US Arctic Research Commission
May 18, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider a Republican bill to expand domestic oil production.  Because 60 votes are required for adoption, it is expected to fail.  The House is not in session.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Without Democratic Help, GOP Must Pass Spending Bills on its Own. House Republican leaders face a daunting task in the weeks and months ahead: passing a dozen spending bills opposed by Democrats. Clearing the bills through the lower chamber will be a test for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his whip team, which stumbled earlier this year. The Hill


dead coral with algeaMass Extinction of Marine Life in Oceans During Prehistoric Times Offers Warning for Future. The mass extinction of marine life in our oceans during prehistoric times is a warning that the same could happen again due to high levels of greenhouse gases, according to new research. Science Daily


Hearing Indigenous Voices- A must. Indigenous peoples continue to be excluded from decision-making processes when it comes to extraction of raw materials and the implementation of mega projects on their lands. In most cases, they are "bypassed in the processing of extractive industries or major projects like dams," Devasish Roy, a member of the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), told reporters on Tuesday. Inter Press Service 


Russia 'To Protect Its Arctic Rights.' Russia believes the High Arctic must be free of military muscle-flexing by any power. At the same time, it warns that efforts by foreign states to build up military capabilities in the area may force it to respond in kind. The Voice of Russia


NASA Ocean-Watch Satellite Ready for June Launch. The US space agency said it is preparing to launch a satellite to observe levels of salt on the surface of the world's oceans and how changes in salinity may be linked to climate in the future. PhysOrg


NOAA Administrator Names Governing Panel for National Climate Assessment Advisory Committee. A senior scientist, a partner in an environmental law firm, and an academic were selected by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to lead the advisory committee that will produce the next National Climate Assessment. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, recently announced her selection of Jerry Melillo as chair, and Terese Richmond and Gary Yohe as vice chairs of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee. Ten others representing industry, academia and government were named to an executive board. NOAA 


U.S. and China Agree to Increase Cooperation in Greenhouse Gas Observation and Fisheries and Ocean Management. The third U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) meeting was held May 9-10 in Washington, D.C. A significant outcome of the S&ED relates to the countries' cooperation on observing greenhouse gases and a renewed dialogue on bilateral fisheries and ocean management. The countries agreed to establish regular bilateral fisheries consultations that will focus on conserving and managing marine living resources, expanding current efforts in high-seas fisheries enforcement and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. These consultations will improve cooperation between the two nations on a variety of important issues including preventing IUU fish and fish products from entering international markets, collecting data on species of particular concern in order to ensure their sustainable management and conservation, and preventing illegal or unintended take of sea turtles and other protected marine species. NOAA


Dr. Elizabeth Jewett Selected to Lead NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program. Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Jewett, a NOAA scientist with diverse science and management experience in ocean acidification and coastal hypoxia (low oxygen) research programs, will be the first director of NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program. Established by Congress in 2009, the Ocean Acidification Program will plan and oversee a long-term coastal and open ocean monitoring program, lead research on the impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and the socioeconomic implications of these impacts. It will also provide educational opportunities to learn about this threat through national public outreach and coordinate activities with other agencies, nongovernmental groups and the international community. NOAA  


New Fish & Game Commissioner Looks to Connect with Public. Alaska Commissioner CampbellNewspapers caught up with newly minted Alaska Fish & Game Commissioner Cora Campbell to ask her a few questions. Formerly Gov. Sean Parnell's fisheries adviser, she was appointed acting commissioner in December. She also dealt with wildlife, environmental conservation, natural resources, Arctic issues and climate change. She grew up in Petersburg and fished commercially for salmon, herring and crab. On the North Pacific Research Board and the North Pacific Advisory Council, she served on advisory panels. Campbell has a degree in education from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. The Arctic Sounder 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 1231, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act (Hastings- placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar)


H.R. 1540, National Defense Authorization Act (McKeon- placed on the Union Calendar)


S. 566, National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring Program Act. (Murkowski- Senate hearing scheduled)


S. 843, Outer Continental Shelf Permit Processing Coordination Act (Begich- Senate hearings held)

Future Events     


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, 2011. 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 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. 


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. SCICEXicediminisharcticNational 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. Confirmed speakers include the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Research, RADM Nevin Carr Jr., and the Commandant of the US Coast Guard ADM Robert Papp. 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.   


Tribal Energy Development at the Federal Level, July 14-15, 2011. Law Seminars International will host a seminar for attorneys, tribes, industry executives, and government officials to discuss energy development on tribal lands.


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, 2011. 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.


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