ESSAS - Ecosystem Studies of Subarctic and Arctic Seas


Charge: The ESSAS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) oversees the program and ensures steady progress towards developing the ability to predict the impact of climate change on the productivity and sustainability of Sub-Arctic marine ecosystems. The SSC develops synthesis and long-term goals. It ensures that the program remains focused on achieving these goals, and provides advice and guidance on methods and approaches to achieve them.

SSC Participants during the June 2019 SSC meeting in Brest, France. Back row, standing from left: Alan Haynie, George Hunt , Samuel Rastrick, Franz Mueter, Benjamin Laurel, Olafur Astthorsson, Ben Fitzhugh, and Ken Drinkwater. Front row, standing from left: Benjamin Planque, Sei-Ichi Saitoh, Caroline Bouchard, Kumiko Azetsu-Scott, Naomi Harada, Nicole Misarti, and Irene Alabia.

The SSC forms expert working groups (WGs) to undertake the research and work of ESSAS. It facilitates cross-disciplinary communication/coordination of national ESSAS programs within and between the working groups. It also facilitates/coordinates interactions with other regional programs and working groups of IMBeR (ICED, SIBER, CLIOTOP, CCCC, SO, SPACC, HDWG, CMWG), and with other relevant programs (ASOF, CLIVAR, PICES, ICES, ASIC, etc). The ESSAS SSC also interacts with the IMBeR SSC and its IPO. Meetings are held annually to assess progress toward the synthesis goals and review reports on progress and plans from the various working groups.


Membership includes scientists from participating countries. Those currently represented include: Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Iceland, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia, and the United States. Working Group chairs are included as ex-officio members. Three ESSAS Co-Chairs are elected from the SSC membership — one from Asia, one from North America, and one from Europe.


Kumiko Azetsu-Scott Member since 2013
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
P.O. Box 1006, Dartmouth, N.S. Canada B2Y 4A2
Tel: +1 902 426 8572
Biosketch Kumiko Azetsu-Scott

Ken Drinkwater (Ex-officio member as former Co-Chair)
Member since 2005
Institute of Marine Research 
P.O box 1870 Nordnes, NO-5817 Bergen
Tel +47 55 23 69 90
Fax +47 55 23 85 31
Biosketch Ken Drinkwater

Naomi Harada (Co-Chair) Member since 2013
Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute
The University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha
Kashiwa-shi 277-8564, Japan
Tel +81-4-7136-6364
Biosketch Naomi Harada

Professor George L. Hunt (Ex-officio member as former Co-Chair ) Member since 2005
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Box 355020 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195
Tel +206 221 6118
Fax +206 685 7471
Biosketch George Hunt

Franz Mueter (Co-Chair) Member since 2011
University of Alaska Fairbanks
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
315 Lena Point, 17101 Pt. Lena Loop Rd.
Juneau, AK 99801, USA
Tel +1-907-796-5448
Biosketch Franz Mueter

Sei-Ichi Saitoh (Ex-officio member as former Co-Chair)
Member since 2013
Hokkaido University Arctic Research Center  
Kita-21 Nishi-11 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan 001-0021
Tel: +81-11-706-9073
Biosketch Sei-Ichi Saitoh

Benjamin Planque (Co-Chair) Member since 2018
Institute of Marine Research 
P.O box 1870 Nordnes, NO-5817 Bergen
Tel +47 55 23 69 90
Fax +47 55 23 85 31
Biosketch Benjamin Planque

Caroline Bouchard (Member)  Member since 2018
Greenland Institute of Natural Resources 
Greenland Climate Research Center 
P. O. Box 570, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland
Tel +299 36 12 00
Biosketch Caroline Bouchard

Hyun-Cheol Kim (Member)  Member since 2018
Center of Remote Sensing & GIS, KOPRI 
Songdomirae-ro Yeonsu-gu Incheon, 21990, Korea
Tel +82-32-760-5335
Biosketch Hyun-Cheol Kim

Toru Hirawake (Member)  Member since 2019
National Institute of Polar Research 
Bioscience Group 
10-3, Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518, Japan
Tel +81-42-512-0738
Biosketch Toru Hirawake

Guðbjörg Ásta Ólafsdóttir (Member)  Member since 2021
University of Iceland 
Research Centre of the Westfjords 
Hafnargata 9b, IS 415 Bolungarvik, Iceland
Tel +354 88 9037
Biosketch Guðbjörg Ásta Ólafsdóttir

Beatriz dos Santos Dias (Member)  Member since 2022
University of Alaska Fairbanks 
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences 
2150 Koyukuk Drive, 245 O’Neill Building PO Box 757220, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7220
Biosketch Beatriz dos Santos Dias

Contact us

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

Benjamin Planque
Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway

Franz Mueter
University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA

Naomi Harada
Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo
Kashiwa, Japan

ESSAS SSC Membership

Past Members:
Kurt Tande (2005-2007)
Astrid Jarre (2005-2009)
Egil Sakshaug (2005-2008)
Vladimir Radchenko (2006-2010)
Bernard Megrey (2006-2010)
Hyung-Cheol Shin( 2007-2011) 
Earl Dawe (2008-2012)
James Overland (2005-2013)
Yasunori Sakurai (2005-2014)
Kai Wieland (2005-2014)
Erica Head (2005-2015)
Sung-Ho Kang (2011-2014)
Sen Tok Kim (2011-2017)
Hyoung Chul Shin (2014-2017)
AnnDorte Burmeister (2015-2017)
Olafur S. Astthorsson (2005-2019)