Itta picked for Arctic Research Commission

A former mayor of the North Slope Borough has been picked to serve on the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

Edward Itta of Barrow was appointed to the commission that has the job of developing a national Arctic research policy and program.

President Obama also appointed James J. McCarthy, a professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University.

Former Alaska Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer is chairwoman of the commission.

Itta was recommended by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich. Begich says in the appointment announcement that Itta has been a leader and voice for Native communities who advocates for economic development while protecting subsistence.

Itta is a former president of the Barrow Whaling Captains Association and the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska. He is the former vice chairman of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.