The Australian Antarctic Science Council (the Council) was established in 2019 to advise Government on the Australian Antarctic Science Program, including Antarctic science priorities in the context of the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan.

The Council is made up of:

  • Chair (currently vacant)
  • Independent Member, Professor Sabine Dittmann (Flinders University)
  • Independent Member, Professor Noel Cressie (University of Wollongong)
  • Ex officio members:
    • Chair, National Committee for Antarctic Research
    • Director, Australian Antarctic Division
    • CEO, Australian Research Council
    • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
    • Bureau of Meteorology
    • CSIRO
    • Geoscience Australia

The Chief Scientist of the Australian Antarctic Division serves as the Executive Officer to the Council. Currently, Dr Dirk Welsford is Acting Chief Scientist.

Council priorities

The Terms of Reference PDF for the Australian Antarctic Science Council outline key areas of focus, including advising Government on:

Antarctic science strategic plan

The Council has developed a new Antarctic science strategic plan PDF (the plan) in consultation with the Antarctic science research sector, Commonwealth government agencies, Tasmanian government, universities and industry stakeholders.

Building on the achievements of the previous science strategic plan PDF implemented in 2011, the new plan will significantly advance Australia’s Antarctic science over the next 10 years, maximising new Antarctic science and operational capabilities.

The plan will oversee the delivery of key research outcomes outlined in the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan under the following three key research areas:

  • Environmental Protection and Management;
  • Ice, Ocean, Atmosphere and Earth Systems; and
  • Human Presence and Activities in Antarctica.

The Council’s next step will be to consult further with the Antarctic science research sector and stakeholders to develop an action plan to guide implementation of the plan over the first two to three years.

Contact

Contact the Australian Antarctic Science Council at aasc@antarctica.gov.au.

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