Upcoming IPY Events in 2009

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Want to get involved with the International Polar Year in 2009? Here are some upcoming IPY activities that you can participate in from the IPY Canada website:

1. International Polar Day – Ocean and Marine Life
The ninth and final Polar Day will be celebrated in March 2009 – Oceans and Marine Life. We would like to highlight many of the relevant Canadian IPY projects, so please contact Kristi Skebo (skebo@ualberta.ca) at the Canadian IPY Secretariat if you would like to participate in the educational activities and/or live events, be a media contact or issue a press release.

2. Canadian Youth Steering Committee (CYSC) Photo contest – deadline extended and prizes announced
Do you like to take pictures? Would you like to show the world what the North looks like?

Enter photos of your favourite animal or area, ask friends and family to pose for you, take pictures of your community and submit them to the Canadian Youth Steering Committee Youth Photo Contest! All submitted photos will be published and included in the CYSC time capsule to be stored in Yellowknife, NWT until the next International Polar Year. Twelve entry photos will be selected to produce a calendar to be sent to all entrants.

The contest is open to youth up to 20 years of age. The deadline for the CYSC International Polar Year Youth Photo Contest has been extended to February 28, 2009. First place winners in each contest category will receive CAD$2500 in gift certificates towards new cameras and photography accessories, second place in each category will receive CAD$1000 in camera equipment gift certificates, and third place in each category will receive CAD$500 in camera equipment gift certificates. Contest judging will take place after February 28, 2009 and we will contact the winners before March 31, 2009. There’s more information on the Photo Contest website: http://timecapsule.edublogs.org/photo-contest. Fill out the contest entry and consent form (available for download at the above website) and send it in to the CYSC along with your submissions.

3. IPY celebration in Geneva, Switzerland
On February 25th, 2009, the International Polar Year 2007-8 will be celebrating the past two years of IPY research and a report on the “State of Polar Research” will be released by the IPY Joint Committee. We hope that the February Celebrations will draw wide international media and political interest in polar research. We encourage all IPY participants to consider promoting your involvement with IPY during the weeks leading up to and/or following Feburary 25th.

All IPY Participants:
Whatever your involvement with IPY, consider using this increased media attention as an opportunity to promote your activity – in the field, classroom, local community, or country. Local media in particular will be interested in profiling your engagement in IPY, in the context of the ‘bigger picture’ that we can help supply.

IPY Projects:
We are asking every IPY project interested in media attention to choose a unique date to be profiled between January 20th and February 20th, 2009. On this date we will help promote your project via:
– a press release or story for IPY.org, and wider circulation around journalists
– scientists to be available for interview
– additional media information (images, film, international contacts available for interview, etc) as appropriate for the project, probably hosted on your own website

We also ask for a photo and brief project description for the February media page:
http://www.ipy.org/index.php?/ipy/detail/feb09_projects/. A preliminary list of IPY celebration events will be posted here http://www.ipy.org/index.php?ipy/detail/feb09_projects/ by the end of January.

To have your project highlighted in this way, please contact Rhian Salmon at the International Program Office (ipy.ras@gmail.com) and copy this information to Kristi Skebo (skebo@ualberta.ca) at the Canadian IPY Secretariat office.

4. Domestic IPY celebration events
The Canadian Secretariat and National Committee will be winding down their activities over the next few months, but intend to support a number IPY celebrations in Canada in February and March 2009. Please send any ideas about possible IPY celebration events to David Hik (dhik@ualberta.ca) or Ian Church (Ian.Church@gov.yk.ca).

March 5, 2009 12:00-2:00pm Whitehorse, Yukon – The Yukon Coordinating Office in conjunction with the Yukon Northern Contaminants Program and local Indian and Northern Affairs communications staff are hosting an event to highlight Yukon IPY projects. The event will be held at Yukon College at the distance learning facilities and community campuses. Contact Bob Van Dijken (Bob.VanDijken@cyfn.net) for more details.

Celebrations in other Northern communities will also take place throughout February and March, check the Canadian IPY Secretariat website www.ipycanada.ca for updates.

5. Call to recognize important contributors to IPY
Attention all IPY participants! Is there someone who has helped you out during IPY? Has an organization helped you to promote IPY? Have individuals or communities in northern Canada supported IPY research, training or outreach activities during the last few years? Please send the names of these invaluable individuals and organizations to the Canadian IPY Secretariat (ipysec@ualberta.ca) and their efforts will be recognized by the IPY National Committee. Since we were like to confirm this list by the end of January 2009, please send this information as soon as possible.

6. Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) report
Prepared by the SAON Initiating Group (IG), this report summarizes the collective efforts of 350 Arctic researchers, representatives of intergovernmental, national and subnational government agencies, representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations, and residents of the Arctic. A series of five SAON workshops in Stockholm, Edmonton, St. Petersburg, Incheon and Helsinki gave participants the chance to identify many opportunities to enhance the value of observations through better coordination within and among existing networks. Some of the identified gaps (current and future) in Arctic observing include: current Arctic observing sites do not adequately cover the Arctic region, observing data are fragmentary and not easily available, and only a part of the Arctic observing network is funded on a long-term basis. The recommendations of the SAON process, the full reports of the SAON breakout groups, the presentations at the SAON workshops and other related materials are available at www.arcticobserving.org.

Even though IPY set out to engage all Canadians and encourage recognition of our shared “Polar Citizenship” we take no responsibility for the weather across the country over the last month!

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This website was made possible by a generous contribution from the Leacross Foundation.