On February 28, 2024, the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee conducted a session on how to effectively participate in the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) 2024, explaining the summit’s functioning and highlighting significant opportunities for attendee engagement.

Alice Bradley from Williams College presented an overview of the AOS, detailing the preparatory phase, which includes a call for input and the formation of four working groups. The summit will feature keynote speeches followed by breakout sessions, where these working groups will convene to formulate recommendations for the observing community. Among topics of discussion will be the definition of equity within the context of Arctic observing, with a particular emphasis on Indigenous participation and societal benefits. The recommendations gathered from the working groups will be presented during the final plenary session, with the outcomes subsequently documented in reports. These reports will be shared with entities such as the Arctic Science Ministerial, funding organizations, and other relevant stakeholders.

Margaret Rudolf and Harmony Wayner from the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks discussed Indigenous representation at the AOS. They provided an overview of the agenda for Working Group 3: System Implementation and spoke about a mock expert panel on the topic of salmon. The speakers emphasized the framework of community well-being, aiming to anchor research questions and funding decisions within this context to ensure that they benefit the Indigenous communities.

Hajo Eicken from the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks discussed the international aspects of Arctic observation. Eicken highlighted the need to connect global observation systems with local requirements and stressed the importance of involving participants from Russia and Asia. As an example, Eicken mentioned the construction of a new Japanese vessel designed to serve as an international research ship with Indigenous involvement. The key question was how activities supported by research vessels could be aligned with community benefits.

See links to agenda and slides on IARPC Collaborations website.