IASC 25 years - Page 56

2.7 IASC and the International Polar Year 2007-2008 David Hik, Volker Rachold, and Odd Rogne Excerpt from: Krupnik, I., I. Allison, R. Bell, P. Cutler, D. Hik, J. López-Martinez, V. Rachold, E, Sarukhanian, and C. Summerhayes (2011) Understanding Earth´s Polar Challenges: International Polar Year 2007-2008—Summary report of the ICSU/WMO IPY Joint Committee. Rovaniemi and Edmonton: University of the Arctic and CCI Press, 695p. the development of ideas for IPY and noted that a major project in the Arctic Ocean as a prospective theme for IPY had been suggested.1 Nonetheless, it was again agreed that a new IPY should be a major multi-disciplinary initiative and that the push for a new venture should come from many fields; hence no actions were taken. Throughout 2001 and 2002, major IASC activities were focused on the development of the ACIA report2 and on the planning for ICARP II scheduled for 2005. At that stage, it was unlikely that a new IPY would become a reality. The IPY concept was discussed by the IASC Executive Committee during ASSW in April 2002, but, again, IASC did not take any steps. Nonetheless, several developments in The first informal e-mail correspondence about the ACIA and ICARP II process in 2001–2002, such the possibility of a new ‘International Polar Year’ as broadening the disciplinary scope of the two between Odd Rogne (then Executive Secretary of ventures and more active engagement of Arctic IASC) and a few individual early champions started indigenous people and social scientists, were later in the late 1990s. A key correspondent was Leon- instrumental to the IPY planning process. ard Johnson (former division head at the U.S. Office of Naval Research). During those early exchanges, At its February 2003 meeting, the IASC Executive Rogne argued that any initiative for a new IPY had Committee was informed that a special meeting of to be taken by international organizations and re- the U.S. Polar Research Board in October 2002 had quired a forward-looking science vision. The IASC been devoted to the concept of a new IPY (2007– Executive Committee was made aware of the cor- 2008) and that several other related activities were respondence, but did not decide to take any further taking place. The Executive Committee agreed that action. there was a need for inspiring ideas along the lines of ‘grand scientific challenges.’ IASC Council and The possibility of a new IPY was briefly discussed Regional Board members were encouraged to put during the ASSW in April 2001 by the European Po- forward such ideas or proposals for IPY for further lar Board (EPB) and FARO. The IASC Executive Com- consideration by IASC. mittee did not decide on any actions related to IPY, but had agreed to test the idea within FARO. Overall, In April 2003, Chris Rapley gave a presentation on a new IPY was seen as a major logistical challenge IPY planning by ICSU at the ASSW in Kiruna, Swe- that would require complex, and perhaps painful, den. This time, the attitude turned 180 degrees re-allocation of funding. Nonetheless, IPY was also and the debate revealed rising enthusiasm among viewed as a tremendous opportunity, for which a IASC members and strong support from the IASC compelling science vision had to be developed. Council. The IASC Executive Committee was tasked to consider the role that IASC could play in further An important step towards IPY planning was taken at the symposium ‘Perspectives of Modern Polar set aside to stimulate IPY planning. It was noted Research,’ in Bad Dürkheim (Germany), 24-26 June that the ICARP II multi-disciplinary approach to de- 2001, on which IASC was informed. In November veloping long-term science plans would be benefi- 2001, the IASC Executive Committee discussed 55 00 development of IPY and certain seed funding was cial to IPY. Consequently, some elements of ICARP 02 IASC Initiatives 06 Appendices