A distant sunset illuminates icicles hanging off a building.
Sarah Slack: "Water that splashes onto the deck of the ship often freezes on the rails on the coldest days." Aboard the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer icebreaker in the Southern Ocean. Photo credit:

US AON supports international efforts to drive coherence across Arctic observing.

The closest partner in this effort is Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON), an international initiative that fosters improved observing and data systems across the Arctic.

SAON is currently focused on developing a comprehensive Roadmap for Arctic Observing and Data Systems (ROADS process), which will assemble and advance high-level observing frameworks that already guide much of Arctic observing into a comprehensive whole to reveal strategic opportunities and mobilize partnerships to act on them. The US AON Board provided important input to and support for the creation of the ROADS process, and is developing approaches to implement the process nationally. US AON's Benefit Tool, societal benefit frameworks, and gaps evaluation efforts are closely aligned with the international SAON Roads process. Additionally, US AON facilitated a cohesive multi-agency review and input to the Arctic Science Ministerial’s 2021 joint statement. The final statement reflected strong support for the SAON ROADS process.

The IARPC Observing team meets regularly as the national coordination body on Arctic observing networks and data systems in support of international initiatives like Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) and its Arctic Data Committee (ADC). This provides the observing community with an opportunity to hear updates about international efforts and provide their input and feedback to US representatives to these international organizations.

Every two years, the international Arctic observing community comes together for a conference: the Arctic Observing Summit, hosted by SAON and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The US AON Board and community have been active participants in AOS since it began in 2013. Additionally, US AON utilizes the IARPC Collaborations Observing team to summarize AOS contributions and important themes, share them with the Arctic Observing community, and host relevant discussions in between conferences to drive continuity and progress towards international coordination and shared goals.