Southern Ocean Decade & Polar Data Forum Week 2021

Online, 20 - 24 September 2021 An Ocean Of Opportunities

Local to Global Collaboration: the foundation of the emerging polar data ecosystem

Peter Pulsifer and the Organizers of the Fourth Polar Data Forum

Understanding the Polar Regions is fundamental to understanding the physical, biological and social systems of the Earth. Appropriately documented and curated data of known quality in a variety of different forms is necessary for enhancing our knowledge. Decades of effort by members of the polar data community have contributed to enhanced collaboration including events such as the Polar Data Forum. The community is arguably growing, better resourced and more connected than ever. How do we ensure that the emerging polar data ecosystem continues to grow and thrive? What opportunities and challenges do we need to consider as we start the Fourth Polar Data Forum? This presentation will provide a brief history of polar data collaboration, identify potential community priorities, and propose models for enhanced collaboration.


Peter Pulsifer is Associate Professor with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. His research addresses questions around computer-based information representation with a particular focus on interoperability and data sharing across knowledge domains. This includes examining technical and social aspects of data and information sharing. For more than fifteen years he has worked in partnership with members of Arctic Indigenous communities to facilitate the sharing and ethical use of their local observations and Indigenous Knowledge. In his role serving as Chair of the international Arctic Data Committee, Peter is active in co-leading the coordination of polar data resources. Currently, Dr. Pulsifer is the co-lead of the Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability ( and leads a series of community-based research projects at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University where he is Associate Director.