Are you the next chair of the new ICES Data Science and Technology Steering Group?

“An opportunity to actively shape this new group to become a cornerstone of ICES science.”

Nominations for DSTSG chair now accepted.
Published: 7 August 2020

​​New methods, systems, and devices are transforming human interactions with the sea and our capacity to collect, quality assure, and analyse the data needed to assess and understand ecosystems and the effects of human activities and pressures.

Expert groups that explore, develop, assess, and apply new technologies as well as those that are advancing data science, systems management, quality assurance, and data governance are increasing in number within ICES. The newly created Data Science and Technology Steering Group (DSTSG) will guide and support these groups working on topics related to technology and data science.

DSTSG will comprise established groups such as our Working Group on Fisheries Acoustics, Science and Technology (WGFAST), alongside newer groups, such as the Working Group on Machine Learning in Marine Science (WGMLEARN) and the Working Group on SmartDots Governance (WGSMART) that are promoting the use of relevant machine learning technologies and improving the quality assurance of biological parameters input for stock assessments.

As Chair, you will have the opportunity to influence the direction and impact of ICES science in this area, develop an international science network, and contribute to the work of ICES Science Committee.

The chair position for the DSTSG is a four-year term from 1 January 2021. The new chair of the Data Science and Technology Steering Group will be elected in September 2020 to allow time to interact with existing steering group chairs and the current chair of the Ecosystem Observation Steering Group to support the handover of responsibilities for this group. 

Advice from the SCICOM Chair

As DSTSG is a new group, there is no current chair to give their advice on what to expect in the role. So we have asked SCICOM Chair Jörn Schmidt to describe the new position and the expectations from ICES and SCICOM.

“Emerging techniques and technologies is one of ICES science priority areas. This area is as diverse as science itself as it includes observational technologies (e.g. imaging and acoustic technologies as well as new methods, e.g. in Citizen Science) as well as new ways of analyzing (eDNA, machine learning) and data sciences (Big Data, FAIR principles). All this is often being developed in relation to its application, either within survey groups or topical groups like zooplankton ecology.

However, there may also be emerging technologies on the horizon, which have not yet been considered or are just being considered for application in marine sciences (machine learning being a recent example). Beyond this, there are increasing applications in relation to social sciences and humanities, requiring totally different ways of data collection and data handling.

Thus, this position is well suited for someone with a broad interest in innovation and the passion to look outside the box, but at the same time being attentive to the practical needs of a broad range of needs, both in science as well as in providing advice.”

If you are thinking about applying, Schmidt adds that, “this
position is important for the organization and you will have the opportunity as the first chair of this new group to actively shape it to become a cornerstone of ICES science. And rest assured that you will join a very welcoming and open community".

The term for the DSTSG Chair is four years which begins on 1 January 2021. If you have any questions regarding the role, please contact EOSG Chair Sven Kupchus or SCICOM Chair Jörn Schmidt​.

The deadline for nominations​ is Friday 21 August 2020. 


Expert groups that will be part of DSTSG

Working Group on DATRAS Governance

Working Group on Technology Integration for Fishery-Dependent Data

Working Group on Fisheries Acoustics, Science and Technology

Working Group on Spatial Fisheries Data Governance

Steering Committee of Regional Fisheries Data Base​

Working Group on Atlantic Fish Larvae and Eggs Surveys

Working Group on Recreational Fisheries Surveys

Working Group on Acoustic Data Governance

Working Group on Machine Learning in Marine Science

Working Group on SmartDots Governance

Working Group on Biological Parameters

Working Group on Commercial Catches​​


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​​ICES currently has six steering groups. When the Data Science and Technology Steering Group comes into operation in January 2021, this number will rise to seven. Each steering group addresses a broad area​ of science and advice and 'parents' a number of expert groups. Collectively, the steering groups oversee a significant proportion of the activity of ICES expert groups, as described in our Science Plan and Advisory Plan.

What does an ICES steering group chair do?

  • Works with expert group chairs to ensure that their work supports the science objectives and advisory needs of ICES 
  • Reviews the science being undertaken within groups, identifies science highlights, demonstrates the impact of their science
  • Provides groups with feedback on ways to improve the impact and influence of their work, provides the Science Committee with feedback on research priorities and implementation of ICES strategy
  • Identifies shortfalls in skills and knowledge needed to achieve ICES objectives, develops capability
  • Identifies gaps and overlaps in groups, proposes consolidation, rationalization or new groups
  • Facilitates  communication, collaboration, and coordination between expert groups and identifies opportunities for collaboration 
  • Represents the steering group at Science Committee and Advisory Committee meetings and at the Annual Science Conference​
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Are you the next chair of the new ICES Data Science and Technology Steering Group?

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