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Support to convene the 2016 Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) and Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks


Project start
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Type of project
Project theme
Education & Outreach
Project topic
Education & Outreach

Project details

Science / project summary

Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. The value of these meetings has been demonstrated by the enhanced collaboration that has emerged through improved communication and coordination in all areas of Arctic research. ASSW 2016, and associated side meetings and events, will be convened in Fairbanks, Alaska in March, 2016. ASSW will be held in conjunction with the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS), the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) Meeting, and other local events and side meetings; it is anticipated to attract 800-1000 people from over 20 countries. The AOS is a biennial forum to discuss, coordinate and plan implementation of integrated long-term observations of Arctic change. With a focus on effective responses to a rapidly changing Arctic, the summit involves a range of entities that collect or use Arctic observations, including basic research, mission-oriented, and stakeholder communities. Participants include academia, government agencies and Arctic residents, industry and non-governmental organizations. AOS 2016 is co-sponsored by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) and the Arctic Council's Sustaining Arctic Observations Network (SAON). This grant supports a combination of activities revolving around the ASSW, AOS and a joint forum hosted by the conference organizers and the SAO meeting organizers. The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) as host institution is responsible for meeting organization, including logistics, meeting rooms and related needs. Funds from this grant support activities associated in particular with efforts by the research community, in collaboration with stakeholder organizations and government agencies, to define and implement a coordinated Arctic observing system. Support is primarily directed to the various components of the ASSW and AOS during the meetings themselves, and will include support for some key attendees. This award supports a process by which broader input from the research community and stakeholders on key aspects of defining and implementing an Arctic observing system is gathered, synthesized and reframed in terms of specific recommendations and action items. The latter input is then collectively discussed and refined by participants to generate an action plan and specific agenda that will be taken up by organizations active in the Arctic and/or represented at the summit. The advantage of hosting a single large event where a large fraction of all Arctic-relevant organizations meet and interact is to improve communications, enhance planning, and efficiently coordinate collaborations. These benefits create the foundation to advance and evaluate new ideas and research agendas as well as promoting discovery and transformational science. Each of the groups associated with ASSW will meet to accomplish their own goals, and this award will help provide the environment for them to effectively accomplish that.