Sunshine and summit week

Easter holidays are now behind us, and after some relaxing days enjoying the beautiful, sunny spring weather it’s now time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work! One of the most pressing issues here at the TA offices during the following weeks is the application for INTERACT II. Yes, based on the wonderful collaboration our network has had during the past four years we are of course planning for the next phase; one with even many more stations joining the network! For us at the TA offices this means instructing the partners offering TA to calculate their unit costs and to draft the overall work plan including the budget, tasks, deliverables and milestones for the work package. It’s a big task, but I am sure we’ll manage it together and learning from the experiences and feedback from the past four years. We also aim to come up with new activities and innovations that add up to the current value of Transnational Access.

Great spring weather just before the Easter; getting ready for ice fishing!
Great spring weather just before the Easter; getting ready for ice fishing!

Now to the recent event that I promised to write you about in my previous posting: the Arctic Science Summit Week. ASSW, as the abbreviation goes, was held in Helsinki 5th-11th April, consisting of several events. I went to Helsinki on 8th April to start with the ICARP III (the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Science Planning) launch at the ASSW Common Day. The event marked the kick-off of the ICARP III process, and included an introduction to the ICARP III background and objectives, followed by several panels focusing on themes like the climate system and transformations, and societies and ecosystems. The aims of the ICARP process are to identify Arctic science priorities for the next decade, to coordinate Arctic research agendas, build the relationship between producers and users of knowledge, and inform the policy makers and local and global community about the research results. ICARP III process is also of great importance for INTERACT, as we will of course take into account its recommendations on research priorities and agendas.

On 9-11 April my visit to ASSW continued by attending the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS). The AOS program consisted of keynote presentations and panel discussions focusing on topics such as Stakeholders and Arctic Observation, Science Coordination for Improved Arctic Observing, and Technology and Innovation. To me, one of the most memorable moments in the meeting was the panel about Stakeholder Integration in Arctic Observation. The panel gathered together representatives from the arctic shipping industry, different arctic science organizations, and indigenous people’s communities and associations. The conversation and interaction between the panelists was lively and genuine and brought up the different perspectives, which made the panel extremely interesting to follow.

WP_20140410_001
Attending the Arctic Observing Summit in Helsinki on April 9-11, 2014.

Parallel to the AOS, I also attended the University of the Arctic Thematic Networks Program Team meeting, and the UArctic Thematic Networks Seminar that concluded my visit at ASSW on Friday 11th April. My home institution, the Thule Institute, coordinates the UArctic Thematic Networks and Kirsi is the coordinator for this activity, so I have become familiar with the UArctic and its motto: In the North, For the North, By the North. The seminar was in line with the motto, highlighting fantastic examples of thematic networks with great importance to the people living in the North. One of these examples is the Verdde program, presented in the seminar by Laila Nutti from the Sámi University College. The Verdde program facilitates the exchange and mobility of indigenous students and teachers with the ever increasing importance on teacher training and teaching of indigenous minority languages. The presentation evoked many thoughts and feelings about the utmost importance of supporting the early education of indigenous children in their own language, and was a great conclusion for the week in Helsinki.

More about what’s going on here at the INTERACT TA offices, and introducing some new bloggers for the Arctic Research Blogs in my next postings. Stay tuned!

-Hannele

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