AOS 2018 Thematic Working Groups


The following working groups have been developed based on the themes of AOS 2018. The AOS Executive Organizing Committee is working with experts from diverse sectors to develop these themes so that important advancements, gaps, and opportunities can be discussed at AOS.


> To contact AOS Thematic Working Group Co-chairs, please email:

> Information on AOS Executive Organizing Committee members: here

Sub-Theme 1: The Need for the Observing System


Working Group 1: Societal Benefits over the short, medium and long-term perspectives. Strategies and examples for observations  guided by assessment, prioritization frameworks that link to Societal Benefit Areas, Value-Tree Analysis or UN Sustainable Development goals will be addressed. Group discussions will also focus on strategies and examples for observations that are driven by local information needs, responses and local adaptations to rapid Arctic change, operational needs, resource co-management, emergency preparedness and response.

Co-chairs: Dr. Andrea Tilche (European Commission); Dr. Eva Kruemmel (Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canada)

Rapporteur: Dr. Matthew Ayre (University of Calgary); Ms. Shabnam Choudhary (Goa University)

Thematic Working Group members: Dr. Srdan Dobricic (European Commission, Joint Research Centre); Mr. Mikko Strahlendorff (Finnish Meteorological Institute). 


Sub-Theme 2: Implementing and Optimizing a Pan-Arctic Observing System

Working Group 2: The success of a pan-Arctic Observing System relies on a robust implementation strategy, from the overall design to use of innovative technology at appropriate spatial and temporal resolution, and successful transition to system operations. Working Group 2 will focus on key aspects of implementation, including system design, optimization of existing platforms, and adaptation of new technologies. How to ensure the necessary efficiency, reach and impact of sustained Arctic observations will strongly factor into the Working Group's deliberations. 

Co-chairs: Dr. Hajo Eicken (University of Alaska, Fairbanks); Dr. Sandy Starkweather (Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA)

Rapporteur: Dr. Alice Bradley (Dartmouth College, USA); Dr. Tomoko Koyama (National Institute of Polar Research, Japan); Ms. Claire Eaton (University of New Hampshire, USA)

Thematic Working Group members: Dr. Nicole Biebow (Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany); Dr. Melissa Chierici (Institute of Marine Research, Norway); Dr. Vladimir Ivanov (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Russia); Dr. Sung-Ho Kang (Polar Research Institute, Korea); Dr. Shichang Kang (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China); Dr. Yuji Kodama (National Institute of Polar Research, Japan); Dr. Hank Loescher (National Environmental Observing Network, USA); Dr. Lisa Loseto (Fisheries and Oceans Canada); Dr. Roberta Pirazzini (Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland); Mr. Jake Sobin (Kongsberg Underwater Technology, USA).




Working Group 3: We invite discussion at AOS 2018 on sustained support and funding models/strategies that will enable the development of an integrated plan for Arctic observation. Examples and strategies for public-private partnerships, international funding models, entrepreneurship, or in-kind support will be explored in detail.

Co-chairs: Dr. Peter Schlosser (Arizona State University); Dr. Volker Rachold (Alfred Wegener Institute)

Rapporteurs: Dr. Nikita Bochkarev (Russian Academy of Sciences); Dr. Laura Thomson (Simon Fraser University)

Thematic Working Group members: Dr. Thorsteinn Gunnarsson (The Icelandic Centre for Research/Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks).


Working Group 4: Participants of this group will focus on the role of data management in observing system implementation. 

Co-chairs: Dr. Peter Pulsifer (National Snow and Ice Data Center); Dr. Oystein Godoy (Norwegian Meteorological Institute)

Rapporteur: Dr. Anja Rosel (Norwegian Polar Institute); Ms. Shannon Christoffersen (University of Calgary).

Thematic Working Group members: Dr. Paul Berkman (Tufts University); Dr. Maribeth Murray (University of Calgary); Dr. Roberta Pirazzini (Finnish Metorological Institute); Ms. Sarah Marie Strand (The University Centre in Svalbard); Mr. Mikko Strahlendorff (Finnish Meteorological Institute); Dr. Taneil Uttal (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).




Sub-Theme 3: Leveraging Observing Systems and Networks


Working Group 5 will focus their discussions on the uses of data and information derived from observing systems, in particular as relevant to demonstrating a business case for pan-Arctic sustained observing, such as community-based monitoring, or community-based enterprises. Examples that illustrate value derived from public domain data through generation of products addressing societal or business needs are particularly relevant. 

Co-chairs: Dr. Barbara Ryan (Group on Earth Observations); Mr. Jan Rene Larsen (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, AMAP/Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)

Rapporteur: Dr. Shridhar Jawak (National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, India); Ms. Neelu Singh (National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, India)

Thematic Working Group members:  Dr. Andrew Brierley (University of St. Andrews); Dr. Finn Danielsen (Nordic Agency for Development and Ecology); Dr. Yoo Kyung Lee (Korea Polar Research Institute); Dr. Lisa Loseto (Fisheries and Oceans, Canada); Dr. Stein Sandven (INTAROS); Dr. Mike Sparrow (World Climate Research Programme); Ms. Jannie Staffansson (Saami Council).



Working Group 6: The success stories of technologies in support of public and private interests that help empower Arctic communities to respond effectively to rapid Arctic change will be expanded on in WG6.

Co-chairs: Dr. Larry Hinzman (University of Alaska, Fairbanks); Dr. Trevor Bell (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Rapporteurs: Dr. Esther Frei (University of Zurich); Dr. Ravi Sankar (University of Calgary)  

Thematic Working Group members: Dr. Maribeth Murray (Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary); Dr. Bill Turrell (Scottish Government); Michael Brubaker (Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium); Ms. Jennifer Parrott (Inuvialuit Regional Corporation); Ms. Jessica Rhode (Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee); Ms. Sarah Kalhok Bourque (Government of Canada)






"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 provides a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of Arctic observing across all components of the Arctic system, including the human component. It fosters international communication and the widespread coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale Arctic change."