This year at the Arctic Frontiers Conference, APECS organized once more the Poster awards for early career scientists. However, this time there was something different.
The poster session took place on Thursday after lunch and both the early career scientists and the experienced scientists were shinning next to their posters willing to tell everyone about their research. The secret poster evaluation committee (SPEC), consisting of members of the Arctic Frontiers Scientific Committees and some early career researchers, infiltrated themselves in between them and started asking questions and looking with critical eyes towards the content, colors, the pictures, the graphs and everything else on the poster. Some of us were not so discrete and had our evaluation sheet on our hand and were giving grades as the presenter was speaking. Others discussed the content of the poster and spent quite a long time discussing with the poster presenter all the details of their work. All in all, we had 2-3 intense hours of judging the content, structure and performance of the more than 50 posters from all early career scientists attending the meeting.
Once the poster session was over and everyone returned to the Auditorium for the next session it was time for final decision making. And we can tell you, the posters were so good in general that it was really difficult to make a final decision. Based on the points given by the secret reviewers and the performance of the person presenting the poster, we picked a winner per science part and an overall winner.
Since we were in Tromsø and science is not less than cinema, we decided to give a significant name to the awards this year: The Nansen Awards!
The ceremony took place during the conference dinner on Thursday night at the Scandic Hotel. All scientists arrived, well dressed and also well wrapped up for the cold since we were at -10°C! The buffet offered several Norwegian specialties and our toastmaster, Lars Smedsrud, made us enjoy the exquisite wine and the food very much.
The Nansen Awards ceremony started during the dessert and it was a sweet end for the great dinner. Inga Beck and Mar Fernandez Mendez, in representation of APECS, conducted the ceremony. In addition, exactly like at the Oscars, we had a celebrity to hand in the awards to the lucky winners: Prof. Paul Wassmann from the UiT The Arctic University of Norway, a member of the Arctic Frontiers scientific committees and a long-term APECS mentor. The four, very surprised, winners received from his hands a wonderful book with a compilation of outreach activities for Polar Science and a voucher for free registration (overall winner) or one-day registrations (for winners of the 3 science parts) to attend one of the next editions of the Arctic Frontiers conference. And without further delay, the winners are..
- Overall Winner: Andrian Vlakhov (European University at St. Petersburg) for “How to survive if you are outdated, environmentally unfriendly and unprofitable? Sustainability paths for Barentsburg”
- Part I: Pär Jansson (UiT) for „Ocean floor methane seeps in the north western Svalbard“
- Part II: Christian Katlein (AWI) for “Distribution of algal aggregates under summer sea ice in the Central Arctic”
- Part III: Alia L. Khan (University of Colorado) for “Assessing mining impacts from dust and black carbon on Arctic snow in Svalbard, Norway”
From APECS we would like to congratulate again the four winners for their excellent work and we encourage early career scientists to participate in upcoming conferences showing what they are capable of. A special thank you especially to the members of the Arctic Frontiers Science Committees for helping to evaluate the posters and for the rest of the secret poster evaluation committee members for coordinating and presenting the awards!
Mar, Inga and Gerlis