IASC 25 years - Page 77

3.3 Strong Partnerships Produce Synergism Patrick J. Webber (President 2003 – 2006) opment of partnerships, cooperation, and inclusiveness became my persistent mantra and activity. At the start of each annual Council meeting I would restate my mantra. This was received quietly, per- I remain honored to have been elected President haps because the members felt that they were in 2002 by members of the IASC Council. I was the already doing this; nevertheless, I never heard any representative of the United States Polar Research objections to my platform. I am heartened to see Board to the IASC Council from 1999 to 2006 and current and abundant evidence of more and many had served as a Vice President within the Executive strong partnerships between IASC and the com- committee since 2001. I brought to the office my munity. This, and a number of things that I shall background as a 40-year veteran of arctic scientific mention below were recommended strongly in the research, teaching, and large project and institution 2007 Review and Strategy Group report on IASC management in universities and government. I am and are reflected in today´s IASC. an old-fashioned natural philosopher in the 19th century sense and I believe, firmly, that there should Below are some examples of my efforts that are be no boundaries in science between disciplines, germane to my mantra. None of these ideas or geography, or culture. My modus as a scientist, even accomplishments were mine alone and most were evangel, was to use a triad of systems science, hy- not new to my term of office. IASC´s progress during pothesis-based research, and synthesis. I was also this time was a team effort by elected IASC officers an advocate of long-term studies, networking and and dozens of active scientists and organizations. I data archiving. These convictions colored my pres- describe these accomplishments under Champion- idency. I believe firmly that Arctic Science must ing Ongoing Activities and Sowing and Supporting be international team science and that the Arctic New Initiatives. My screed is full of the celebrated should be treated as a system within the Earth Sys- IASC acronyms. The definition, background and sta- tem. Since the IASC presidency is a fixed-term lead- tus of these entities are contained elsewhere in this ership responsibility, I lived by a quasi-Hippocratic volume and cross-referenced to side-boxes. Oath that one should do ‘no harm’ and that the organism should enjoy a long life beyond completion Championing Ongoing Activities of the treatment. IASC has Observer Status at the Arctic Council (AC) which was a continuance of its role in the Arctic As I began my presidency, I was aware that there was an alphabet soup of organizations, projects and had been mostly represented at the Arctic Council institutions, and moreover the majority of practic- by the chair of the Regional Board of IASC, how- ing Arctic scientists was only dimly aware of what ever, I took it upon myself to attend Arctic Council IASC was or how IASC might help their enquiry. This meetings and brief members at every opportunity awareness led me to decide that the main thrust of on IASC and about its programs. This activism is my presidency would be that IASC would expand its necessary since the turnover rate of Arctic Council partnerships with existing and emerging organiza- SAOs is fairly high and IASC´s place in the scheme tions and projects in order to confirm its usefulness. of things bore repetition. I promoted the idea that I believed that by strengthening and increasing its IASC was available to be ‘science advisor’ to the partnerships, IASC would be confirmed as the rec- AC and should be seen as a partner to AC working ognized leader in the pursuit of Arctic knowledge groups like CAFF and AMAP. At the time, IASC was and in the solution of Arctic problems. Therefore, the senior partner with the AC on the ACIA project espousing the value and nurturing the devel- 76 Council´s forerunner, AEPS. Prior to my tenure, we and this serves as a good example of my mantra. 03 Contributions of Former IASC Presidents