Polar News

News from a variety of sources dealing with polar related topics. Many thanks to APECS members for contributing to this shared resources! You can add these articles as a RSS feed in your favorite reader.

Start notice - Western Spitsbergen Svalbard Science Forum

The Governor of Svalbard has started the work on a management plan for the national parks and bird sanctuaries on the west coast of Spitsbergen. The new management plan shall apply to Northwest-Spitsbergen, Forlandet and South-Spitsbergen national parks, as well as all the bird sanctuaries in Svalbard. They now ask for input to the process, also from the scientific community.

The Svalbard Science Forum will represent the international research community in the process, both in the Reference group and the Work group on Research and education.

Open information meeting
The Governor invites to an open meeting about the process in Svalbard Science Centre in Longyearbyen on November 5th.

Submit written input
Deadline for input to the process and information regarding the area and on-going scientific activity, is December 4th, 2013.

The SSF encourages the scientific institutions active in these national parks and in the bird sanctuaries to give input to the start notice and participate actively in the process.

For more information, see letter from the Governor and the start notice document, both in English at the Governor's website.

Contact: Halvard Ranestad Pedersen

 

Greetings!

I’m sending this invitation at the recommendation of Dr. Timothy Pasch of the University of North Dakota, one of our featured speakers for a unique Arctic-focused event in North Dakota on Tuesday, November 5th.

The event will trace the lasting impact of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, relay stories of its colourful leader, Vilhjalmur Stefansson (whose early years were spent in North Dakota), and outline Canada’s northern strategy and Arctic Council priorities. Featuring three Arctic historians/anthropologists/explorers/researchers who have never before appeared together as speakers (well-known explorer Will Steger, leading CAE scientist & historian David Gray, & Professor Pasch), plus Canadian Consul General Jamshed Merchant, we eagerly anticipate both the dialogue between the speakers and the unique content presented by each. We will also be connecting digitally with elders and community members from Arviat, Nunavut, during the event.

We plan to live-stream the entire event, and will be taking questions from online audiences (via the live stream and via Twitter, using #CAE100), as well as from those at the event.

Therefore, I am writing in the hope that you might participate online and inform your networks of this event, including via social media.

Many thanks in advance for anything you might do!

Dani Fisher
Public Affairs Officer | Agente aux affaires publiques

Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis| Consulat général du Canada à Minneapolis
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

701 4th Avenue South, Suite 900, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1899
Telephone | Téléphone  612-492-2903
Facsimile | Télécopieur 612-332-4061

The Polar Geography and Cryosphere Specialty Groups of the Association of American Geographers call for papers for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the AAG under the following areas:

Polar Geography Sessions:

Sustainable Development in the Arctic (Issues pertaining to sustainable Arctic environments, cultures and economies amid climate change and globalization)

Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic (Examinations of development trends in and between Arctic communities)

Impacts of Climate Change on Arctic Communities and the Environment (Observed and anticipated impacts of a warming climate on natural and human systems in high latitude regions)

Northern Resource Geographies and Extractive Industries (Exploring the past, present and future of resource extraction in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions and its role in local and global economies)

Polar Geopolitics (Recent developments in the political landscape and governance of polar regions)

Send abstract and PIN to stephenson@ucla.edu

Cryosphere Sessions:

Advances in Cryosphere Research (Recent developments in remote sensing and modeling methodologies for any aspect of the cryosphere)

High Latitude Environments in a Changing Climate (Impacts of climate change on high latitude hydrologic, atmospheric, and terrestrial systems, including polar ice sheets)

Mountain Ice and Snow (Glacier environmental change and impacts on water resources)

Send abstract and PIN to venachu@ucla.edu 

Other sessions will be considered if there are sufficient submissions. Graduate students and young scholars are encouraged to apply. Please contact the organizers if you have any questions. If you wish to be included in one of these sessions, please register on the AAG website (http://www.aag.org/), and then submit your abstract and PIN to Scott Stephenson (stephenson@ucla.edu) or Vena Chu (venachu@ucla.edu). The deadline for submitting abstracts with a discounted registration fee is October 23, 2013. An extended deadline will be available through December 3.

Poster Session: R.S. Tarr Award for Student Research The Polar Geography and Cryosphere Specialty Groups are pleased to sponsor the annual R.S. Tarr Award for student research on any aspect of cryospheric science. The R.S. Tarr award is given to the undergraduate or graduate student presenting the illustrated paper judged best in the special R.S. Tarr Illustrated Paper Session held during the 2014 Annual Meeting. The recipient of the R.S. Tarr award will receive a cash prize.

We would like invite APECS members to contribute to a new climate science-public outreach website.

  1. Climatica(www.climatica.org.uk) is supported by societies, research institutes and the World Bank. The purpose of the website is to highlight the diversity of climate science research, and explain how the data is collected or processed and results derived. We discuss the incentive for scientific outreach in a recent Guardian article ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/jul/22/climate-scientists-communication).

We would love to receive:

  1. Topical articles from early career researchers (especially in the areas of atmospheric, ecological and other observational sciences);
  2. Stories from the field - informal, blog-like pieces from postgraduates and early career scientists about field work adventures;
  3. Sets of photos (~10) of your research, showing the different stages (data collection to end result), whether it involves numerical modelling, fieldwork or lab work.

Please contact us for more information at  climaticauk@gmail.com.

The design practice, Lateral Office, is currently working on a publication exploring the past century of building and infrastructure in Canada’s north - looking at 5 themes: mobility, resources, monitoring, settlements and architecture. The release of this publication will coincide with the mounting of our exhibition representing Canada at the 2014 Venice Biennale, entitled ‘Arctic Adaptations’.

We would like to include some high resolution photography that focuses on the 5 themes listed above in our publication. Would the International Polar Year Organization have images (either archival or current) that show specific aspects of settlement in the North, such as buildings, towns, infrastructure, technologies, hunting, resource extraction or ways of moving? Any material that you would be willing to share would of course be credited to either the organization/photographer in our publication.

Contact: Julia Smachylo, www.lateraloffice.com, www.arcticadaptations.ca

We would like invite APECS members to contribute to a new climate science-public outreach website.

 

Climatica(www.climatica.org.uk) is supported by societies, research institutes and the World Bank. The purpose of the website is to highlight the diversity of climate science research, and explain how the data is collected or processed and results derived. We discuss the incentive for scientific outreach in a recent Guardian article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/jul/22/climate-scientists-communication).

 

We would love to receive:

1.    Topical articles from early career researchers (especially in the areas of atmospheric, ecological and other observational sciences);

2.    Stories from the field - informal, blog-like pieces from postgraduates and early career scientists about field work adventures;

3.    Sets of photos (~10) of your research, showing the different stages (data collection to end result), whether it involves numerical modelling, fieldwork or lab work.

 

Please contact us for more information at climaticauk@gmail.com.

The Russian universities are changing fast and are trying to attract highly qualified and motivated post-Docs (according to my information both Russian and non-Russian) from the outside. The funding schemes are solid, for extended periods and should be attractive/ competitive on an international level. You should get in touch with your contacts in Russia to inquire about details and formalities. I have seen figures on potential salaries and additional scientific support which seemed highly attractive. I have a bit of knowledge of 2 of these schemes:

1. Post-Docs at SPbGU (information should be available on the SPbGU web-site: 100 Post-Doc positions have been made available in 2013, 60 have been awarded in the first wave, another 40 will be advertised in the near future. Applications probably through colleagues/ institutions of SPbGU. The only condition I am aware of that the potential candidates should be recruited from outside SPbGU (national or foreign).

2. New post-Doc program of the Federal Russian ministry of science and education; according to my sources the program should be made public in November 2013 and information should be/ become or is available under http://www.fcpk.ru/ and www.mon.gov.ru (here probably also in English).

---

Message for the APECS community from J. Thiede, professor at the Faculty of Geography and Geoecology, St.Petersburg State University

The International Arctic Research Center (IARC) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks seeks two instructors in physical oceanography and arctic sea ice for the 2013 summer school session cruise on board the Russian research vessel "Akademik Fedorov." The 33-day cruise departs 20
August 2013 and returns 22 September 2013 from and to Kirkenes, Norway.

The 2013 IARC summer school session, entitled "Climate Change in the Arctic Ocean" is organized for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-career scientists and will be conducted jointly with an arctic expedition as part of the Nansen and Amundsen Basin Observational System
(NABOS) project.

The session will consist of background lectures, fieldwork, and mini-projects. The mini-projects will be performed in collaboration with summer school instructors and members of the expedition. Each instructor is expected to prepare five to six lectures on special topics of the instructor's choice and one or two mini-projects that can involve modeling, collecting data, or working with available datasets. There is a possibility for instructors to conduct their own research program depending on compliance with permission issued by the Russian authorities.

Travel expenses to and from Kirkenes, Norway will be reimbursed and instructors will receive additional compensation.

Applications, including a curriculum vitae and letter of interest, should be sent via email to Tohru Saito (saito@iarc.uaf.edu).

For further information, go to:
http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/education_outreach/summer/2013

For questions, contact:
Tohru Saito
Email: saito@iarc.uaf.edu
Phone: 907-474-1544

The Antarctic continent is a frozen landscape of snow and sleet, but a new map from NASA exposes what the region would look This topography map, called Bedmap2, was compiled by the British Antarctic Survey and incorporates millions of new measurements, including substantial data sets from NASA's ICESat satellite and an airborne mission called Operation IceBridge. like if all the ice were to disappear. NASA released an animation this week revealing what lies beneath the planet’s largest ice sheet. It’s based on new data compiled by scientists at the British Antarctic Survey over the last two decades, including surface elevation readings and ice thickness data measured with ice-penetrating radar. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/06/07/tech-antarctica-ice-nasa.html

Plants that managed to re-grow after centuries buried under Arctic glaciers could prove useful for would-be pioneers hoping to explore life on other planets, research from a team ofThe plant samples from the glacier were sprinkled >explore life on other planets, research from a team of Canadian scientists has found. The results of the study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest the land plants that form the foundations of many ecosystems are surprisingly resilient and may be a useful tool for the people who have already announced plans to set up a human colony on Mars, researchers said. A team of biologists from the University of Alberta travelled to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic in order to survey plant life exposed by the retreat of the Teardrop Glacier. Lead researcher Catherine La Farge said the giant ice mass has been shrinking by between three and four metres a year since 2004, exposing larger swaths of plant life for scientists to analyze. <a href= Canadian scientists has found. The results of the study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest the land plants that form the foundations of many ecosystems are surprisingly resilient and may be a useful tool for the people who have already announced plans to set up a human colony on Mars, researchers said. A team of biologists from the University of Alberta travelled to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic in order to survey plant life exposed by the retreat of the Teardrop Glacier. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/05/28/science-plants.html 

Caribou

In the first study of its type in Canada, new research has shown caribou have a role to play in climate warming in the arctic. Despite declining herd numbers, caribou grazing is controlling plant growth in the arctic and reducing the effect of global warming! Caribou grazing has not previously been recognized as a key component to controlling tundra plant growth and therefore has been left out of models that project changes in arctic ecosystems and arctic warming.

The research was published in a recent edition of the Journal of Ecology

Read more here

Canada's northernmost research lab won't have to shut down after all and will be able to resume year-round operations, with the help of a new grant from the federal government.

Read More

CBC Canada

"At the beginning of your professional career, everything in front of you can appear daunting. During these formative years, you are deciding what you want to do, who you want to be and where you are going to start. Many of us change our minds about our future career before we hit the workforce, and then there are, of course, job changes throughout your career.

The overwhelming stress of this phase can be alleviated by finding a mentor to give you guidance and help you achieve your career goals. Learning from a successful mentor in your field of interest can elevate both your professional capabilities and confidence better than any Internet search results or well-intentioned parental advice.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of having a mentor in this competitive job market, as well as tips on how to find a mentor " - http://mashable.com/2013/04/28/mentor-career/

The International Arctic Research Center (IARC) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is announcing a summer school for PhD students, postdocs and early-career scientists. The summer school will be conducted jointly with an arctic expedition as a part of NABOS project (Nansen and Amundsen Basin Observational System) onboard the Russian research vessel “Akademik Fedorov”. Both the summer school and NABOS expedition are funded by the National Science Foundation.

The one-month summer school will bring graduate students and young scientists together with specialists in arctic oceanography and climate to convey to a new generation of scientists the opportunities and challenges of arctic climate observations and modeling. Specifically, young scientists will gain

-       hands-on experience during the field campaign;
-       perspectives on the key issues in arctic climate from observational, diagnostic, and modeling perspectives;
-       exposure to the methods used in addressing arctic climate and climate change.

The summer school will consist of background lectures, participation in fieldwork and mini-projects. The mini-projects will be performed in collaboration with summer school instructors and members of the expedition.

Key topics to be covered in the lectures include, but are not limited to, the following:

-       arctic climate: key characteristics and processes;
-       physical processes in the Arctic Ocean;
-       sea ice and the Arctic Ocean;
-       trace gases, aerosols, and chemistry: importance for climate changes;
-       feedbacks in the arctic system (e.g., surface albedo, clouds, water vapor, circulation);
-       arctic climate variations: past, ongoing, and projected;
-       global climate models: an overview.

The 33-day long NABOS expedition will start on August 22, 2013 from Kirkenes, Norway. The vessel (“Akademik Fedorov”) will return to Kirkenes on September 23, 2013. Participants will need to arrive at least one day before the departure and book return tickets at least one day after the ship’s scheduled return. All participants will be accommodated onboard Akademik Fedorov in cabins for 2 or 4 people.

IARC will issue partial travel grants for travel to/from Kirkenes, with amounts determined through an application process.

Application deadline: May 15, 2013

Application package includes CV, letter of interest and a letter of support from supervisor. The cover letter should include estimates for the participant’s travel expenses to/from Kirkenes (including lodging in Kirkenes).

Please send your applications electronically to:

Tohru Saito,
International Arctic Research Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks
930 Koyukuk Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Phone: 907-474-1544
Email: saito@iarc.uaf.edu

The Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) is an official network of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) that aims at investigating past, present and future changes in the Arctic marine ecosystem and their linkages with atmospheric, terrestrial and human components of the Arctic System (http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/en/ART). ART was founded and remains steered by Early Career Scientists, with the support of an advisory board composed of leading Arctic scientists from different disciplines.

The ART Network seeks two new Executive Committee (EC) members in order to strengthen its inter-disciplinarity, develop the science objectives of ART, and implement new network activities. New ART EC members are expected to be late PhD students or post-docs motivated by the scientific framework of ART who seek stimulating experience in network management and scientific leadership.

To apply, complete the application form available here: http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/en/ART

Deadline: 22 May 2013

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Dr. Carolyn Wegner (ART Chair)
GEOMAR, Germany
cwegner@geomar.de

Dr. Alexandre Forest (ART Junior Chair)
Takuvik Joint Laboratory
Laval University, Canada
alexandre.forest@takuvik.ulaval.ca

A record low in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic last September has been followed by a record refreezing of uncovered ocean surface, resulting in a winter maximum on 15 March that is still the sixth-lowest recorded since satellite measurements began in 1979. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, said that the data indicate “a more pronounced seasonal cycle” and “the increasing dominance of first-year ice in the Arctic”. 

Nature

Washington Post


A new arctic research facility opened in Winnipeg Monday — the same day a major late-season blizzard hit southern Manitoba.

The Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Facility opened at the University of Manitoba, and adds 60,000 sq. ft. of space for researchers to work.

David Barber is the research chair in arctic system science at the U of M and said the facility is one-of-a-kind in Canada.

“We have our own sea ice tank on the University of Manitoba campus where we can grow our own sea ice under controlled conditions,” said Barber.

“We can test out different kinds of hypotheses about characteristics of the ice.”

Read more

The more scientists study the sea ice that floats atop the Arctic Ocean, the more it resembles something that lives and breathes, a dynamic membrane that hosts microbial communities, fosters chemical reactions and connects air with water in surprising ways.

Read more

Fat-filled humps may have been an adaptation for surviving in the chilly polar forest, according to the lead author of the new findings.

“This completely changes how we think about the evolution of Paracamelus, which is the form that gave rise to the modern camel,” says Natalia Rybczynski, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa and a professor at Carleton University.

Read More

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