Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

News from and about the wider APECS Network. If you have an article to contribute, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submit via our reporting forms for APECS National Committees

Register for the Finnish-Japanese Early Career Arctic Scientists (ECASs) Workshop in Helsinki on 17 October 2016

image001The Finnish-Japanese early career arctic scientists (ECASs) workshop is organized by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) Finland and APECS Japan. It aims to shed lights on career planning and international collaboration for ECASs in Japan and Finland.

Register here

(We kindly ask you to register on the doodle poll to be able to get the name badge from the reception and enter the venue. This is also necessary for the preparation of coffee and refreshments. We also encourage you to bring your own posters for a casual poster session.)

Read more ...

Register for the APECS Netherlands / Belgium Symposium 2016

You are cordially invited for the joined Netherlands/ Belgium APECS symposium 2016, which will take place on November 2 in the NWO 'Java building' in Den Haag. This is one day before, and at the same location, as the NWO ALWNPP meeting: 'the importance and challenges of long-term polar research studies'.

There is plenty of room in the program (see attachment) for talks and posters by APECS members. We hope to be able to give everyone a change to talk and we aim for 15 minute talks, but this will depend on the total number of abstract submissions. When preparing your poster/ talk and thus the abstracts, please take into account that we're an interdisciplinary organisation with members from all fields of research, so please introduce the topic of your research clearly and avoid to much jargon.

You can register for the symposium (latest on Friday October 14) by mailing us (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.):
- Your name
- Position/ affiliation/ Field of Research
- Special dietary needs
- Your wish to give a talk or poster presentation

Abstract submission deadline: Friday October 21. Please, keep your abstract clear and not too long (max. 300 words).

Kind regards,

Douwe Maat
(on behalf of the Dutch and Belgian national APECS committees)

APECS at the CAFF Board Meeting

CAFF Board Group Photo 2016The Arctic Council working group Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), hosted a board meeting September 6-8 2016 in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. An APECS council member, Karolina Paquin was invited to attend as a representative. The meeting brought together 38 delegates from member states, permanent participants, observer states and expert organisations. Delegates came from all the Arctic states, in addition to the much appreciated participation by South Korea and Japan in relation to the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative (AMBI).

The status of ongoing projects and proposals for new projects were reviewed with efficiency, with delegates being quite pleased avoiding the need for push ups to stay awake. Make sure to keep your eyes open for upcoming publications from the projects in the next year (! The projects reviewed were: Arctic Invasive Species, Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report (SAMBR), Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Project (CBMP), Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report (SAFBR), Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Report (START), Arctic SDI, Mainstreaming/Ecosystem Services, Protected Areas: Marine and Terrestrial, Arctic Marine Cooperation Task Force, Sea Ice Associated Biodiversity, Salmon Peoples of Arctic Rivers, Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom, Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI), Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS), and the Nomadic Herders Project.

This was Karolina’s first board meeting of this caliber, and she was left with a strong impression of the professionalism, rigour and passion of the delegates. She spoke with some delegates and inquired about the initiatives taken by their organizations regarding engagement with youth and early career researchers. She can tip APECES members to:

  • potential youth engagement with Gilbert Castellanos from the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Service
  • UNEP WCMC has occasional internships based in Cambridge, and are actively looking for help from an enthusiastic early career scientist with a penchant for working with large datasets
  • The Nomadic Herders have engaged with indigenous youth by holding a workshop with 35 participants to teach them about local sustainability, indigenous knowledge, CAFF, biodiversity and conservation

Some interesting tools are in development, with expected releases in 2017:

  • ArticDEM, a 2m resolution digital elevation model of the circumpolar Arctic to be released in Norway in Spring 2017, public domain and free to use
  • Arctic Biodiversity Data Service, a database with free to use data
  • Webinars to communicate the content of the developing reports
  • Globio3, a model to assess environmental, climate and biodiversity change and fragmenting habitats, to be used by decision makers

The CAFF working group is a wonderful collection of experts from around the world, and show genuine interest in how APECS can become a partner in initiatives. We can look forward to working with them in the future, and their board meetings allow for young scientists to gain insight into the how working groups function.


Announcing the APECS Leadership 2016-2017

APECS is excited to announce that another leadership term has begun on 1 October 2016!

apecs logo webAPECS Executive Committee 2016-2017:

APECS’ tenth Executive Committee (ExCom) is now in place and ready to continue to shape the polar world.

  • Alice Bradley (University of Colorado Boulder, United States)
  • Josefine Lenz (Alfred-Wegener Institute, Germany)
  • Hanne Nielsen (University of Tasmania, Australia)
  • Alex Thornton (University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States)
  • TJ Young (University of Cambridge/British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom)

have been elected to form the ExCom, the main leadership body of APECS. Ruth Vingerhagen (United Kingdom), Heather Mariash (Canada), and Tristy Vick-Majors (Canada/United States) will serve as ex-officios and support the new ExCom over the coming year. And of course, Gerlis Fugmann, the APECS Executive Director will continue to support and foster the group from the International Directorate in Tromsø, Norway (and from February 2017 from our new location in Potsdam, Germany). More information on the APECS 2016-2017 Executive Committee can be found here.

Alice Bradley 2016APECS President 2016-2017:

With a new term, comes a new president, and this year Alice Bradley will be taking on this role. Alice is currently finishing her PhD research at the University of Colorado Boulder. She uses in situ and remote sensing observations of upper ocean heat and sea ice to study how the annual cycle of first-year ice growth in the Arctic is changing. She has been involved in APECS leadership for the past two years and is on the board of the US APECS committee.


APECS Council 2016-2017:

In 2016-2017 the APECS Council is made up of 49 very enthusiastic members from 24 countries: Sara Aparicio (Italy), Ted Bibby (USA), Gesche Blume-Werry (Sweden), Liz Bowman (USA), Julie Bull (Canada), Marta Bystrowska (Poland), Jilda Caccavo (Italy), Adam Campbell (New Zealand), Elizabeth Ceperley (USA), Henrik Christiansen (Belgium), Caroline Coch (Germany), Jennifer Cooper (USA), Adrian Dahood (United States), Meagan Dewar (Australia), Onur Sabri Durak (Turkey), Tamara Fletcher (USA), Friederike Gehrmann (Finland), Caroline Geisert (France), Vikram Goel (Norway), Claire Griffin (USA), Jean Holloway (Canada), Christopher Horvat (USA), Luis Huckstadt (USA), Bruno Ibañez (Peru), Lynn Kaluzienski (USA), Hanna Maria Kauko (Norway), Minkyoung Kim (South Korea), Nikita Kuprikov (Russia), Douwe Maat (Netherlands), Claudia Maturana (Chile), Bernabé Moreno (Peru), Swati Nagar (India), Karolina Paquin (Norway), Igor Stelmach Pessi (Belgium), José Queirós (Portugal), Pablo Rodríguez Ros (Spain), Gabriela Roldan (New Zealand), Vicki Sahanatien (Canada), Jose Séco (Portugal), Elisa Seyboth (Brazil), Evgeniia Sidorova (Canada/Russia), Merran Smith (Canada), Sara Strey (USA), Lorna Thurston (USA), Katya Uryupova (UK/Russia), Gary Wesche (USA), Scott Zolkos (Canada). Additionally, Yulia Zaika (Russia) remains on the Council in an ex-officio role. More information on the APECS 2016-2017 Council can be found here.

We once again thank the many APECS leaders that have come before us and have helped guide and foster many of those serving today! We look forward to another year with the projects that are currently underway, and continue to look for more ways that we can serve and help early career polar researchers around the world.

APECS International Directorate to be hosted by AWI from February 2017

apecs logo webAWI WortBildmarke Farbe RGBThe Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research are pleased to announce that the APECS International Directorate will be hosted by AWI at its research centre in Potsdam, Germany for five years from February 2017. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between both this week. The staff of the APECS International Directorate at AWI will include the APECS Executive Director, Dr. Gerlis Fugmann, and Heike Midleja as new half-time APECS Administrative Assistant (currently Administrative Assistant for the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)).

The APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in the polar and alpine regions and the wider cryosphere. By providing networking and career development opportunities, APECS’ activities aim to: a) raise the profile of polar research; b) develop effective leaders in research, education and outreach; and c) stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations. To achieve this, APECS works with many partners in the international polar research community and has, among others, close connections with IASC and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) with whom it has had a Memorandum of Understanding since 2008.

The AWI is a well-recognized polar research institution with high international standing engaged in research both in the Arctic and Antarctic. It provides infrastructure for polar research to national and international researchers and is active in many international committees for polar research. AWI will provide a stimulating environment for APECS through a wide scientific network, international visitors, frequent workshops and summer schools, and APECS will provide improved linkages between AWI and the next generation of polar researchers.

APECS is very thankful for this opportunity and commitment by AWI and is looking forward to a fruitful collaboration in the coming years to continue to help shape the future of polar research!

Looking for an early career researcher to join the PAIS steering committee

The Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS) Geoscience SCAR Research Programme, in cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), would like to appoint an early career researcher to the PAIS steering committee on a rotating 2 year time frame, to contribute to the leadership and implementation of PAIS activities in general, but specifically to help improve the reach of PAIS science outcomes through outreach and communication by:

  • helping develop an informative and engaging website
  • increasing the use of social media to profile PAIS publications, events and activities
  • helping attract early career researchers and students to be involved in PAIS workshops, symposia and activities (e.g. videos, blogs, exhibitions, training schools)

Applicants should be early career researcher with a PhD, and a passion for Antarctic and Southern Ocean paleoclimate research and communication of its societal relevance. The position is a volunteer position without any funding attached to it.

If you are interested in applying, please send us the following by no later than 12 October 2016 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • CV
  • Statement of Interest including:
    • Your research background and how it relates to the foci of PAIS
    • Why you would be interested in joining PAIS and how this position would be beneficial for your research career
    • Clear statement that you can commit to this position for the next two years

If you have questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Polar Week Figure Competition Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered a figure into our Fall Polar Week figure competition

Voting has closed and we can now announce the results: congratulations to all!

1st place: Noémie Ross and the 'A Frozen Ground Cartoon' team

Ross Noemi

‘A Frozen-Ground Cartoon’ is a scientific outreach project presenting permafrost research conducted in the field with thematic comic strips. It is coordinated by a core group of Permafrost Young Researchers from Canada and Europe and is funded by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). This poster is realized by Noémie Ross, a professional young artist from Montréal, Canada. For more information click here.
'A Frozen-Ground Cartoon' Team: Project Leader: Frédéric Bouchard Collaborators: Bethany Deshpande, Michael Fritz, Julie Malenfant-Lepage, Alexandre Nieuwendam, Michel Paquette, Ashley Rudy, Matthias B. Siewert, Ylva Sjöberg, Audrey Veillette, Stefanie Weege, Jon Harbor

2nd place: Mathieu Casado, University of Paris, Saclay

Acquisition of the isotopic composition signal in Polar Region: first, during evaporation, the clouds are depleted in heavy isotopes by the cumulated effect of equilibrium fractionation at the phase transition and kinetic fractionation; second, the cloud isotopic composition is depleted at each precipitation events as the heavy isotopes are preferentially found in the condensed phase; finally, in remote polar region, due to the low amount of precipitation and it is necessary to take into account post-deposition processes in the isotopic budget of the snow.

3rd place: Ruth C. Heindel, Dartmouth College

RCH soilcrustfigure

Conceptual framework for understanding the role of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in the West Greenland landscape. Starting in a high productivity stable state (shrub and graminoid tundra), wind disturbance can remove soil and vegetation, exposing loess and glacial till. After biocrust development, the role of the biocrust either as a permanent landscape cover or a successional facilitator determines whether the landscape remains in a low productivity stable state or returns to the initial high productivity state. Concept from Bowker et al., 2007.

IASC Fellowship Program 2017

iasc webapecs logo webThe International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), in cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), invites Early Career Scientists (ECS) to apply for the IASC Fellowship Program 2017.

The IASC Fellowship Program is meant to engage ECS in the work of the IASC Working Groups (WGs): Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Marine, Social & Human and Terrestrial. Each year, one Fellow per WG is chosen. IASC Fellows are doctoral or postdoctoral researchers who actively participate in selected activities of the IASC WGs. They are expected to scientifically contribute but also to help organize specific activities and to coordinate the reporting to the IASC Secretariat. Thus, the Fellowship Program provides the opportunity for ECSs to become involved in leading-edge scientific activities at a circumarctic and international level, to build an international network or contacts and also to develop management skills.

The total duration of the IASC Fellowship Program is 1+2 years. In their first year, selected Fellows will receive travel support to attend two consecutive Arctic Science Summit Weeks (ASSWs) where the annual WG meetings are held. After the first year, Fellows have the opportunity to stay involved for up to 2 more years without dedicated funding support from IASC and the further involvement is individually decided by the WG Steering Group and the Fellows. Note: The travel support during the first fellowship year is the only financial remuneration for the fellows. Salary is not included during the fellowship.

For more information please see or contact the IASC Fellowship Coordinator Maja Lisowska (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the APECS Executive Director Gerlis Fugmann (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

For this round of applications, interested ECSs have to fulfill the following criteria:

  • PhD student/candidate or postdoctoral researcher (up to 5 years past the PhD)
  • able to commit to participating in the activities of one of the IASC WGs for at least 12 months from March 2017 to April 2018.
  • able to attend the two upcoming ASSWs: 31 March - 7 April 2017 in Prague (Czech Republic) and 15 - 27 June 2018 in Davos (Switzerland, as part of the POLAR2018 conference)
  • located in an IASC member country (Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark / Greenland, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA)
  • have a good command of English

How to apply:
If you are interested in this amazing opportunity then please fill out this application form ( If you have problems accessing or submitting the form, please contact the APECS Executive Director Gerlis Fugmann at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a word version of the form.

Application deadline is Monday 14 November 2016 at 13 GMT (late applications will not be considered). Successful applicants will be notified before the end of the year.

Vote for your favourite figure!

Polar Week logo2 01

The APECS Polar Week Figure Competition 2016 received 10 submissions and now it is time for YOU to vote for your favourite!

Click here to view all the submissions and click here to cast your vote.

Voting closes midnight 25th September (GMT) and the winners will be announced shortly after.

APECS Oceania Social Media Presentation

This Polar Week (Fall 2016), communication was in the spotlight for APECS Oceania. On Monday 19 September (1300 AEST), Indi Hodgson-Johnston from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (Hobart) presented an introduction to "Social Media for Marine and Antarctic Scientists." Tune in to a recording of the talk to learn about the various social media platforms, how to use a hashtag, networking effectively online, and ways to promote your research. 

Social Media for Marine & Antarctic Scientists from APECS Webinars on Vimeo.

APECS Oceania’s Indi Hodgson-Johnston talked about:
  • The value of a social media presence 
  • Working out what you want to achieve from dipping your toe into social media
  • How to set up social media accounts (with an emphasis on Twitter)
  • How to promote your research sensibly (and avoid those trolls)
  • How much time does it take? 
  • How to find other scientists in your field
  • Etiquette, visualisation, professionalism etc. 
  • Honest reflections of several years working with companies, organisations and other researchers in social media
  • And so on… 
Why social media? 
Employers are increasingly demanding outreach and communication skills of their employees. A solid social media presence provides scientists and other researchers with precious contacts, networking and outreach opportunities that are beyond those found in traditional research institutions. But it’s a bit scary when you hear about trolling, multiple platforms etc, so that’s why we’re going to tell you all about how to set up accounts, what to say, what not to say, who to follow and so on. It’s aimed at a wide audience, from those wanting to start up an account, to those that want to refine their audiences. 

To view a recording of the presentation on the APECS vimeo channel, click here.


APECS Workshop at SCAR Open Science Conference 2016

A full day APECS workshop was held in Malaysia on August 21, immediately prior to the 2016 SCAR Open Science Conference. This workshop attracted over 60 participants, with early career researchers from all over the globe attending.

Jose Xavier from the British Antarctic Survey opened the workshop, presenting on “Networking Skills: an important soft skill for a scientist?” Next, Renuka Badhe from the European Polar Board provided an introduction to “international Cooperation and Interdisciplinary Work.” Their advice about networking was soon put into practice, with an interactive icebreaker activity encouraging participants to mingle and meet each other during the coffee break.

Jose Xavier presenting at APECS workshop     Renuka Badhe presenting at APECS workshop

Jose Xavier and Renuka Badhe present at the APECS workshop - image: Bernabé Moreno

The second part of the morning was spent learning about some of the unique projects and products that were being launched or further developed at SCAR 2016. George Roth, from the Norwegian Polar Institute, provided an introduction to Quantarctica, a collection of Antarctic geographical datasets which works with the free, open-source software QGIS. He was followed by Anne le Brocq from the University of Exeter, who provided a preview of her new interactive computer game about ice sheets in Antarctica, called “Ice Flows.” The SCAR conference provided a unique opportunity for scientists and policy makers to meet face to face, and this fact was highlighted by Gabriela Roldan from the University of Canterbury. Gabriela introduced the Survey on Antarctic Science - Policy making engagement, and encouraged all APECS members present to take place in the survey in order to improve science-policy interactions in the future. Cornelia Lüdecke from the SCAR History Expert Group also spoke briefly, and encouraged APECS members to make the most of the SCAR conference by attending sessions outside of their immediate fields.

For many of those present, the workshop was their first APECS event. APECS Director Gerlis Fugmann presented an introduction to “The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists and how to get involved” in order to outline the many activities APECS is involved in. Hanne Nielsen from APECS Oceania and Alex Thornton from USAPECS then talked about their National Committee activities.

APECS workshop participants in Kuala Lumpur (SCAR 2016)

APECS workshop participants in Kuala Lumpur - image: Bernabé Moreno

Lunch was followed by a plenary discussion on Career Paths, with the mentors Louise Huffman, (Dartmouth College, United States), Renuka Badhe, (European Polar Board, Netherlands), Anne Le Brocq, (University of Exeter, UK), and - via skype from New Zealand - Victoria Metcalf (National Coordinator of the Participatory Science Platform, Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser - New Zealand). The discussion, which was chaired by Jennifer Cooper,  provided an opportunity for those present to contemplate the range of career paths available post-PhD, including academia, industry, policy, and education.

The final session of the day involved two breakout sessions, one on ‘Writing Funding Applications,” and the other on “Sharpening communication skills.” David Walton, (British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom), Pete Convey, (British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom) and Daniela Liggett, (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) first identified common pitfalls in grant writing, and answered specific questions in smaller workshop-style groups. In the parallel session, Louise Huffman (Dartmouth College, United States), Michael Becker  (BBC Natural History Unit), Tim Naish, (University of Wellington, New Zealand), Jan Strugnell (La Trobe University, Australia) and Kenny Matsuoka (Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway) explored novel ways of communicating science to the wider public.

Many thanks to all of the mentors who helped to make the workshop a success, to Antarctic Science for providing lunch, and to the SCAR 2016 conference for providing a venue and coffee breaks. The workshop was organised by Hanne Nielsen. Alex Thornton, Bernabé Moreno, Jennifer Cooper, and Gerlis Fugmann.

Join us in celebrating International Polar Week Fall 2016

Polar Week logo2 01International Polar Week is an opportunity for APECS and its members to promote Polar science. APECS uses this opportunity to plan and develop Polar science related activities alongside teachers, educators and those interested in polar education for the equinoxes of each year. The equinoxes in March and September are the only time when everywhere on earth the day length is 12 hours, a perfect opportunity to celebrate the poles on a global scale!

The International Polar Week Fall 2016 will be from 19 - 25 September 2016! We want to celebrate by focusing on the science being conducted in the Arctic and Antarctic. Please send us your planned activities so they can be added to the Polar Week Website by filling out this form. If you have problems accessing / sending the form, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And don’t forget to send us a short article about your activities afterwards (with some pictures).

More information on International Polar Week Fall 2016 and how to participate can be found on the Polar Week page.

This year we have a number of events organised for you to take part in!

We look forward to celebrating Polar Week with you!

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A43
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Sponsors

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