Workshop Report Outlines Gaps and Makes Recommendations for Monitoring Efforts in Arctic Seas

The Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) and the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) sponsored a workshop on marine research and monitoring efforts in the Arctic, particularly in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, as part of the January 2009 Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage, Alaska.
The goal of the workshop, attended by 145 individuals from more than 60 organizations, was to share information and promote collaboration among the many entities with increasing activities in marine research and monitoring in the region, including the oil and gas industry, local, state, and federal agencies, and non-governmental and academic organizations.
The workshop was an initial step by AOOS and NPRB toward long-term development of a more comprehensive monitoring and assessment plan, through which each participating organization can focus on projects to meet their particular goals while contributing to a larger data sharing and integration effort.

A draft workshop report, prepared by Craig Dorman, retired University of Alaska vice president for research, and entitled Toward a Strategy for the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, was circulated for community review in April.
The final document, which is available on the AOOS website, was released in late May and contains:

  • background information on the history of research and monitoring in the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea regions;
  • a description of current climate, economic, and policy challenges and potential cumulative impacts in these regions;
  • a summary of what participants felt were major information and data needs; and
  • short and long term recommendations to advance coordination, planning, and data sharing and address these needs.

AOOS will work with other partners to form a committee to follow up on the report's recommendations. For more information, go to the workshop website, or contact AOOS Director Molly McCammon (mccammon@aoos.org).