PPP Societal and Economic Research and Applications (SERA)

The PPP Societal and Economic Research and Applications (SERA) subcommittee addresses the social-science and economics aspects of the Polar Prediction Project. Their research related to the needs for and the use of environmental information also includes decision-making processes by a diverse range of actors in polar regions and providers of environmental information. Furthermore, PPP-SERA team members and contributors intend to assess the communication between providers and users of polar weather and ice information. Hereby, the PPP-SERA subcommittee complements the aforementioned observation and modelling efforts of YOPP and aims at improving our understanding of user and provider needs, perspectives, values and behaviour.

PPP-SERA Activities

16 October 2017: Navigating Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information

A high-level document discussing research needs in relation to the use and provision of environmental forecasts for the Arctic and Antarctic regions during the Year of Polar Prediction has just been published.

“Navigating Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information for Safe Polar Mobilities” is the fifth document published as part of the WMO WWRP/PPP series. The authors of the document – the PPP Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) Subcommittee – argue that environmental forecasting systems are only of societal benefit if they are being used widely.  This entails that they can be accessed by stakeholders in the polar regions, are designed in such a way that users without a scientific or technical background can interact with them and, first and foremost, that they provide the kind of information that the users need to make their field operations safer, more efficient or more productive.

PPP-related research initiatives should „explore how weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) information is currently being used and produced in the Polar Regions, by whom, and for what reasons“ in order to help better understand decision-making processes when operating in the Arctic and Antarctica. The document is available for download.

14 September 2017: User Engagement sessions at Arctic Frontiers 2018

Together with APPLICATE, MOSAiCNansen LegacyN-ICE2015GreenEdge and BAYSYS projects, YOPP will host a joint topic titled “The New Arctic in a Global Context” (see 2nd Call for Papers) with 8 sessions over 3 days at the Arctic Frontiers Conference 2018. One of the sessions particularly dedicated to the “User Engagement” is chaired by PPP-SERA members Machiel Lamers (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) and Maaike Knol (University of Tromsø, Norway).

In this session, we explore the user-provider interface of weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) information in the Polar Regions: how is it currently being used and (co)produced, by whom and for what reasons. First, we are interested in exploring WWIC use in various human activities, including hunting and travel by Indigenous communities, industrial activities associated with resource extraction or transit of commercial vessels, tourism operations, search and rescue operations, government and research operations. There is a wide range of WWIC information available to support diverse aspects of polar operations, but how these are accessed or are influencing various decision-making and operational practices is largely unknown. Second, we are interested in exploring ways in which WWIC services can become more salient, or tailored towards decision practices of different users, in terms of content, format and interface. In an effort to better understand these issues, we seek submissions for this session from researchers, decision-makers, community members, operators, and others who regularly access and use WWIC to make decisions polar operations.

Deadline for abstract submission is September 19th. See here for registration. For any questions, Machiel Lamers (machiel.lamers@wur.nl) and Maaike Knol (maaike.knol@uit.no) can be contacted.

30 August 2017: Two ArcticChange sessions with PPP-SERA involvement

Colleagues from the YOPP sub-committee PPP-SERA will chair two sessions on Arctic navigation safety and shipping impacts at this year's ArcticChange conference. The ArcticChange conference 2017 will be held in Quebec City from December 11-15, 2017. The Call for Abstracts is currently ongoing with a deadline for submissions on September 22, 2017.

Abstract submissions are invited for two topical sessions within the theme of Arctic Navigation, Geopolitics, and Security. Chaired by PPP-SERA co-chair Jackie Dawson (University of Ottawa, Canada) and her colleague Gita Ljubicic (Carleton University, Canada), participants of the session "Access and Use of Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information (WWIC) for Safe Arctic Navigation" (NAV01) will discuss ways to improve the understanding of WWIC use in various human activities in polar regions. In a second session co-chaired by Jackie Dawson, shipping-related issues will be focused on. Further information on this session entitled "Understanding the Impacts of Arctic Shipping and Maritime Traffic: from Plankton to People" (NAV03) and other topical sessions of the ArcticChange conference can be found here http://www.arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2017/pages/topical-sessions.php

Abstracts can be submitted until September 22, 2017, directly through the ArcticChange website: http://www.arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2017/pages/abstracts.php

For further information you may either contact Gita (Gita.Ljubicic@carleton.ca) or Jackie (Jackie.Dawson@uottawa.ca) or check the conference webpage at http://www.arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2017/index.php.

14 June 2017: PPP-SERA meeting at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

The third meeting of the PPP sub-committee Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) was held from April 5–9, 2017 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Fairbanks, Alaska. Focus of the meeting was to finalize a scoping document entitled “Navigating Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information for Safe Polar Mobilities” which sets the base for the implementation of an action and research response plan envisaged for the social science contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction.The report of the Alaska meeting can be found here.

For further news please check on the News section.