Arctic Science Summit Week 2020

An announcement regarding the Arctic Science Summit Week 2020:

Dear Colleague,

The ASSW2020 organizers, which include the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) 2020 leadership, are extremely grateful for your understanding and patience during this uncertain time. Our priority of ensuring a safe, productive, and pleasant experience for everybody remains unchanged.

In the aftermath of the declaration of a “state of emergency” in Iceland (6 March), and in close cooperation and consultation with the government authorities in Iceland, following the recommendations of World Health Organization, and in the understanding that a growing number of States and organizations worldwide are voluntarily issuing bans on “non-essential” travel, the ASSW2020 organizers have decided that the Arctic Science Summit Week 2020 will be held only onlineTo be 100% clear – there will be no in-person ASSW2020 meeting in Akureyri and we advise you to change your travel reservations and plans accordingly.

A cancellation letter is provided here to aid in your recovery of costs.

(Note: If you cannot cancel your flights to Iceland for a refund, and you can only change them, we suggest you consider contributing to and attending the UArctic CongressArctic Circle Assembly, or Cryosphere2020 meetings, all of which are scheduled to be in Iceland this fall.)

We will continue to work closely with both IASC and AOS leadership. We will also very soon engage with all those hosting events as part of ASSW2020 in order to accomodate needs and requests for bringing each individual meeting into an online venue.

So, what does an online ASSW look like? A preliminary ASSW2020 Online Schedule (including Science for a Sustainable Arctic, IASC Working Group Meetings, IASC Council and more | Calendar, List, and Overview) has been posted here, and updated information is expected to be posted by 23 March at the latest.

We expect more content to be shared online (via video, audio, and presentation materials). We expect to use a lot of Zoom meetings for interactions – so get your webcam and headset ready! Some meetings will happen more than once in order to accommodate people in distant timezones – for other meetings, you might have to wake up a little early or stay online a little later than usual.

There will still be online spaces for networking and making new connections: in order to make this easier for you, we have prepared a list of ASSW2020 attendees (that have provided GDPR consent) and their contacts. Take a look at the list hereadd yourself with this form, and feel free to suggest one-on-one and small group online meetings during ASSW2020!

For areas with reduced/expensive internet bandwidth, we aim to provide phone dial-in options, too. We would very much welcome working with distributed partners to host ASSW “hubs” around the Arctic. Please email  if you would be interested in being such a partner.

The organisers are also working toward using this situation as a testing ground for reducing the carbon footprint of future international meetings. We are exploring innovative solutions and considering a feedback mechanism to assess afterwards what worked well and what could be improved.

We expect to provide partial refunds for registration costs for those who have already registered. More information will be provided after the end of ASSW2020. No action is required at this time to cancel anything if you booked through ASSW2020 or AK Travel; information on any refunds will be shared when it is available. Recognizing the resources needed to still host ASSW2020 online, a voluntary online-only registration fee will also be requested; more information will be provided before the online meetings take place. While this situation is beyond our control, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.

All forthcoming updates, information, and intructions regarding ASSW2020 will be provided via the ASSW2020 email list and IASC email list, the ASSW2020 website and IASC website, and the IASC Facebook Group.

Federica Scarpa
ASSW2020 Conference Manager

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