Establishing the Atlantic-Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (A-DBO)


Thank you for showing interest and getting involved in shaping a strong A-DBO framework!

On 28-30 November 2023, the A-DBO autumn meeting will be kindly hosted by the Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAN) in Sopot, Poland, to discuss our latest activities and findings, and how to collectively strengthen our work onward – in terms of results, sampling plans, and common routines. We hope many of you seagoers would consider sharing your first reflections and perhaps even the first tidbits of results from this season’s observations. To our first meeting day, we welcome presentations of any 2023 ocean observational activities in our region. While we look forward to a mix of disciplines and sampling objectives, we ask all speakers to report specifically on the encountered sea ice conditions, ocean hydrography, chlorophyll-a and nutrients distributions (if available), as well as on any unexpected features. These reports will form the basis for our status summary which we start to compile on our second day. The overall program is outlined below.

Please register your participation and presentation until 20 October! We are happy to announce a possibility for travel support for Early Career Researchers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders to join our meeting. The funding is made available through the IASC Marine Working Group. Information on how to apply is given under 'Upcoming events' below.


The Atlantic-Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (A-DBO) is under development, and envisioned as a comprehensive marine observing network for climate and environment in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean - one of the key gateway areas of the Arctic, currently experiencing rapid environmental, climate and ecosystem changes.

Together with the pioneering observatory in the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean (DBO), the Baffin Bay/Davis Strait DBO, and the emerging East Siberian Sea DBO, the Atlantic DBO aims to serve as an important contribution to the pan-arctic collaborative observatory network.

The fundamental incentive for the DBO sampling concept is to work across disciplines in dedicated geographical areas toward better integrated and available observations. The DBOs are shaped to:

•  Cover key ocean phenomena and processes under rapid change

•  Bring together all disciplines needed to understand the marine ecosystem functioning

•  Increase the data coverage within the focal areas
•  Utilize common, harmonized procedures for data sampling and sharing

•  Facilitate both dedicated (long-term) and opportunistic sampling

•  Encourage technological development for improved multidisciplinary coupling 

•  Be sustainable and overarch shorter observational efforts

Arctic PASSION currently provides the means for increased coordination capabilities to establish the A-DBO network and the common protocols for sampling, analysis and data sharing.

This webpage serves as our main hub of information during the pilot implementation phase. From here you will be able to find contact info, access common documents, and get the latest information about our events. The implementation process is open to scientists and institutions with interest to collaborate in this region, as well as to end-users who will benefit from results from the A-DBO. The opportunities for getting involved are listed in 'Upcoming Events' below.

The locations of all four Distributed Biological Observatories overlaid on a bathymetric map of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO V4.2 Grid/Jakobsson et al. 2000).
The DBOs in the Atlantic and Siberian Arctic sectors are under construction, please join the process to shape it for best use of existing and future data!


A-DBO 2023 Autumn meeting

28-30 November 2023, at the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAN) in Sopot, Poland

The main objective for this annual meeting is to give all sea goers the opportunity to share experiences and outcomes of their 2023 activities and to summarize the observed status for the A-DBO sector. We will also look at the sampling plans for 2024 and discuss (and adjust) our general A-DBO routines onward.

As a tangible output from the meeting, we aim to put together an overview of the ‘2023 status’, setting individual observations into a larger perspective and serving as a teaser for increased scientific collaboration. This material can be used for dissemination and will also be brought along to the pan-Arctic scope of our DBO Community meeting at ASSW2024 in Edinburgh, UK (see the next upcoming event).

For productive discussions we hope to gather many in-person participants to our venue in Sopot. However, our first and last days will be broadcasted online too. If you’re not able to travel yourself, please consider sending input with a colleague.

Agenda (tentative)

Venue: The large conference room at IOPAN, Powstancow Warszawy Str. 55, 81-712 Sopot

Tuesday 28 Nov


13:00 – 14:00

Welcome coffee


Start of meeting and opening remarks

14:20 – 18:00

Presentations: Our 2023 Observational activities, and plans ahead


Evening hours

Informal group dinner

Wednesday 29 Nov

(in person only)

09:00 – 14:30

Workshop: collecting the first impressions of 2023

15:00 – 18:00

Discussion: developing the A-DBO metadata sharing routines

Evening hours

Informal group dinner

Thursday 30 Nov


09:00 – 10:30

Brief summaries from yesterday’s compilations and

continued work on their dissemination plan

11:00 – 12:00

Discussion: A-DBO in a larger perspective


End of meeting

The venue will be available until 15:00 for those wishing to continue any discussions or work

The registration of presentations is open until 20 October through this form!

For Early Career Researchers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders, there is a possibility for travel support provided by the IASC Marine Working Group to join our meeting, the Pacific DBO Fall meeting, or the ASSW2024 Joint DBO community meeting (see below). Applications should be sent by email, and contain the following information:

  1. Name, affiliation, state of education/work, contact details, and which meeting you're applying for,

  2. Brief motivation for application including relevance for own development and potential contributions to DBO development (max ½ page),

  3. Estimated travel budget.

The deadline for applying travel support to the A-DBO meeting is 10 October 2023. Applications will be assessed and feedback given within one week after this deadline.

ASSW 2024

21-29 March 2024 (Edinburgh, UK)

The four current DBO:s are organizing a Joint DBO community meeting at ASSW2024, for presentations of the 2023 sampling activities and the plans for 2024, as well as for discussions about common aspects.The date and hours are yet to be decided, but the proposed time frame is one of the days 22-25 March.


ASSW2023 Joint DBO Sessions

17 – 24 February 2023, in Vienna, Austria

The Pacific, Davis Strait and Atlantic DBOs jointly organized two sessions at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2023, in both the community and science parts of the conference:

A-DBO 2022 Autumn Meeting

31 October – 1 November 2022 in Bergen, Norway (+ TEAMS)

The first A-DBO dedicated autumn meeting was held with focus on defining the fundamental spatio-temporal characteristics of the A-DBO and the associated core parameters to sample. We also took the opportunity to share news about our recent sampling activities and about our planned cruise activities. For more information, see the agenda and the meeting minutes.

ASSW2022 Session on Establishing the Distributed Biological Observatory system in the Atlantic Sector of the Arctic Ocean 

27 March 2022 in Tromsø, Norway

A workshop was held during the Arctic Science Summit Week to invigorate the process initiated in 2016 to implement a comprehensive marine observing system for climate and environment in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean. With inspiration from the Pacific DBO system and existing long term observational programmes on the Atlantic side, discussions were initiated about priorities for sampling locations, variables, and methods as well as means of collaboration. A steering group was established to support the work of the executive team. 

For a summary of the workshop, please see the meeting minutes.


Executive team:
Arild Sundfjord (NPI),
Marit Reigstad (UiT) and Anna Nikolopoulos (NPI)

Steering group:

Agnieszka Beszczyńska-Möller (IOPAN), Michael Karcher (AWI), Monika Kedra (IOPAN), Angelika Renner (IMR), Mikael Sejr (AU), Thomas Soltwedel (AWI), and Laura de Steur (NPI).