8
Special Concerns

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

A comprehensive arctic solid-earth geoscience program requires a substantial measure of international cooperation among the United States, Canada, and the USSR. The establishment of the International Arctic Science Committee in 1990, with representation from all arctic countries and from non-arctic countries engaged in arctic research, is unprecedented in providing for coordination and cooperation in all fields of science in the Arctic. Cooperation could encompass such diverse activities as the establishment of a circum-arctic seismograph network with standard instruments accessible to all interested investigators, scientific exchange programs, collaborative research, and access by qualified scientists to the territories of all arctic nations for bona fide research. It would also envision the availability of the research platforms of all arctic nations to all scientists on a commercial basis. The recent announcement that Soviet icebreakers would be available for commercial ventures in the Arctic Ocean is especially welcome because it opens the possibility that western scientists will for the first time have access to mobile platforms from which scientific research can be conducted in virtually any part of the Arctic Ocean Basin.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC AND TRANSLATION PROGRAMS

The standard geological literature is the primary repository of the written and graphic record of geoscience data and interpretations, including the Arctic, but many of the primary sources, especially in the USSR, are not known or readily available in the West. An organized effort to identify these sources and to include them in a carefully indexed international bibliography of arctic geoscience would be an important contribution to all investigators. The bibliographic program should include a translation program for rendering into English, Russian, and one or more of the Scandinavian languages research material judged to be of wide interest to the arctic geoscience community.

RESEARCH DIRECTORY

The size of the arctic geoscience community in the West is such that active investigators are generally acquainted, either personally or through the literature, with most other members of the community. Such acquaintanceship is less common, however, with investigators in the Soviet Union. An international directory of scientists working in the arctic solid-earth geosciences and of the research projects they are pursuing would be a useful reference that would enhance international communication (and perhaps international cooperation) in the field.



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OCR for page 59
Opportunities and Priorities in Arctic Geoscience 8 Special Concerns INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION A comprehensive arctic solid-earth geoscience program requires a substantial measure of international cooperation among the United States, Canada, and the USSR. The establishment of the International Arctic Science Committee in 1990, with representation from all arctic countries and from non-arctic countries engaged in arctic research, is unprecedented in providing for coordination and cooperation in all fields of science in the Arctic. Cooperation could encompass such diverse activities as the establishment of a circum-arctic seismograph network with standard instruments accessible to all interested investigators, scientific exchange programs, collaborative research, and access by qualified scientists to the territories of all arctic nations for bona fide research. It would also envision the availability of the research platforms of all arctic nations to all scientists on a commercial basis. The recent announcement that Soviet icebreakers would be available for commercial ventures in the Arctic Ocean is especially welcome because it opens the possibility that western scientists will for the first time have access to mobile platforms from which scientific research can be conducted in virtually any part of the Arctic Ocean Basin. BIBLIOGRAPHIC AND TRANSLATION PROGRAMS The standard geological literature is the primary repository of the written and graphic record of geoscience data and interpretations, including the Arctic, but many of the primary sources, especially in the USSR, are not known or readily available in the West. An organized effort to identify these sources and to include them in a carefully indexed international bibliography of arctic geoscience would be an important contribution to all investigators. The bibliographic program should include a translation program for rendering into English, Russian, and one or more of the Scandinavian languages research material judged to be of wide interest to the arctic geoscience community. RESEARCH DIRECTORY The size of the arctic geoscience community in the West is such that active investigators are generally acquainted, either personally or through the literature, with most other members of the community. Such acquaintanceship is less common, however, with investigators in the Soviet Union. An international directory of scientists working in the arctic solid-earth geosciences and of the research projects they are pursuing would be a useful reference that would enhance international communication (and perhaps international cooperation) in the field.

OCR for page 59
Opportunities and Priorities in Arctic Geoscience A directory of proposed and active arctic geoscience research would also provide a mechanism by which geoscientists contemplating such research could learn about other research efforts with which they might share facilities and platforms. The potential savings from such coordination and logistic collaboration are substantial and would make many otherwise underfunded projects feasible. The mechanism would especially benefit ''little science,'' which because of the commonly high costs of fieldwork in the Arctic, is especially disadvantaged. Indeed, such collaboration may be the only way that a balanced and healthy program of "little" and "big" geoscience can be brought to the Arctic Ocean Basin. SMALL MEETINGS International scientific cooperation among active investigators in arctic solid-earth geoscience would be fostered if the research results were exchanged in small meetings of moderately restricted topical focus. Such meetings would be more successful in bringing together working scientists from all of the arctic nations than large, high-prestige multidisciplinary conferences. The meetings would most likely gain the participation of younger scientists and active investigators in the USSR if a number of them were held at provincial research centers as well as at Moscow and Leningrad.