The Arctic Data Committee (ADC) currently has these activities: 

  • Mapping the Arctic Data Ecosystem (Lead: Peter Pulsifer, USA):
    This actiivity has a focus on the expansion of content, improvement of the display, database and query technology, and significant promotion of the results. WP activities will be done in collaboration with a complementary EU-PolarNet project.
    The current model is provisional and will be refined through continued consultation with communities of practice (e.g. atmospheric, Arctic ocean fisheries, documenting Indigenous knowledge etc.).
    More information: and
  • Common Metadata Elements (Lead: Julie Fridell, Canada)
    This activity will refine a previously developed inventory of different metadata profiles being used in polar science. Additional work and resources are required and a Canadian funding initiative may provide some support for this effort if successful. The goals in 2016 are to finalize the preliminary set of elements and discuss with expert groups, review with the ADC and the broader community and publish a first iteration. If possible, also validate the recommendations, make a list of compliant data centres and write a “Dummies Guide” for sharing metadata.
    More information:
  • Data Publication and Citation (Lead: Alex Tate, UK)
    A summary web page has been created containing references to a selection of key documents and best practices relevant to data publication and citation. There is agreement that principles and practices developed by other expert groups should be endorsed and promoted by the ADC (e.g. COPDESS).
    More information:
  • Network Building
    Network building and in particular building connections with external bodies focused on various aspects of data management, sharing and use is a priority. This will include applying for a World Data System membership and establishing a memorandum of cooperation with the Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management. A network building work package will be developed in Year 2 of ADC operations.
    More information: 
  • Response to OGC RFI Arctic Spatial Data Pilot
    The Committe has responded to a Request For Information from the Open Geospartial Consortium on a Arctic spatial data pilot project and the response is well reflected in the final report from the Consortium.
  • Engagement with GEO & GEO Cold Region Initiative (GEOCRI) (with CON)
    ADC and CON has provided input to the GEOCRI implementation plan  


The Committee on Observations and Networks (CON) has initiated inventory work on Arctic observational assets. A three-tier approach is taken:

  • State of National Inventories:
    • Countries are asked to report metadata about Arctic observational assets (networks, projects, programs, and platforms), following a predefined template
    • Countries are also asked to report on their plans for establishing and maintaining national inventories of Arctic observational assets. The report should address these questions
  • Detailed inventories will be developed within specific themes:
    • Arctic Fisheries. The work is done in partnership with the 'Scientific Experts on Fish Stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean’ and the ‘ICES/AMAP/CAFF/PAME Workshop on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) for the Central Arctic Ocean’
    • Atmosphere (Lead: Vito Vitale (Italy)). This work is done in partnership with the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA,
    • Permafrost. This work is done in partnership with the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P,
    • Community Based Monitoring. This initiative could update and provide additional information to the
      “Atlas of Community-Based Monitoring in a Changing Arctic” (
  • CON will develop general inventory templates/parameters
  • The detailed plan for the inventory work is found in the SAON CON Inventory Work Plan.


The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is the outreach event of SAON. SAON has one of three co-chairs of the Organising Committee. AOS has been held in 2013, 2014, and 2016. More information is found at




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