A retired marine scientist and former director of the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen, Norway, Nakken is one of Norway's leading experts on the ocean. He has been involved with and has contributed to ICES work since the 1960s, including serving as Norwegian Delegate to ICES from 1986-1992.
Over the course of his career, Nakken made a great impact on fisheries and their survey methodologies and assessments, as well as on training of young scientists. As an adjunct professor at the University of Bergen, Nakken was known to never lose his interest in following up and supporting young scientists.
"Like any great leader, Nakken has been succeeded by an abundance of researchers who have worked with him or been influenced by his work. ICES has been privileged to have such a scientist and leader contributing to its activities", stated Ed Houde, Chair of the ICES Awards Committee, adding that Nakken's reach goes beyond the science community: he is well-connected to and a strong communicator with the fishing community — a rare competence amongst scientists.
During his time as the director of IMR from 1986-1992, Nakken restructured the institute, guiding it to become a modern and functional organization. He also established a Centre for Aquaculture at the institute, enabling aquaculture to become one of IMR's core scientific areas.
The ICES Outstanding Achievement Award is the highest expression of recognition for an individual's contribution to ICES. Over 600 participants are gathered at the ASC in Reykjavik this week to exchange ideas and discuss emerging topics such as climate change effects on living marine resources as well as ocean acidification and its implications for marine ecosystems.
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Outstanding Award recipient Odd Nakken (left) with Awards Committee Chair Ed Houde.