Examples of Sustained Conversations: ArcticNet,
Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), and
Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP)
An example of a large-scale program that facilitates sustained communication across the research and stakeholder communities is ArcticNet,a a network of Canadian institutions that aims to bring together scientists and representatives from academia, government, industry, international agencies, and northern communities. The main objective of ArcticNet is to utilize information from these sources to help Canada prepare for and adapt to climate change and increased activity in the Arctic. Through research collaborations and partnerships with corporations operating in the Arctic, reliable scientific data can be made available to a wide variety of stakeholders. Research results are shared with the community in the form of scientific publications and a data catalogue and through various media outlets. This integrated and cross-disciplinary approach to Arctic research provides unique opportunities for education, collaboration, and entrainment of the next generation of polar researchers.
The Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOSb) is another example of a network intended to address both national and regional needs for researchers and stakeholders on coastal and ocean issues. In coordinating federal, state, local, and private needs, AOOS identifies gaps in data, helps fill those gaps when appropriate, and increases the usefulness of existing data. AOOS demonstrates the integration and collaboration necessary to enable a variety of users to obtain information and to make decisions about the marine environment in the Alaska region.
mechanisms to support and facilitate these sustained conversations would need to be deliberately identified and implemented, as opposed to relying on self-organization. This would require close and effective engagement among public, private, and academic institutions. Participants in these conversations could serve a role akin to that of a diplomat, seeking and communicating ideas and suggestions that reflect a broad viewpoint. There are excellent examples of efforts underway, on both national and local levels, to develop and facilitate interactions among relevant research communities and users (Box 3.1).
Looking more specifically at the issue of sea ice prediction, one example of an initial framework for capturing stakeholder needs in terms of variables utilized in sea ice science is provided in Table 3.1. Other frameworks can be used to organize user-science connections with the goal of advancing the utility of sea ice predictions. For this process to be successful, it is important for communities to learn each others’ language and to be aware of usage differences. For instance, the terms sea ice “memory” and “persistence” have specific meanings within the sea ice research community that may not be appreciated by