IASC 25 years - Page 45

2.4 the creation of a Pacific Arctic Group (PAG) within Formation of the Pacific Arctic Group (PAG) John Calder Reviewer: Jacqueline Grebmeier the IASC structure. PAG would be a discussion group open to any IASC member and it would report on its discussions to the full IASC Council. The proposal identified Martin Bergmann of Canada as the initial Chair of the group, with Zhanhai Zhang of China as the initial Vice-Chair. John Calder offered to provide Formative Stage administrative support and other resources. The As IASC expanded its membership, three Asian proposal was previewed by Pat Webber and Odd countries (Japan, Korea, and China) became mem- Rogne who indicated it was on the right track. With bers. Yet the focus of IASC science remained on the this reassurance, Marty presented the proposal to Atlantic sector and the central portions of the Arc- IASC Council. After a brief discussion, Council agreed tic—regions of lesser interest to the Asian members to welcome PAG under its umbrella. who quite naturally viewed the Arctic from a Pacific perspective. Continuing Activities Marty and John worked to organize the initial PAG During the ASSW in April 2002 in Groningen, The meeting during ASSW 2004 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Netherlands, the Asian participants (including O. Perhaps because many PAG participants also par- Watanabe of Japan, B-K. Park of Korea, and Z. Zhang ticipated in the AOSB, PAG gravitated quickly to an of China) held a dinner and invited Odd Rogne, as ocean science focus. This was also logical as the Executive Secretary of IASC, to join them. There physical linkage of the member countries to the Arc- were informal discussions regarding the participa- tic was via the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering tion of Asian countries in IASC and Odd challenged Strait. An outcome of the 2004 meeting was the them to think about taking on a more active role. decision to organize a science symposium during Later discussions between Odd and incoming IASC ASSW 2005 in Kunming, China focused on the President Patrick Webber led to the idea of having theme “Circulation and Ecology of the Pacific Arctic a more open discussion at the next ASSW with the Shelves and Connection to Deep Basins.” There was aim of creating some means to develop an ‘Asian a good turnout of Asian countries and other Pacif- agenda’ within IASC. This idea became a goal that ic Rim members of IASC (Canada, Russia, and the Pat would champion in the months leading up to the United States), and many of the presentations were ASSW 2003 in Kiruna, Sweden. During this time, Pat published in the Chinese Journal of Polar Science. contacted a few people (for example, John Calder from the USA and Martin Bergmann from Canada) to gather ideas for meeting this goal. A decision was in Dartmouth, New Hampshire, USA, PAG developed made to hold a side meeting during the ASSW in and expanded its terms of reference and agreed on Kiruna to discuss the idea in more depth and, if pos- a set of science themes that were of mutual inter- sible, prepare a proposal for IASC to consider. John est. These remained focused primarily on ocean sci- and Marty organized the side meeting and it attract- ence. It became the norm that the meetings during ed significant participation. Following enthusiastic the ASSWs were focused on ‘business’ issues and encouragement from Pat and good discussion, par- an update on research plans for the coming summer, ticipants agreed that a subgroup of IASC should be while a fall meeting, hosted in various PAG countries, formed with the goal of identifying Arctic science focused on a review of accomplishments during the topics appropriate for IASC´s attention that would previous summer and outlooks for the future. These be of particular interest to the Asian and other Pa- discussions were useful in developing scientific ex- cific-bordering members. A proposal was prepared changes and other types of collaborations during quickly for consideration by Council that called for 44 00 During 2006 and continuing through ASSW 2007 and after field operations. 02 IASC Initiatives