The headings are:

  • News from the Committees
  • Development of an International Arctic Observations Assessment Framework
  • Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting - US Arctic Observing Network Office
  • External review of SAON
  • SAON Board meeting in Prague

The newsletter is available here.

Understanding the Changing Arctic through Data: Stewardship, Publication, and Science

Fifth International Symposium on Arctic Research (ISAR-5), 15-18 January 2018, Tokyo, Japan (further information below and at

Session description:

Main convener: Peter L. Pulsifer

Co-conveners: Masaki Kanao, Øystein Godøy, Shannon Christoffersen Vossepoel, Hironori Yabuki, Julie Friddell

The ISAR-5 Conference aims to contribute to our understanding of a rapidly changing Arctic. These changes are being observed and experienced at a range of different scales from local to global. Science and other ways of knowing increasingly reveal that these changes are a result of a complex, interconnected physical and sociological system. Atmospheric, cryospheric and ocean drivers are interacting in ways that impact ecosystems, and all of these phenomena are connected to challenges and potential opportunities being faced by humans. Observations are at the foundation of many types of science and Indigenous knowledge, and in the 21st century these observations are typically stored as digital data. These data are transformed and mediated through analysis, visualization or other methods to form different kinds of information that is used to generate knowledge for action.
In recent years, there has been much attention paid to data and the many ways that we collect, store, manage, transform and use data. The Internet, mobile computing, and increases in computing power and storage capacities, are presenting new opportunities for supporting research and sharing knowledge. At the same time, many challenges remain in the areas of data management and use of new technology, such as securing interoperability, disclosure of data, big data treatment, data rescue, etc. In this session we call for papers that share ideas, experiences, and results related to data. Relevant topics include but are not limited to:

  • Advances in data publication and citation, including establishment of new journals and tracking of data usage and decisions (such as scientific, administrative and political) made using data;
  • Data rescue;
  • Making data from all countries widely available;
  • Improving the reusability of data;
  • Innovative ways of managing data, including integration of data in Virtual Research Environments;
  • Attempts to realization of the interoperability between datasets over the different disciplines;
  • The integration of high performance and distributed computing in data analysis;
  • Advances with data collection, including technologies simplifying data sharing, utilization, and monitoring carried out at a local scale;
  • Modeling socio-ecological systems using new techniques (e.g. agent-based modeling);
  • Innovations in data representation methods such as document oriented databases or linked open data;
  • Documenting, modeling and benefits using vocabularies and ontologies;
  • Working with Big Data.

Papers from the social sciences, Northern communities, and interdisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged.

General Symposium information:

Calls for Abstracts and Registration for ISAR-5 are now open at

Session list -

Abstract submission information -

The deadline for Abstracts is August 31, 2017.

The deadline for early-bird registration is November 15, 2017, and late registration ends on December 15, 2017.

The symposium will address “the changing Arctic and its regional to global impact: From information to knowledge and action.” 

The National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), which serves as Japan's key institution for scientific research and observation in Polar Regions, launched Polar Data Journal, a new data journal, this January. Polar Data Journal is a free-access and peer-reviewed online journal. It is dedicated to publishing original research data/datasets, furthering the reuse of high-quality data for the benefit to polar sciences.

Polar Data Journal aims to cover a broad range of research disciplines involving polar regions, especially the earth sciences and life sciences domain. The journal primarily publishes data papers, which provide detailed descriptions of research data/datasets (e.g., Methods, Data Records, and Technical Validation). It is not required that the data papers published in this journal depict any new scientific findings; hence, the journal also welcomes submissions describing valuable existing data/datasets that have not been published to date.

Some key features of the new journal are as follows:

- Polar Data Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that aims to provide high-quality data to researchers.

- Free-access journal.

- Polar Data Journal is thoroughly edited using an online editing system for quick publishing.

- The journal content is reviewed by an editing committee, which will disclose the reviewer's reports in each article of a volume.

The platform of Polar Data Journal is powered by WEKO (JAIRO Cloud), which is developed and operated by the National Institute of Informatics (NII), Japan.

For more information, please visit

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Foundation Board seeks a full-time Executive Secretary of the AMAP Secretariat. The AMAP Secretariat, established for more than 25 years, supports the work of the AMAP Working Group, one of six Working Groups of the Arctic Council. The position is to be located in Tromsø, Norway.


SIOS will enter its operational phase in late autumn this year. In this context SIOS is seeking an experienced, creative and executive person to lead the continued development of SIOS as the director.

The position is located at the Knowledge Centre in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
Deadline for application is 1 September 2017.

Apply online at


One of the main themes at the 2016 Arctic Science Ministerial was Strengthening and Integrating Arctic Observations and Data Sharing. The ministers committed to the “shared development of a science-driven, integrated Arctic-observing system” and saw “a critical role for the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) initiative”. 

As a response to this, the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) and SAON published the International Arctic Observations Assessment Framework, defining 12 Social Benefit Areas (SBAs) that rely on Arctic observations:

  1. Disaster Preparedness
  2. Environmental Quality
  3. Food Security
  4. Fundamental Understanding of Arctic Systems
  5. Human Health
  6. Infrastructure and Operations
  7. Marine and Coastal Ecosystems and Processes
  8. Natural Resources
  9. Resilient Communities
  10. Sociocultural Services
  11. Terrestrial and Freshwater Ecosystems and Processes
  12. Weather and Climate

“The Arctic is a particularly important location to understand and conduct observations“, says the chair of SAON, Christine Daae Olseng: “This work can form the basis for prioritizing future observational efforts”

The Framework was developed in January 2017 as STPI and SAON co-hosted a workshop, convening experts from international, state, and local governments; industry; academia; and non-governmental organizations to review and revise a framework for assessing the societal benefits derived from Arctic observations. The methodology involved a review of international Arctic strategies for common objectives that rely on Earth observations. The resulting international Arctic Observations Assessment Framework will provide the foundation and justification for future international efforts to assess the value of Arctic observations and to structure a pan-Arctic observing system.

The report is available here

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