Meeting of the SAON Executive Committee


27 February 2013, 17:00-18:00 (CET)


Teleconference – Skype


David Hik (DH, IASC, vice-Chair), Eva Kruemmel (EK, ICC), Jan René Larsen (JRL, AMAP), Tom Armstrong (TA, AMAP, Chair), Volker Rachold (VR, IASC)


Lars-Otto Reiersen (LOR, AMAP), Tove Lundeberg (TL, Sweden),




  1. Arctic Observing Summit
  2. Next Board Meeting
  3. Misc. meetings: GEO/SAO/EC PORS/INTERACT
  4. Misc. activities: Metadata profile / Arctic Portal (Halldor Johannsson)


Ad 1) Arctic Observing Summit

VR reported on the development of the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS), noting that this is a SAON Task. JRL and VR had met with some of the organizers of the AOS at the ISAR-3 conference, and had asked for both to have seats in the Organizing Committee (OC), and this had been granted. JRL and VR had participated in the latest telephone conferences of the OC, and were worried about AOS’s general relationship with SAON and the fact that the organization of the Summit was running late. VR had written to the OC, asking them to strengthen the relationship to SAON by letting the keynote talk on ‘the motivation for establishment and coordination of an international Arctic Observing Network’ be given by the Chair or Vice-Chair of SAON. Moreover, he asked them to ensure that the AOS could be a forum for SAON Task Leaders to present their networks. In their response, the OC had addressed the questions, but it is not clear yet if and how they will be implemented in the agenda of the AOS. The EC decided that VR should send another letter to the OC and strongly encourage them to consider the proposal on the keynote talk.

The AOS has established a ‘white paper’-process where they have asked different authors to draft documents that could be submitted to the Summit. JRL had drafted four documents: “SAON Background”, “SAON FAQ”, “SAON Progress Report to SAOs”, and “SAON Networks Database”. It was agreed that after minor changes, they should be sent to the AOS.

Ad 2) Next Board Meeting

The next meeting of the Board will be held 29 April 2013 in Vancouver. JRL had written a list of topics that could be seen as the ‘pillars’ of SAON, and which should further developed at the Board meeting. The EC agreed on the following process: For each pillar, a Lead should be identified, preferably from the EC, but not necessarily. Each Lead should write at ‘white paper’ on the topic, and be prepared to organize a discussion of the topic at the Board meeting. JRL would supply background material from SAON’s history and other sources to help writing the white paper. The white paper should be distributed among the Board members, and each member should volunteer to be involved in the further development of the pillar. For each pillar, a TC should be held prior the Board meeting.

Ad 3) Misc. meetings: GEO/SAO/EC PORS/INTERACT

GEO (Group of Earth Observations): JRL and VR met with Yubao Qiu, Scientific and Technical Officer from GEO on 26 February 2013. GEO is interested in involving SAON in their initiative called ‘Cold Region Info System’. SAON on the other hand side could benefit from reaching out to more global initiatives. It was agreed to continue informal talks about how the cooperation could be strengthened, starting at the coming EC-PORS meeting. It was also agreed that SAON will write a paragraph in support of the ‘Cold Region Info System’.

SAO (Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council): The SAOs will hold their next meeting in March 2013 in Stockholm in preparation for the Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna in May 2013. SAON had been asked to provide a status report to the meeting, and it had been submitted. It could be that TA will not be able to present the report, and another solution will have to be found.

EC PORS (EC Panel of Experts on Polar Observations, Research and Services): Barry Goodison had asked SAON to provide a status report for the meeting of the EC PORS in March 2013. The report had been submitted.

INTERACT: The network will have its second Annual Meeting in March 2013. JRL has a seat in the Advisory Board, and the Board will meet during the Annual Meeting. The Advisory Board members have been asked to make inputs to the progress report, to the financial future for INTERACT, and the goals and aims of INTERACT II.

Ad 4) Misc. activities: Metadata profile / Arctic Portal (Halldor Johannsson)

JRL had been in communication with the John Huck, the Task Lead for the “Polar Metadata Profile” (#2). JRL had contacted Leads for those SAON Tasks that could be interested in the development of the Profile, and positive replies had been given by almost all Tasks.

Arctic Portal (Halldor Johannsson) had a presentation at the Potsdam Board meeting on a SAON data platform. The application for funding had been submitted in the autumn, and Halldor Johannsson had in a recent communication with JRL indicated that the application had been well received.

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