International Arctic Science Committee
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The International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) is a non-governmental organization which is composed of international science groups participating in arctic science research. IASC is an International Scientific Associate of ICSU, and was established in 1990. IASC's main aim is to initiate, develop, and coordinate leading edge scientific activity in the Arctic region, and on the role of the Arctic in the Earth system. It also provides objective and independent scientific advice to the Arctic Council and other organizations on issues of science affecting the management of the Arctic region. The decision-making organs of IASC are the Council and the Executive Committee. The day-to-day operations are supported by its secretariat headed by the executive secretary. IASC's geographical remit covers the Arctice Ocean and the surrounding landmasses.
Since the founding of IASC, the scientific, environmental, economic and political realities of the North have changed dramatically. New problems and challenges ask for new or improved scientific knowledge. This increased need for knowledge of the arctic region has made international cooperation even more essential. In this light IASC has established five Working Groups (WG) that will identify scientific priorities and initiate and stimulate cross-disciplinary initiatives. The Working Groups are ‘living’ groups that rise and fall according to the scientific need of the community. The five Working Groups are:
• Terrestrial WG • Cryosphere WG • Marine/AOSB WG • Atmosphere WG • Social and Human WG
Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) The ASSW is an initiative of IASC and organized in cooperation with the Pacific Arctic Group (PAG), the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA), the European Polar Board (EPB) and the Forum of Arctic Research Operators (FARO). The purpose of the summit is to provide opportunities for coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of arctic science, and to combine science and management meetings to save on travel and time. The ASSW also offers insight into arctic research undertaken by the host country.
In 2009, the first Science Symposium was held in Bergen, Norway during the Arctic Science Summit Week. The three day symposium created a platform for exchanging knowledge, cross fertilization and collaboration. Considering the great success of this event, which attracted 300 scientists, students, policy makers and other professionals from over the world, the Science Symposium will take place at the ASSW every other year. The next ASSW with a Science Symposium will take place in March 2011 in Seoul (Republic of Korea).
IASC maintains close links and connections with the following partner organizations:
- Arctic Council / Observer / http://www.arctic-council.org
- International Council for Science (including IPCC) / International Associate / http://www.icsu.org
- World Climate Research Programme / Memorandum of Understanding/ http://wcrp.wmo.int
- Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research / Letter of Agreement / http://www.scar.org
- International Permafrost Association / Memorandum of Understanding / http://ipa.arcticportal.org
- Pacific Arctic Group / Letter of Agreement / http://www.pagscience.com
- International Arctic Social Sciences Association / Letter of Agreement / http://www.iassa.gl
- Association of Polar Early Career Scientists / Memorandum of Understanding / http://www.apecs.is
- International Association of Cryospheric Sciences / Letter of Agreement / http://www.cryosphericsciences.org
While maintining an interest in facilitating the effectiveness of arctic science in all fields, IASC selects programmes for direct action. Priority is given to achieving research output within an agreed period of time, e.g.
- Arctic coastal biodiversity and coastal dynamics;
- Arctic hydrology;
- human-caribou/reindeer grazing systems;
- environmental data gathering (CEON);
- effects of Arctic environmental contaminants on human health;
- biodiversity in Arctic and alpine ecosystems;
- Arctic glaciology;
- land-ocean interactions in the Russian Arctic;
- Arctic marine transport routes;
- mapping Arctic sediment thickness;
- nutrition and health of indigenous people in Arctic countries; and
- changes in the tundra/taiga boundary.
IASC gives priority to interdisciplinary projects relevant to Arctic science issues which require international cooperation. This is archived by
- framing issues in thematic terms;
- bringing together the physical, biological and social sciences;
- strengthening the dialogue between science and policy;
- addressing the concerns of those who live in the Arctic.
|Canada||Canadian Polar Commission||David Hik, President|
|China||Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration||Huigeng Yang|
|Denmark/Greenland||The Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland||Naja Mikkelsen, Vice-President|
|Finland||Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters||Kari Laine|
|France||Institut Polaire Français||Gérard Jugie|
|Germany||Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft||Karin Lochte|
|Iceland||RANNÍS, The Icelandic Centre for Research||Kristján Kristjánsson|
|Italy||National Research Council of Italy||Carlo-Alberto Ricci|
|Japan||Science Council of Japan, National Institute of Polar Research||Hiroshi Kanda|
|The Netherlands||Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research||Louwrens Hacquebord|
|Norway||The Research Council of Norway||Susan Barr, Vice-President|
|Poland||Polish Academy of Sciences, Committee on Polar Research||Jacek Jania|
|Russia||The Russian Academy of Sciences||Vladimir I Pavlenko|
|Republic of Korea||Korea Polar Research Institute||Byong-Kwon Park,Vice-President|
|Spain||Comite Polar Espanol||Manuel Catalan|
|Sweden||The Swedish Research Council||Magnus Friberg|
|Switzerland||Swiss Committee on Polar Research||Martin Luethi|
|United Kingdom||Natural Environment Research Council||Cynan Ellis-Evans|
|USA||Polar Research Board||Jackie Grebmeier, Vice-President|
The IASC Secretariat implements decisions of the Executive Committee and Council, manages IASC finances, conducts outreach activities and maintains international communication. Since 2009, the IASC Secretariat is based in Potsdam (Germany), hosted and financed by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research and co-financed by the German Science Foundation (DFG).
|Executive Secretary||Volker Rachold|
|Executive Officer||Mare Pit|
|Executive Officer||Sara Bowden|
|Administrative Assistant||Heike Midleja|
- Berkman, Paul (2014-06-23). "Stability and Peace in the Arctic Ocean through Science Diplomacy". Science & Diplomacy 3 (2).