Arctic nations

Photo: G. Ibarguchi 


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Arctic Science Summit Week 2016 (ASSW 2016)



ASSW and AOS 2016 - March 12-18, 2016 - Fairbanks, Alaska

Planning is underway for the next ASSW event to be held on the campus of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The ASSW 2016 will include several joint meetings and side events, including the 3rd Arctic Observing Summit (AOS), an Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials meeting, and other events, with one joint day (tentatively scheduled for March 15th).

The 3rd AOS will include working groups to discuss and chart the implementation of a collaborative, international and sustained Arctic observing systems network. The  development and planning of AOS is led by ISAC. Please visit the AOS 2016 and ASSW 2016 for updates!


Arctic Science Summit Week 2015 (ASSW 2015), ISAR-4,



ISAC RtoC workshop (PaSCAS)

ASSW 2015 - April 23-30, 2015 - Toyama, Japan

The Arctic Science Summit Week, ASSW 2015 includes include scientific presentations and events as part of the 4th International Symposium on the Arctic Research (ISAR-4) 'Rapid change of the Arctic climate system and its global influence', the 3rd International Conference on Research Planning (ICARP-III) 'Integrating Arctic Research: a Roadmap for the Future ', and other side meetings. The event will highlight the 25th anniversary of the International Arctic Science Committee (ISAC). (See more information)

  • Third International Conference on Arctic Research Planning ICARP III: 
    ISAC is a partner organization for the  3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III): Integrating Arctic Research - a Roadmap for the Future.  ISAC contributes to ICARP III priorities (see more information). Over the past two decades, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and its partners have been organizing forward-looking conferences focused on international and interdisciplinary perspectives for advancing Arctic research cooperation and applications of Arctic knowledge. In 2015, it will have been 10 years since the 2nd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP II in 2005) and 20 years since the first ICARP in 1995. ICARP II was an important part of the lead up towards the International Polar Year 2007-2008, which now is concluded. ICARP III, which is a specific area of cooperation in the agreement between IASC and the International Arctic Social Science Association (IASSA) and University of the Arctic (UArctic), will provide a timely opportunity to further the development of cross-cutting, interdisciplinary  and trans-disciplinary initiatives, and engage all IASC’s partners in future collaborative activities building on past experiences. More information:
  • The recent ISAC Responding to Change Workshop, 'Partnership between the Scientific Community and Arctic Stakeholders (PaSCAS)', was held on April 25th (see more information)




ISAC Townhall at the AGU 2014

ISAC and AOS: 6th Town Hall Meeting: American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California
San Francisco Marriott Marquis (55 4th St. and 780 Mission St.), Foothill E room, 2nd Floor. Dec. 17th, 2014 (7 - 9:30 pm)

The biennial Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is a pillar activity led and co-organised by the ISAC International Program Office and partners.  The AOS functions as a forum for solutions-oriented discussion, planning and priority-setting to link stakeholder needs with Arctic observing systems design, data collection, analyses, and the creation of audience-appropriate data products. The AOS is a SAON (Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks, Arctic Council) task to identify and pursue specific activities designed to improve Arctic observing for a full spectrum of applications, from climate research to the delivery of useful products to Arctic stakeholders.

For its 6th AOS/ISAC Town Hall Meeting, new participants, members of the Arctic research community, professionals, members of the private sector, environmental and government agencies, and representatives from polar networks and other sectors were invited to share their insight and to provide input into key priorities for Arctic observing, emerging themes in the North, and adaptation or mitigation strategies. Planning is underway for the third AOS in early 2016, including the development of concrete recommendations and solutions to coordinate, expand, and link international Arctic observing activities and to develop systems that are lacking.

Presentation: pdf

ISAC at AGU Fall Meeting, 2014

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (AGU) - San Francisco, California: Dec. 17, 2014

Session GC13K Arctic Change: Integrating Long-Term Perspectives and Current Observations for Understanding Future Impacts and Responses II

ISAC Members co-organised a special session on Arctic Change and oral and poster presentations included physical, social, environmental and political perspectives and themes. The introductory presentation was a special study prepared by ISAC researchers and staff.

  • GC13K-01Adapting Research Agendas and Observing Programs for Responding to Arctic Change
    Maribeth S. Murray, Peter Schlosser, Lize-Marie van der Watt, Judy Fahnestock, Vinay Rajdev, Gabriela Ibarguchi and Kent Spiers

ISAC at Arctic Change, Ottawa (ArcticNet meeting, 2014)

Arctic Change 2014 - Dec. 8-12, 2014, Ottawa

ISAC researchers presented updates on the success and results from previous Arctic Observing Summits (2013 and 2014) and on feedback to guide the implementation of a coordinated and collaborative Arctic observing systems network. THE ARCTIC OBSERVING SUMMIT: HARNESSING KNOWLEDGE AND GUIDING THE FUTURE FOR DESIGNING, OPTIMISING, AND IMPLEMENTING AN ARCTIC OBSERVING NETWORK FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE ADAPTATION 

  • THE ARCTIC OBSERVING SUMMIT 2013, 2014, 2016: Progress Towards an Integrated, Multipurpose, International Arctic Observing System
    G. Ibarguchi, Maribeth Murray, P. Schlosser, and L.-M. Van der Watt (poster)

Arctic Science Summit Week 2014


Arctic Observing Summit 2014 

ASSW 2014 and AOS 2014 - Helsinki, Finland (April 5-11)

Websites for Meetings: ASSW and AOS 2014 

The AOS 2014 was held in conjunction with the Arctic Science Summit Week 2014 (ASSW 2014) in Helsinki, Finland. It was led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) and co-organized with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Thule Institute.

Videos and more information are available from the meeting websites (and from ArcticHub: AOS 2014).


ISAC Townhall at the AGU 2013

International Study of Arctic Change - 5th Annual Town Hall
Arctic Community Meeting Space, American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. Dec. 12th, 2013 (7:00-9:00 pm), San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Pacific Room J, San Francisco, California.

The International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) held its 5th Annual Town Hall at Annual Meeting of the AGU. The Town Hall covered ISAC progress to date, including a report of the first Biennial Arctic Observing Summit held in Vancouver in spring 2013, and information about the 2nd Arctic Observing Summit, scheduled in conjunction with Arctic Science Summit Week, 6-12 April 2014 in Helsinki, Finland. In addition to the AOS reports, the ISAC SSG and Program Office held an open discussion on the continued development and implementation of the Responding to Change (RtoC) component of the ISAC Science Plan. An RtoC Scoping Meeting was planned to be held in Tromsø on 21 January 2014 in conjunction with the Arctic Frontiers meeting, and a full-scale RtoC Workshop was tentatively scheduled for fall 2014. The ISAC Town Hall is an important mechanism for soliciting input on ISAC activities and provides framework for discussion of ISAC goals and objectives for the coming year. All interested individuals and organizations were invited and input was particularly sought from those involved in Arctic observing programs and trans-disciplinary programs. Members of the Arctic research community from outside the US involved in similar initiatives, in the Arctic or elsewhere, were also welcome to participate in the Town Hall meeting. For further background see the ISAC Science Plan.

Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) 2013

Arctic Observing Summit 2013 - Inagural AOS: Vancouver, B. C., Canada (Apr. 30 - May 2)

Meeting website: AOS 2013 and Program

The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long-term (decades) operation of an international network of Arctic observing systems. The AOS is a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of Arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. The AOS 2013 is an implementation activity of the ISAC and it is a contribution to the Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) ) initiative.

Call for papers to the proceedings of the Arctic Observing Summit 2013 for publication as a thematic cluster of peer-review articles in a polar science journal:

The foundation of the Arctic Observing Summit 2013 (AOS2013) was community input. To capture and integrate input from a broad range of participants the AOS included the preparation of community-based white papers and statements. Building on this input, authors are invited to further develop contributions to a thematic cluster of articles to be published in a scientific journal. Articles will be subjected to their standard peer-review procedure. Submission deadline is October 30, 2013.

The articles for the AOS thematic cluster should be rooted in the outcome of the AOS 2013 process and address some or several of the AOS 2013 defined themes:

  1. Status of the current observing system (goals, objectives, capabilities, challenges and sustainability)

  2. Observing system design and coordination (including integration of components and implementation)

  3. Stakeholder perspectives on observing system design and integration 

  4. Mechanisms for coordination of support, implementation and operation of a sustained arctic observing system

These themes were broadly defined to encompass diverse perspectives and topical areas. As previously stated in the call for white papers; we encourage papers to articulate and explore underlying questions such as:

  1. What can be done to improve the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term operation of Arctic observing systems in the focus area of a given white paper?

  2. Are Arctic observations shared optimally today among communities (e.g. between scientists, governments, stakeholders)?

  3. Are there specific hindrances to collection or sharing of Arctic observations in focus area of a given paper (e.g. restrictions due to military strategic reasons, protection of natural resources)?  

For those building on AOS2013 white papers, additional authors may be entrained, and we encourage collaboration between papers that address similar themes.



ISAC Townhall at the AGU 2012

ISAC Town Hall (3 December 2012), American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

ISAC held an annual town hall meeting at the AGU Fall meeting in San Francisco. Updates were provided on ISAC activities including a series of Responding to Arctic Environmental Change workshops, the Arctic Ocean Drift Study and on planning for the Arctic Observing Summit.

RtoC Workshop 2012: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change

Responding to Arctic Environmental Change, Translating our Growing Understanding into a Research Agenda for Action
An International Study of Arctic Change Workshop January 30 - February 1, 2012

The first ISAC Responding to Arctic Environmental Change Workshop was held at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. Thanks to all participants for an excellent and productive workshop. Below is the final agenda, along with links to workshop presentations, background documents, and the list of participants. Continue to watch these pages for updates on workshop products, including a poster presentation at the Planet Under Pressure Conference in London (26-29 March 2010), a conference paper at the IPY 2012 Conference: From Knowledge to Arctic, in Montreal (22-27 April 2012) and a final workshop report. You can view the workshop agenda, background reading list, the presentations and workshop participants below. (Link: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change)


(More information will be uploaded)



(More information will be uploaded)



Workshop: Arctic Hydrological System,
Sweden - 2009


ISAC partnered with NSF-ARCSS Freshwater Integration study, Arctic-Hydra and others to strengthen international co-operation in Arctic change research and efforts to develop a pan-Arctic system level understanding of arctic change. The workshop aimed to:

    1. Take stock of recent advances in our understanding of changes in the Arctic hydrological system;

    2. Identify key remaining research gaps/unanswered questions; 

    3. Gather input on where to focus future research efforts/initiatives (nationally and internationally;

    4. Develop strategies for integration of hydrological research into broader system-science objectives, including responding to change. 

Some topics considered at the workshop included: 

    • Strategies for observations, process studies and modelling within Long Term Hydrological Observatories, LTHO or Super-sites, with nested watersheds of different scales. 

    • Strategies for integration of regional climate models. RCMs, glacial and cryospheric models and hydrological models for the Pan-Arctic. 

    • Response and critical evaluation of the results of the SAON recommendations as well as suggestions for implementation. 

    • Strategies for dissemination of integrated near-real-time meteo- hydro- and climatological observations and modelling products from the national hydrometeorolgoical services and research initiatives within the pan-Arctic.

Workshop participants can be found here.