Aerial view of Accomplishment Creek and the Sagavanirktok River in the Brooks Range of Alaska.  Photo by D.L. Kane

CHAMP Science Steering Committee Meeting
5 December 2002
San Francisco Hilton

SSC Members Present
Roger Barry, NSIDC
Larry Hinzman, UAF
Henry P Huntington, Huntington Consultants
Rob Macdonald, U of Victoria
Kyle C. McDonald, JPL
A. David McGuire, UAF/USGS
Don Perovich, CRREL New Hampshire
Bruce Peterson, Marine Biological Laboratory
Mike Steele, U of Washington
Matthew Sturm, CRREL Alaska
James Syvitski, U of Colorado
Charles Vörösmarty, U of New Hampshire
Robin Webb, NOAA

SSC Members Absent
Mark Fahnestock, U New Hampshire
John Walsh, U of Illinois

Invited Guest Participants
Neil Swanberg, NSF ARCSS
Louie Tupas, NSF ARCSS
Dan Ferguson, ARCUS
Richard Dirks, JOSS
Jim Moore, JOSS

Agenda (Original below)

Neil Swanberg. Offered a charge and current status of ARCSS and the CHAMP Program. CHAMP Program proposals were selected based upon building a coherent, integrated program. The Freshwater Integration study (FWI) encompasses more than just CHAMP projects; it also includes ASOF. Successful implementation of this program will require embracing other ARCSS projects and programs. Need to build strong collaboration and cooperation among CHAMP and ASOF projects. This should be one coherent program focused upon freshwater cycle. CHAMP and ASOF need to coalesce into one united program as an ARCSS contribution to SEARCH.

Neil also described the changing nature of ARCSS around thematic issues and toward a systemic view of the Arctic. It was recognized that CHAMP/ASOF is the first cross-cutting effort within ARCSS and will be in a unique position to set precedents for programmatic integration across other portions of ARCSS. One important issue to be addressed by the CHAMP community soon is to identify major gaps in and obstacles to water cycle synthesis.

Charles Vörösmarty Summarized the purpose of meeting, that is, to begin defining the tasks necessary to guide the program over the next few years. This SSC meeting and the envisioned near and medium-term activities (see below) come at an important time, when we need to establish a clear approach to the successful execution of the program and its stated goals. He also provided a brief summary of progress to date, including the approval of the CHAMP Science Management Office (see attachment).


Implementation Plan. Given the need for integration and cross-fertilization across CHAMP-funded projects, the SC discussed the need for and format of a CHAMP implementation plan. Do we need an Implementation Plan? Not necessarily, if it means an 80-page book. We do, however, need a guiding document to build integration, define the relationship among projects, and define the questions this program will address.

We decided to create two documents. The first would be a "CHAMP Brochure" to educate the public, other US and int'l agencies and policy makers about the existence and purpose of this program. This would be backed-up by a more or less evolving "CHAMP Integration Plan" providing more detail and depth about the scientific activities of the Program. It should be of great value to CHAMP-ASOF investigators internally as well, outlining specific gaps and overlaps and to rank these in order of importance and achievability. This document should include a project matrix demonstrating linkages across individual funded efforts.

All-Hands Meeting. Given the nascent state of the program, with a substantial investment of resources by NSF, it was recommended strongly that we hold a 2-day PI meeting early in 2003 to exchange ideas and to begin drafting the Integration Plan. An Executive Summary emerging from this meeting could form the contents of the CHAMP Brochure.

The meeting is tentatively scheduled for the 2nd or 3rd week in February. The purpose is to align separate projects into coherent themes and to set priorities. The specific goals of the meeting would be to (a) introduce the funded research projects, (b) identify gaps, overlaps, and opportunities for collaborative, cross-cutting projects, and (c) identify the initial contents of the Integration Plan.

One way to organize the discussion at this meeting would be to take Figure 1-3 from the CHAMP workshop report (Figure 1 of the recent AGU-EOS article on CHAMP) and to map this to gaps and success stories in our understanding of key processes. A set of key, answerable science questions should organize the discussion. A geographically-specific assessment of our knowledge and information gaps should also be performed. CHAMP contributions to a planned July ARCSS synthesis workshop should also be made.

A suggestion was made to think in "Phases" of the program, perhaps in 5-year blocks from 5, 10, to 15 years. What could be achieved during each Phase?

The SC agreed that each participant should send project abstracts out to all program participants so we can collectively envision the whole program and can then better articulate our own contributions to the program. Each project PI should also send-out a PowerPoint summary of their project, particularly defining purpose and approach, one week prior to the conference. PowerPoint files will be given to CHAMP SMO for archiving on the CHAMP program webpage.

A suggestion was made for an on-line forum just prior to the scheduled meeting to create straw man list of program questions, list immediate issues and define longer-term scientific challenges. This will begin the process of identifying gaps, e.g. Buffer of Greenland Ice Cap and links to Human Dimensions. A pre-meeting online forum could be possible pending the timing of funds to the CHAMP Science Management Office.

Suggested Activities. The following three ideas could be pursued as part of the larger CHAMP/ASOF research agenda. These could be proposed during the All-Hands meetings:

  • Intercomparison Studies. Important insights can be gained by comparing technical approaches, models, and data sets. Several such activities are already underway (e.g. ACSYS/CLIC Numerical Experimentation Group studies on sea ice models; Greg Flato) and CHAMP researchers cold join/augment these studies.
  • Freshwater Budget Synthesis. After sufficient maturity of the CHAMP projects, could we assemble a coherent freshwater budget for the pan-Arctic system? Perhaps we could revisit and update the Freshwater Budget of the Arctic Ocean NATO ASI volume.
  • Graduate Student Activities. Perhaps on a biennial basis, thematic synthesis workshops involving CHAMP graduate students could be convened. These could be held in conjunction with the ongoing Arctic Symposium series. The SC suggested that grad students be included in forthcoming All-Hands meetings as well.

Cross-Fertilization with Ocean Investigators. To ensure maximum interaction with the oceans component of the freshwater cycle, it was suggested that we invite Peter Rhines to join SSC to more completely take stock of the goals of the ASOF program.

Cross-Fertilization with Other Agencies. The need to inform and enlist the inputs of other agencies was clearly recognized. These agencies include NASA, NOAA, and USGS. Either informal briefings of agency personnel or formal invitations to the all-hands meeting would be useful mechanisms to achieve such integration.

Data Issues and Policies, (Jim Moore, JOSS). As NSF-funded researchers, the CHAMP community has rights and obligations with respect to the timely release and use of data. JOSS (Joint Office for Science Support) and ADCC (Arctic Data Coordination Center) have developed long-standing protocols in this area. JOSS is the interim data center for ARCSS data sources while ADCC is the final, permanent archive. While the onus is typically on PIs to get data "ship-shape", these organizations are willing to support CHAMP in several capacities. First, they can send-out a questionnaire to match data sets to investigator needs, particularly important for supporting cross-project synthesis envisioned for CHAMP. Data policies can be discussed and made specific to CHAMP. This will require an ongoing dialogue with JOSS/ADCC and the community of scientists. JOSS has a near real-time information system which could be highly beneficial in support of CHAMP/ASOF field campaigns.

Getting the Word Out. Several means were discussed for outreach (both to the science and public communities). We already have distributed information on CHAMP through publication of the 2001 hydrology workshop report (published by ARCUS), as well as a 2002 paper in AGU- Eos (vol 83: 241, 244-245, 249). Hinzman and Vörösmarty will draft short articles for Witness the Arctic and Arctic Research of the US. The SC will jointly draft the Brochure. We need a logo and a Web site, both of which are awaiting final budget signatures at NSF. There were several additional mechanisms for disseminating our message including Special Sessions at AGU and Potential Synthesis activities, i.e. publishing a book State of the Arctic Hydrologic Cycle. The SC also suggested a CHAMP presence at the final ACSYS Science Conference in November of 2003.

Arctic-CHAMP SSC Meeting

Thursday, 5 December 2002
6:30PM -10:30 PM

4th Floor, Union Square 5 & 6
Hilton San Francisco
333 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415-771-1400; Fax: 415-771-6807

  • Charge from Neil Swanberg

  • Brief Overview on Where We Stand

  • Funding
    --Continued CHAMP Initiative support (ARCSS Core Funding, etc.)
    --Complementary Agency support (visits to NASA, NOAA, etc.)

  • Implementation Plan: Laying-out Our Science Agenda

  • CHAMP Contributions to ARCSS Synthesis Studies
    --Links to PACTS, HARC, LSI, SBI
    --Dahlem/Snowmass-type Conference

  • Data Issues (JOSS/R. Dirks, J. Moore)
    --Scope of our data coordination
    --Links to ADCC, JOSS
    --Nominees for ARCSS data coordinating committee

  • PI Meetings
    --Need for these (afford synthesis, write implementation plan)
    --Frequency? Venue?

  • Getting the Word Out
    -- AGU EOS publication, Nat'l/Int'l Meetings
    -- Early Products for a standard CHAMP Powerpoint presentation
    -- Witness the Arctic
    -- Web Site
    -- Brochure
    -- Other outlets

  • Arctic-CHAMP Project Office
    --Scope of responsibilities
    --Activities we should begin to plan

  • Cross-fertilization with (need liaison people):
    --Northern Basin Initiatives
    --Remote Sensing (e.g. QuickSCAT, GLIMS & ICESAT)

  • Summary of ALL-HANDS Workshop Deliberations

  • Next Meeting

Arctic CHAMP
Science Management Office

Contact Information
Role of the Arctic-CHAMP Science Management Office
Photo: Aerial view of Accomplishment Creek and the
     Sagavanirktok River in the Brooks Range of Alaska.  Photo by D.L. Kane