International Arctic Science Committee

International Arctic Science Committee
Abbreviation IASC
Formation 1990
Region served
Official language
Barr Susan[2]
Parent organization
International Council for Science (ICSU)
Website IASC Official website

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 Arctic Ocean and the surrounding landmasses.[2]


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.[3] This increased need for knowledge of the arctic region has made international cooperation even more essential.[4] 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:[5]

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:

Research projects

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.

IASC gives priority to interdisciplinary projects relevant to Arctic science issues which require international cooperation. This is archived by


Country Organization Representative
 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
 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
 South 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
 United States Polar Research Board Jackie Grebmeier, Vice-President

IASC Secretariat

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

See also


  1. IASC Integrating Arctic Research. Retrieved 06/06/2015.
  2. 1 2 ICSU - Scientific Associate: IASC. Retrieved 06/06/2015.
  3. Kintisch, Eli (12/16/15). "Cold War in a Warming Place". Science & Diplomacy. 4 (4). Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. Berkman, Paul (2014-06-23). "Stability and Peace in the Arctic Ocean through Science Diplomacy". Science & Diplomacy. 3 (2).
  5. IASC Working Groups. Retrieved 06/06/2015.

External links

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