The Arctic is at once a majestic, harsh, and fragile environment. It's the region where we are seeing the most rapid and dramatic changes in the climate. And these regional changes have global implications," said Lubchenco. "NOAA's Arctic plan builds on our research history in that region to prepare us for a changing Arctic that will affect our economic, environmental, and strategic interests. The time to refocus our efforts is now and strong local, regional and international partnerships are required if we are to succeed." NOAA  


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.J.Res. 48, additional continuing appropriations amendments, 2011. (Rogers- read for the second time and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar)


Future Eventsfutureevents    


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.  


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Homeland Security, March 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.


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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