News Archive

Witness the Arctic

29 July 2020
Witness the Arctic

This issue includes news about the new NSF Director, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan; updates from NSF’s Office of Polar Programs; summaries of recently released strategic plans from NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and from the American Geophysical Union (AGU); science articles about understanding circumpolar bear ceremonialism and about the changing carbon cycle of the Arctic Ocean; updates on the PolarTREC program and the Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 project; overviews of the first Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) Investigators Meeting and of the sixth annual APECS conference; comments from the ARCUS Executive Director, Board President, and other board members; and a highlight of ARCUS member institution, Kawerak, Inc.

2020 July Sea Ice Outlook Report is Now Available Online

27 July 2020
2020 July Sea Ice Outlook Report is Now Available Online

The 2020 July Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) report is now available online. The Sea Ice Outlook, an effort managed by the Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2), provides an open process for those interested in Arctic sea ice to share predictions and ideas. The monthly reports contain a variety of perspectives—from advanced numerical models to qualitative perspectives from citizen scientists. The Outlook is not an operational forecast.

For the 2020 July report, 38 contributions were received that included pan-Arctic predictions. Of those contributions, 10 included predictions for the Alaska Region and 7 included pan-Antarctic predictions. Additionally, we received 13 submissions of sea-ice probability and 10 submissions of first ice-free date. New this year, the report includes ice-free conditions for the Hudson Bay region; the September sea-ice concentration contour in the Fram Strait region, motivated by the MOSAiC expedition; and we invited contributors to submit initial conditions (sea-ice concentration and sea-ice thickness) of their forecasts to better understand how observations are being used in forecasts.

For the pan-Arctic, the median July Outlook value for September 2020 sea-ice extent is 4.36 million square kilometers, with quartiles of 4.1 and 4.6 million square kilometers. The median is close to the observed 2019 September sea-ice extent of 4.32 million square kilometers.

SIPN2 Webinar - Call for Registration

16 July 2020
SIPN2 Webinar - Call for Registration

The Sea Ice Prediction Network – Phase 2 (SIPN2) invites registration for an open webinar entitled “Machine Learning—Challenges and Opportunities for Applications in Sea-Ice Prediction.” This webinar will focus on the use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, on how such approaches can be applied in cryospheric research, as well as related challenges and limitations. Discussion will include the use of advanced machine learning algorithms in climate science with attention on how to improve the prediction of future sea-ice. Time for participant questions will follow the presentations. This one-hour event will be held on Wednesday, 29 July 2020 starting at 8:00 am (AKDT).

New Resources Available Through PolarTREC

9 July 2020
New Resources Available Through PolarTREC

We are excited to announce new resources available through the PolarTREC website. Whether you are a classroom teacher looking for new lessons for next fall or an informal science educator looking for new ideas to use with your audiences - PolarTREC has resources for you! Recently published resources include:

SIPN2 Webinar

8 July 2020
SIPN2 Webinar

SAVE THE DATE for a Sea Ice Prediction Network webinar titled “Machine Learning—Challenges and Opportunities for Applications in Sea-Ice Prediction” scheduled for Wednesday, 29 July 2020 from 8:00 9:00 am (AKDT). This webinar will focus on the use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, on how such approaches can be applied in cryospheric research, as well as related challenges and limitations. Discussion will include the use of advanced machine learning algorithms in climate science with attention on how to improve the prediction of future sea-ice. Time for participant questions will follow the presentations. Registration instructions will be announced closer to the event.

Witness Community Highlights

30 June 2020
Witness Community Highlights

The June 2020 issue of Witness Community Highlights is now available online. This issue includes two articles: “Arctic Data Center's New Customizable Portal Service,” summarizing features, applications, and examples of effective use of the new data tool; and “US Arctic Research Commission Hosts Virtual Conference and Workshop,” highlighting discussion panels and topics addressed during the virtual conference on COVID-19 Impacts in the Arctic, held in mid-May 2020; as well as an overview of the Virtual Alaska Electric Vehicle (EV) Workshop held in mid-June 2020.

Call for Sea Ice Outlook Contributions

29 June 2020
Call for Sea Ice Outlook Contributions

The Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2) announces the Call for Contributions for the 2020 Sea Ice Outlook July Report (based on May and June data). The Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) provides an open process for those interested in Arctic sea ice to share ideas. Pan-Arctic and Regional Sea Ice Extent Outlooks and any additional figures and gridded fields will be accepted for the 2020 July Outlook. We particularly encourage submissions for the Alaska region (i.e., Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas). All participants whose methods provide information at the local scale to are encouraged to provide full spatial fields via the SIPN Data Portal. First ice-free dates (IFD) for Hudson Bay will be calculated from the full spatial fields that cover this region. For those interested, submissions the September 2020 80% sea ice concentration contour for Fram Strait are also invited. The 2020 SIO will also accept pan-Antarctic sea ice extent of the September monthly mean. Additionally, we encourage submissions to the associated effort of the Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment.

Submission deadline: 6:00 p.m. (AKDT) Monday, 13 July 2020 (Firm).

2020 June Sea Ice Outlook Report is Now Available

26 June 2020
2020 June Sea Ice Outlook Report is Now Available

The 2020 June Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) report is now available online. The Sea Ice Outlook, an effort managed by the Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2), provides an open process for those interested in Arctic sea ice to share predictions and ideas. The monthly reports contain a variety of perspectives—from advanced numerical models to qualitative perspectives from citizen scientists. The Outlook is not an operational forecast.

For the 2020 June report, 33 contributions were received that included pan-Arctic predictions. Of those contributions eight included predictions for pan-Antarctic and the Alaska Region. Additionally, we received 13 submissions of sea-ice probability and ten submissions of first ice-free date. New this year, the report includes ice-free conditions for the Hudson Bay region; September sea-ice concentration contour in the Fram Strait region, motivated by the MOSAiC expedition; and we invited contributors to submit initial conditions (sea-ice concentration and sea-ice thickness) of their forecasts to better understand how observations are being used in forecasts.

For the pan-Arctic, the median June Outlook value for September 2020 sea-ice extent is 4.33 million square kilometers, with quartiles of 4.06 and 4.59 million square kilometers. The median is close to the 2019 June Outlook, of 4.40 million square kilometers, and to the observed 2019 September sea-ice extent of 4.32 million square kilometers.

Accounting Assistant Position

22 June 2020
Accounting Assistant Position

ARCUS is seeking an Accounting Assistant. This position, based in Fairbanks, Alaska, reports to the Director of Finance and Human Resources and provides accounting and administrative support to ARCUS. The position is temporary part-time with the possibility of developing into regular part-time.

2020 Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook Season Closes

22 June 2020
2020 Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook Season Closes

The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook concluded the 2020 season on Friday, 12 June after twelve weeks of weekly reports featuring local observations from seven Bering Strait Communities, National Weather Service sea ice and weather forecasts, and NWS and ACCAP satellite images. All reports are available in our archive. Thank you to our local observers and partners for a productive season!

Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) Investigators Meeting Talks, Reports, & Summary Notes

12 June 2020
Navigating the New Arctic (NNA)

Lightning talk videos, project update reports, and summary notes from the first Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) Investigators Meeting are now available and can be found on the NNA Investigators Meeting webpage. The meeting was held virtually 16-17 April 2020.

Call for Sea Ice Outlook Contributions

22 May 2020
Call for Sea Ice Outlook Contributions

The Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2) announces the Call for Contributions for the 2020 Sea Ice Outlook June Report (based on May data). The Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) provides an open process for those interested in Arctic sea ice to share ideas.

Pan-Arctic and Regional Sea Ice Extent Outlooks and any additional figures and gridded fields will be accepted for the 2020 June Outlook. We particularly encourage submissions for the Alaska region (i.e., Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas). All participants whose methods provide information at the local scale to are encouraged to provide full spatial fields via the SIPN Data Portal. First ice-free dates (IFD) for Hudson Bay will be calculated from the full spatial fields that cover this region. For those interested, submissions the September 2020 80% sea ice concentration contour for Fram Strait are also invited.

The 2020 SIO will also accept pan-Antarctic sea ice extent of the September monthly mean. Additionally, we encourage submissions to the associated effort of the Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment.

Submission deadline: 6:00 p.m. (AKDT) Wednesday, 10 June 2020 (Firm)

Witness Community Highlights

22 May 2019
Witness Community Highlights

The May 2020 issue of Witness Community Highlights is now available online. This issue includes “Winter Worlds Project Highlights the Wonders of Snow in Alaska and Beyond.” This article summarizes the science education efforts of the Informal Science Learning project, “Our Winter World,” with examples of snow-themed community science nights in Alaskan villages; the design and development of a traveling museum exhibition on snow; and research exploring how cultural background affects learning in museum settings.

Arctic Research Seminar Series with Gerald “J.J.” Frost

18 May 2020
Arctic Research Seminar Series with Gerald “J.J.” Frost

ARCUS invites registration for our next Arctic Research Seminar featuring Gerald “J.J.” Frost (Alaska Biological Research, Inc.). This seminar, discussing the “greening” of the Arctic, will be held Friday, 29 May 2020 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. AKDT (1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT) online via Zoom.

Science Writer/Editor Contract Position

18 May 2020
Science Writer/Editor Contract Position

Update: We are no longer accepting applications for this position. ARCUS is seeking a freelance contract science writer/editor! This three- to six-month contract position will work with staff and contributors to our Witness the Arctic and Witness Community Highlights online newsletters, and other publications. Applications were due by 5:00 pm AK on Sunday, 31 May 2020.

Polar Technology Conference Presentations and Recordings Available

7 May 2020
Polar Technology Conference Presentations and Recordings Available

The Polar Technology Conference was held during 10–12 March 2020 in Boulder, Colorado. The goal of the meeting was to link experts in polar science and technology development to discuss current technological resources for polar research and identify barriers to research and application of technology for problems unique to polar regions. Recordings of plenary presentations and presentation files for talks and posters are now available on the conference webpage. This activity was a cooperative effort among the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs, the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, and the polar research community.

SEARCH Webinars

30 April 2020
SEARCH Webinars

The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is holding two webinars—open by registration and scheduled for 14 May and 18 May—for participants to discuss Arctic research needs in the context of the Arctic Futures 2050 conference report and other observations and research. Those discussions will help SEARCH develop both its future programs as well as offer input to the 5-year Arctic research plan being developed by the Interagency Arctic Policy Research Committee (IARPC).

Witness Community Highlights

27 April 2020
Witness Community Highlights

The April 2020 issue of Witness Community Highlights is now available online. This issue includes an article, “Tracking Alaskan Arctic Changes Through a Collaborative Network of Coastal Indigenous Communities,” that is an overview of the Alaska Arctic Observatory & Knowledge Hub (AAOKH) ongoing work to provide northern Alaska coastal communities with the tools, resources, and scientific support to share their expertise through observations of changing coastal conditions and associated impacts to their access of traditional marine resources.

SIPN2 Webinar - Registration Available

23 April 2020
Photo by Dave Jones

The Sea Ice Prediction Network – Phase 2 (SIPN2) invites registration for an open webinar entitled "Understanding Stakeholder Information Needs for Sea-Ice Forecasting." This webinar will include an overview of stakeholder groups and their information needs, examples of how stakeholder groups deal with sea-ice and relate to sea-ice information, and discussion of how information gathered through stakeholder engagement can be of use to the sea-ice forecasting community. Time for participant questions will follow the presentations. This one-hour event will be held on Tuesday, 28 April 2020, starting at 8:00 a.m. (AKDT).

2020 PolarTREC Expeditions Postponed

16 April 2020
2020 PolarTREC Expeditions Postponed

COVID-19 has had far reaching impacts. In response to this uncertainty and for the safety of the teams and the communities of which they would visit, the deployment of all the 2020 PolarTREC educators to both the Arctic and Antarctica has been postponed until 2021. We will continue working with all the teams over the next year and in preparation for 2021. In the meantime, we'll be highlighting past expeditions and continuing to host science focused seminars.