IASC 25 years - Page 42

2.3 First International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP I) Oran Young Reviewers: Robert Corell and Odd Rogne cial backing for this initiative. Thus was born the idea of organizing the first International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP) at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA from 5 to 9 December 1995. IASC proceeded to appoint a Program Steering Com- In the early 1990s, as IASC became fully operation- mittee for this effort, that included representatives al, three developments converged to highlight the from Russia, Europe, and North America, from both value of planning for the conduct of Arctic science. Arctic and non-Arctic states, and from the commu- First, the end of the cold war and the emergence nity of indigenous peoples. The committee took of a spirit of regional cooperation in the Arctic charge of preparations for ICARP I, meeting several (reflected in the launching of the AEPS as well as times in advance of the conference, making organi- the establishment of IASC itself) opened up the zational decisions, and working actively with those prospect of substantive cooperation between who served as leaders of the working groups that western and Russian scientists interested in the cir- became the major vehicles for fulfilling the goals of cumpolar north. Second, the onset of the era of ‘big the conference. In all, ten working groups emerged, science’ with research projects involving collabora- each guided by one or more coordinators. Each tion among larger groups of scientists and research working group prepared a draft science agenda in institutes placed a premium on the development of advance of the conference, refined the agenda effective coordination mechanisms. And third, the during a week-long effort at the conference itself, realization that the Arctic is a dynamic region sub- and prepared a revised plan in the aftermath of the ject to rapid and often non-linear changes in both conference. An eleventh theme, dealing with rapid biophysical and socioeconomic terms provided new cultural change, emerged during the conference, an impetus for conducting coordinated observations in indication of the growth of interest in the human an effort to understand the behavior of Arctic sys- dimensions of Arctic systems. tems. More than 250 scientists, including 33 from Russia, IASC took the initiative early on to address this attended the week-long conference in Hanover. need, beginning with an effort on the part of the This group was notable both for its diversity and for Executive Committee to develop a Science Agen- the strong sense of community that pervaded the da for the organization, and moving forward at the meeting. The working groups focused, for the most 1994 annual meeting to approve an initial agen- part, on substantive themes that provided oppor- da focusing on four broad themes: (1) impacts of tunities for scientists representing different disci- global change on the Arctic region and its peoples; plines to join forces to design research activities of (2) Arctic processes of relevance to global systems; common interest. A strong theme within the group (3) natural processes within the Arctic; and, (4) sus- centered on the linkages between development in tainable development in the Arctic. This meeting the Arctic and broader concerns about global envi- also generated the idea that it would be useful to ronmental change then emerging as a prominent convene a larger international planning conference topic in the international science community. to provide a roadmap for all those engaging in