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IPY Report: February 2008


1. IPY Science Day: Changing Earth, March 12th 2008
2. Send us your stories!
3. St Petersburg SCAR/IASC Meeting, July 2008
4. End of IPY Celebrations
5. Workshop and summer school opportunities for students
6. The Legacies of IPY

Report no. 10, February 2008
From: IPY International Programme Office
To: IPY Project Coordinators
cc: IPY Community Google Groups

1. IPY Science Day: Changing Earth, March 12th 2008

The IPY Science Day on March 12th will focus on change over geological time, especially the glacial and interglacial periods that have occurred during the past million years, and cycles of ocean- atmosphere interactions that give rise to regional climate variations on scales of decades to centuries. Understanding these processes, and the science projects that investigate them, is critical in order to put recent human- induced climate change into context.

Please consider sharing your expertise in this area by writing, responding to journalists, or participating in live web-and video conferences discussing these issues. Four events are planned that will occur throughout March 12th and 13th, in time-zones around the world. If you would like to get involved in any aspect of this Day, please email Rhian (

The next IPY Science Day on June 18th, will have the theme of Land and Life, and cover terrestrial ecology, hydrology, and permafrost.  In September (on the 24th), we will focus on People and Health.  Please join these activities.

2. Send us your stories!

On, we and hundreds of other viewers have followed traverses across Antarctica and expeditions through the Southern Ocean during the last few weeks.  As these expeditions come to an end, please consider sending stories from your expedition, lab, satellite download station, or office.  All submissions welcome!  These short stories bring IPY science to the public, and will prove important in documenting the breadth and diversity of IPY science, both now and as an archive for the future.  If you don’t have time or inclination yourself, please ask your students, post-docs, and other colleagues.  Most groups have at least one member who likes to write, and many who already have their own blogs - please ask your interested writers to contact Rhian (

3. St Petersburg SCAR/IASC Meeting, July 2008

Arctic and Antarctic Perspectives in the International Polar Year
St Petersburg, Russia

Information about this conference can be found at:

Abstract submission is February 15th. Every session is open to submissions about both scientific research and education/outreach activities relevant to the science theme.

There will be a one day workshop for Early Career Researchers on July 7th. Register at

4. End of IPY Celebrations

A few IPY Projects have completed their field activities.  Most IPY Projects have only started, or only completed their initial field year.  We know that some IPY research will certainly extend into the Arctic summer of 2009.  Why, then, do we ask you to start thinking about end of IPY celebrations?

We started planning the IPY launch events 12 months in advance.  We want to involve all the IPY participants and all our networks of teachers, young scientists, and other partners in a grand IPY celebration at multiple of events around the world during the months of March - May 2009.  We will of course encourage an IPY focus at scientific, political, and educational conferences and meetings during 2009, but we also want special national and international events.  Please begin thinking about how your Project or your National Committee will celebrate IPY.  Please contact Rhian ( or Dave ( with your ideas, and please join one of the IPY discussion groups in which international plans will evolve. A list of discussion groups can be found at /index.php?/ipy/detail/ipy_discussion_groups/

5. Workshop and summer school opportunities for students.

Many polar institutions and organizations offer summer school opportunities and travel support for workshops.  Please send information about any workshops, summer schools, or other student opportunities to  APECS would like to compile a list of these resources to share with young researchers around the world.  Visit the APECS website,, or contact Jenny Baeseman, Director at

6. The Legacies of IPY

IPY will, we hope, have many legacies, large and small.  On the large side we anticipate improved and expanded observational networks, on-going data exchange practices and systems, and continued international polar science collaboration.  On the smaller side we might find many informal networks and practical activities, including the IPY web site and other activities coordinated by the IPO or by Project Coordinators of various IPY Projects.

Many supporting activities may prove useful to the on-going success of the larger legacies.  For these, IPO should identify willing partners to accept responsibility for their continuation.  Other supporting or coordinating activities should end as the IPO and IPY Projects end, but may need recording or archiving.  In either case, and for large and small legacies, IPO advocates a timely, deliberate and active identification and decision process to develop optimal partnerships and to prevent unintended loss of any parts or records.

The IPO develops a list of the supporting activities, under the general categories of formal networks and committees, informal networks and working groups, and information systems and sources.  Many of the activities and systems developed as part of IPY Projects fit into these categories: your networks of researchers, your steering committees, your websites and newsletters.  Of course not everything in the IPO or in the IPY Projects can or should continue.  However, we solicit your ideas about activities in your Projects that might provide scientific value after IPY.  We will add those activities to the IPY list, and publish the entire list for potential partners to view.

This activity reminds us that almost all of our work, in IPO and in the IPY Projects, has the potential to create a legacy for polar science and for science in general.

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