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IPY Report: May 2008


1. IPO Planning - 2008 and Beyond
2. February 2009 dates and events
3. Canada 2012
4. UNEP Children’s Conference - call for material
5. Polar Books
6.,- , bloggers needed, fly the IPY flag!
7. Report from SAON
8. IPY Science at the European Geophysical Union (EGU) meeting 2008

Report no. 13, May 2008
From: IPY International Programme Office
To: IPY Project Coordinators
cc: IPY Community Google Groups

1. IPO Planning - 2008 and Beyond

Many IPY participants consider post-IPY activities and events.  IPY Project Coordinators consider project data responsibilities, special publications, project summary meetings, and the possibilities to extend or renew research funding.  National polar organizations and IPY National Committees consider celebratory events, ways to enhance their national programmes, and (we hope) data access and archiving.  International groups consider IPY-wide conferences and events, scientific and political impacts, and the benefits, if any, of continuing the international IPY networks of young researchers, teachers, journalists, science centres, and so on.

The International Programme Office participates in all of this post-IPY planning.  Many specific activities and events depend on coordinated international schedules.  We support most of the current IPY networks.  And, we have a responsibility to manage an orderly and efficient closure of the IPO. 

To assist and guide these legacy planning activities, the IPO has produced a short document entitled “IPO Planning - 2008 and Beyond”.  In the document we attempt to identify the many components of IPY from our point of view, to briefly discuss the legacy issues for each component, and then to suggest possible partners, from existing organizations, for many aspects of the IPY legacy.  The document suggests a continuing international coordination function, to overlap with the current IPO and to continue for an additional 3 to 5 years, and describes the probable schedule for closure of the current IPO.

The document can be accessed via the Participants page or directly at /index.php?/ipy/detail/ipo_planning_2008_and_beyond/

We welcome all comments on the document itself.  More important, we use the planning document as a basis and a start for discussions with and among all potential partners about all aspects of the IPY legacy! If you would like to comment on or discuss ideas in this document, please contact Dave Carslon (

2. February 2009 events

Section 3 of the IPO Planning document describes plans for IPY celebratory events in and around February 2009.  Many IPY 2007-2008 activities, including a substantial amount of IPY 2007-2008 research, will continue after 1 March 2009.  Some national programmes will celebrate completion of their IPY activities; other national programmes will highlight on-going or continuing activities and present future plans.  The IPY international events and activities in February 2009 will therefore carry a dual message - a recognition of what IPY has accomplished in research and outreach and a declaration of the continued need and bright future for polar research.

The IPY Joint Committee will prepare a statement, tentatively entitled ‘the state of polar research’, for public release.  That release, amidst appropriate ceremony, will occur from Geneva, Switzerland, on 25 February 2009.  We anticipate many coordinated national and international events that day and that week, a chance to display the reach and impact of many IPY partners.

We anticipate that the February events and statements will contribute to subsequent political activities, including prominent meetings of the Antarctic Treaty System and Arctic Council in April 2009.  We will also continue our plans and schedules for IPY Polar Science Days, with a big international Science Day focussed on Polar Oceans in March 2009. 

3. Canada 2012

Active planning continues for an IPY Early Science Conference in Olso in 2010.  In previous reports, we have described Canada’s intent to host a further IPY conference, with a focus on impacts, in 2012.  The IPY Joint Committee have endorsed this basic schedule of three major IPY conferences, in 2008 (St Petersburg), 2010 (Oslo), and 2012 (Canada?).

The IPY Joint Committee, and the Canadian IPY national planners, would like to confirm the general timing and location of the proposed Canada IPY conference.  This message represents a ‘last and final’ call for other nations to:

a) propose alternative locations; or
b) express an intent to partner with Canada on the 2012 event.

In the absence of further information, the IPY Joint Committee will accept Canada’s plan by the end of May 2008.

4. UNEP Children’s Conference

IPY has been invited to share a booth at the UNEP Tunza International Children’s Conference on the Environment, June 16 - 20th, 2008.
There will be about 1,000 people from over 100 countries, including 700 children age 10 - 14. The theme of the event is ‘Create Change’.
We would very much like to share and distribute the wide range of multi-lingual, children-focussed IPY material that has been developed around the world. If you have any material, in any language, that you would like distributed or displayed at this event, please email Nicola on by Friday, May 16th at the latest.

5. Polar Books

The International Polar Year has spurred the publication of a wide range of books ?from children’s stories, to books on Polar science, history, travel and exploration, to beautiful photography of both the Arctic and Antarctic. The IPY Polar Books project (IPY project number 440), led by UNEP/GRID-Arendal, endeavours to collect and promote these books to a wider audience and share outreach and educational resources from them. The Polar Books project also provides authors with a route to IPY endorsement!

To learn more about the books in this collection, or to apply to join this group, please visit the Polar Books website at:

6. - bloggers needed, fly the IPY Flag!

During the 2007-2008 Antarctic field season we often featured 2 or 3 stories from Antarctic researchers each day on  As you prepare for the 2008 Arctic field season, please consider contributing to the blogs and stories, or providing automatic links and feeds from your websites. Please contact Rhian Salmon ( if you are interested.

7. SAON: Report from the Edmonton Workshop

SAON (Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks) is likely to become a major IPY legacy aiming to coordinate and improve the ongoing Arctic observing networks. Behind this initiative are 13 international organizations that have agreed on a process for developing a set of recommendations for improving the present state of affairs. This process includes 3 workshops:

a) Stockholm, Sweden , November 2007 with a focus on identifying user needs
b) Edmonton, Canada, 9-11 April 2008 asking the big question: How will Arctic observing and data & information management activities be coordinated and sustained?
c) A final workshop is planned to be in Helsinki with the main aim being to finalise the recommendations.

The Edmonton workshop attracted more than 200 participants, and many from observational networks and operational agencies, as well as local residents. The workshop generated a wealth of material and inputs from both governmental agencies, science communities and local residents.

With this workshop, the SAON process has really gained momentum, and the challenge now is to transform the present material into recommendations for implementation.

In order to increase the Asian and Russian participation in SAON, two smaller workshops are scheduled:

- 7 July in St. Petersburg, and
- 23 September in Seoul, Korea (Asian polar meeting)

8.  IPY Science at the European Geophysical Union (EGU) meeting 2008

As at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco last December, the Polar Year again featured extensively at the annual EGU meeting in Vienna in April.  The Cryospheric Sciences division kindly organised a cross divisional session on the International Polar Year which attracted a wide range of papers and the multiple sessions on

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