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Linking Arctic User Information Requirements and Earth Observation Product Evolution

Explorer Hotel - Yellowknife, NWT

15-16 May 2018

LOOKNorth, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) are hosting a two-day workshop to hear directly from groups whose interests and activities are linked to the wellbeing of Arctic environments and who may have use for information that can be derived from Earth observation (EO) satellite data. The primary focus of the workshop will be to understand what these users need to know about mammal populations and habitat, and the impacts climate change and human activity are having on them.

The workshop will include presentations on current Arctic EO-related research and applications, providing context for focused workshop discussion of user needs and opportunities for potential new uses of EO data, support programs to build EO-related capacity in the Arctic and planning for future satellite missions.

We invite representatives from Arctic indigenous communities, government and industry to come together to discuss current and future information needs, and how EO-derived data may fill them.

Satellites continually orbit our Earth, taking “snapshots” of every area of our planet and collecting a wide variety of data 24/7. This data can be used to help us understand our Arctic land and water environments, as well as the impacts that climate change and human activity are having on our fragile and valuable ecosystems.  To improve the technology for capturing and analyzing satellite data for the benefit of Arctic peoples and ecosystems, we must understand the issues at stake, how various groups are addressing these issues now, and the information they will need to address issues into the future.

This is the third in a series of Arctic Product Validation and Evolution (APVE) workshops conducted by LOOKNorth, ESA and CSA. The APVE workshops aim to ensure that the information collected by national and international space agencies and provided to Arctic users is needed, accurate and in a usable form.

The first APVE workshop (Ottawa, Canada, 2014) brought together international experts in space engineering with polar scientists and other users of EO data to discuss how satellite data can be validated (proven accurate), used and presented.  The second workshop (Norrköping, Sweden, 2015) focused on existing agency data and how new future information products such as maps could be developed.

The third APVE workshop (Yellowknife, 2018) will focus on understanding the information needs of community-level users.  We will hear from groups working to address issues that affect Arctic environments and the people who live there.  The emphasis will be on fundamental issues such as wildlife populations and behavior, habitat changes, human access and food security.  Recognizing that each of these topics could fill its own workshop, APVE III will focus on Arctic wildlife (terrestrial and marine), considering the impacts of both climate change and human activity. 

For more information on this workshop and to register to participate, click here.