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

Tvärminne, Finland
Workshop report
Contact person
Anna Pienkowski
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category

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 be held from 25-27 October 2021 in Tvärminne, Finland, and also online.

This workshop was originally scheduled for 1-2 May 2020 in Vienna, Austria.


Tvärminne Zoological Station by the Gulf of Finland, Finland.


This workshop will be a hybrid event.

It is open to all experts in marine micropaleontological and biogeochemical proxies and is free of charge (including programme, full board accommodation, bus transport from and back to Helsinki), but the number of in-person participants is limited to 30. However, the exact number will depend on prevailing COVID restrictions at the site. Organizers welcome participants working on cryosphere and ecosystem changes and interactions across historical and geological timescales, including early-career scientists.


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.


Sunday, 24 October

18:00 ACME meet-up for those staying overnight in Helsinki, Allas Sea Pool Café (self-financed drinks, possibility for sauna and swimming in outdoor warm/cold pool)

Monday, 25 October 

9:00 Conference bus departing from downtown Helsinki 10:00 Conference bus departing from Helsinki Airport 11:30 Arrival and check-in at Tvärminne

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-18:00 (including dinner and coffee breaks) 19:00-22:00 Sauna, possibility for a dip in the Baltic Sea

Tuesday, 26 October 

8:00-9:00 Breakfast

9:00-12:30 Workshop Day 2 (including lunch and coffee breaks) 

13:00-15:00 Walk and talk / Cruise around the land/ 

15:30-18:00 Workshop Day 2

19:00 Mini-banquet

Wednesday, 27 October 

8:00-9:00 Breakfast

9:00-12:00 Workshop Day 3

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:30 Conference bus departing from Tvärminne 

15:30 Conference bus arriving at Helsinki Airport 

16:30 Conference bus arriving at downtown Helsinki 


One of the main ACME goals is to build a community-refined database for proxies commonly used for environmental reconstructions in Arctic coastal and fjord environments. This workshop aims to define proxy criteria and a conceptual database structure.

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 will be given during the registration process.

Registration and deadlines

Registration is closed.

Deadline for registration: 24 September, 2021, 23:59 CET.


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.

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 be 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.

Further information

Contact workshop organizer Anna Pienkowski, Norwegian Polar Institute: (Anna[dot]Pienkowski[at]npolar[dot]no)