Arctic Special Interest Group (Arctic SIG)

Year established:  2012

The formation of the CMOS Arctic Special Interest Group was approved by the CMOS Council in 2012 based on a resolution passed at the 46th CMOS Congress in Montreal, in accordance with CMOS Bylaw #5.  The Arctic SIG serves as an advisory organization to the National Executive and Council on matters related to the Arctic region. It provides a forum for public, private, academic and even northern communities to work in support of issues specifically related to meteorology, oceanography and the environment.
The Terms of Reference (TOR) of the CMOS Arctic SIG are provided below.

Members of Arctic SIG Executive

Chair                                             David Fissel, ASL Environmental Sciences Inc.

Past-Chair                                      Helen Joseph, HCJ Consulting, DFO-retired

Arctic SIGnal Newsletter Editor:       Ann McMillan
                                                     Doug Bancroft, EO DVC Consulting
                                                     Martin Taillefer, Maritime Way Scientific
                                                     Mike Crowe, ECCC-retired
                                                     Ryan Flagg, Ocean Networks Canada

Activities in 2017

  • During the 2017 CMOS Congress, the Arctic SIG sponsored two scientific sessions: “Year of Polar Predictions”, chaired by Greg Smith of ECCC and “Strategies for Arctic Observing, chaired by Helen Joseph. Both sessions were well attended and generated interesting scientific presentations and discussions.
  • Arranged a plenary talk on the Arctic by Dr. Christian Haas of York University and the Alfred Wegener Institute.
  • Annual General Meeting was held during the 2017 CMOS Congress with twenty individuals in attendance.
  • Eight items involving Arctic research and news appeared in the CMOS Bulletin, including at least one in each of the six issues of 2017. The CMOS Bulletin of December 2017 (Vol. 45, No. 6) was an “Arctic Special Issue” profiling meteorological and oceanographic science in the Arctic.
  • Participated in the ArcticNet Arctic Change Conference in Quebec City in December 2017. The Arctic SIG representative judged student posters in the field of marine science.  Participation financially supported by ArcticNet.
  • The Arctic SIG Chair also attended the MEOPAR Annual Scientific Meeting in Montreal in June.
  • Arctic SIG became an Associate Member of Canadian Network of Northern Research Operators (CNNRO) in March 2017
Planned Activities for 2018
  • Support a scientific session at the 2018 CMOS Congress.
  • Host the Arctic SIG Annual General Meeting during the 2018 CMOS Congress.
  • The Arctic SIGnal newsletter will be produced on an ad-hoc basis and will focus on early stage research projects, story pieces, progress reports and will continue the interview series.
  • Continue a presence on CMOS Facebook and LinkedIn with an ArcticSIG subgroup.
Continue to seek new members to the SIG and also solicit future science feature stories for the CMOS Bulletin and the Arctic SIGnal

Terms of Reference

  1. In accordance with CMOS Bylaw #5 dealing with Special Interest Groups and recognizing that Canada's North is emerging as an important area for applications of meteorological, oceanographically and related knowledge and data, a special interest group on the Arctic (Arctic SIG) will serve as a focus for CMOS interests in the North.
  2. Objectives of the group include:
    1. Handling of CMOS interests related to the Arctic in a consistent and transparent manner ii. Acting as an advisory group to the National Executive Council and membership in discussions between CMOS and others on matters related to Canada's Arctic and Northern Regions.

    2. Developing awareness of the importance of meteorology, oceanography and related science to Northern development and Arctic environmental changes and issues

    3. The engagement and communication with Northern groups and communities about Arctic meteorological, oceanographic and environmental issues, data and scientific studies

    4. Create a neutral forum by which parties from public, private, academic and local communities both Canadian and foreign entities can work in support of Arctic meteorological, oceanographic, environmental issues, data and scientific studies

    5. Provide a networking environment in order to bring together all interested groups both public and private in order to further the study of Arctic meteorological, oceanographic and environmental issues, data and scientific studies addressing issues such as climate change

    6. Facilitate the publishing of specialized material in Atmosphere-Ocean and elsewhere tied to Arctic and Northern focused research and publications

  3. Mode of Operation: The group will normally work and meet by e-mail but will explore the use of technologies to facilitate national scope meetings and discussions. It may appoint ad hoc working and study groups as required. The need for a face-to-face workshop will be assessed.
    1. Monthly or quarterly working meetings

    2. Potential for specialized sessions at the CMOS Congress Reporting of activities on a quarterly basis to the CMOS National Executive.

    3. Sponsoring of a special track at the annual CMOS conference related to Arctic meteorological, oceanographic, environmental issues, data and scientific studies

  4. Core Activities
    1. To represent the interests of CMOS, to develop positions related to Arctic issues and present these to other groups or bodies.

    2. To act as an advisory group on discussion with the CMOS membership and on matters related to Canadian Arctic meteorology, oceanography and related matters.

    3. To engage Northerners in discussion related to meteorology, oceanography and related matters in the Arctic.

    4. Reporting, Budget and fees: A business plan outlining a targeted set of activities will be created that includes any potential fees and expenditures. This will be reported to the CMOS executive as per other committee reporting on an annual basis at the annual general meeting.

  5. Arctic SIG Mandate & TOR review
On an annual basis, the SIG Executives will convene a meeting to review and assess the SIG's mandate and terns of reference to ensure that they meet the intent and mandate of the group and CMOS.