Meetings >> Report of CEON Planning meeting >> Meeting Summary

Section 1: Summary of the Meeting

  • CEON aims to promote environmental observations in the Arctic and dissemination of these to arctic researchers whilst encompassing and building on the strengths of existing stations and environmental observatory networks in the Arctic. The concept and development of a terrestrial (including freshwater) Circum-arctic Environmental Observatories Network (CEON) has been endorsed by the Forum of Arctic research Operators (FARO) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).

  • The principal aim of this meeting was to distribute international and disciplinary 'ownership' of the CEON concept and promote its development by outlining an international and multidisciplinary scope, identifying an internal organizational structure, and devising short to long term priorities for further development.

  • A total of 34 participants attended the meeting, representing all eight arctic nations, 11 of the 18 IASC member countries and a range of disciplines, potential stakeholders/ end users and established arctic networks, research collaborations and infrastructures.

  • The meeting was convened over two and a half days. Day one included presentations by most participants and highlighted the developments in CEON to date and the potential disciplinary breadth and network linkages CEON could link build. Presentations included many ideas of how CEON could benefit partners and how partners could contribute to the development of CEON. Day two focused on group discussion that outlined what comprises CEON, what is the mission of CEON, what are the objectives of CEON, and what approach should CEON adopt for its future development? During the last morning of the meeting, participants identified short to long term priorities for the development of CEON and drafted a conceptual internal organizational structure and flow of information and responsibility.

  • Short term goals that were identified include the construction of a website, submission of funding proposals, production of a CEON brochure and an assessment of ongoing monitoring efforts and infrastructures in the Arctic.

  • Long term goals that were identified included the convention of a large international meeting to discuss formation of working groups, parameters and methods.

  • The conceptual organizational structure identified for CEON emphasizes a top-down and bottom-up transfer of knowledge through the involvement of CEON sponsors and end users, an external review board and a station managers forum in a joint advisory group. The need for a steering committee, secretariat, range of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary working groups, and a data center/s was also identified as were groups for quality checking and issuing quality assurance of data products. The latter will guarantee that data collected for one parameter is of sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to permit comparison with another parameter. A broad range of potential 'sites' that will need to be incorporated within CEON was also identified, including large and well-instrumented observatories, community monitoring programs and remote infrequently visited sites. The need for involving Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and education and outreach throughout CEON was also highlighted.

  • Several CEON activities have succeeded since this meeting including the development of a CEON website ( and a presentation of CEON to the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council.