Role of Freshwater in Polar Ocean Climate Change and Global Linkages

When: postponed till fall 2021 | Where: TBC

ISPA - International Symposium on Plastic in the Arctic

When: 2-4 & 8-9 March 2021 | Where: Online

The Capelin: The Canary in the Arctic Environment

When: postponed till June 2021 | Where: Reykjavík Iceland

Cross-Cutting Activities

Please visit the Cross-Cutting Activities page for more information on upcoming activities co-sponsored by the Marine Working Group.


DBOD - Distributed Biological Observatory Data Meeting

When: 22-23 January 2020 | Where: Seattle, WA (USA)
Contact: Jacqueline Grebmeier


The 2019 GRC on Polar Marine Science

When: 16 - 17 March 2019 | Where: Castelvecchio Pascoli (Italy)
Contact: Jean-Eric Tremblay

The unique formats of the Gordon Research Conference on Polar Marine Science (GRC) and preceding Gordon Research seminar (GRS), with invited speakers, discussion leaders and ample discussion time resulted in open brainstorming and the emergence of new ideas on the functioning of polar oceans and the Arctic in particular. Poster sessions created a highly dynamic environment to explore and discuss the conference themes in greater detail. Poster presenters (mostly early-career scientists) were able to introduce themselves to the whole group by providing short oral summaries of their work during the plenary sessions. The conference provided a rare opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists to discuss their work in a semi-formal setting, allowing them to develop an international network of peers and connect with the foremost experts in the field. The group developed on the ways that connections between disciplines can be enhanced and put to the service of polar science and contributed to better prepare and position early-career scientists for the research challenges that lay ahead for the international Arctic research community. The “Power Hour”, during which the challenges that women who pursue a research career in polar marine sciences face, was strongly attended and successful. A report of this activity was sent to GRC for circulation to conference participants. The funds provided by IASC-MWG supported the registration of six early-career scientists to the GRC and GRS. A total of 136 participants from 17 countries attended the conference, including 57 early-career scientists. The scientific focus of the conference was the exploration of linkages between the physical, biogeochemical and human dimensions of connectivity in changing polar seas, including for the first time the fields of atmospheric dynamics and human well-being (details available on conference web page). Because GRC emphasizes the importance of presenting and discussing a majority of unpublished research at the frontier of knowledge, the material presented is officially “off-the-record”, with no abstracts, photographs or proceedings published before, during, or after the conference.

More information


Polar Marine Diatom Workshop (IASC/SCAR)

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

The 6th Polar Marine Diatom Workshop, held at Lakeside Lab, was a success. A diverse group of researchers from students to full professors, representing 12 countries, spent the week engaged in microscope sessions, talks, and posters. Microscope sessions were led by experts in order to facilitate consistent species identification. Each participant took home a set of reference slides. Biostratigraphy was one of the main foci of these sessions, given the current and upcoming IODP expeditions to the Southern Ocean. Scientific talks and posters were also presented; an upcoming issue of Marine Micropaleontology will showcase that work. In addition, outreach events were held at Lakeside Lab to encourage the local community to learn more about diatom research.

POLAR2018 Joint Meeting (IASC/SCAR)

When: 23 June 2018 | Where: Davos (Switzerland) 
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.

More information

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


For previous activities, please visit the IASC News Archive or browse our online collection of yearbooks, the IASC Bulletin.