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July 2013, updated 1 August 2013

Excellent progress continues to be made in organizing the "1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan". Late in 2012, planning began in earnest by a SCAR Action Group (AG) on Horizon Scan Planning approved by the SCAR Delegates in Portland, OR, U.S.A. in July 2012. Professor Mahlon C. Kennicutt II, past President of SCAR, and Professor Jerónimo López Martínez, SCAR President, were invited and agreed to Chair and co-Chair the AG respectively. Over a several month period, the AG began to address the many aspects involved in developing a strategy and implementation plan that ensures wide community participation in the Science Horizon Scan.

The AG considered a range of options to structure the process and conduct the various facets of the Science Horizon Scan including community-wide solicitations for input, financial support for the activity, the schedule for a Retreat, and assembling support documents for the effort. These outcomes of these efforts have been summarized and are available on the Science Horizon Scan website and progress is summarized in a recent News Item. The membership on the AG was considered on several occasions and expanded to meet various goals and especially to ensure diversity in geography, stage of career, gender and topical representation on the planning group. Once core funding was committed and the AG met its terms of reference, it was to be replaced by an International Steering Committee (ISC).

SCAR is pleased to announce that invitations were extended and accepted and the ISC is now officially established to complete the planning efforts and manage the Science Horizon Scan. Professors Kennicutt and López Martínez have agreed to Chair and Co-Chair the ISC respectively. The same considerations of inclusion, diversity and representation were taken into account in establishing the ISC.

The International Steering Committee is currently comprised of 25 members from 15 countries and includes the President and past President of SCAR, the SCAR Executive Committee, the Chief Officers of the three SCAR standing Scientific Groups, the five Muse Prize winners, Directors of National Antarctic Programs, Horizon Scan experts, and scientists, researchers and topical experts. If you have any questions or wish for more details on any aspects of the Scan and its planning, please contact a member of the ISC or the SCAR Secretariat.

The Horizon Scan process is based on inclusive, community-wide consultations led and managed by SCAR. Horizon Scan organizers invite all interested parties and individuals to participate throughout the process. No formal association with SCAR is necessary and the intent is to develop as broad a view as possible of future directions in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science, regardless of the source and/or affiliation of contributors. Not only do we want everyone to participate, your participation is essential for ensuring the credibility of the outcomes of the Horizon Scan.