US Arctic Research Commission
March 31, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Today the House will consider a long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.  The Senate will consider a small business research bill, including several unrelated amendments.


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 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: Interior and Environment, March 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.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


White House, GOP Edge Closer to a Deal. The White House and congressional Republicans edged closer to a budget deal Wednesday, as House and Senate Appropriations staff resumed negotiations at the direction of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). A source familiar with the talks said members of the Senate and House Appropriations panels are working toward a target of $33 billion in spending cuts. The $33 billion goal splits the difference between $30 billion in cuts Senate Democrats have proposed and $36 billion in cuts Boehner suggested in talks with White House officials, according to the source. The Hill


james steinbergJames Steinberg, Clinton's top deputy at the Deparment of State, is resigning his position to take an academic post at Syracuse University. Washington Post. [His wife, Sherburne "Shere" Abbott, serves as the Associate Director for Environment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. She manages a portfolio of S&T policy that ranges from energy and climate change to environmental quality, polar research issues, and sustainability.]


Thomas Armstrong is the new Director of USGCRP Office. The White House announced March 29 that Tom Armstrong, recently the Senior Advisor for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of the Interior, is the new Director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's National Coordination Office. Over the years, the USGCRP Office has occupied an interesting and sometimes troubled position in the relationship between the climate science community and the White House. The USGCRP Office supports the federal climate science management technocracy that administers a $2 billion research program, under the oversight of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Administration political appointees in the USGCRP participating agencies. Climate Science Watch.  


No Fear of Shutdown on the Right. House conservatives are becoming govt. shutdownincreasingly  bullish about how much federal spending could be cut in a final, long-term continuing resolution, creating additional pressure for GOP leaders trying to reach a deal with Democrats. More than a dozen Republican Members this week reiterated their support for the six-month House bill that cuts $61 billion in federal spending. And they said they may not back a compromise with Senate Democrats and the White House that calls for smaller reductions. If too many Republicans dig in, and no deal is reached, the government would shut down April 9. Roll Call


Measurements of Winter Arctic Sea Ice Shows Continuing Ice Loss, Study Finds. The 2011 Arctic sea ice extent maximum that marks the beginning of the melt season appears to be tied for the lowest ever measured by satellites, say scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center. Science Daily


More Arctic Shipping Ups Need for Safety, Environmental Protection: Top Russian Official: Arctic Council slate to approve an international Arctic search and rescue plan in May. After more than a year of negotiations, an Arctic Council task force, co-chaired by Russia and the United States, delivered an agreement in January on cooperation on air and sea search and rescue in the Arctic. That agreement assigns legal areas of responsibility to each of the council's eight-member nations and lays out how they will work together in the event of an Arctic emergency.  NUNATSIAQ Online


Arctic Coalition [Editorial]. Imagine if a foreign country decided it wanted to improve governance in Manitoba, while ensuring that the province's citizens and companies were treated fairly. Of course, it's hard to imagine such an uninformed posture, but that is precisely the position the European Union has been promoting among its members about the Canadian Arctic. According to a 2010 briefing note to officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs, a senior official with the European Parliament told the body that Europe wanted to ensure that "citizens and companies are treated fairly (in the Arctic), including in the areas of transport and natural resources." The EU also wanted to contribute to "robust and enhanced governance" in the area. Winnipeg Free Press


polar bear iceShrinking Arctic Ice Threatens Polar Bears. The amount of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, at its lowest levels in decades, threatens polar bears that depend on the ice to survive, conservationists say. The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said there was 5.65 million square miles of sea ice this winter, nearly 8 percent less than the average of 6.12 million square miles recorded from 1979 to 2000. UPI


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday. 

Future Eventsfutureevents    


4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, June 20-21, 2011.  The symposium is co-hosted by the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. This symposium addresses present and future impacts of rapid changes in Arctic Ocean sea ice cover on a wide range of maritime operations. The forum, the fourth in a series, is a key opportunity for federal entities to discuss their response to changes in both the Arctic environment and associated policies.


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, 2011. 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. 


Arctic/ Inuit/ Connections: Learning from the Top of the World, October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature. For more information, please email Lauren Marr.


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.



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