Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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Do you want to know what is going on within the APECS Canada Board? Keep checking for news!

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Winner of the APECS Canada-ASA Mentor Award 2016 - Joel McAlister

Joel McAlister, Environment and Natural Resource Technology Senior Instructor at Aurora College, won the 2016 APECS Canada-ArcticNet Student Association Mentor Award.

joel 4

Photo by Aurora College

Joel was nominated by both peers and students. When the Mentor Award Committee hosted its conference call in early November, it was a challenge to determine the 2016 winner – all nominations were tremendous! Out of nine highly qualified candidates, Joel was distinguished based largely on his deep connections to community – he is certainly greatly invested in the community of Aurora College and the larger Inuvik region!

Joel had close to two dozen letters of support from past and current students, all of whom identified his unwavering commitment to supporting and engendering his student’s learning process. Of note is Joel’s continued work in ensuring that traditional Indigenous ways of knowing guide the endeavours of western science researchers across Inuvialuit and Gwitch’in territories. Joel practices his mentorship under the guidance of the community, and his humility and respect for other knowledges is commendable. Congratulations, Joel!


Photo by Mike Sudoma

At the 2016 ArcticNet ASM banquet in Winnipeg, Joel accepted his award. Award Committee members Kate Snow, Jen Lalonde, and Rudy Riedlsperger were on hand to introduce the winner to the hundreds of scientists, academics, and researchers present. One of Joel’s prior students and current colleague and friend, Sarah Beattie, participated in creating a slide show and video about the great things Joel has been involved in. Look here for the video.

We would like to send a HUGE thank you to all of those who helped contribute to Joel’s win, as well as all of those who worked hard to ensure that the other eight mentors had been nominated. Thank you!!

A new Call for Nominations for the 2017 Mentor Award will be circulated in April, 2017.

For the 2016 Awards Committee,

Marney Paradis

Chair, 2016 APECS Canada-ASA Award Committee

APECS Booth at Haines Junction Mountain Fest!

IMG 4589APECS Canada Logo webTo have a local ECR presence at the Haines Junction Mountain Festival, we had Marney Paradis (APECS Canada), Ellorie McKnight (previously APECS Council), and myself (APECS Canada) organize and host an APECS booth in the atrium of the Haines Junction Convention Centre. We had APECS promotional materials (posters, brochures) available, researcher updates from three different research groups that work in the Kluane region, a slideshow of research photos, and a button-making activity. The buttons were a big hit with adults and kids alike leaving a booth with a hand drawn button, photo of local plants or animals, or a small section of a local map! It was great to share more about APECS with Mountain Fest attendees and grow our northern Canadian presence. Thanks to APECS for helping us with promotional materials, Team Shrub at University of Edinburgh for the photos, Dr. Gwenn Flowers at SFU for photos/research handout, Ellorie for the help and research updates, and Marney for the help and the amazing button art activity! Looking forward to more outreach events in Canada's northern territories, stay tuned!

Canadian Polar Week activities - get involved!

Hello APECS Canada!

We are looking for volunteers to help out with Polar Week this March 2016.

Polar Week is an international event aimed to promote polar science and a great and fun opportunity to get involved in some education and outreach events! Check out this poster for more information about how you can get involved.

Please contact Kristen (kmpeck "at" ASAP with your interest, as these events are coming up soon!


ehPECS PolarWeek 2016 Poster

APECS Canada and the Northern Contaminants Program

On Oct 6th and 7th, 2015 I attended the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) fall Management Committee meeting representing APECS and to present the APECS Canada application for increasedpartnership with NCP. The purpose of the fall meeting each year is for the management committee to review the mid-year reports, identify any challenges or problem areas, and make an action plan to address an issues that arise. The NCP management committee is made up of representatives from northern territorial and regional governments, indigenous people’s organizations, partners from other federal departments with interests in northern contaminant research and the chairs of the regional contaminants committees (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut).

One of the recurring themes throughout the meeting was the desire for projects to develop communication plans and to increase the inclusion of traditional knowledge in research plans. The management committee also went through mid-year reviews of the projects and identified several that needed assistance in meeting their annual goals in these regards.

The NCP annual results workshop this year will be held in conjunction with the ArcticNet Annual Science Meeting in Vancouver, BC. The goal of this annual workshop is to have researchers, community members, and the wider NCP community to get together and discuss updates, results and future plans. The management committee discussed what the theme will be for the annual results workshop, how to better engage northern participants in the workshop, and tried to maximize the funds that will be available for travel for partners to attend the conference.

Lastly, I presented the NCP management committee with the proposal developed by a working group from the APECS Canada board in increase involvement of APECS members. Due to multiple applicants applying for a seat on the management committee it was determined that a more in-depth discussion beyond the meeting was needed to properly evaluate the applications. We hope to hear back from NCP in late November regarding APECS involvement.

CHARS Management Committee meeting - May 2015

As the APECS representative to the Canadian High Arctic Reserach Station (CHARS) management committee I attendeed the most recent meeting in May 2015. At the meeting an update of staffing and projects run by CHARS was given. Although CHARS supports numerous projects throughout the Canadian north, the main part of the program will run out of the reserach station in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Construction on the buiding is now underway, with the triplexes that will house staff and visiting researchers the first phase. Once this phase is complete, the construction of the main resrach buildings will begin. 

Also in the works is the change from CHARS being a program within Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development of Canada (AANDC) to joining with the Canadian Polar Commisssion (CPC) and becoming a crown corporation. This transition has taken up much of the man-power of the CHARS/CPC staff, but is slated to be finalized in the coming months. You can read more about CHARS here

The management committee also discussed how future calls for proposals will function, and how the priorities will be determined. Working groups will be formed from the management committee and invited experts to determine scientific priorities and needs CHARS will focus on under the Canada's Northern Strategy.  

Lastly, the proposals submitted for this years funding were reviewed. A selection committee made up of ten members from the manangement committee reviewed each proposal in detail and made recommendations to the larger management committee on what projects were to be funded this round. A large emphasis on placed on assessing how projects involved northerns. The management committee accepted the recommendations of the selection committee, and those recommendations will now be presented to the AANDC minister for final approval (since CHARS is still technically under AANDC). 

The management committee is slated to meet next via a conference call in the fall to discuss the next call for proposals. 

Call for Contributions from Environmental Science researchers in the Yukon

Dear APECS Colleagues,

Wanted! Case Studies for Environmental Science research in the Yukon!

The Yukon College is currently developing an Environmental Science online course and is seeking input from researchers working in the Yukon on topics related to Environmental Science! This is an opportunity to highlight your Yukon-based research in a Yukon College online class room by either providing content for the course or through participation in an online-webinar during the course.

Background: The ENVS100 online course, a 100-level Environmental Science course, with a focus on community impacts will be offered online through Yukon College. Every second week of the course, a Case Study related to the weekly course theme will be presented to the students. This Case Study would be based in the North (ideally in the Yukon), can be conducted by communities, academics, government agencies, or private entities. Themes/topics of environmental science research can be focused on terrestrial, water (freshwater and marine), wildlife, contaminants or integrate one or more of these topics. Case studies should focus on ‘western science’ but can include traditional knowledge methods. Students enrolled in this course are not pursuing a science program but wish to learn more about the physical and biological processes that shape our environment. Students will thus appreciate high-level overviews of your important work, which introduce your subject of expertise and highlight the relevance of your research to them and their communities in an accessible way!

Ways you can contribute:

1.       Provide content (to be readied by mid-June 2015)

a.      You provide raw materials (and work with the instructor and YC staff on creating content)

b.      You provide online content (with the aid from YC staff and instructor)

2.       Participate in a webinar (dates TBD)

Length: the final content of each Case Study should be a maximum of 20 minutes in duration.

Types of material sought:

1.       Voice over power point slides (or alike presentation platform)

2.       Video explaining theory being applied in research (during field work / lab work / etc)

3.       Online short-courses or virtual labs or demonstrations etc

4.       Interactive online teaching tools or Social Media interactions

Themes / topics: Water, Terrestrial, Wildlife, and Contaminants

If you are interested in contributing to ENVS100 or wish to receive more detailed information on how, please respond to this email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or contact Dr. Nikolaus Gantner at (250) 532 9780 by April 30th 2015.

All contributions must be confirmed by May 15th 2015 to allow for timely inclusion in the course curriculum.


Note: You received this email as you have been identified as a leader or member of a relevant organization or research project. Should you or a member of your organization or project team not be able to contribute, we would appreciate if you could suggest colleagues that might be interested in contributing to us or pass this invitation on to a colleague on our behalf. Apologies for cross postings.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Nikolaus Gantner


Dr. Nikolaus Gantner
Curriculum Developer
Yukon College
500 College Drive, PO Box 2799
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 5K4 Canada

Phone: (250) 532 9780 (off campus)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

start here. go anywhere.

The 2014 APECS Canada-ASA mentor Award goes to Dr. Éric Dewailly (1957-2014)

The late Dr. Éric Dewailly posthumously received the APECS Canada-ArcticNet Student Association Award 2014. The review committee (see members on this site) received six nominations in September, which it assessed and ranked throughout the month of October. During a conference call the committee reached a consensus-based decision.

Dr. Éric Dewailly, a professor at Laval University, was tragically killed in a rock slide on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean in the summer of 2014. His nomination stood out from all six excellent submissions.

Three former trainees of Éric, Drs. Melanie Lemire, Mylene Riva and Michel Lucas accepted the award on his behalf during the ArcticChange2014 meeting banquet on Thursday, December 11th, 2014. Award Committee Chair Dr. Nikolaus Gantner (APECS Canada) and Rudy Riedlsperger (ArcticNet SA) introduced the awardee to the 1,000+ delegates.


Image Source: Twitter (@ArcticNet)

During the moving ceremony, Melanie, Mylene, and Michel spontaneously invited all those on stage that were closely working with Éric, resulting in a full centre stage, further highlighting Éric’smentorship and contribution over several decades of Arctic research.

You can learn more about Éric’s life and accomplishments here.

We would like to thank all individuals and organizations who contributed to the six nominations for this 2014 award.

Nominations are now open for the 2015 mentor award. Please visit here to find out more.


Media Coverage of the 2014 Award:

CBC News:

Arctic Change 2014 (VIDEO):

Finding True North blog:

Note: we are happy to add links to stories about the 2014 Award here.

Opportunities for science-policy work in Arctic monitoring

The Canadian Polar Commission and APECS Canada are launching a partnership to provide opportunities for keen APECS Canada members to accomplish important science-policy work by proactively reporting on significant monitoring results within Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) Canada. Further information on SAON is available at and

In order to help promote the monitoring activities of SAON Canada to a wider audience, the Canadian Polar Commission (CPC) will facilitate the production of a Results Bulletin every 1-2 weeks that reports on policy-relevant progress made by the SAON networks and associated projects. The research and writing for the Bulletins will be conducted by APECS Canada members, contracted on a part-time basis for one academic term.

The monitoring networks within SAON Canada are organized into the following five themes, as well as 'Multidisciplinary Networks':
Atmospheric Observations
Aquatic Ecosystem Observations
Terrestrial Ecosystem Observations
Cryospheric Observations
Human Health
Keen interest in gaining experience at the science-policy interface
Expertise in one of the above five monitoring themes
Independent, self-driven, able to effectively manage time
Excellent communication skills; ability to communicate complex scientific concepts to non-scientists
Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills
APECS member (free registration here)
Graduate student, Post-doc and professional (up to three years after graduation).

The CPC is currently seeking six analysts per term for the following terms: fall (Sept-Dec 2014) and winter (Jan-Apr 2015). This will include one individual for each of the above five themes (projects within Multidisciplinary Networks will allocated to the most closely aligned network), and one individual as the coordinator and editor. The analysts will be responsible for reporting regularly on results of SAON projects within their designated theme, and will be supported by a Policy Analyst as a mentor. Further detail on the structure of the opportunity and deliverables is available at: (click here).

All six analysts will be employed by the CPC and must be able to commit 4-5 hours a week during the 12-week term to this project, for which they will be remunerated approximately $1000. These are remote positions, so analysts may be located anywhere but must be able to ensure regular and reliable internet access for emails, webinars, and teleconferences with other analysts, mentors and project scientists.

Candidates must fulfill the following criteria:
To apply, please fill out the attached application (click here) and submit it along with a cover letter and CV to Louise Chavarie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by June 3, 2014 (ensure to add SAON in your subject). In your cover letter, please state your reasons for applying for this position and what previous experience makes you a strong candidate.

All applications will be reviewed by a committee at APECS Canada and the Canadian Polar Commission, and applicants selected for interview will be contacted within two weeks of the closing date. Ideally, interviews will be held on Wedesnday and Thursday, June 11-12 2014.

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A45
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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