Inventories of Arctic observational networks and programs are now available 

The White House Arctic Science Ministerial was held 28 September 2016, Washington, DC, USA.

The joint statement mentions SAON as a critical contributor to 'Strengthening and Integrating Arctic Observations and Data Sharing':

The associated Fact Sheet informs that the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will open a U.S. SAON Office : "It will foster interagency and international collaboration in the development of Arctic observing and data systems, as well as the delivery of higher-level data and information to the scientific community and policymakers":

In the same Fact Sheet two initatives are mentioned as having been established in support of SAON:
- “EyesNorth,” a U.S. National Science Foundation research-coordination network of community-based observing initiatives in the Arctic and beyond. It involves scientists and northern residents in Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, the United States, and elsewhere.
- Norway is establishing SIOS (Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System), a research infrastructure coordination organization of 26 partners from Europe and Asia.

In accordance with the 2011 Terms of Reference of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON), the SAON Board convened an External Review Committee in 2016 to review the first five years of SAON’s accomplishments and make recommendations for future directions.

The Review Committee, consisting of five members representing countries around the Arctic as well as diverse expertise, met over a five-month period to conduct the Review. The Committee’s findings and recommendations are detailed in their report. Based on these, the Committee concluded that SAON was valued by the Arctic observing community, but had yet to reach its full potential. With refinements to its Vision, Mission and Goals, improvements to its Organizational Structure, a new focus on funding and sustainability, and increased outreach and communication efforts, SAON should be able to make great strides in the next five years to enhance pan-Arctic observing networks to meet the needs of Arctic peoples.

The SAON External Review Committee:
- Helen Joseph (Chair): HCJ Consulting, retired Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Yuji Kodama: Executive Director, Office of Japan Consortium for Arctic Environmental Research, National Institute of Polar Research
- Molly McCammon: Executive Director, Alaska Ocean Observing System, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System
- Gunn-Britt Retter: Head of Arctic and Environmental Unit, Saami Council
- Mikhail Tretiakov, Head of Hydrology and Water Recourses Department, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (Russia)

- Justiina Dahl: External Data Analyst, Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)
- Jan Rene Larsen: SAON Secretariat Support

Special thanks to:
- Nadezhda Kharlampieva: Associate Professor of Saint-Petersburg State University, Senior Researcher of Hydrology and Water Resources Department, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (Russia)
- Kseniia Iartceva, Arctic Council Secretariat 

The full report is available here. An executive summary is available here.



Call for Sessions
The organizers of POLAR2018 are now accepting session proposals for the joint SCAR and IASC Open Science Conference “Where the Poles meet“, which will be held on 19 - 23 June 2018.
A template to submit session proposals, including a brief session description, the contact information of the session conveners and other details, is available here. This pages uses google forms; if the use of google forms is blocked by your institute, please email to receive a word document. We are looking for sessions that cover a broad range of topics across the spectrum of Polar and high altitude research, such as, but not limited to, climate, glaciology, social and human sciences, ice sheets, atmospheric sciences, oceanography, biology, astronomy, geology, economic aspects, sustainable development, technology and education. There will be oral and poster sessions as well as e-poster sessions with a mini-oral.

  • The organizing committee strongly encourages session topics that encapsulate research conducted in both the Arctic and Antarctic.
  • We also encourage including early career scientists as conveners and encourage diversity regarding conveners’ nationalities, gender, and where possible, indigenous peoples.

The tasks of the conveners include:

  • Soliciting submissions for their session;
  • reviewing the abstracts submitted for the session;
  • working with the International Scientific Organizing Committee to arrange the program of their session, including oral and poster presentations and
  • chairing the session.  

Depending on the session proposals received, the International Scientific Organizing Committee might have to merge similar session where necessary and appropriate.

Dates to remember
Session proposal submission deadline: 30 November 2016
Notification of lead conveners: 31 March 2017
Further deadlines can be found here.
Any questions should be directed to:

The co-chairs of the International Scientific Organizing Committee
Martin Schneebeli
Karin Lochte
Huigen Yang

SOOS Update is a quarterly newsletter that provides updates on recent SOOS activities and products:

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