The 2019 GRC on Polar Marine Science

When: 16 - 17 March 2019 | Where: Castelvecchio Pascoli (Italy)
Contact: Jean-Eric Tremblay
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Polar Marine Diatom Workshop (IASC/SCAR)

When: 6-10 August 2018 | Where: Milford (Iowa, USA)
Contact: Beth Caissie


POLAR2018 Joint Meeting (IASC/SCAR)

When: 23 June 2018 | Where: Davos (Switzerland) | More information
Contacts: Lee Cooper, Monika Kendra

Encouraging early career scientist participation in IASC activities such as the annual Arctic Science Summit Week is a key priority for broadening participation in the work of IASC. One of the Marine Working Group (MWG) funding decisions made following the ASSW 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic was to commit to providing support for early career scientists to attend the POLAR2018 meeting in Davos, Switzerland in June 2018. The MWG supported in part the travel of 10 early career scientists (ECS) to attend POLAR2018 as well as one additional ECS to attend the MOSAiC Science Implementation workshop in Potsdam, Germany in May 2018. The support for ECS participation was based on a MWG initiative to develop a scientific session in Davos on the topic of “Productivity, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Shifts at Cryosphere-Ocean Boundaries,” which grew out of cross-cutting discussions within the MWG. These discussions had concluded that the consequences of sea and glacial ice changes upon biological activity were key priorities for study. Identification of potential ECS to be supported was based upon contact made with ECS contributors to that session and expanded in discussions with MWG members and IASC fellows. Presentations in several POLAR2018 sessions were ultimately made, and feedback from the ECS almost universally lauded the opportunities for networking and building international collaborations, as well as the chance to present scientific findings.

Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) Strategic Planning Meeting

When: 26-28 February 2018 | Where: Amsterdam (Netherlands) | Contacts: Nathalie Morata, Allison Fong

The Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) network was created in October 2009 by early career scientists. ART is a multi-disciplinary network led by early career scientists from fields across polar and social sciences. Our aim is to synthesize existing knowledge about the Arctic, use this information to propose new initiatives, and promote the engagement of early career scientists in the development and execution of interdisciplinary polar science. ART has been endorsed by the Marine Working Group of IASC (formerly the Arctic Ocean Sciences Board) since its inception, and aims to retain close connections with the IASC and the MWG and its initiatives.


The 4th Distributed Biological Observatory Data Workshop

When: 8-9 November 2017 Where: Seattle, United States | Contacts: Jackie Grebmeier, Sue Moore

The annual Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) workshop is organized to facilitate data sharing among countries occupying the established DBO sampling grid in the Pacific Arctic. The MWG is also supporting expansion of the DBO sampling grid to the Atlantic Arctic through workshop support in 2016 for establishment and coordination of Atlantic Arctic DBO sampling. Participation in the 2017 Seattle data sharing meeting included 49 scientists from the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and Poland, with early career scientist participation supported by the MWG. The aim of the overall DBO initiative is to increase the number of observations that can be compiled and synthesized to build a larger and consistent data set in this remote, but rapidly changing region.

Ecosystem Studies of Subarctic and Arctic Seas (ESSAS) Open Science Meeting

When: 11-15 June 2017 Where: Tromsø, Norway | Contact: Franz Mueter

The Ecosystem Studies of Subarctic and Arctic Seas (ESSAS) Open Science Meeting served as a series of workshops and sessions to highlight the dynamic nature of marine ecosystems in a time of rapid change, and the implications for people that depend on the services provided by theses systems. The theme of the meeting was “Moving in, out, and across Arctic and Subarctic Marine Ecosystems: Shifting Boundaries of Water, Ice, Flora, Fauna, People and Institutions”. IASC supported the participation of five Early Career Scientists at ESSAS, fostering collaboration and discussion between international participants and groups.

The GRC on Polar Marine Science "Understanding Polar Ecosystem Change Through Time Series Observations, Technological Advances, and Biophysical Coupled Modeling" 

When: 25-26 March 2017 | Where: Ventura, CA, USA | Contact: Jacqueline M. Grebmeier

In both the Antarctic and Arctic, ecosystem variables such as sea ice dynamics, atmospheric and ocean exchange, biogeochemical cycles, food web dynamics, and sediment proxies have in the past and are currently responding to climate and environmental change. How the ecosystem is responding to ongoing stressors in the marine environment and devising appropriate modeling approaches to predict future change are important foci for polar science.

The 2017 GRC on Polar Marine Science "Understanding Polar Ecosystem Change Through Time Series Observations, Technological Advances, and Biophysical Coupled Modeling" brought together leading investigators in Antarctic and Arctic marine research. Using a tradition of excellence facilitated by the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC), participants presented and discussed cutting-edge interdisciplinary polar science observations, technological advancements and biophysical modeling activities associated with polar time series studies. Thus, the format of the GRC inspires scientists from different disciplines to synthesize new ideas and to brainstorm about the ongoing status and change in the polar oceans.

For more information see the 2017 GRC website


International cooperation in biogeochemical studies in the Siberian Shelves Seas

When: 27-28 January 2016 I Where: Kiel, Germany

The workshop was held in order to bring together specialists working from widely different perspectives on biogeochemical studies in the Siberian shelf seas. The goals were to coordinate future efforts in preparation of expeditions to the Siberian shelf seas, to explore possibilities of cooperation in future studies by exchange of data and samples, and to develop a plan for engagement of young scientists.

The workshop was hosted by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel,
Germany, on January 27 and 28, 2016, and organized by the "Secretariat Laptev Sea
System", following the conference of the Russian-German project "The Transpolar System of the Arctic Ocean". In the workshop, 31 scientists and 6 early career scientists from 10 countries participated (see Appendix, list of participants).

The program included (i) plenary talks about ongoing programs with objectives, institutions and scientists involved, expeditions, field methods, and major results, (ii) cruise plans, wishes and dreams, (iii) fields of synergy and overarching themes, (iv) gaps in knowledge, and (v) new opportunities for cooperation in trace element research with Russia.

Michiel Rutgers van der Loeff

Heidemarie Kassens

Workshop Report


5th Polar Marine Diatom Workshop

When: 19-24 July 2015 I Where: Salmanca, Spain

The Polar Marine Diatom Workshops (PMDW) were born from the need for a forum that would incite exchange of taxonomic skills and associated new techniques as well as providing an excellent training ground for students to receive guidance from experienced diatomists. Since 2005, the workshop has become a successful biannual event, bringing polar diatomists together for exchange of new ideas, sharing of recent results/data and fostering future collaborations enabling researchers from around the world to produce quality science. The 5th Polar Marine Diatom Workshop was held on July 19-24, in Salmanca, Spain. This workshop featured microscope sessions with equal emphasis on Neogene and Quaternary as in the past, but a special emphasis was devoted to Holocene Climatic optimum and the degalciation, addressing biostratigraphic, taxonomic, paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic issues. A special session was dedicated to the shadow's diatoms, those that live at the lower photic zone and are a good indicator of water column stratification (Rhizosolenia spp.)
Overall, the workshop succeed in achieving the following aims: 1) in transferring sound taxonomic skills and exchange knowledge relative to modern and fossil diatom records of polar regions, 2) in engaging the international marine phytoplankton and paleontological communities and raise the research profile and opportunity for on-going training of students and researchers and 3) in bringing about opportunities for a project development and student exchange between laboratories focusing on recent developments or on-going enigma in the field.

María Angeles Bárcena


ESSAS Annual Science Meeting (ASM) Symposium, “The Role of Ice in the Sea”

When: June 15-17 2015 I Where: Washington, USA

The 2015 ESSAS Annual Science Meeting (ASM) Symposium was co-hosted by the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and the University of Washington, held in the Sea Fishery Sciences Building, University of Washington from June 15-17, 2015. As the meeting’s chief topic was “the Role of Ice in the Sea,” four themes were explored during the Symposium: Humans, Ice and the Sea in the Subarctic and Arctic Past, the Role of Sea Ice in the Arctic and Subarctic, the Ecological Role of Tidewater Glaciers, and Social Scientific Investigations of Changing Sea Ice Conditions.
The “Humans, Ice and the Sea in the Subarctic and Arctic Past” session provided a historical framework for the consideration of contemporary ecological dynamics surrounding subarctic and arctic ice and marine ecology including human integration in the evolution of these systems. The largest session, “The Role of Sea Ice in the Arctic and Subarctic,” focused on the multiple roles of sea ice in the Arctic and the Sub-Arctic seas, including its effects on the physical and biological structure of these regions, which shapes their food webs from plankton to fish, birds, and mammals. The extent and nature of sea ice in the Arctic has been rapidly changing, affecting air-ice-sea fluxes with both regional and global consequences. “The Ecological Role of Tidewater Glaciers” session explored the role of tidewater glaciers in marine ecosystems, including the fjords of Alaska, Greenland, and Svalbard. The “Social Scientific Investigations of Changing Sea Ice Conditions” session promoted interaction among social scientists and also provided insights to natural scientists on how their research can best contribute to a better understanding of the importance of sea ice dynamics for resource users and communities in a wider social and economic context.

Franz Mueter


MWG Workshop “Atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions and aspects related to a future, seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean”” at the ICARP III Conference

When: 23-30 April 2015 I Where: Toyama, Japan

“Atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions and aspects related to a future, seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean” was a session featured in the Fourth International Symposium on Arctic Research (ISAR-4) and the Third International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III) during the 2015 Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) in Toyama Japan, from April 28-29.  
The first sub-session addressed the energy exchange between the Arctic and lower latitudes, the different energy budgets in the Arctic as well as the effects of aerosols in an Arctic with reduced ice cover. The second sub-session was devoted to smaller scale observational studies of heat exchange between ice, ocean and atmosphere in the marginal ice zone and in the high Arctic, using aircraft, autonomous gliders and icebreakers. The third sub-session was mostly on atmospheric processes with three talks addressing respectively the creation, the characteristics and the climatology of Polar lows in the Nordic Seas and in the Japan Sea.  
The next sub-session addressed the freshwater balance and the stratification of the Arctic Ocean, the transfer of freshwater between solid and liquid phase, and how it varies seasonally and over longer periods. The final sub-session presented studies on the effects of different forcing, wind or buoyancy, on Arctic Ocean circulation.

Bert Rudels


Big Black Box

When: 18-23 January 2015 I Where: Tromsø, Norway

Arctic marine environments may experience darkness for up to ten months a year depending on sea ice cover and snow depth. The extended period of darkness, known as the polar night, may limit organism survival and reproductive success because of the associated food limitation. A long overwintering period and a brief growing season are likely the main barriers for “temperate/lower latitude” species to sustain populations in the Arctic because they lack the life history adaptations of high-Arctic species that allow them to cope with such extreme conditions. However, our knowledge on winter ecology is extremely poor in comparison to ecological processes during the growing season. Gathering additional information on polar night ecology and processes is crucial, especially in light of expected impacts of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems. This three-day workshop will convene an international group of experts to develop a white paper on the existing winter ecology knowledge of Arctic marine organisms, to identify the most critical knowledge gaps, and to prepare a proposal for a new international initiative/program focusing on polar night ecology and winter processes.

Janne E. Søreide

Workshop Report