Navigation Systems

10/15/2018: Recap of North American Ice Service’s 16th annual meeting focusing on modernization of ice services


Picture of NAIS meeting participants

Co-Chairs and Co-Directors of NAIS, Participants, and Observers. Pictured from left to right: Mr. Rajiv Khandpur, Chief, USCG Office of Waterways and Ocean Policy; Mr. John Parker, Director, Canadian Ice Service; Mr. Russ White, Director, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Cmdr. Kristen Serumgard, Commander, International Ice Patrol; Mr. Carven Scott, Director, US National Weather Service Alaska Region; Mr. Tom Cuff, Director, NOAA National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center; Cmdr. Ruth Lane, Director, US National Ice Center; Mr. Soren Olufsen, Deputy Director for Operations, Danish Meteorological Institute; and Mr. Keld Qvistgaard, Senior Ice Advisor, Danish Meteorological Institute. Photo by Lt. Cmdr. Caroline Bell, International Ice Patrol.

Written by Mr. Rajiv Khandpur, Chief of the Office of Waterways Management, and Cmdr. Kristen Serumgard, Commander of the International Ice Patrol

The International Ice Patrol (IIP) hosted the 16th annual meeting of the North American Ice Service (NAIS) at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy campus in New London, Connecticut, Sept. 10-13, 2018.

The NAIS is a collaborative organization between the Ice Services of the United States and Canada that takes advantage of each members’ strengths to provide seamless ice information to government and commercial maritime interests in the Polar Regions, North American waters, and the Great Lakes.

The NAIS membership includes the Canadian Ice Service, the U.S. National Ice Center, and the International Ice Patrol. The U.S. National Weather Service Alaska Region became the NAIS’s fourth member this year. In addition, the Danish Meteorological Institute also joined NAIS as an observer in 2015. Other organizations participating at this year’s meeting include members from U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, and the University of Tasmania, Australia. NAIS meetings are held annually with the host and location rotating through the three core Ice Services.

The theme for this year’s meeting was “Modernizing Ice Services: Enabling maritime operations, safety, and security in a changing world.” Discussions focused on responding to changing conditions in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, new technologies and research efforts, and ways to improve ice information provided to mariners. Of particular interest for Coast Guard operations was the presentation of an updated Lake Ice prediction algorithm and warning product used in the development of an Ice condition index, designed to forecast ice conditions out to 72 hours. This product will initially aid in operational planning and resourcing for Coast Guard units and mariners that transit on the Great Lakes.

International Ice Patrol and the Canadian Ice Service presented on ongoing efforts to improve satellite iceberg detection for development of operational warning products, highlighted by joint work that supported the transit of Coast Guard Cutter Maple through the Northwest Passage in the summer of 2017. NAIS members held daily coordination meetings to provide Maple with tailored sea ice charts and predicted sea ice movement and developed a novel iceberg warning product from solely space-based reconnaissance – the first of its kind in the 104-year history of the International Ice Patrol.

The next annual NAIS meeting will be hosted by the U.S. National Ice Center in July 2019.

16th Annual NAIS meeting participants. Photo by Lt. Cmdr. Caroline Bell, International Ice Patrol.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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