A workshop to advance the international Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS) effort was held at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA USA on May 15-16, 2019.
Fifty-nine scientists and science managers participated in the workshop, including 17 early career and 19, international scientists. The workshop reviewed the scientific goals, planned and proposed cruises in 2020-21 and associated measurements of the SAS as well as expanding studies with the SAS Science Plan. Three focal working groups (Physical Oceanography, Marine Ecosystem, Carbon Cycle and Ocean Acidification) refined the core measurements with synergies emerging between the groups. Additional measurements, both ship-based and from non-ship assets, were endorsed if able to be accommodated without compromising the core SAS measurements. Locations of the SAS transects/tracks were discussed relative to the scientific justification for each, including placement relative to key hydrographic features such as boundary currents and relative to previously sampled transects.
Key next steps include centralizing information on SAS cruise tracks and establishing connections with regional programs focusing on shelf and nearshore environments. Pre-field synthesis activities should focus on standardization of methodology and centralized cataloguing of available existing data and post-field syntheses would be facilitated through 1-2 international workshops to discuss findings and further collaborations. The value of modeling to the SAS effort was recognized for both pre-field planning and post-field interpretation and future projections. Strategies to involve local indigenous communities in the research and to communicate the SAS plans, progress, and findings were identified, including the participation of indigenous peoples on cruises, working with existing local organizations (e.g., tribal, logistical), using social media to communicate science, community visits or science fairs, following NSF’s best practices for Arctic research, and designing attractive marketing materials. The SAS is an excellent opportunity to engage early career scientists in Arctic research and multiple potential activities to nurture this participation were identified. It was recommended that the SAS data management policy stated in the SAS Science Plan should be codified prior to the start of the field season. Data archiving and sharing would be achieved through a network of national data centers, coordinated by a central SAS site and thus virtually linked to provide data access to all SAS participants.
(Full report available here)