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2017 ESSAS Open Science Meeting

See this page for information about 2017 ESSAS  3rd International Open Science Meeting
ESSAS will hold its 3rd International Open Science Meeting 11 to 15 June 2017 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Tromsø, Norway.  Co-sponsored by ICES, the main theme is Moving in, out and across the Subarctic and Arctic marine ecosystems: shifting boundaries of water, ice, flora, fauna, people and institutions.

ESSAS (Ecosystem Studies of Subarctic and Arctic Seas) will hold its 3rd Open Science Meeting 11 to 15 June 2017 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Tromsø, Norway. Co-sponsored by ICES, the title of the meeting is Moving in, out and across the Subarctic and Arctic marine ecosystems: shifting boundaries of water, ice, flora, fauna, people and institutions.

During the last decade or more there has been a rapid increase in the air and sea temperatures in the Arctic and a corresponding decline in summer sea-ice cover in the Arctic Ocean, including changes in the timing of ice retreat in the spring and ice formation in the fall as well as a decreases in the ice thickness and the loss of multiyear ice. In the Subarctic seas there have also been large changes in sea temperatures but with spatial variability. For example, generally warm conditions have been observed in the Nordic Seas of the North Atlantic while in the Bering Sea temperature conditions have varied between warm and cold periods with corresponding decreases and increases in winter sea-ice cover, respectively.

These changes in the water and ice properties have resulted in changes in the biogeochemistry and ecology of these regions including increased ocean acidification as well as the expansion northward of many species of plankton and fish. Growth rates, recruitment levels and phenology are also changing, resulting in increased abundances of some species and decreases in others. Changes in distribution and abundance of fish populations are resulting in changes in fisheries. For example, in some areas invasive species have resulted in the development of new fisheries while the loss of traditionally harvested stocks in other areas has caused those fisheries to disappear. This has resulted in difficulties with fisheries management based on historical fishing rights, e.g. Atlantic mackerel in the North Atlantic.

This symposium is intended to attract an interdisciplinary group of scholars who will be prepared to discuss their research in the Subarctic of both the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, and in the Arctic Ocean. We wish to document the changes that have occurred in the distant to recent past, the processes that led to these changes, and how future changes are likely to further affect these marine ecosystems. We also wish to consider the people who depend upon these ecosystems and how they may cope with the changes in the goods and services that they derive from these ecosystems. These include the availability of subsistence foods and the opportunity for commercial fishing. Contributions are sought on economic and societal pressures to coastal communities and nations in relation to ecosystem changes. To put the present day in a longer-term perspective, the symposium will include a session on the paleo-ecology of ecosystems and people in Subarctic and Arctic regions related to changing temperature and sea-ice conditions in the past.


Ken Drinkwater (Norway), Franz Mueter (USA), Sei-Ichi Saitoh (Japan)

Local Committee:

Benjamin Planque (IMR), Vera Lund (IMR), Håkon Hop (Norwegian Polar Institute), Bodil Bluhm (U. Tromsø), Paul Renaud (AquaPlan Niva), and Maria Fossheim (Fram Centre, IMR). Lisa Maddison (IMBER IPO) will collect the OSM registrations and Abstract Submissions.

Symposium SSC:

Olafur Astthorsson (ICES, Iceland), Andrey Dolgov (Russia), Naomi Harada (Japan), Alan Haynie (USA), George Hunt (USA), Shin-Ichi Ito (Japan), Gudrun Marteinsdottir (Iceland), Sue Moore (USA), JeanEricTremblay (Canada), John Walsh (USA), Paul Wassmann (Norway), Jinping Zhao (China).

Registration Fee: To be determined.

Format of the meeting:

  • 1st day. Symposium-related workshops with subjects to be decided by call for suggested proposals. These may be half day or full day workshops.
  • 4 days of Meetings with mornings in plenary and afternoons in parallel sessions
  • 1-2 invited speakers per session (mostly in plenary)
  • Posters up throughout the 4 days of the meeting

Theme Sessions:

  • Paleo-Ecology: This session will span paleoclimate-paleoecology-archaeological-human history dimensions of climate and sea-ice change.
  • Ecosystem impacts of advection and mixing: This session will explore the influence of advection and mixing on marine ecosystems from effects on hydrography and nutrients to marine mammals and seabirds.
  • Timing/phenology and match-mismatch: are they critical issues? : What is the observational evidence for the match-mismatch or other phenology-related hypotheses in Sub-Arctic and Arctic ecosystems?
  • Future Sub-Arctic and Arctic Marine Ecosystems under Climate Change: This session will focus on what will happen under future climate change to the atmospheric climate, oceanography, ecology, fish, fisheries and human institutions in the Sub-arctic and Arctic regions.
  • Shifting habitats, persistent hot spots, and the distribution of benthos, plankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals - observations, models, mechanisms and effects: This session will focus on exploring the mechanisms linking organisms to biophysical habitats.
  • Ocean Acidification: The formation and transport of corrosive waters in the Arctic and Subarctic–do they matter?
  • Multiple Stressors: This session will examine the combined effects of multiple stresses, such as climate change, ocean acidification, invasive species, fishing, etc., on Arctic and Sub-Arctic ecosystems and their management systems,
  • Science, Policy and Management: This session will explore the influence of science on policy and management decisions, what policy developers and managers really need from science, and how to improve communications between science and managers.
  • General Open Session: This session will provide an opportunity to those whose work does not fit within the other more focused sessions.

Social Events: Welcome reception (Icebreaker)

Poster session with reception

Conference dinner or event

A special volume of the ICES Journal of Marine Science to be published within 18 months of the meeting.

Contact Us

For any questions about ESSAS or further information please contact any of the
ESSAS Co-chairs

Ken Drinkwater
Institute of Marine Research
Bergen, Norway
E-mail: ken.drinkwater@imr.no

Franz Mueter
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Alaska, USA
E-mail: fmueter@alaska.edu

Sei-Ichi Saitoh
Hokkaido University
Hakodate, Japan
E-mail: ssaitoh@salmon.fish.hokudai.ac.jp