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SPRI Review 2003: NERC Arctic Science Adviser

NERC Arctic Science Adviser

Professor Liz Morris (the NERC Arctic Science Adviser) continues to be based at the Institute, on secondment from the British Antarctic Survey. Her role is to help develop and facilitate new Earth System Science initiatives that require Arctic expertise and provide a focal point for UK research activities in the Arctic. A highlight of last year was the success of a consortium bid to the Natural Environment Research Council from a number of UK universities to undertake fieldwork in the Arctic to support calibration and validation of the CryoSat radar altimeter.

Building on the success of the Tyndall Centre meeting on 'Climate change, the Arctic and the United Kingdom: directions for future research' in 2002, the Foundation for Science and Technology organised an evening meeting on 'UK and the Arctic,' at which Professor Lawton, the Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, gave a keynote speech on Arctic science. This was followed by a Wilton Park conference 'Arctic Cooperation 12 years on: how successful?' organised by the Royal Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a Greenwich Forum conference 'Unlocking the Arctic's Assets.'

Liz Morris played an active role in these meetings in addition to speaking on Arctic climate change at a Green College Centre seminar and briefing the Canadian Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Hon. Robert D. Nault, MP, during his visit to London. During the year there has been an increasing emphasis on Arctic science within the NERC community, and this is likely to continue with the development of plans for the International Polar Year (IPY) in 2007 by the UK IPY Committee, of which Liz Morris and Julian Dowdeswell are members.

Liz Morris