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IPY Report: March 2009


1. IPY Celebrations
2. Summary from meetings in Geneva - JC, EOC, APECS
3. Polar Oceans Week(s): end of March
4. Expression of Intent Database is now Closed
5. Future of IPO, and thanks
6. Data Reminder

Report no. 23, March 2009
From: IPY International Programme Office
To: IPY Project Coordinators
cc: IPY Community Google Groups

1. IPY Celebrations
IPY celebrations have been recently planned around the world,
including in Japan, the Canadian Arctic, USA, and across Europe
including Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Norway.  In
addition, about 200 IPY participants and guests joined the
International Celebrations in Geneva, Switzerland, hosted by the World
Meteorological Organization.  A press conference, media campaign, and
release of the State of Polar Research report, all in conjunction with
the Geneva event, resulted in excellent worldwide media coverage
including major national news suppliers as well as prominent science
journals and magazines.  The IPO extends warm thanks to our many
partners who contributed to the daily news releases throughout
February, and to all who organised and attended events around the
world.  The excellent attention and coverage showcased the energy,
skill and enthusiasm of the IPY education and outreach networks.  We
can build on these networks as we publicize IPY science outcomes and
promote the IPY conferences.

2. Summary from meetings in Geneva - JC, EOC, APECS
From February 23rd - 25th, WMO hosted meetings of the IPY Joint
Committee, Education, Outreach, and Communication (EOC) Sub-Committee,
and APECS:

The Joint Committee developed plans for the concluding phase of IPY,
from now through July 2010.  Much of their effort will go into the
production of an IPY summary report.  The IPO will work with IPY
Projects and National Committees to develop mechanisms to collect and
synthesize Project and National information on IPY activities.  The
Joint Committee continues to regard the Oslo Science Conference in
June 2010 and the IPY conference in Canada in 2012 as important
elements in IPY integration and synthesis.  Terms of Reference for the
Joint Committee will continue until June 2010.

The EOC Sub-Committee discussed in detail plans for integration of
Education, Outreach, and Communication into the Oslo Science
Conference including opportunities for exposition of products as well
as discussions of programmes and activities. In addition, plans were
developed to sustain interest and momentum in IPY EOC efforts until
June 2010. These plans include production of a Polar Resource Book and
two ‘Polar Weeks’ in October 2009 and March 2010.

The APECS Executive Committee met in Geneva and discussed the areas of
strategic need for the next year, the fundraising strategy, and the
design and organization for a new website with more capabilities for
organic growth of the organization. The APECS annual report is
available at

3. Polar Oceans Week(s): end of March
Thanks to all who are participating in our upcoming Polar Oceans event
at the end of this month - it has been so popular that activities are
now happening around the world across a two week period, from March
14th - 30th!  These events have also provided inspiration for future
‘Polar Weeks’ in October 2009 and March 2010.
For details of planned activities, please visit:
and email Nicola Munro ( if you would like to get

4. Expression of Intent Database is now Closed
The IPY Expression of Intent (EoI) Database (
development/eoi/index.htm) stopped receiving new entries as of
February 28th, 2009. The EoI database will remain accessible for
searching only.  It was closed with 1232 submissions, an excellent
record of intentions, plans, and projects during the International
Polar Year 2007 - 8.  We will also keep the IPY Full Proposal database
available for searching and up-dates, but we will no longer accept new
Full Proposals.

5. Future of IPO, and thanks
Thanks to new or additional contributions from USA, Norway,
Netherlands, Canada, UK, Spain and Sweden, it appears likely that the
IPO will obtain sufficient resources to continue in operation at least
until July 2010.  We describe that time period as a conclusion and
‘hand-over’ period during which the IPO will help IPY end with maximum
scientific impact, a comprehensive inventory of IPY data, a secure
thriving community of future researchers and an effective enduring
international polar education network, and will seek long-term
partners to help sustain those activities.  The IPO will reduce from
three persons to two starting from April 2009, when Rhian leaves to
explore future roles at the intersection of science and outreach, and
will undergo a further change in May 2009 when Nicola begins maternity
leave.  The IPO will not add new activities but will focus our plans
and transitions on the Oslo Science Conference; on-going IPY
functions, including the web site, will have new homes and new
partners by that date.  These abrupt changes in the IPO remind us of
the ephemeral nature of projects and project offices, but they also
represent an opportunity for us to extend sincere and enduring thanks
to the many many people who have helped IPY and this IPO.

6. Data Reminder
At the Joint Committee meeting in Geneva we heard that approximately
50% of the funded IPY Projects have adequate or good data management
plans - the report reflects substantial progress over the past 6
months (and lots of effort by a few key members of the IPY DIS!).
However, that report also indicates that half of the funded Projects
have yet to develop or publicize their data plans, and it reminds all
of us that we have yet to achieve a system by which all those data
holdings become integrated and accessible (despite strong proposal
efforts by several teams of IPY data partners).  Successful progress
on IPY data plans at the Project level clearly correlates with the
existence of and support for national IPY data coordinators.
Therefore: a) please, if you have not done so, provide your Project
metadata to IPY DIS; b) continue to advocate for resources for an
integrated access systems (use the just-funded Polar Information
Commons - for more information, please contact Kathleen Cass, CODATA
Executive Director at and c) contact your
national data coordinator or remind your National IPY Committee of the
need for a national data coordinator. 

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