Inside PAGES

New Working Groups

Three new PAGES Working Groups have been established since the last newsletter to help strengthen PAGES science.

The Sea Ice Proxies (SIP) was formed to critically assess and compare the different proxies for sea ice, in order to make recommendations about the reliability and applicability of each in the Arctic and the Antarctic setting. An extended objective will be to facilitate the production of new synthesis estimates of past sea ice extent based on the assessed proxies.

The Solar Forcing Working Group was created with the aim of bringing together scientists from the solar physics, climate modeling, and palaeoclimate reconstruction communities and contribute to a better mutual understanding and closer collaboration over open questions relating to solar-terrestrial interactions.

A new Ocean2k Working Group was created to complete the PAGES 2k Network that looks into the climate of the past two millennia. Ocean2k is also endorsed by CLIVAR and attempts to reconstruct and analyze the sea surface conditions and marine climate of the last two millennia. Paleoceanographic evidence is compiled from high-resolution archives, mostly sedimentary cores and corals (see page 4).

Staff updates

Michelle Kaufmann has relinquished her position as PAGES Finance and Office Manager. We wish her all the best and are grateful for her six years of dedicated service. Michelle has been replaced by Sonja Nyfeler and Francesca Baumgartner, who are sharing the duties between them. Sonja will stay on until her maternity leave in June after which Francesca will assume full charge of administrating PAGES finances.

New SSC members

Bette Otto-Bliesner, former PAGES co-chair, rotated off the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) along with SSC members Cathy Whitlock and Zhongli Ding. Sadly, Mohammed Umer who was also scheduled to rotate off, passed away in November (page 3). PAGES is grateful for their commitment and stewardship all these years.

Alan Mix has replaced Bette as PAGES co-chair.

Four new members have been nominated to serve on the PAGES SSC from January 2012:


Janet Wilmshurst is a paleoecologist at Landcare research based in Lincoln, New Zealand. Her work focuses on applying paleoecological perspectives to current ecological issues. She is currently working on the effects of natural disturbance (volcanism, fire, storms, and earthquakes) on New Zealand’s Holocene vegetation; the impacts of initial human settlement on pristine island ecosystems in South and East Polynesia; past diets of extinct avian herbivores; and the effects of introduced vertebrates on vegetation.


Liping Zhou is the Cheung Kong Professor of Physical Geography at Peking University in Beijing, China. He has mainly worked on chronology of geological and archaeological records in arid and semi-arid regions in northern mid-latitudes. His current research involves extensive use of 14C and 10Be in the study of biogeochemical dynamics on land and in the ocean. He is vice president of the Stratigraphy and Chronology Commission, INQUA.


Sheri Fritz is the George Holmes University Professor at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA with appointments in both the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the School of Biological Sciences. Her research uses lacustrine stratigraphic sequences to reconstruct past patterns of climate variation and of biotic and ecosystem evolution.


Immaculate Ssemmanda is a palynologist and lecturer in the Department of Geology at Makerere Univeristy in Kampala, Uganda and has been active in paleoclimate research in East Africa since the early 1990s. She is currently working on reconstructing past vegetation change in western Uganda as a part of a larger project on climatic and anthropogenic impacts on African ecosystems.

SSC nominations

PAGES invites nominations of scientists to serve on its SSC, which is responsible for overseeing PAGES activities. Scientists who serve on the SSC normally do so for a period of 3 years, with the potential for renewal for an additional term.

Up to 3 new members are sought to join in 2013. Deadline for sending in nominations is 5 March 2012. Please refer to the PAGES website for nomination guidelines (My PAGES > Get Involved).

OSM and YSM in 2013

The 4th PAGES Open Science Meeting (OSM) & 2nd Young Scientists Meeting (YSM) will be held on 13-16 Feb 2013 and 11-12 Feb 2013 respectively in Goa, India. With less than a year left, the local hosts and PAGES are working enthusiastically to ensure the meetings will be memorable and showcase the best in paleoscience. The theme for the OSM and YSM is The Past: A Compass for Future Earth. It was chosen to reflect the role of paleoscience in the recent shift towards sustainability and finding solutions.

Next newsletter issue

The forthcoming issue of PAGES news will showcase the latest work of PAGES-relevant science in Japan. Subsequently PAGES is preparing a newsletter with a special section on ENSO. Most of the articles are already in preparation but particularly fitting articles with new perspectives on ENSO are still welcome. Please send your contribution ideas to Pascal Braconnot (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) before 31 May 2012.

You are also invited to submit at any time Science Highlights, Program News and Workshop Reports for the Open Section of PAGES news. Guidelines for authors can be found on the PAGES website (My PAGES > Newsletter).

Meeting support

The deadline for applying for PAGES meeting support is 5 March 2012. The subsequent deadline will be 30 September 2012.

PAGES offers meeting support for three categories of workshops that are relevant to PAGES Foci and Cross Cutting Themes: PAGES Working Group Meetings, Educational Meetings, and Open Call Meetings.

Application guidelines and online form can be found on the PAGES website (My PAGES > Meeting Support).


Category: Announcements | PAGES Magazine articles

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