US Arctic Research Commission
March 3, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is expected to continue its consideration of patent law reform. The House is expected to consider legislation regarding tax reporting requirements of the health care overhaul law.  


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.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  



Dr. Michael Castellini Selected to be the Dean of the School of Fisheries andOcean Sciences of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Dr. Castellini will officially take over as the dean beginning on March 13th.  He is currently serving as the interim dean of the SFOS at UAF.  This bio is available here.


No Easy Path for Spending Deal. President Barack Obama is hoping to reprise his role as deal-maker-in-chief in the budget standoff simmering on Capitol Hill. But his eleventh-hour entry into the debate leaves him in a far less desirable position than when he deftly ushered through a bipartisan tax deal in December: The only conversations happening right now between Senate Democratic and House Republican leaders are about whose fault it will be if the negotiations fail. Roll Call


Akaka of Hawaii Won't Run Again, Opening Another Dem Seat. Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) announced Wednesday he will not run for reelection in 2012. The Honolulu Star-Advertiserreported that Akaka, 86, informed senior Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) and his staff of his decision Wednesday evening. Akaka has served in the upper chamber since 1990. The Hill 


Arctic Blooms Occurring Earlier: Phytoplankton Peak Arising 50 Days Early, With Unknown Impacts on Marine Food Chain and Carbon Cycling. Warming temperatures and melting ice in the Arctic may be behind a progressively earlier bloom of a crucial annual marine event, and the shift could hold consequences for the entire food chain and carbon cycling in the region. Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, along with colleagues in Portugal and Mexico, plotted the yearly spring bloom of phytoplankton -- tiny plants at the base of the ocean food chain -- in the Arctic Ocean and found the peak timing of the event has been progressing earlier each year for more than a decade. The researchers analyzed satellite data depicting ocean color and phytoplankton production to determine that the spring bloom has come up to 50 days earlier in some areas in that time span. Science Daily


Senate Passes CR to Avoid Shutdown.The Senate cleared the House-passed stopgap spending bill by a 91-9 vote Wednesday morning, averting a government shutdown for an additional two weeks. The strong vote for the House package, which includes a $4 billion in spending cuts, signaled the newfound popularity of austerity after November's elections and with the deficit projected to hit $1.5 trillion this year. Roll Call


Arctic Food Chain Faces Disruption: Scientists: Fish, Whales May Feel Impact asbowhead Food Supply Arrives Earlier. Warming temperatures and melting ice in the Arctic may be causing a progressively earlier bloom of tiny ocean plants in the spring, and this shift could hold consequences for the entire Arctic food chain, say scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California. The scientists found "significant trends" towards earlier blooms of these plants, called phytoplankton, in about 11 per cent of the area of the Arctic Ocean closest to the North Pole. Nunatsiaq News 


caribouPorcupine Caribou Herd Grows to 169,000. A July 2010 photocensus shows the Porcupine Caribou Herd has grown to an estimated 169,000 animals, according to a statement from state Fish and Game. "There's no doubt the herd has grown since 2001. People on both sides of the Alaska-Canada border are pleased," said Northeast Alaska Assistant Area Biologist Jason Caikoski. The Arctic Sounder


Rep. Young Responds to Wild Lands Policy. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, chair of theYoungHouse Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, feels President Obama is focusing more on environmentalists interests when it comes to the Wild Lands Policy. At a hearing on March 1 held by the House Committee on Natural Resources, Young addressed the administration's "Wild Lands" order, Secretarial Order No. 3310. "Once again, the Obama Administration is putting the interests of environmentalists above all others," Young said. Indian Country

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Eventsfutureevents    


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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