ARCSS Program | Communities of Practice
What are Communities of
Communities of Practice are groups of researchers organized around a set of arctic system science questions. Co-oPs will work with the ARCSS Committee, the ARCSS Science Management Office (SMO; currently at ARCUS), and the broader research community to develop science questions that align with and advance ARCSS Program goals. Co-oPs could be disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or "legacy" (e.g. HARC, LAII, etc.) groups. For example, a Co-oP might focus on carbon flux, the impact of rapid change on various sub-systems or, from an ARCSS Program perspective, be similar to the interdisciplinary groups that worked together on SHEBA or GISP2 themes; any group coalescing around an arctic-system relevant science question could be considered a Co-oP.
The Co-oPs and related science ideas may emerge out of such traditional forums as meetings, workshops, or existing groups of collaborators. Co-oPs will not be organized by formal infrastructure, membership, or duties, but will be able to receive a nominal level of support (as funding allows) to facilitate communications, such as teleconferences, website resources, and similar assistance from the ARCSS SMO.
What is the Role of Communities of
The Co-oPs have two functions. The first is to develop strong interdisciplinary research in areas that are key to understanding the Arctic as an integrated system. Some of the science priorities that emerge from the Co-oPs will be integrated and focused by the ARCSS Committee and research community, with input from NSF, to provide the intellectual direction and ferment necessary to a high-quality science program.
The second key function of the Co-oPs is to facilitate multi-level communication between the community and the ARCSS Committee, as well as between and among the Co-oPs. By fostering better communication, the Co-oPs will produce the best system science, and will assist in assembling broad expertise into interdisciplinary teams to address system-wide research issues.
How are Communities of Practice
Individuals or groups who wish to establish an ARCSS Co-oP submit a one-page concept paper to the ARCSS Science Management Office through an online form. The one-page Co-oP concept paper gives a brief overview of the nature of the Co-oP, the scientific focus, and the types of ARCSS SMO support that would facilitate Co-oP development.
The ARCSS Committee intends to interact with all of the groups submitting a Co-oP concept paper. The process by which Co-oPs are developed and established is new and will doubtless be refined with time. For example, it is expected that some Co-oPs that have a closely allied focus may be encouraged to merge efforts. Within the limits of available resources, the ARCSS Committee intends to nurture emerging groups as much as possible. The process is open-ended; as new an important science issues come to the fore, new Co-oPs will form and old ones disappear.