Observations Community of Practice

Equitable assessment, planning, and integration of environmental and socioeconomic observing to understand Arctic system change. This open team supports the US AON and meets periodically as the U.S. Committee to Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON).

Scope of Activities


Team Leaders

Sandy Starkweather
University of Colorado, CIRES

Lauren Culler
NSF (Website)


Deliverables from the Arctic Research Plan

2.1 Advance understanding of Arctic amplification and the associated connections with lower latitudes.

  • 2.1.1 Provide funding opportunities for investigator-driven modeling and observational studies that focus on the following aspects of Arctic Amplification: (1) ice-albedo feedback; (2) impacts of atmospheric and oceanic circulation on Arctic Amplification; and (3) transport of heat, moisture, and pollutants between Arctic and lower latitudes. Share knowledge and synthesize results arising from these studies.
  • 2.1.2 Hold workshops and webinars and produce publications to encourage interagency research coordination on Arctic Amplification.
  • 2.1.3 Provide opportunities to support and coordinate research to enhance the understanding of connections between Arctic and global ocean circulation with a particular focus on Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

4.1 Summarize currently available data and information requirements associated with hazard and risk mitigation, adaptation, and response efforts. Synthesize community-led activities and information to identify potential needs for future efforts.

  • 4.1.1 Conduct a study identifying where information used in decision-making and planning can be improved through access to new or additional data sources. This study should consider a wide range of activities associated with ongoing responses to common and emerging hazards, including risk reduction efforts and emergency preparedness and response.
  • 4.1.2 Share findings of deliverable 4.1.1 as a means (1) to spur additional research and science communication aimed at addressing unmet needs for planning, prevention, response, and recovery and (2) to inform time-sensitive decision-making and planning processes.

4.2 Update and improve the “Statewide Threat Assessment: Identification of Threats from Erosion, Flooding, and Thawing Permafrost in Remote Alaska Communities.”

  • 4.2.1 Undertake a study to identify the top 10 threats/hazards to communities and critical remote state and Federal government infrastructure in the state of Alaska that should be included in the Statewide Threat Assessment. This might include coastal and river erosion, flooding, thawing permafrost, and changes in the seasonal snowpack.
  • 4.2.2 Upon completion of 4.2.1, establish a data collection and collation plan to include mechanisms to collect threat/hazard data that may not be readily available.
  • 4.2.3 Collect and integrate disparate threat/hazard information and perform modeling and analysis to understand where natural and human-made threats and hazards pose a risk to Arctic communities.

MOMP 1 Coordinate activities and communities of practice that bring together Arctic modeling, observing, monitoring, and prediction to advance Arctic research.

  • MOMP 1.1 Develop synthesis products, best-estimate datasets, model simulations, and model intercomparison studies from major Arctic field campaigns and long-term observational sites to advance the integration of observational and modeling studies and process-based assessment of model simulations.
  • MOMP 1.2 Support development of metrics that measure key Arctic processes and implementation of these metrics in benchmarking packages to facilitate model validation against observations.
  • MOMP 1.4 Support ongoing work, such as observing system experiments (OSEs), to quantify the current and potential value of Arctic ocean, atmosphere, sea ice, and land observations for initialized predictions spanning daily to decadal timescales.
  • MOMP 1.5 Hold regular joint meetings of the Observing and Modeling communities of practice to better coordinate these communities of practice, bridge the communication gap between the modeling and observation science communities, and support the priority area research activities.

MOMP 2 Support assessment, gaps analysis, and intercomparisons to understand observational and modeling needs in Arctic research.

  • MOMP 2.1 Develop an online tool for the research community to support expert elicitation and data visualization for the value tree gaps analysis methodology.
  • MOMP 2.2 Conduct observational gaps analysis case studies using the value tree methodology to inform understanding of the capabilities, opportunities, and gaps in Arctic observing and data systems, with an initial focus on risk hazard and mitigation.

MOMP 3 Support coordination and engagement with Federal, international, and non-Federal partners who are conducting monitoring, observing, modeling, and prediction of the Arctic.

  • MOMP 3.3 Coordinate U.S. Federal Arctic observing and modeling research efforts with other relevant U.S. interagency groups (e.g., ICAMS, USCLIVAR, USGCRP, and USGEO) to identify priority activities to support the Arctic component of Earth System Predictability Research and Development Strategic Framework and Roadmap.

MOMP 4 Support best practices in field observations and modeling.

  • MOMP 4.1 Build on existing efforts within Federal agencies to share resources and implement best practices for improving field safety culture, diversity, and inclusivity, and enforcing safe working environments in the field, including both physical safety while working in harsh and remote Arctic environments and emotional safety from harassment and hostile working conditions.

PILR 1 Fulfill Federal requirement to consult with Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.

  • PILR 1.1 Create a best practices document on meaningful consultation and engagement on Arctic research with Alaska Indigenous communities that is applicable to all Federal agencies.
  • PILR 1.2 Evaluate the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic 2018, and update as needed based on the evaluation.
  • PILR 1.3 Develop and deliver training for agencies to implement the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic.

PILR 2 Engage Arctic communities and individuals in research in a way that is meaningful to them.

  • PILR 2.1 Create a training toolkit for scientists that can be self-guided and used as needed. Topics may include cross-cultural communication, consultation, participatory research, Indigenous Knowledge, overview of Indigenous culture groups, formal agreements, and how to contract and consult with Indigenous companies and individuals.
  • PILR 2.2 Create a report of examples where IARPC member agencies have engaged Indigenous Knowledge holders in research.
  • PILR 2.3 Request that each Priority Area Collaboration Team host regular meetings that meaningfully engage with Indigenous leaders, groups, and/or communities. This includes developing a list of contacts to support requests for engagement or tracking engagement with Indigenous participation.
  • PILR 2.4 Analyze and develop a report on broader impacts of science/research teams on Indigenous health and resilience.
  • PILR 2.5 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify mechanisms for Federal agencies to effectively communicate science plans and findings among themselves and with communities.

PILR 3 Develop guidance for agencies to consistently apply participatory research and Indigenous leadership in research.

  • PILR 3.1 Co-define “Indigenous leadership in research” with Tribes, Indigenous organizations, and Federal agencies; and integrate into the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic and its training toolkit and best practices documents.
  • PILR 3.2 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify methods to streamline contracting/agreements and compensation processes to make co-stewardship and co-production in research more equitable and achievable.
  • PILR 3.3 Convene discussions to identify mechanisms to foster equitable pathways for Indigenous leadership in research.
  • PILR 3.4 Identify best practices for Federal agencies to support capacity for Tribes and Indigenous Knowledge holders in research. Distribute guidance on best practices to IARPC agencies.
  • PILR 3.5 Ensure consistent terminology for Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Local Knowledge for IARPC. Suggest primary language for IARPC be Indigenous Knowledge.

Accomplishments

To be added in 2023.