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 infomation 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)

Thematic Working Group members: Dr. Srdan Dobricic (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)



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

Working Group 2: The success of a pan-Arctic Observing System relies on technical innovation to achieve the appropriate spatial and temporal resolution. Members of Working Group 2 will engage in discussion that focuses on the optimization of existing platforms and technologies.  Various model- or outcomes-based optimization approaches will be explored. An integral component of this discussion will centre on the adoption of new technologies that work to increase the efficiency, reach and impact of sustained Arctic observations. 

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

Rapporteur: Dr. Alice Bradley (Dartmouth College)

Other Thematic Working Group members: 




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)

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


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)

Other Thematic Working Group members:





Theme 3: Operating 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); Jan Rene Larsen (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, AMAP/Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)

Rapporteur: Dr. Shridhar D. Jawak (National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research)

Other Thematic Working Group full-term members: Dr. Mike Sparrow (World Climate Research Programme); Dr. Andrew Brierley (University of St. Andrews)




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. Maribeth Murray (Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary); Dr. Bill Turrell (Scottish Government)

Rapporteur: Dr. Ravi Darwin Sankar (University of Calgary)  

Other Thematic Working group members: