Skip Walker (University of Alaska Fairbanks) recently represented IASC at the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)'s Bienniel meeting in Anchorage, Alaska on 4-6 February 2019:

  • I made a presentation to the CAFF Board describing the mission of IASC, the IASC working groups, the IASC Strategic Plan, SAON, the IASC Fellowship Program, the CAFF-IASC Fellowship Program, and a few CAFF-related IASC activities that I am most familiar with, including RATIC and the CAFF/IASC endorsed CAVM, AVA, and AVC projects.
  • The CAFF circumpolar vegetation group (CVG) has been part of CAFF Flora Group since 1992. It is currently engaged in several concrete products (described below) that are critical to our understanding and conservation of circumpolar Arctic vegetation.
  • The CAFF Flora Group (FG) shares several members with the IASC TWG, and many of the CVG activities are well aligned with the mission of IASC and could benefit from shared information and greater coordination between CAFF and IASC. Several of the CVG’s products have received the endorsement of both CAFF and IASC (* in the list below). 
  • The CAFF FG is currently going through major reorganization that could affect some of the IASC-endorsed products. It has been proposed that the FG be reorganized and merged with the CAFF Terrestrial Expert Group (TEG). Currently there is not a logical home for CVG within the TEG, so a concrete plan is needed on how to create a home.
  • After the meeting, I sent an email to participant members of the AVA, AVC, CAVM, and CBVM activities of the CAFF Flora Group and members of the IAVS TWG with a proposed plan to reorganize the CAFF CVG. I have since modified it somewhat. The plan is described below under recommendations.
  • I received a few positive responses, and would like to further develop the plan at an IASC TWG Arctic Vegetation Workshop at the ASSW 2019 meeting in Arkhangelsk that is being organized by Gabriella Schaepman-Strub (TWG) and others. A formal request describing the modified plan would be presented to the CAFF Management Board and the IASC TWG after the workshop.

If you are interested in representing IASC at an upcoming Arctic meeting, please contact the IASC Secretariat.