Project Report 

There is an urgent need to provide better observations and understanding of the rapid change sin the Arctic marine climate and ecosystem. This requires better international coordination of the limited observational assets that are available, an strong collaboration on analysis and synthesis of findings. To strengthen such pan-Arctic marine collaboration, a meeting between the four regional Arctic Distributed Biological Observatories (DBOs) was held on the first day of the ASSW 2024. The meeting agenda comprised status updates from the different DBOs, sharing of best practices, and suggestions and discussion for ways forward including topics for joint work in the coming year.

Among the highlights from the discussion are:

  • Agreement to work towards unified data products and joint synheses
  • Aim to use the SAON data portal as the main hub for finding all data (FAIR) from the DBOs
  • Establish a pan-Arctic DBO steering committee that will work on topics of mutual priority

Funding from IASC Marine Working Group helped four Early Career Scientists (ECSs) to travel to Edinburgh to join the meeting. All four had some prior knowledge of at least one of the regional networks but could now learn more about the other DBOs and  the pan-Arctic network. During the meeting, the ECSs presented their background, current work and visions for engagement with the DBO network.

In the announcement of funding support we welcomed applications both from indigenous knowledge holders (IKHs) and ECSs. In the end we only received applications from ECSs. We think that the lack of applications from IKHs is not necessarily due to lack of interest or relevance but likely due to two factors: a) our limited contact networks to reach the right people, early enough, and b) the limited funding available, which is only sufficient to cover partial travel costs and not working hours. We would appreciate a discussion being raised on these issues within IASC so that inclusion of IKHs, when desireable from their side, is more eaily achieved. Nevertheless, as mentioned at the beginning, it was very useful to have the four ECRs join our fruitful meeting, and we believe this funding mechanism is key to include young voices in the planning of the future observing system.

Date and Location: 

  • Fall 2023, Location TBC
  • ASSW 2024 (21 – 29 March 2024), Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


IASC Working Groups funding the Project:


Project Lead:

Arild Sundfjord (Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway)


Year funded by IASC



Project Status




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