ISAC International Program Office

Arctic ecotourism

The ISAC International Program Office (IPO) is now located at the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (see our Contact page). Recent ISAC activities have been supported by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Ocean University of China, Queen's University, Canada, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration, and other partners and institutions.

The ISAC IPO is responsible for coordinating the activities of the ISAC Science Steering Group (SSG), facilitating collaboration among different Arctic research programs, improving cooperation in Arctic science and providing information about ISAC related and ISAC relevant initiatives. The IPO organizes meetings and workshops designed to address key scientific issues, including those relevant to platform and data sharing, and the IPO maintains a catalogue of programs that contribute to ISAC. The staff and collaborators at the ISAC IPO also conduct research, partcipate in synthesis activities, engage with diverse sectors, participate in outreach and presentations, and prepare reports and publications.


Tundra after rain

Who we are: ISAC International Program Office

Maribeth Murray, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the ISAC IPO. Her research and publications are focused on the paleo and more recent records of impacts and feedbacks from climate to people, marine mammals and fisheries in the Arctic and the extension of climate records using novel retrospective datasets. Her work is interdisciplinary laying emphasis on the integration of historical, archaeological, oceanographic, climatological and biogeochemical approaches to Arctic system science and marine ecosystem sustainability initiatives. She received a B.A. in Archaeology from Wilifrid Laurier University, an M.A. in Anthropology from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from McMaster University. From 1998 - 2013 she was on the faculty of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, before moving to direct the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA) at the University of Calgary, Canada. She can be contacted at 


Ravi Darwin Sankar is the Project Manager of the ISAC IPO and joined the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA) at the University of Calgary as an Eyes High Postdoctoral Fellow. Ravi completed his PhD in Geological Sciences at Florida State University (USA). Dr. Sankar's research is instrumental in predicting shoreline retreat and land loss rates along barrier-island and Arctic coastal settings which serve as a catalyst to planning future coastal zone management strategies that address the near-term effects of climate change on coastal environments. Ravi is a former Fulbright Scholar and completed his M.Sc in Geology and Geophysics at Florida State University, and his undergraduate degree in Physics and Environmental Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad. He has also taught courses in Geology, Physics and General Education at Florida State University (USA), Mount Royal University (Canada), University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (Trinidad) and University of the Southern Caribbean, St. Joseph (Trinidad).


Former Staff

Gabriela Ibarguchi was the Associate Director of the ISAC IPO. She has a Ph.D. in Biology from Queen's University and has worked on biodiversity in harsh environments including polar regions, arid lands, and alpine environments. Her research interests include evolution, ecology, biogeography, and conservation, with a special interest in Arctic biodiversity. Dr. Ibarguchi received her M. Sc. in Biology from Queen's University working on Arctic seabirds and population genetics, and her Hon. B. Sc. in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Toronto at Scarborough. She is a member of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program Terrestrial Steering Group (CAFF, Arctic Council) and a member of the APECS Canada Board. After working as a researcher and teaching at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, she joined the ISAC IPO in July 2014. She can be contacted at:

Lize-Marié van der Watt was the Project Manager for the ISAC IPO in Stockholm Sweden from 2012-2014. She is now a Post-Doctoral researcher at Umea University. She has a background in socio-environmental history and was instrumental in coordinating the ISAC-led SAON task Arctic Observing Summit 2013 and 2014. Previously she was involved in DST-NRF Centre for Invasion Biology's Antarctic Legacy Project, based at Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch. As part of this, she was the first humanities student in South Africa to be awarded a PhD based on polar research (2012). She was also director of the MISTRA Arctic Futures in a Global Context programme as well as involved with the EU-funded Preparatory Action towards a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of Development of the Arctic. 

CONTACT US: ISAC International Program Office


Photos: G. Ibarguchi