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POAC has no official membership and consequently no membership fees.

POAC is steered by an International Committee with members from many countries that are actively engaged in engineering, exploration, and research activities in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Committee may establish groups to perform special tasks. The Committee’s general business and coordination with other groups, etc., is handled by the Secretary General.

The executive positions of POAC are defined as follows:

President – The POAC President is selected as the Chairman of the next conference. The term begins at the start of the year preceding the conference and ends on the last day of the year in which the conference is held.

Vice-President – The POAC Vice-President is the Chairman of the succeeding conference (if known).

Secretary General – The POAC Secretary General is a permanent position with responsibilities of coordinating POAC’s general business and other organizations, as well as being a central point of contact for POAC. The position is filled by a vote of the International Committee in existence when a new Secretary General is required. There have been three Secretaries General for POAC: Per Bruun (1981 to 1995), Bill Sackinger (1995 to 2001), Garry Timco (2001 to 2013) and Ivana Kubat (2013 to the present).

International Committee – The POAC International Committee is comprised of members of countries that have an active interest in Arctic and Antarctic research. The original constitution stated a membership of five from Europe, five from North America and two others. Over the years, this has changed and the composition of the current membership is based on country representation as follows:

  • Two members each from
    • Canada,
    • USA,
    • Russia,
    • Finland,
    • Norway
  • and one member each from
    • Japan,
    • China,
    • Sweden,
    • Denmark,
    • Germany,
    • Korea,
    • United Kingdom,
    • New Zealand,
    • Netherlands,
    • Singapore.

The President and Secretary General are not included in these numbers.

Past POAC Presidents – The Past Presidents of POAC may remain on the committee and attend the committee meetings and functions.

The term of the committee members is normally for two conferences (4 years). Half of the members are replaced at each conference. Historically, active members have remained on the committee for longer than 4 years. To replace retiring members, a nominating committee is formed by the International Committee and this nominating committee recommends suitable candidates. These nominations must be adopted by the International Committee. New members are introduced at the final session of each POAC Conference.

The members of the International Committee must have a keen interest in POAC and be willing to work towards organizing a conference in their country. Meetings are usually only held during the POAC Conference. The Committee votes on the submissions for hosting the next conference. The selected city and new POAC President are usually announced at the Conference Banquet or at the final session of the conference.