A variery of workshops are being organized for the IPY 2012 Conference

Free Pre-Conference Workshops Register now!

Science Policy 101: The Integration of Science and Policy

This pre-conference workshop will provide a general overview of science policy, both in terms of "policy for science" and "science for policy." Given the theme of IPY 2012 -- "From Knowledge to Action" -- the workshop will place particular emphasis on the integration of science and policy. Whether labelled as "from bench to bedside", "mind to market" or "knowledge to action" the need to translate and mobilize new ideas and scientific knowledge into useful applications and actions is receiving increasing attention by researchers, funding agencies and policy makers.

This introductory session is intended for researchers, policy analysts, journalists/communicators, students and others interested in gaining a basic understanding of science policy, and participants need not have any prior knowledge of science policy. In addition to conveying basic terms and concepts, key players, key issues, etc., the interactive workshop will use case studies to explore topics such as the "two cultures" of science and policy and mechanisms for bridging the divide. The workshop will also point to additional sources of information, resources and professional opportunities. Led by experts in science policy, the workshop will underscore the importance of understanding how science can influence the policy-making process and how policy-making can influence the research enterprise for mutual positive impacts.

We hope that you can join us on Sunday April 22nd. This will be a 5 hour workshop to begin at 9am and run through to 4pm, with a 90 minute break for lunch. Participants will be responsible for their own lunch and will have the option of a number of facilities within the conference center or in the nearby restaurant district. If you have any questions about this event or would like more information, please contact the organizers at .

Dates: April 22
Cost: Free

Online registration for this free event:

Foresight Scenario Workshop on Energy and Environmental Security

On behalf of the US Air Force, we would like to invite you to participate in an afternoon workshop to explore future energy and environmental security risks. The USAF Minerva Initiative on Energy and Environmental Security is tasked with exploring new risk assessment and foresight methods for security planning, including outreach to international partners and allies. As part of this effort, USAF Minerva is hosting a series of scenario creation workshops, designed to bring together experts from both security and scientific backgrounds.

Scenarios are often used by planners to integrate emerging scientific data with risk assessments, to provide glimpses into possible futures. Used by groups as diverse as the IPCC and Dept. of Defense, scenarios provide the backdrop for translating scientific data into action.

The Sunday session will offer a background to vulnerability and risk assessment methods for energy and environmental security (EES). The workshop will be structured into small-group discussions that will work towards creating new EES scenarios according to the wide variety of expertise in the room. Now in use by the US Air Force and NATO, this process allows participants to prioritize emerging risks, while tracing complex interactions that may have been previously unnoticed. As a relatively open process, the group is not forced or guided into pre-conceived futures, meaning that each workshop group develops a unique scenario. The Minerva EES program is dedicated to the sharing of free and unclassified information, understanding that collective security risks are complex, and can only be identified in advance by engaging with global, expert communities. Participants will learn how changing environmental conditions can lead to security risks, and how the scientific community can positively contribute to assessments of human, environmental, and energy security.

We hope that you can join us at Montreal's Palais des Congres on Sunday April 22nd. The workshop will begin at 9am and run through to 2pm. Participants will be responsible for their own lunch.

Registration for this event is now closed.

Contact: Tracy Walstrom Briggs ()

Date: April 22
Cost: Free

PolarEDUCATORS Workshop

As part of the IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action Conference, a PolarEDUCATORS Workshop (April 20-22, 2012) is being organized by Students on Ice to bring together 150 international educators to attend a two-day professional development workshop. Participants will hear stimulating talks from polar scientists, educators, indigenous Arctic community members, as well as leaders and innovators working on some of the most critical issues facing the planet. You will try new activities, experiments and lessons that you will be able to adapt for use in your own classroom. For more information, see the PolarEDUCATORS page.

Dates: April 20-22
Cost: $295 (includes entry to Conference)

Pre-Conference Workshops (Registration now closed)

Career Development Workshop

For students and early career scientists, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the ArcticNet Student Association are working together on a career development workshop entitled From Knowledge to Careers to be held April 19-22, 2012. For more information please visit the workshop website at

Dates: April 19-22
Cost: Free

Past Events

Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating a Growing Understanding of Change into a Research Agenda for Action

An International Study of Arctic Change Workshop ( that will take place BEFORE THE CONFERENCE on January 30-31, 2012.

The Arctic needs a concisely designed program to respond to environmental change. It needs to turn knowledge into action. The International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC,, in partnership with the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, announces a Responding to Arctic Change Workshop, January 30-31 2012, to be held at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. This workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders affected by or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 event that is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012.

Many arctic environmental change research programs are either explicitly or implicitly designed around three components: Observing Change, Understanding Change, and Responding to Change. The international arctic research community has made great strides implementing programs and networks that address Observing and Understanding, but there is still a lack of progress in defining and implementing a collaborative and coordinated research agenda that addresses Responding to Change. This is partially because the topic of Responding to Change expands traditional academic approaches into the domain of practice, and partially because full integration of stakeholders into the science planning process is only a relatively recent priority. Yet stakeholder involvement in the definition of research that will address problems stemming from arctic environmental change, and in the implementation of potential solutions for adaptation, management and mitigation of change is the way forward. The delay in the implementation of Responding to Change programs has not only impacted the ability of the research community to offer solutions for coping with change, but it is now also impacting the design optimization of a pan-Arctic, multi-domain observing system that can simultaneously serve stakeholder and research needs. Similar shortcomings exist for the proper development of an Understanding Change component which also should be informed by stakeholder needs for information.

Workshop Objectives

The top priorities for the initial ISAC Responding to Change workshop identified in prior planning activities are:

  1. To establish, among a spectrum of stakeholders, including the science community, a common understanding and definition of what is meant by responding to arctic environmental change.
  2. To produce a preliminary assessment of the alignment between information flowing from established arctic observing initiatives and stakeholder needs for information that will be used to inform the planned, international, and recurring Arctic Observing Summit, as well as other programs aimed at understanding arctic environmental change.
  3. To identify tractable science questions that align with stakeholder needs for information and that can be addressed in the short-term, with an emphasis on informing risk assessment, risk management, resilience, adaptation, and mitigation over the long-term.
  4. To produce recommendations for moving forward science/stakeholder partnerships, and improving communications among these diverse parties.

The workshop will result in a Conference paper destined for the IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action Conference, 22-27 April, Montreal. A follow-up 1/2 day "Future Activities" meeting will also be held on Sunday 22 April 2012, in Montreal, with participants attending the IPY 2012 Conference. For more information, consult the workshop website at: