Meetings >> Report of CEON Planning meeting >> Organizational Structure

Section 4.5: What organizational structure would work effectively for CEON and what are the short to long term tasks and priorities.

This session served to orient, condense and recapitulate presentations, discussions and other activities of the meeting. Participants worked in one of two breakout groups that alternately constructed an internal organizational framework for CEON, and identified short to long term priorities that CEON could pursue.

Proposed Internal Organizational Structure of CEON:
The table below conceptualizes the proposed internal organizational structure and flow of information for CEON. A Joint Advisory Group (JAG) collectively and independently, through its individual members, advises an elected CEON steering committee. The JAG's membership is comprised of a sponsor and end users panel, an independent advisory board, a panel of representatives from networks partnered to CEON, and a station managers' forum. The CEON steering committee oversees and directs CEON activities through a secretariat, which could be divided between North America and Europe. The secretariat has direct connections with data center/s, working groups and integration team/s. The principal purpose of the integration team/s is to provide a function of quality assurance whereby the spatial and temporal integrity of measurements and the potential for integration between parameters, working groups and informational data is reviewed and methods of data collection adjusted accordingly. It is likely that modelers, statisticians and mathematicians would populate this group. Data collected from CEON observational platforms would be directed to working groups and data center/s following screening by the quality checking group/s. CEON observational platforms can most easily be defined as any platform that can provide environmental data congruent to the CEON mission.

# Task Description of task Priority Responsibility
1 Circulate meeting report NA <1 months Craig Tweedie
2 Draft terms of reference NA 0-3 months Present steering committee (PSC)
3 Form an interim integration team and include:
  • Modelling community
  • Human dimension (including indigenous knowledge) community
  • Natural science community
0-3 months PSC
4 CEON Web site Establish Web site 0-3 months Craig Tweedie
5 CEON Poster Create Generic CEON Poster 0-3 months Craig Tweedie
6 CEON Presentation Create Generic CEON Power Point Presentation 0-3 months Craig Tweedie
7 Broad assessment of existing sites and measurements Identify existing infrastructure and ongoing monitoring activities and continue to scope and develop the CEON partner base. 0-5 months One representative from each of the Arctic countries in a working group
8 Review how Arctic science is implemented and managed in different countries Identity similarities and differences between countries so that common/ standardized approaches can be developed and implemented in different regions of the Arctic where local administrative and cultural constraints exist 0-6 months One representative from each of the Arctic research countries - form a working group
9 IASC Proposal Write a proposal for IASC support < 6 months PSC
10 CEON Secretariat Solicit funds < 6 months PSC
11 CEON workshop Solicit funds < 6 months PSC
12 Email list Construct an email distribution list 3-6 months Craig Tweedie
13 Implementation strategy Draft an implementation strategy 3-6 months PSC
14 Create Brochure Develop a CEON brochure 6-12 months PSC
15 Formalize affiliations with network and site partners Based on reviews and assessments above, seek to formalize partnerships with CEON stakeholders 6-12 months PSC
16 Seek endorsement from CEON sponsors and end users CAFF (firstly), AMAP (firstly) Then maybe Arctic Council and others 6-12 months PSC
17 Follow up on the ACIA outcomes NA Ongoing Callaghan and Johansson
18 Identify the initial working groups
  • Identify working tasks
  • Identify funding sources
Ongoing CEON Partners
19 Develop new partnerships between existing networks Based on the development of new networks, gaps identified in the activities listed above etc, develop new partnerships to strengthen the disciplinary and spatial integrity of CEON Ongoing PSC

Themes, questions and hypotheses would be generated both within CEON and via input from the JAG through the sponsors and end users panel and the independent advisory board. It is important to note that TEK and representation of the indigenous peoples of the north would not be compartmentalized, but instead dispersed throughout the entire network to ensure adequate representation, input and action at all levels within CEON. Similarly, acquisition of funding, education and outreach, and connectivity to extra-CEON activities should occur at multiple tiers within CEON. Transfer of knowledge between entities within CEON will be enhanced through network-wide conferences, working meetings of different sub-groups and collaborations between sub-groups. A CEON website, email list and other cyber infrastructures will also facilitate transfer of knowledge and information within and from CEON.

The proposed internal organizational structure and flow of information identified for CEON by participants during the last day of the meeting.

Structural Map

This conceptual organization of CEON has the following benefits:

  • There is 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' flow of information through the JAG and the station managers' forum respectively.
  • There are 'self checking' protocols via the input of the independent advisory group and the data integration and quality checking team/s.
  • The network is can encompass new observation platforms, scientific themes and technologies relatively easily.
  • Through the acquisition of funds from multiple sources to support CEON activities at a variety of tiers, the structural stability of CEON will be increased and CEON will be free to function independently of programmatic themes and constraints as the dynamic needs for environmental observations in the north develops.
Tasks, Priorities and Responsibilities for the development of CEON:
The list below highlights the tasks, priorities and responsibilities identified during both breakout sessions. These emphasize that CEON needs to:
  • Maintain the wave of energy it has raised during the past year of development.
  • Develop documentation that formally identifies the network, its mission, objectives, scope and mode of operation.
  • Develop mechanisms for enhancing information transfer both within and external to CEON.
  • Review current monitoring efforts and capacities at a circum arctic scale and begin to identify locations, mechanisms and technologies that could be implemented to reduce gaps.
  • Solicit support for the convention of a large meeting where working groups could be formed, parameters for CEON to measure could be identified and refinement of the network structure and road map for future development could be reviewed.
The meeting concluded with discussion of the leadership of CEON and mechanisms by which the distributed networks, measurements, research histories and ongoing developments of CEON partners can be integrated and consolidated. There was group consensus that the present interim steering committee comprised of Terry Callaghan, Pat Webber, Bill Heal, Margareta Johansson and Craig Tweedie continue to oversee the development of CEON until a large workshop with a critical mass of CEON partners could be convened and elections held. Tweedie presented an interactive internet mapping and database application that he and his students have recently developed for the Barrow Environmental Observatory (, suggesting that a similar application with a circum-arctic focus could help visualize ongoing research and monitoring efforts in the Arctic and orient the future direction and development of CEON. Participants agreed that an application with the capabilities demonstrated would be beneficial to CEON.