ACME 1st workshop: Towards reliable proxy-based reconstructions: community perspectives and criteria for the ACME database

01.05 - 02.05.2020  
Vienna, Austria
Contact person:
Anna Pienkowski, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The first Arctic Cryosphere Change and Coastal Marine Ecosystems (ACME) workshop, "Towards reliable proxy-based reconstructions: community perspectives and criteria for the ACME database", will take place from 1-2 May 2020 in Vienna, Austria.

We welcome participants working on cryosphere and ecosystem changes and interactions across historical and geological timescales, including early career scientists.

*Update 17 March 2020 - meeting postponed*

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, the 1st ACME workshop which was supposed to take place 1-2 May, prior to EGU 2020, has been cancelled for now. Organizers are currently working on alternative plans and dates and will be in touch as soon as they know more.


NH Danube City, Vienna:


The workshop is open to all experts in marine micropalaeontological and biogeochemical proxies and is free of charge, but the number of participants is limited to 30. The workshop will be held immediately before the General Assembly 2020 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). Parts of the workshop may be available online - more details to come.


The ACME working group was launched in July 2019, with the aim to assess and refine available marine proxies that can be used to reconstruct past cryosphere changes and their ecosystem impacts on the arctic coastal zone. A particular focus is placed on the techniques and the quality of data, on the training of early-career scientists, and on the establishment of new community-driven protocols.


1 May: 13:00-17:30 Workshop Day 1 (including coffee break)
18:00-20:00 Icebreaker

2 May: 9:00-17:00 Workshop Day 2 (including lunch and two coffee breaks)


The workshop aims to:

- Evaluate the state of the discipline as seen by the wider community. ACME has recently conducted a survey to collect community perspectives on the current state and future directions of arctic coastal paleoceanography. The results of the survey will provide a basis for outlining priority research questions and community directions within and beyond ACME, and will give an overview of spatial, methodological, and ecological knowledge gaps identified by the community. The ACME Steering Group will draft a community paper based on the survey and the workshop outcome.

- Define the community criteria to build a database of proxies commonly used for palaeo-reconstructions in Arctic coastal and fjord environments. It is implicit that each database entry follows the criteria defined by the ACME community to ensure that quality assessment will be easy for the end users.

- Discuss the future direction of, and planned products for, ACME.

Key participants

At this first short ACME-workshop, we will not invite key speakers, instead the focus will be on working in groups formed around key proxies for sea ice, primary production, meltwater runoff and terrestrial inputs.

These groups will establish proxy-specific data entry criteria for the planned database, to ensure data quality assessment is made easy for the users of the database.

Financial support

PAGES has provided some funding for the attendance of early-career researchers and scientists from developing countries. Details on how to apply are given in the registration form (see below).

Registration and deadlines

Registration is open until 21 February:


This workshop represents a fundamental component of the first phase of ACME and will be instrumental in achieving the overarching goal for this phase, i.e. to critically assess and refine current available marine proxies for reconstructing Arctic cryosphere changes and their impacts. By directly contributing to one of the main products from ACME Phase I - the proxy database - this workshop will constitute a firm foundation on which to lead the second phase of ACME to success, aimed to apply marine proxies to Holocene coastal records across the Arctic.

Outreach event

One of the steering committee members (A. Pienkowski) will visit her old secondary school in Vienna (Bundesgymnasium & Bundesrealgymnasium Zirkusgasse 48, 1020 Vienna) to give a talk about, and engage with school children on, climate change in Arctic coastal environments.

Data stewardship

The ACME database developed as part of this workshop will follow PAGES data guidelines and FAIR Data Principles (Wilkinson et al. 2016), taking into account the experience and suggestions by PAGES 2k Network open paleo-data pilot (Kaufman et al. 2017).

Following the main objective of ACME, experts of each proxy group will work together and in collaboration with ecological statisticians and coastal monitoring experts to critically evaluate the protocols (including sampling, data collection and data analysis), establish recommended standards and set critical metadata platforms for the database.

The ACME database aims to more than a repository, establishing next generation standards that enable controlled reconstruction of critical components and facets of past biosphere-cryosphere dynamics in the Arctic coastal zone. This workshop will be instrumental to bring the database to fruition.

Stakeholder engagement

As the main objective of this workshop is to plan proxy-specific data entry criteria for the ACME database, specific stakeholders will not be engaged at this point. However, ACME will engage stakeholders such as the Arctic Council via e-newsletters on ACME activities and products (including outcomes from this workshop), and will invite stakeholder representatives to the planned final synthesis workshops of Phase I.

Further information

Contact workshop organizer Anna Pienkowski, Norwegian Polar Institute: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.