On March 13th, 2016, the meeting of ISIRA Advisory group of the IASC was held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks during the Arctic Science Summit Week. Over 60 people from 11 countries attended the meeting, including national members of ISIRA countries. The meeting was co-chaired by Volker Rachold (IASC Executive Secretary) and Yulia Zaika (IASC Fellow to ISIRA).

During the meeting, several key initiatives were discussed, along with several important presentations delivered by ISIRA members. The main presented outcome is the development of IASC Sub-Office located at the Arkhangelsk Scientific Center, which was presented by the IASC Vice President Prof. Vladimir Pavlenko. The Russian Sub-office of IASC will take the leading role in maintaining the ISIRA Group. The core strategic action plans regarding further activities and ISIRA development were also discussed during the closed part of the meeting.

Dr. Sergey Priamikov from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute presented an overview of the key recent scientific initiatives in the Russian Arctic including some logistics challenges and advices.

IASC Fellows Yulia Zaika and Andrian Vlakhov presented two important outreach achievements of the Advisory group: the Russian edition of the IASC Progress newsletter and the new ISIRA website.

Following the core IASC activities, ISIRA also tries to enhance the capacity building initiatives of the group by supporting the younger generation of Russian scholars. In 2016, two early-career Russian researchers have been supported by IASC and ISIRA Group to join the meeting in Fairbanks: Tatiana Matveeva from the Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Kirill Kivva from Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIIRO). During the meeting, the early-career scholars had an opportunity to present their latest research achievements.

National members of ISIRA Group from USA, Germany and Japan have also presented their respective overviews of the bilateral projects and research activities in the Russian Arctic.

The closed part of the meeting was restricted to ISIRA members, Russian early-career scholars and IASC Secretariat. As a result, a few important decisions were discussed and taken into consideration during this brainstorming meeting. The participants agreed to foster the core activities of the group, revise the its objectives and support the active role of IASC Sub-Office at Arkhangelsk Scientific Center in maintaining the ISIRA activities and its further development. The need of holding an additional in-person meeting of the group was mentioned, and such a meeting is being planned for 2016.

More information about the group and its activities can be found at ISIRA and IASC websites: www.isira.ru and www.iasc.info/isira