US Arctic Research Commission
May 10, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Some Members of Congress will meet with Vice President Joe Biden to continue discussions on the federal budget and the debt limit. One Democratic proposal is due on Tuesday, which is expected to include increases in oil and gas industry taxes. The Senate is in morning business until 5pm.The House will consider offshore drilling and Haiti relief legislation.


Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Hearing on the Coast Guard, May 10. The Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the U.S. Coast Guard's FY12 Budget.    

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


GOP House Committee's Defense Bill Mostly Follows the Administration's Plan. The House Armed Services Committee largely endorsed the Obama administration's defense spending and program wishes in a 2012 Pentagon authorization bill revealed on Monday. The panel's measure is the first national security spending bill lawmakers have taken up in the post-Osama bin Laden era. It suggests little has changed on Capitol Hill despite the killing of the al Qaeda founder. The Hill     


Boehner: Spending Cuts Should be in Trillions. Speaker John Boehner warned on Monday that he won't agree to raising the debt ceiling unless Democrats and the White House accept spending cuts that exceed the increase in the nation's debt level. "Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given," the Ohio Republican said in a speech at the Economic Club of New York.


US Calls Arctic Council Meeting 'Historic.' U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to join fellow foreign ministers from the eight nation Arctic Council on Thursday in Greenland's capital, Nuuk, for a meeting on polar region issues, including the receding Arctic ice cap. The meeting follows the release of a council report that Arctic warming and the resulting rise in sea levels might be much greater than previous forecasts. Voice of America 


Ready for Joint Shooting in Arctic Waters. Norway and Russia are holding joint military exercises to practice shooting against sea targets, and search and rescue operations. Barents Observer 


oil spill in open oceanClinton Seeks Arctic Spill Policy as Greenland Drilling Resumes. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will push for an Arctic oil spill response task force this week as Cairn Energy Plc prepares for its busiest drilling season off the coast of Greenland. Clinton will travel to Greenland's capital for a meeting of the eight nations that lay claim to the Arctic amid growing concerns about the risks to the environment in light of last year's Gulf of Mexico spill. Cairn, the first explorer to drill off Greenland in a decade, won approval for four wells this year to tap an estimated 17 billion barrels of oil. San Francisco Chronicle


Diplomats Choose Alaska First for Destination this Summer: Experience America program lets ambassadors see more of the country. Dozens of diplomats from around the world will be headed to Alaska this summer as part of a four-day trip to showcase this country's uniquely American places. The trip is part of a State Department initiative called "Experience America" that gives diplomats stationed in the United States a chance to see parts of the country they might not visit as part of their mission. Anchorage Daily News


Canadian Inuit Face Diabetes Risk. A changing climate and a more settled lifestyle have removed any protection that Canada's Inuit people may once have had from diabetes, according to a report published on Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Researchers have long thought that the Inuit, the aboriginal people of northern regions of Canada, Alaska and Greenland, were largely immune to the health risks of obesity, because diabetes cases were rare. Vancouver Sun


Scientists, Religious, Native Leaders Discuss Environment, Find They Are Diverse Allies. Scientists, Native elders and religious leaders took part in a four-hour panel discussion on how to become better stewards of the Earth. "As everyone talks, we have a lot more in common than you thought," said Larry Merculieff, a Native leader and moderator of Saturday's "One People, One Earth." Dr. Larry Hinzman, director of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, used the occasion to briefly outline scientific worries about climate change and global warming. Juneau Empire  


Preview- Arctic Nations Eye Future of World's Last Frontier. Leaders of Arctic nations gather in Greenland this week to chart future cooperation as global greenlandwarming sets off a race for oil, mineral, fishing and shipping opportunities in the world's fragile final frontier. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will join foreign ministers from seven other Arctic states in Greenland's tiny capital of Nuuk -- population 15,000 -- on Thursday for an Arctic Council meeting on the next steps for a region where warming temperatures are creating huge new challenges and unlocking untapped resources. Reuters 


Quebec to Spend Billions to Develop Resources in Northern Regions. Quebec province, anticipating renewed interest in its natural resources, rolled out on Monday an ambitious 25-year plan to develop its vast but largely untouched northern and Arctic regions. The region is well endowed with mineral resources, woodlands and potential hydroelectric developments, but it lacks the roads, railways, ports, communications links and other infrastructure necessary for their exploitation. New York Times 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


S. 916, to facilitate appropriate oil and gas development on Federal land and waters, to limit dependence of the United States on foreign sources of oil and gas, etc. (Bingaman- introduced and referred to Senate committee)


S.917, to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to reform the management of energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf, etc. (Bingaman- introduced and referred to committee)

Future Events     


Seventh Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council, May 12.  The Arctic Council will host this meeting in Nuuk, Greenland. The meeting will consider "The Changing Arctic: Challenges and Opportunities for the Arctic Council;" the Nuuk Declaration; the Arctic Council Search and Rescue Agreement; and hand over the chairmanship to Sweden. Secretary Hillary Clinton will lead the US delegation. 


Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Legislation, May 12. The Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on pending legislation including legislation regarding polar bear trophy importation from Canada and authorization of fund to acquire hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services specific to the Arctic for safe navigation, delineate the United States extended continental shelf, and monitor coastal changes.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board Meeting, May 16.The Science Advisory Board is expected to consider recommendations on coastal and marine spatial planning from the Ecosystem Sciences and Management Working Group and discuss revised operations of the Science Advisory Board.


International Oil Spill Conference, May 23-26, 2011. This conference's theme of "Promoting the Science of Spill Response" continues the long tradition of providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and lessons learned from actual spill responses and research around the world. This conference will also continue the North American part of the Triennial Oil Spill Conference Cycle established in 2005, to be followed by Interspill 2012 (Europe) and Spillcon 2013 (SE Asia), before returning to North America in 2014. The Arctic focus will be on May 25th. 

6th International Conference on Arctic Margins, May 31-June 3, 2011. The International Conference on Arctic Margins was founded by the Department of Interior and what was formerly called the Minerals Management Service. 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.


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. 


Alice Rogoff, Alaska Dispatch Publisher

The Arctic Imperative, June 19-21. The Alaska Dispatch, Aspen Institute, Commonwealth North, and the Institute of the North will host a domestic investment and policy forum titled "The Arctic Imperative." The forum, at the Alyeska Resort in the Chugach Mountains, near Anchorage, will bring together international policymakers, industry, and investment leaders to consider topics such as security, resources, port development, marine shipping, commerce, and trade. The goal of the gathering is to "sharpen the world's focus on the policy and investment needs of Arctic development through a series of high-level meetings, presentations and investor roundtables." Confirmed speakers include Fran Ulmer, Chair of the USARC; Edward Itta, Mayor of the North Slope Borough; Thomas Barrett, President of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company; Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations; Mead Treadwell, Lt. Gov. of the State of Alaska; David Rubenstein, Managing Director of the Carlyle Group; Reggie Joule, Alaska State Legislator; among others. Registration is $2500 for out-of-state participants (includes registration, meals, tax, ground transfers & lodging), and $900 for in-state (includes registration & meals). Speakers are free. Media registration and meals are free.


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. icediminisharcticNational 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. Registration is now open.


7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011Akureyri 

The 7th Congress, "Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences Beyond the IPY," will be held in Akureyri, Iceland. The  Intl'

Congress of the Arctic Social Sciences is held every 3 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.    


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future 

September 20-23, 2011. A technical workshop, organized by Dr. Peter Wadhams, on the physical problems associated with oil spills and blowouts in sea ice will be held at the Istituto Geografico Polare "Silvio Zavatti," Fermo, Italy. Scientists, engineers and policy makers are invited to address the questions of how oil is emitted from a blowout or spill, how the oil and gas are incorporated in the under-ice surface, how the oil layer evolves, how the oil is transported by the ice, and how and where eventual release occurs. The aim is to incorporate the experience of those scientists who worked in this field in the 1970s-1990s, when large-scale field experiments involving oil release were possible, and to relate this to the needs of present researchers who are seeking solutions to the problem of a sustainable Arctic oil spill management system. Notably, the workshop will be attended by the oil spill work package of the EU ACCESS project (Arctic Climate Change and its Effect on Economic Systems). Registration forms are available here


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference will be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008. 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.


USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)