About the Arctic Observing Summit

The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is a biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination, and sustained long-term (decades) operation of an international network of Arctic observing systems.

In practice, this means gathering the Arctic observing community together to exchange ideas and develop ways to collaborate, share resources, and improve Arctic observing.

Before the Summit

AOS organizers develop the Summit theme and sub-themes. The theme for AOS 2020 is “Observing for Action.” Working groups are built around sub-themes to start organizing community input and planning for the Summit.

A call for white papers and short statements is the first opportunity for the broader observational community to provide input into the organization in a year’s AOS.

In addition to white papers and short statements, the Roadmap for Arctic Observing and Data Systems (ROADS) provides an important framework for work at the summit. Learn about ROADS background.

During the Summit

The AOS fosters communication and collaboration between academia, agencies, Indigenous Peoples, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and others involved or interested in long-term observing activities.

A key goal for Arctic observing is to achieve equity and representation for Indigenous Peoples in arctic research. The great value of the AOS is as a forum that brings these diverse interests together and allows for exchange of ideas.

The AOS sessions include plenary presentations, breakout sessions, and poster presentations.

After the Summit

Following the summit, AOS organizers distill discussions notes, white papers, short statements, and participant feedback into a statement for the Arctic Science Ministerial.

Outcomes from the summit also help the efforts of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks to coordinate Arctic observing.

Building on the white papers submitted to the summit, there will be an opportunity to submit full papers for publication – after peer review – in a special issue of the journal Arctic in late 2020.

AOS is held biennially in conjunction with Arctic Science Summit Week.




Akureyri Municipality  •  Icelandic Centre for Research  •  Iceland Ministry for Education, Science and Culture  •  Iceland Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources  •  Iceland Ministry for Foreign Affairs  •  Norlandair  •  United States Embassy in Iceland  •  University of Akureyri
See a full list of Arctic Summit Science Week sponsorship

The International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) ● ISAC International Program Office ●  www.arcticchange.org
Arctic Institute of North America ● AOS Secretariat: International Arctic Research Center