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IPY Report: August 2009


1. Data reports
2. Project reports and National Committee Reports
3. Polar Weeks
4. Changes to IPY Website
5. Upcoming IPY meetings and AGU sessions
6. Update from Oslo 2010 Planning Process
7. ICSU Visioning process for Earth System Research
8. Call for new stories and blogs for

Report no. 28, August 2009
From: IPY International Programme Office
To: IPY Project Coordinators
cc: IPY Community Google Groups

1. Data reports

We ask all IPY Project Coordinators and IPY National Committees to turn their attention to data.

For Project Coordinators and National Committees, data remains an urgent task of highest priority.  All IPY Projects have responsibility to produce descriptive metadata and to share, promptly and freely, the data itself.  Many projects already undertake these tasks, very often with the support of national data coordinators and through national or disciplinary data services.  You can find guidance, links, technical details, and assistance at the IPY Data and Information Services web site:  If an IPY Project or National Committee does only one thing to ‘complete’ their IPY activities, they should ensure international access to their IPY data!  (Note - this includes the IPY Education and Outreach Projects - we want to know what you did, where and when.)

We hope a complete snapshot of IPY data exists by March 2010.  All of IPY’s legacies in scientific output, future observational systems, new researchers and public impact depend on identifying, sharing and preserving IPY data.  We have systems in place to capture a description of the IPY data, and several options for reliable short-term access - please use them!

2. Project reports and National Committee Reports

We solicit reports from IPY Projects and from IPY National Committees.

Each IPY Project should submit a summary report.  The IPY reports can come from material already prepared for renewal proposals, for reports to national funding agencies or international partner organizations, or for special issues of science journals.  In other words, when you produce summary reports for other purposes, please also submit them to IPO (instructions below).  Ideally, these reports should document your IPY activities, point to expected scientific products, and address the question “What happened during IPY that would not have otherwise happened?”.  And, of course, document your data management procedures!

Each IPY National Committee should likewise submit a national summary report.  The National IPY reports can come from material already prepared for national sponsors.  These reports should document national IPY activities, point to expected national impacts, and again address the question: “What happened during IPY that would not have otherwise happened?”.  Some countries have already produced nicely-illustrated reports of national polar research activities during IPY - we welcome those reports as prepared and in the national language.  We ask that, in whatever print, film or web format a country or international organization chooses to highlight its IPY program, the country or organization shares that material with the IPO.

We hope that Project and National reports arrive by March 2010.  All printed materials sent to IPO will become cataloged and archived as part of the permanent collection at Scott Polar Research Institute.  All digital materials (film, presentations, digital reports, image collections, html documents) will go into the digital library system at the University of Alberta and, from there, also into the permanent collection at Scott Polar.  We have provided guidance on how to upload these materials in several previous reports.  Use the Archiving link on

IPO has an arrangement with the British Library to archive our web site.  Projects or National Committees may want to consult local digital libraries for a similar service for project or national committee web sites.  We will compile a list of preservation sites in our archive.

IPY participants, international sponsors, future international research programmes, and future historians will want to see Project and National reports - please pass those to IPO as you prepare them (

3. Polar Weeks

As the IPY research program moves toward analysis and results and as IPY participants plan for a large international conference in Oslo in June 2010, the IPO plans two Polar Weeks, October 2009 and March 2010, with the theme: What Happens at the Poles Affects Us All.

These Polar Weeks have four goals:

* To expand the IPY global networks of motivated and enthused educators;
* To raise the visibility of polar issues and polar organizations;
* To enhance the development of polar science educational materials; and
* To develop long-term education and outreach partnerships for polar science.

During October 5th through 9th, the IPY Polar Week will focus on recruiting new individual and institutional partners, will stimulate increased engagement by polar partners, and will highlight classroom activities developed for the new IPY Polar Resource Book. If you have any events planned during October Polar Week and would like to connect to the international IPY community please contact Karen Edwards directly @  In March 2010, the Polar Week will focus on local community-building activities, will connect new and existing partners in science outreach, and will stimulate global enthusiasm for June 2010 on-line and on-site events.  Both polar weeks will feature fresh accessible science, live web events, fun classroom activities, virtual balloon launches and spontaneous global inter-connections - activities that have made IPY Polar Days effective and enjoyable.

For more information please visit the IPY website at:

4. Changes to IPY Website is currently undergoing construction as we transition to a new partner - the Arctic Portal.  Please bear with us during this time as we work through broken links and other issues with the site.  If you have any questions or need any help, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

5. Upcoming IPY meetings and AGU sessions

September 7-11: First Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE) Symposium in Granada, Spain.  For more information see:

September 29 - October 1: International IPY Data Management meeting in Ottawa, Ontario (CANADA) to allow data managers / coordinators to report and assess what has been achieved over the last two years and to discuss challenges and opportunities regarding the stewardship of data collected during the International Polar Year.  For more information see: or contact Scott Tomlinson ( or Mark Parsons ( 

October 2 to 5, 2009: Communities of Change - Building an IPY Legacy, 9th ACUNS International Student Conference on Northern Studies and Polar Regions, Yukon College - Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.  See

October 26-28: IPY EOC Committee will meet in Canada to review and stimulate progress on the new Polar Resource Book, to plan for the March Polar Week and Oslo 2010, and to develop long-term plans and partnerships for polar EOC activities.  Contact Karen Edwards ( or Dave Carlson ( for more details.

December 14 to 18, 2009: AGU Fall Meeting- We have a Union Session on Education and Outreach: U15 - ‘Toward Environmental Literacy with Examples from IPY’ and an IPY session in the Cryosphere Section: C24 - ‘The International Polar Year’.  We know that IPY participants can submit abstracts to a wide range of polar and cryosphere sessions at AGU, but we hope you will consider submitting some of your best work to these IPY sessions.  In the Cryosphere IPY session we can often feature a much wider range of topics than one gets in a specialty session.  In the Union session we can show the amazing variety and quality of IPY education and outreach activities.  For both sessions, but particularly for the Union session, the more good abstracts we get, the better chance we have of obtaining oral presentation sessions at favourable times. 

6. Update from Oslo 2010 Planning Process

We now expect availability of the programme for the Oslo Science Conference in the next day or two, at  This version will represent an initial draft, subject to modification and with the remaining need to assign conveners to many sessions.

Also in the next day or two, as we publish the draft Science Programme, a message will go from the Conference secretariat to all of those who submitted session proposals.  That message will explain the processes to this point, and invite your comment and participation as we refine the Programme.  We can guarantee that there will be much activity in developing the programme and the conference over the coming months!

The IPO, together with the Oslo 2010 secretariat, regret these delays.  We have a complex program to assemble, at a time when IPY field activities, at least in North America, continue at nearly full speed.  We expect to have the draft Programme and fresh information about the Conference itself available very soon.

7. ICSU Visioning process for Earth System Research

A Vision for Earth System Research: Have Your Say - The International Council for Science (ICSU) has launched an online consultation to gather questions that will help direct the future of Earth system research.  ICSU invites the scientific community-natural and social scientists-as well as technology experts, decision-makers, and the general public, to contribute by visiting, until 15 August 2009.

8. Call for new stories and blogs for

On, we continue to track on-going IPY research activities and to feature stories on past, current and future polar issues.  If you have IPY research or outreach program underway, or have an IPY story to share, please contact Dave Carlson ( or Karen Edwards ( 

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