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IPY Report: November 2007


1. Report from the JC Meeting
2. IPO announcement
3. International Polar Days
4. Ice Sheet Day: December 13th 2007
5. AGU
7. Call for 2012 Science and Policy Conference Venue

From: IPY International Programme Office
To: IPY Project Coordinators
cc: IPY Community Google Groups

1. Report from Joint Committee Meeting

The IPY Joint Committee held its 6th meeting in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, on two days in late October.  For most of one afternoon we joined the Canadian National IPY Committee to learn and discuss the many facets of Canada’s IPY programme.

The JC focussed on IPY legacies, and particular on IPY’s data legacy.  A lack of support for international data coordination hinders IPY’s progress toward a complete data inventory and eventual full data accessibility, two basic elements of our free and open data policy.  In the longer term, the JC foresees need for substantial new data archive services.  The JC will report these concerns as part of a short overall assessment of IPY status.  Many IPY national committees provided reports to aid the JC evaluation.

The JC discussed various plans and activities related to observational system legacies and to new scientific partnerships among existing organizations such as IASC and SCAR, and reviewed planning for IPY conferences and events, including a Polar Discovery Conference proposed for 2009 by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists.  The JC agreed to the schedule for IPY science days (see Item 3, below), and received a proposal from Canada for a 2012 international ‘wrap up’ conference, with substantial focus on the policy implications of IPY (see Item 7, below).

The IPO expresses strong appreciation to Canada, to the Canadian IPY Secretariat and to key local partners for making our stay in Quebec City pleasant and productive!

2. IPO Announcement:

As previously mentioned, the IPO administrator, Nicola Munro, will work for the British Antarctic Survey in Antarctica during the months of December 2007 through March 2008. Kathy Salisbury will be taking over Nicola’s duties whilst she is away. Please note, you can contact Kathy at the IPO email address - or by phone on +44 (0) 1223 221468 as these will remain unchanged.

3. International Polar Science Days

Following the success of “Sea Ice Day” on September 21st, especially amongst the scientific and education communities, we have now planned for IPY Days every three months. We hope that project coordinators will find at least one day that they can become involved in. The provisional working titles are below. These can change according to participants and partners. Please email Rhian () if you would be interested in collaborating on one of these events.

September 21st 2007 (Fri): Sea Ice

December 13th 2007 (Thurs): Ice Sheets
ice sheets, traverses, expeditions, adventure

March 13th 2008 (Wed): Changing Earth, Past & Present
ice, climate, oceans, paleoclimate, Earth history

June 18th 2008 (Wed): Land and Life
permafrost, terrestrial biodiversity, hydrology, snow

September 17th 2008 (Wed): People
social sciences

December 2008 (Wed): Above the Poles
astronomy, meteorology, atmospheric sciences

March 2009 (Wed): Oceans and Marine Life
marine biodiversity, oceanography

4. Ice Sheet Day - 13 December 2007

The next IPY Day will focus on Ice Sheets. A list of projects that address ice sheets can be seen at

Please contact Rhian if you would like to be included in/removed from this list, or have any of your project information changed.

The day will include educational activities, live connection to traverses, and overview information about this research.

We have also developed an educational flyer associated with this day and currently have partners helping us with translations into Portugese, Icelandic, Afrikaans, Inuktitut, Japanese, Swedish, Dutch, French, Danish, Malay, Polish, Finnish, and Norwegian. Please contact Rhian if you would be able to translate this into your language, or proof-read one of the listed languages.

5. AGU (11-14th December, 2007, San Francisco)

The IPY booth at AGU is always popular. We would welcome IPY partners to join us this year at AGU, talk about your project, and answer questions about IPY.  If you have a clear time-slot of about two hours, please email Dave ( ) AND Rhian ( ) who will add you to the booth timetable.

If you have any printed materials that you would like distributed at AGU, please send them directly to the venue at this address:

Booth #: 732

These materials must arrive at the above address by Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at the very latest. Please also notify Rhian () if you will be sending any materials.

The IPO has coordinated Union oral and poster sessions on IPY Science (Tuesday and Wednesday) and Education and Outreach (Monday) whilst Mark Parsons has arranged Data Management sessions on Friday.  The Subglacial Lakes community have Union sessions on Monday and Wednesday and there are many more which will be listed on the IPY website in the next week or so to help find your way through the vast number of sessions. We will also try to provide a daily guide at the booth to the many of these.

Please do send Cynan ( ) information if you have side events or planning meetings to advertise.  We also expect to have posters of the new LandSat image mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA, IPY project number 461, setting a nice standard for free and open data access!), occasional voice links to Antarctica, and substantial interest from local and national press.

Note that the IPY international science day focussed on ice sheets (Item 3, above) occurs on the Thursday of the AGU meeting.
ARCUS is also hosting an IPY Education and Outreach Networking opportunity from 4.30-6.30pm, on the Monday, in Sierra A on the 5th floor of the Marriott.

We also hope to have a Open Consultative Forum (probably on Monday night at 19:30) where IPY management will be available to update participants on progress and people can give their views on anything to do with the IPY.  This will be the first OCF held in North America.


* EGU 2008

There will be a Cryosphere special session focussed on IPY (Session CR1) at the EGU conference in Vienna April 14-18.  This will be a wide-ranging session of IPY science (its co-listed with 5 other Programme Areas) so please think about submitting a paper ( deadline January 14, 2008).  Abstract submission on the EGU site is accessible at

* St Petersburg IPY Meeting

The SCAR-IASC Joint IPY Conference “ Polar Research - Arctic and Antarctic Perspectives in the International Polar Year"will be held in St Petersburg on July 8-11, 2008.  A website ( has been established.  The full diversity of IPY research will be on display so this will be a great opportunity for both Arctic and Antarctic researchers to meet and discuss their IPY projects. The APECS community plan to have a one day meeting on July 7 just ahead of the Science conference to address early career scientist issues and this will be followed by an IPY Open Consultative Forum meeting. 

7. Call for 2012 Conference

At the JC meeting in Quebec City, Canada brought forward a proposal to organize and host an IPY ‘wrap up’ conference in 2012, with focus on scientific results and assessments and on practical and political implications.  The JC recognized this proposal as consistent with and responsive to overall IPY event plans that call for a mid-term assessment at the SCAR/IASC Open Science Conference in 2008, an Early Science Conference in Oslo in 2010, and a ‘concluding’ conference in 2012.  With this announcement the JC requests expressions of interest from other countries to join Canada in planning and supporting their proposed conference, or to propose alternate plans for a similar event.  The JC hopes to endorse a conference of this type and timing at their next meeting in July 2008. 

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