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|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.
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:
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), Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat (IPS), 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. Together, IASC and SCAR (the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) will jointly host Polar2018, "Where the poles come together." Located in Davos (Switzerland), this meeting will combine SCAR and IASC Business Meetings, an Open Science Conference, the SCAR Delegates Meeting, and the Arctic Observing Summit.
The Atmosphere working group is a working group within the International Arctic Science Committee. This working group is primarily concerned with how the Arctic is responding to the current global climate and what can be understood and even the predictability of what may transpire if the Arctic were to disappear. The atmosphere working group regards the work that it is conducting for the International Arctic Science Committee as a way to further promote science research within the Arctic region.
The cryosphere working group is the second working group at the International Arctic Science Committee. This working group differs from the atmosphere working group as it is concerned with the relationship of the different elements that make up the Arctic which includes the oceans, snow, ice sheets, and other elements that make up the Arctic region and how the current global climate may be affecting the cryosphere.
The Marine working group of the International Arctic Science Committee is the third of the current five working groups. The primary concern of the marine working group is the Arctic ocean as well as the subarctic seas and how the effect of the current global climate will affect both the Arctic ocean and seas but also how these changes may, in turn, affect the oceans and seas around the globe. The marine working group assesses the state of the Arctic ecosystem as well as the biology of the Arctic to gather a better understanding of how life functions in such a climate.
The fourth of the five working groups that are currently conducting research for the International Arctic Science Committee is the Social and Human working group. This working group differs from the other four working groups as they are primarily concerned with the social sciences aspect of arctic research. What this working group is concerned with involves the different groups within the Arctic and how they both interact with the Arctic as well as how changes to the Arctic climate will affect these individuals. 
The fifth and final current working group with the International Arctic Science Committee is the Terrestrial working group. This working group as indicated by the name is primarily concerned with the terrestrial as well as freshwater areas of the Arctic. The terrestrial working group tries to understand what was the previous Arctic system like, what is the status of the current Arctic climate, and how will it look in the future. Another aspect of the terrestrial working group involves how the changes of the Arctic climate will, in turn, affect the rest of the globe in the future.
IASC was founded in 1990 by representatives of national scientific organizations of the eight Arctic countries - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia (at that time Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Sweden and the United States of America. The Founding Articles of IASC were signed in Resolute Bay, Canada Over the years, IASC has evolved into the leading international science organization of the North and its membership today includes 23 countries involved in all aspects of Arctic research, including 15 non-Arctic countries (Austria, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the UK). In the context of its 25th anniversary in 2015, IASC published a comprehensive history spanning the first planning meetings in the late 1980s until today: Rogne, O., Rachold, V., Hacquebord, L., Corell, R. (2015) IASC after 25 year - A Quarter of a Century of International Arctic Research Cooperation. International Arctic Science Committee. 125 pp.
|Austria||Austrian Polar Research Institute||Wolfgang Schöner|
|Canada||Canadian Polar Commission||Wayne Pollard|
|China||Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration||Huigeng Yang, Vice-President|
|Czech Republic||Centre for Polar Ecology||Josef Elster|
|Denmark/Greenland||The Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland||Naja Mikkelsen, Vice-President|
|Finland||Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters||Paula Kankaanpä|
|France||Institut Polaire Français||Yves Frenot|
|Germany||Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft||Karin Lochte|
|Iceland||RANNÍS, The Icelandic Centre for Research||Thorsteinn Gunnarsson|
|India||National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR)||M. Ravichandran|
|Italy||National Research Council of Italy||Carlo Brabante|
|Japan||Science Council of Japan, National Institute of Polar Research||Tetsuo Ohata|
|Netherlands||Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research||Peter Jordan|
|Norway||The Research Council of Norway||Susan Barr, President|
|Poland||Polish Academy of Sciences, Committee on Polar Research||Michal Luszczuk|
|Portugal||Ministério da Educação e Ciência||João Canario|
|Russia||The Russian Academy of Sciences||Vladimir I Pavlenko, Vice-President|
|South Korea||Korea Polar Research Institute||Yeadong Kim|
|Spain||Comite Polar Espanol||Antonio Quesada|
|Sweden||The Swedish Research Council||Magnus Friberg|
|Switzerland||Swiss Committee on Polar Research||Martin Schneebeli|
|United Kingdom||Natural Environment Research Council||Henry Burgess|
|United States||Polar Research Board||Larry Hinzman, Vice-President|