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17 July 2009

International Polar Year - IPY

International Polar Year (IPY) has launched a new website in association with the Arctic Portal. The IPY is a huge exciting scientific campaign focusing on the Polar Regions. It is also an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate, follow, and get involved with, cutting edge science in real-time.

The IPY is a collaborative, international effort researching the Polar Regions. The polar areas have many unique phenomena. Circulatory systems for air and water reach the surface, as do the majority of the Earth's magnetic field lines. Thick glaciers have trapped air and water from ancient times. It is easiest to observe these phenomena near the poles.

Unfortunately, the poles are expensive places to visit, because they are distant, cold and deserted; infrastructure is sparse and the terrain is rough in polar regions (often consisting of ice blocks with crevasses between them). International cooperative programs share the costs and maximize the number of coordinated scientific observations. The IPY is the most famous example of such a cooperative program.

On the IPY website it is possible to follow various IPY projects through blogs from the projects. In the news section it is also possible to read news from various projects within the IPY. There is also a comprehensive list of links and other resources regarding IPY issues.

Visit the IPY website

16 July 2009

Indigenous Peoples at the Arctic Council

International Work Opportunity, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secretariat is looking for an Executive Secretary. The position requires an understanding of issues concerning Arctic Indigenous Peoples, the Environment, and Sustainable Development.

Read more about the job at:

About the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat

The Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat is a support Secretariat for the International Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations that are Permanent Participants to the Arctic Council .

IPS does not speak for the Permanent Participants. Instead, it creates opportunities for the Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations to speak for themselves, and helps provide them with necessary information and materials.

IPS work includes:

  • Ensuring that Permanent Participants are sent documents and reports connected to the work of the Arctic Council and its working groups.
  • Helping Permanent Participants to present their views to the Arctic Council and its Working Groups.
  • Collecting and communicating information about the Arctic Council and its results to the Indigenous Peoples in the various parts of the Arctic.
  • Providing co-ordination for the Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations to meet with each other, and to participate in the Arctic Council Working Groups.

15 July 2009

Climate and Cryosphere - CliC

The new edition of the the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Newsletter is available for download here. This June issue consists of contributions on the Carbon and Permafrost (CAPER) Initiative, integration across cryospheric disciplines, workshop reports and project updates.

CliC was initiated by the World Climate Research Programme ( WCRP ) in 2000. Its goal is to stimulate, support, and coordinate research that focuses on processes by which the cryosphere interacts with the rest of the climate system.

The contents of the CliC newsletter are

  • Integration across cryosphere disciplines
  • New CliC SSG members
  • Norway/China collaborations
  • Brazil update
  • Water resources and cryosphere in mountains and N. Canada
  • CliC-related IPY activities in Russia
  • Progress in Chinese cryospheric research
  • The carbon permafrost initiative
  • Asia-CliC data workshop
  • Arctic surface-based sea-ice observations
  • IGOS partnership cryosphere theme: where are we now?
  • International NRB symposium and workshop
  • Early career scientists on polar marine research
  • SWIPA update: lake and river ice

The CliC Newsletter - Ice and Climate News

3 July 2009

New research, conducted by the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and published in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics, maintains that the sea ice in the Arctic sea between Greenland and Svalbard has reached the smallest size it has been in 800 years.

The research combined information about the climate found in ice cores from an ice cap on Svalbard and from the annual growth rings of trees in Finland. The data about the ice cover was gathered from the logbooks of whaling- and fishingships datign back to the 16th century as well as from records from harbours in Iceland, where the sea ice coverage has been recorded since the end of the 18th century. By combining these two sets of information the reserachers were able to track the sea ice all the way back to the 13th century.

The sea ice has been at the minimum also before, first in the late 13th century and later in the mid 17th and mid 18th century. The researchers maintain, however, that these periods were in no case as persistent as the decline of the sea ice in the 20th century when the ice diminished 300 000 square km in ten years. The sea ice has been at its largest from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, during a period called the Little Ice Age.


23 June 2009

Nordic council of Ministers continues to support UArctic activities by granting 650 000DKK for this year for a new joint project led by Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland. New project Arctic Virtual Learning Tools joins UArctic and Arctic Portal into close co-operation where new UArctic educational material and virtual classroom will be distributed and shared through Arctic Portal.

The new online material will consist of revised UArctic BCS core courses, on-line text books developed for new global change Master’s courses at Thematic Network on Global Change and print version on UArctic Atlas. Some of the materials will be also translated to Russian. Later as project goes on more material can be added.

The Virtual Classroom will offer an option not only for easier access to higher education, but will lead a technological revolution in distance learning – a two-way communication between the teacher and the persons being taught with open discussions, capabilities for participants to ask questions and comment on the subject presented and the teacher to respond in real-time.

The project partners include the APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists), International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and several representatives from Canada, USA, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Russia.

The lead project partners are:

  • University of the Oulu, Thule Institute, Finland, Kirsi Latola, UArctic Thematic Networks
  • University of Lapland, Finland, Scott Forrest, Director of Special Projects, UArctic International Secretariat
  • Nordurslodagattin ses. – Arctic Portal, Iceland, Halldor Johannsson
  • University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland, Peter Weiss

More information: Kirsi Latola,

12 June 2009

New networking mechanism, promoting cooperation between science, youth associations, non-profit organizations, business and authorities, has been established for the benefit of development of northern regions in Russia.
The cooperation called “Center for Problems of the North, Arctic and Cross-border Cooperation”, “North-Centre”, was established by Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Science and International Public Youth Movement “Association AWARD”. The project is intended to unite the efforts of science in the area. 

Igor Shevchuk will be heading the project. Mr. Shevchuk is the foreign relations officer of the Karelian Research Center of RAS. Other members include, Alexander Titov, President of the Karelian Research Center of RAS, Corresponding Member of RAS, Chairman, Elena Antoshko, Head of the International Public Youth Movement "Association AWARD and Alexander Yuriev, Executive Director of the Association "Council of Municipalities, Republic of Karelia"

The Karelian Research center is establishing a web page for the project and it will be located at

29 May 2009

AMSA 2009 reportThe Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment working group of the Arctic Council has released a new Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report for the year 2009. The AMSA working group, led by Canada, Finland and the United States has produced a extensive and well-illustrated document that represents a four-year effort to consider and review all aspects of Arctic shipping. It includes documentation of shipping activities from a baseline year (2004) and future projections in key areas such as environmental protection, marine infrastructure, human dimensions, and governance. The report also contains series of very useful maps and charts.

Main topics of the report are:

  • Arctic Marine Geography, Climate and Sea Ice
  • History of Arctic Marine Transport
  • Governance of Arctic Shipping
  • Current Marine Use and the AMSA Shipping Database
  • Scenarios, Futures and Regional Futures to 2020
  • Human Dimensions
  • Environmental Considerations and Impacts
  • Arctic Marine Infrastructure

The Arctic is undergoing extraordinary transformations early in the 21st century. Natural resource development, governance challenges, climate change and marine infrastructure issues are influencing current and future marine uses of the Arctic. The Arctic Council, recognizing these critical changes and issues, at the November 2004 Ministerial meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, called for the Council's Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group to "conduct a comprehensive Arctic marine shipping assessment as outlined under the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan (AMSP) under the guidance of Canada, Finland and the United States as lead countries and in collaboration with the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) working group and the Permanent Participants as relevant." The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, or The AMSA 2009 Report, is the product of that Arctic Ministerial decision in Reykjavik and was approved at the 2009 Arctic Council´s Ministerial meeting in Tromsø.

The AMSA 2009 Report

27 May 2009

Circumpolar Young Leaders Program flyerThe International Institute for Sustainable Development is currently recruiting northern Canadian youth to take part in a six-month internship program "Circumpolar Young Leaders Program". Placements are with leading organizations working on northern issues in other circumpolar countries and in southern Canada.

The Circumpolar Young Leaders Program is now offering 5 internships for young people between the ages of 20-30 living in or originally from Nunavut, NWT, Yukon, Northern Quebec and or, Labrador. It is anticipated that training will take place in September and the 6 month placements starting immediately following the training.

Available positions are posted here. Further position will be posted there shortly.

Applications will be accepted until June 22, 2009, or until placements are filled. Placements will start in September.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the program Web site at:
or contact at

4 May 2009

APECS logoRecently the Association of Early Career Polar Scientists launched a new website.The outlook of the website has been changed and some new features have been added. The new site features a fully searchable membership directory to find colleagues and for prospective employers to search for new hires. There is also a new and improved discussion board that is refered to as the APECS Student Lounge.

APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. Our aims are to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach.

APECS' goals include creating opportunities for the development of innovative, international, and interdisciplinary collaborations among current early career polar researchers as well as recruiting, retaining and promoting the next generation of polar enthusiasts.

To learn more about APECS, please visit their website

12 March 2009

Communities of ChangeThe ACUNS-APECS: Communities of Change - Building an IPY Legacy
9th Annual ACUNS International Student Conference on Northern Studies
October 2 to 5, 2009,Yukon College - Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Call for Abstracts

ACUNS and APECS, in partnership with Yukon College, are soliciting Abstracts that encompass the following areas:

  • The impact of sustainable development, economic activity and polar law on communities, governance and natural habitats.
  • The use of natural, physical and social sciences to help understand the causes and effects of the changing polar climate.
  • Changes to polar marine and terrestrial communities over the short and long term.
  • Changes in research communities and how research is undertaken in the Polar Regions.

The ACUNS-APECS: Communities of Change - Building an IPY Legacy Conference will highlight research occurring at both poles, including interactions between the cryosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and society. Inter-disciplinary sessions will be arranged based on the number and breadth of Abstracts submitted.

Submission Deadline: April 15, 2009

15 January 2009

To promote some of the good work carried out by the various IPY projects Educators and Scientists are offered the chance to submit material to a Polar Resource Book being created. This is an opportunity for individuals or groups who have adopted a new polar science activity or program for students or community during the IPY that were successful, and are interested in share these activities with a broader audience.

In an attempt to ensure efforts catalyzed by IPY will press on inspiring educators, students, and emerging polar researchers into the next generation a group of young, international, polar researchers with a shared commitment to outreach and education created the Polar Resource Book. The Book is a response to continual requests from educators and scientists wishing to raise awareness about the importance of polar science during a time of rapid planet-wide climate change. The project has received support from a vide range of actors whom are a part of the IPY community, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as well as the University of the Arctic, the United National Environment Program (UNEP), and the organizing committee for the flagship IPY Science Conference to be held in Norway in June 2010.

Two chapters in the book are open to submissions, chapters 2 and 4.

Chapter 2: Polar Educational Activities and Teaching

This section of the book includes practical learning activities for the classroom/learning environment accompanied by personal stories from youth, educators, and scientists who participated in or developed the associated projects. If you have an experience to share please fill out the attached ‘Chapter 2 I2S (intent to submit)’ form.

Chapter 4: Education & Outreach Projects – Inspiring Ideas from Around the World This chapter is a collection of successful outreach initiatives submitted by educators, scientists, and graduate students. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate the breadth of outreach approaches and projects/programs/initiatives inspired by IPY and to encourage readers to become actively engaged in scientific outreach and polar education. We are interested in all polar outreach experiences regardless of their scale. If you have an experience to share please fill out the attached ‘Chapter 4 I2S (intent to submit)’ form.

Details and Deadline for Intent to Submit:

  • Application forms can be downloaded here Chapter 2 and Chapter 4
  • The deadline for submitting your intent to contribute to Chapters 2 & 4  is July 20th, 2009.

Further Deadlines for Successful Submissions:

  • All submissions will be reviewed and successful submissions will be notified byJuly 31st, 2009.
  • Full submissions will be due by August 31, 2009.
  • For further details and submissions, please contact Karen Edwards:

17 December 2008

IASSAThe International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) invites contributions for the next issue of the Northern Notes newsletter. Contributions are invited from both members and non-members of the Association on issues of interest to Arctic social scientists. Articles, reports, announcements, reviews (books, films, etc.), and conference or meeting announcements should be submitted by 2 February 2009 to IASSA secretary, Lára Ólafsdóttir, at .

Northern Notes is published on the web by the IASSA secretariat twice a year with a Spring/Summer and a Fall/Winter issue, and is available to all web users. To view past issues of the newsletter, please go to:

Contributions to Northern Notes may include special features on issues and topics of interest to Arctic social scientists, information and announcements from members, announcements of meetings, workshops or conferences, news about upcoming IASSA activities, information about new publications of interest to the Arctic social science community, and announcements of new websites and links of interest.

IASSA invites contributions by 2 February 2009 for the following standard categories of the newsletter:


Contributions on issues and research activities of interest to the Arctic social science community, including new research, current and upcoming research activities and events, etc.


News from Members
New books, Journals, Dissertations & Film
Conferences, Workshops, and Meetings
On the Web
Funding Opportunities

Remember to send us the following details along with your article or announcement:

Name and affiliation of the author
Book announcements: All titles, publishing details, distributor and ISBN/ISSN number
Film: Distributor or link, all release details

The IASSA secretariat moved to Akureyri, Iceland, on 1 October 2008, and is located at the Stefansson Arctic Institute.


Stefansson Arctic Institute
Borgir, Nordurslod
IS-600 Akureyri, Iceland
Tel: (+354) 460 8980
Fax: (+354) 460 8989