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

APECS Education and Outreach Survey

One of the immediate results of the Fourth International Polar Year (2007-2008) was an increase in the visibility of education and outreach activities across the polar research community. Not least was the founding of APECS. It is now 10 years since the last IPY and we would like to ascertain what impact involvement in APECS' education and outreach activities has had on your career as part of a wider effort documenting the legacy of IPY on education, outreach and engagement. We would like to encourage as many members (past and present) to fill in the survey, no matter what your level of involvement was.

The survey has now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!

APECS International Polar Week Fall 2017 from 18 - 24 September!

Polar Week logo2 01APECS International Polar Week Fall 2017 will be from September 18-24! Polar Week is a series of events happening globally, with the goal of promoting the science taking place in polar latitudes.

For the upcoming Polar Week we are specifically highlighting how we are living in a #PolarWorld, where issues happening in the poles affect everyone on the globe. To learn more about the #PolarWorld tune in to our online events throughout Polar Week:

We encourage APECS members and National Committees to organize their own activities and to submit details via the Polar Week website!

To find out more about the events and how to participate, please visit our Polar Week website. If you have any questions, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

#PolarWorld FrostByte competition

APECS is holding a #PolarWorld FrostByte competition, with winners announced during International Polar Week, from 18 - 24 September 2017! FrostBytes are short audio or video recordings used as a tool to help researchers easily share their latest findings with a broad audience. This year’s fall celebrations of the #PolarWorld and wider cryosphere will highlight how what happens in the poles affects the entire world as well as science, people living and working there, and international collaboration. We invite APECS members to send in short videos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than September 15, 2017. For more information, visit the competition website.




Polar Film Festival 2017

In conjunction with Polar Week 2017, USAPECS is announcing the second annual Polar Film Fest 2017 from 18 - 22 September 2017.  This year's theme is #PolarWorld, so we're looking to showcase the best the planet has to offer in movies about the Arctic, Antarctic, and wider cryosphere - no matter what language they're in.

We're looking for film suggestions that fit any of the following themes:

1) #PolarWorld: Polar Issues are Global
2) Science in Action: Working in Extremes
3) People at the Poles: The Human Dimension
4) Polar Policy: Preparing for the Future
5) Icing on the Cake: Frozen Fun

Film eligibility and submission
We invite you to please submit your suggestions by August 25 through the Google Form we've set up. Films may be original or produced by someone else. To submit your own film, upload it to a video sharing site (i.e., YouTube or Vimeo) and submit the link, along with a description of the film and a note indicating that you made the film, on the submission form. Films produced by others must be available publicly online. Films that can be watched for free are preferred, but please do not submit links to illegal streaming websites.

In-person and virtual watch parties
Once the films have been selected and curated, organizers from US APECS will be putting together a schedule with virtual and in-person watch parties. If you're interested in organizing an event, please get in touch with Mia Bennett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Spread the word!
Please share this email and the below graphic with your networks. The more submissions we have, the better.

For more information and to submit films, go to the Polar Film Fest 2017 page

Polar Film Fest 2017

APECS Oceania Symposium - Abstract Submission and Registration now OPEN

“Addressing future Antarctic challenges from an Oceania perspective”

18th – 19th September 2017

Monash University, Melbourne (Australia)


APECS O logo.jpg

Global change now, more than ever before, is threatening society and biodiversity around the planet. The Antarctic region is no exception, and whilst largely considered to be pristine, and a “nature reserve, devoted to peace and science”, it is actually at risk from multiple pressures. The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced one of the most rapid temperature rises in the Southern Hemisphere, and managing invasive species has been labelled as the number one priority of the Antarctic Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP). Tourist numbers to the region continue to grow and each year more countries are interested in joining the Antarctic Treaty System and being involved with the governance of Antarctica. We are only beginning to understand what these changes mean for Antarctic science, biodiversity and society.

What can the Oceania region do to help address future Antarctic challenges and in what way can we contribute to perpetuate the aims of the Antarctic Treaty and the Protocol for Environmental Protection?

The 1st APECS Oceania symposium aims to bring together early career Antarctic researchers from across Oceania to address these questions and highlight what our region can contribute to tackling future Antarctic challenges.

This two days Symposium will include keynote presentations from prominent Antarctic Scientists, APECS Oceania Members and 2 x half day workshops.


The symposium will run on 18th – 19th of September as part of Polar Week celebrations worldwide.


The symposium will be held in Australia with presentations from early career scientists and keynote speakers. For NZ speakers unable to attend in person – we can connect via video link to allow attendees to participate from across the Tasman Sea.

The venue for this event will be: Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract Submission:

Opening: A call for abstracts is now open

Closes: Abstract submission closes on the 30th of July 2017

Click link here for Abstract submission


All abstracts will be written in English
Abstract must be limited to 300 words
Include your name and any other authors involved in this presentation
Include your institution and your additional author institutions
Include a short title which summarises your presentation
State which session you want your abstract to be submitted to


To attend the APECS Oceania Symposium are now open. To register click here.


This event is sponsored by Monash University.

2017 APECS International Mentorship Award Recipients: Dr. Hugues Lantuit and Dr. Renuka Badhe

APECS is thrilled to announce our 2017 APECS International Mentorship Award recipients - Dr. Hugues Lantuit and Dr. Renuka Badhe! These awards were established as a meaningful way to recognize and honor the efforts of mentors within the international polar science community who have devoted significant time and energy towards building a supportive community for early career researchers (ECRs).

This year, we received several deserving nominations for both categories and it was difficult for our award committee to select the winners in both award categories:

HuguesDr. Hugues Lantuit (Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany) is the 2017 recipient in the APECS category, where APECS committees were encouraged to nominate a mentor who has made an outstanding contribution to the success of APECS. Ten years ago, Hugues was the co-founder of APECS, a network that supported since its formation over 7600 members during the early stages of their careers. With this, as well as with the foundation of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN), he “provided ECRs with platforms to get connected with each other and to get deeply involved into the international polar research landscape”. Hugues has been an inspiration and bright example of passion for the polar sciences for many early career researchers and he provided solid foundations for future polar scientists to get actively engaged. Among others, through this position as the Executive Director of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) he helped to develop and maintain frameworks for the inclusion of ECRs at professional events, meetings, committees and working groups of which many APECS members have benefitted from over the years.

Hugues has been a great motivator and supporter for early career scientists. Since the foundation of APECS, he has been involved in many of our workshops and webinars, serving as a mentor for the participants and sharing his experience and advice; for example, how to navigate the world of polar acronyms or networking at conferences. Aided by his understanding that people will achieve more as a group than as individuals, he has supervised more than 20 PhD, Master’s, and Bachelor students. Nominators reiterated that “it was [Hugues] who infected [them] with the desire to learn more about the Polar regions” and provided the opportunity to succeed through fieldwork, speaking opportunities, and trusting them to take control of their academic careers.

Renuka BadheDr. Renuka Badhe (European Polar Board, Netherlands) is the 2017 recipient in the member category, where we encouraged APECS members to nominate someone who has been an outstanding personal mentor to them in their career. Dr. Badhe was nominated by several individuals who said that, “as far as mentors go, Renuka belongs in the ‘rockstar’ category.” Renuka has been been a strong supporter of several APECS national committees, and early career researchers and professionals from around the world have benefitted from her generous donation of time and sharing of her expertise. She is also a masterful creator of networks, not only amongst APECS members but the entire global polar community. Furthermore, not only is she a high-profile woman in polar science, but Renuka has also been open about the challenges she has faced throughout her career while remaining an outspoken advocate for members of underrepresented communities.

The nomination letters emphasized that she “never hesitates to provide support whether it is through her professional position or personal engagement”. Her “mentorship has been anything but passive. She has consistently gone out of her way to ensure that my voice is heard in professional settings as well as become a true friend - one of the few people I know that I can call upon at any hour, with any professional or academic concern, and she'll be there with a compassionate ear and thoughtful advice". The nominators also highlighted Renuka`s “talent for identifying someone’s research interests and priorities, and introducing them to leaders in the field, with a suggestion of how they may be able to mutually assist one another”. She is “a strong advocate for early career researchers, [who] helps to push our work to the forefront even when we might lack the confidence to do so”.

On behalf of all APECS members, we would like to sincerely thank Hugues and Renuka for everything that they have done as mentors for both our organization and so many of us as individuals. We are honored to present the 2017 APECS International Mentorship Award to them both as a small token of our enormous gratitude for their time, wisdom, and passion.

Would you like to recognize a mentor for their commitment? Nominations for the 2018 APECS International Mentorship Award will be announced early in 2018 on our website. You can learn more about this year’s nomination process through our archived page

APECS Workshop at SCARBio17

One day ahead of the recent 2017 SCAR Biology Symposium, APECS organized an early career scientist workshop for conference participants (and anyone else interested). Lovely weather, sci-comm, fabulous guests, … read further for some impressions.

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The conference, which brought >300 Antarctic scientists from all over the world together, was scheduled to start on Monday. For this workshop, 37 people (+4 speakers) met already on Sunday morning on KU Leuven premises. The main workshop theme was “communicating with a non-scientific audience”. After getting organized, we jumped right in with José Xavier, scientist in Portugal and England, explaining what science communication is and why it is important. Siska Waelkens, working for the Faculty of Science of KU Leuven, then talked about the bridge that scientists need to build between themselves and others to facilitate mutual understanding. We continued with a coffee break (also very important for communication…). Stéphanie Brabant from France TV subsequently showed footage recorded during the recent Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition. She showed both good and less good examples of live interviews, outlining aspects that are critical to keep in mind when being interviewed as a scientist. Lastly, we switched topics with Grant Humphries (from up next, talking about scientific data management – another crucial issue for basically any scientist.


Leuven spoiled us with perfect weather, so lunch was quickly relocated to the park just outside the building. In the afternoon we split up into two working groups: delving deeper into writing for non scientific audiences (for example school kids) and giving an interview with journalists. We briefly re-gathered, exchanged experiences and enjoyed another coffee break, before again splitting up for two parallel breakout sessions. This time one group worked with Grant through some examples of sharing code and/or data with github (an extremely useful tool, for those that don’t know it). In the other group we practised giving “lightning presentations” – in this case short two minute presentation without supporting slides. Not an easy task at all, so worthwhile practicing! After this long day, we met once more to briefly tell each other what we learned and saying our goodbyes (although many met shortly after again at the conference icebreaker). It was a great day, I’d say! Many thanks to our supporters (AntEco & SCADM, as well as LBEG as host), speakers, and of course also the participants!


APECS Workshop: Communicating Across Borders

Communicating Across Borders: APECS Oceania Workshop

APECS Oceania hosted a two hour workshop for early career researchers in Hobart on 4 July 2017, just prior to the 2017 SCAR Humanities and Social Sciences Depths and Surfaces Conference. Almost 40 early career researchers from all over the world took part in the event, with one third identifying themselves as scientists, one third identifying as social scientists, and one third as humanities scholars. All were united by their interest in communication, and in making connections with others outside their usual sphere.

In today’s research climate, communication is an important skill. Researchers need to be able to not only communicate with colleagues in the same area, but with those from very different backgrounds, and the wider public. A panel session in the first hour addressed the challenges associated with “communicating across borders" and noted that such borders may be disciplinary, geographic, or between areas such as science and policy. Panelists came from a range of backgrounds, and were very responsive to questions from the audience. The panel consisted of:

  • Dr Renuka Badhe (Executive Secretary - European Polar Board)
  • Mr Elias Barticevic (Chilean Antarctic Institute - INACH)
  • Dr Adrian Howkins (Environmental Historian - Colorado State University)
  • Dr Mel Fitzpatrick (Climate Scientist - E & O - Science Communication)
  • Dr Meredith Nash (Homeward Bound programme - UTAS)

APECS mentors 4 July

APECS Panel Mentors with COMNAP flag. Thanks to COMNAP for sponsoring catering at this event.

The second half of the workshop involved breaking out into three groups to workshop themes that had been flagged as of interest when participants registered. Dr Daniela Liggett, Dr Cornelia Lüdecke and Dr Elizabeth Leane led discussions on “Fostering Interdisciplinary Projects,” discussing their own experiences and then helping workshop participants identify common ground, and providing strategies for planning a collaboration.

When it came to “Fellowships and Opportunities,” mentors provided advice on writing grant applications, from the perspectives of both successful applicants (Dr Rowan Trebilco and Dr Ursula Rack) and those who regularly review such applications (Dr Alan Hemmings and Dr Renuka Badhe). The guidelines for the COMNAP and SCAR Fellowships provided a useful guide, opening the floor for discussions about how to plan for such an application, and ensure it meets the criteria. As one workshop participant put it:

“I really enjoyed having three ''experts'' explaining the process of applying for funding. Personally, I have no experience in applying for such grants so it was great to have an examiner detailing what was expected that wasn't necessarily expressed in the instructions. The experts seemed genuinely keen to help us and the atmosphere, as well as the small size of the group, made it easy to participate. Despite being general, I still got concrete tips that I will for sure use the day I apply for a grant!”

Finally, those interested in “Science Communication” were in for a treat, thanks to the expert tutelage of Dr Mel Fitzpatrick and Stephen Curtain. The small group atmosphere lent itself well to in depth discussions, and left all participants with many elements to consider the next time they explain their research to others.

We thank the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) for their support in providing catering for the event, the mentors for their time, and all those who took part.

This event was organised by Hanne Nielsen, Gabriela Roldan, and Helene Aflenzer, along with Sumi Jayaseelan, Cyril Jaksic, and Ephaphrus Mamabolo


APECS workshop panel 4 July

APECS Panel in full force, chaired by Gabriela Roldan

Break out session APECS workshop 4 July

Break out session on fostering interdisciplinary research

 Break out session on funding at APECS workshop 4 July

Break out session with tips on writing grant applications


Get involved in the APECS leadership for the 2017-2018 term!

ExCom PragAre you looking for a way to get or remain active in APECS and the APECS leadership?

We encourage YOU to consider applying for the APECS Council or the APECS Executive Committee for the 2017-2018 term starting on 1 October and help shape our organization over the next year!

The APECS Council is the larger of the two leadership committees of APECS. Its members work on projects, coordinate APECS activities, and govern the organization. No prior experience in APECS is necessary to join the Council, and we encourage all APECS members to consider applying. The APECS Executive Committee consists of five members, who are elected by the Council to manage the day-to-day decisions of the organization. Any APECS member can apply for the ExCom, but some prior experience with APECS or equivalent is generally recommended.

You can find out more information on how to apply to the:

For both opportunities, the application deadline is on 8 September 2017 at 23:59 GMT.

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

Upcoming Webinars: The IPCC and Early Career Scientists

APECS 10 year logoYESS LogoIPCC LogoThe IPCC and Early Career Scientists Webinars

19 July 2017

Webinar 1: 7:00 – 8:30 UTC / GMT
(9:00 – 10:30 CEST, 15:00 – 16:30 CST, 17:00 – 18:30 AEST, 19:00 – 20:30 FJT)


Webinar 2: 15:00 – 16:30 UTC / GMT
(8:00 – 9:30 PDT, 11:00 – 12:30 EDT, 12:00 – 13:30 ART, 17:00 – 18:30 CEST)

Want to know how you can get involved in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as an Early Career Scientist?

The Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) community and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) are organizing two webinars on 19 July 2017.

Join us online to hear representatives of the IPCC talk about their activities and the opportunities available for Early Career Scientists. The content in both webinars will be similar, but to accommodate as many time zones as possible we run the webinar twice.

The IPCC is currently in its Sixth Assessment (AR6) cycle, during which it will produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report and the Sixth Assessment Report. These webinars will be an occasion to discuss the opportunities for Early Career Scientists to contribute to the work of the IPCC during this cycle. Moreover, the webinars will coincide with the opening of the first order draft of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) for review comments. 

If you wish to know more about the IPCC activities and how to be involved in the AR6, save the date and register here:

Places are limited and only the 100 first to register will be able to attend.

What is the IPCC?

The IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Since its inception the IPCC has produced five comprehensive Assessment Reports and several Special Reports on specific topics. IPCC has also produced Methodology Reports, which provide practical guidelines on the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories for the inventory reporting requirements of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). One of the many successes of the IPCC was receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 together with Al Gore "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".

These webinars are organised by YESS and APECS with the participation of IPCC.


APECS Germany at the 26th Annual Meeting of the German National Committee SCAR / IASC in Cologne (June 8-9, 2017)

Gruppenfoto German SCAR IASC Meeing 2017For the third time in a row, APECS received an invitation to select a representative among its members to be a guest at the annual meeting of the German National Committee SCAR/IASC (NK SCAR/IASC). The NK SCAR/IASC serves as the national body for the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and it further plans and coordinates the activities of German university research in the field of polar sciences. The 26th iteration of the NK SCAR/IASC meeting was held at Schloss Wahn, located in the outskirts of the beautiful city of Cologne. The 2-day meeting was very well organized, thanks to Martin Melles and Eliza Stehr from the University of Cologne.

For this year’s meeting, however, the circumstances were a bit different from the previous two years, as July 2016 (just after last year’s meeting of the NK SCAR/IASC, attended by Heike Link as the former APECS representative) marked the official start of APECS Germany, the new German National Committee within the international APECS network. Hence, the current and still quite recently elected chair of APECS Germany, Andreas Preußer, took the opportunity to announce the formation of our National Committee on behalf of the current APECS Germany Board and the 176 German APECS members in total, as well as to give a short presentation on the first successful activities for young polar researchers in Germany that took place and/or were initiated in 2016/2017. Please check our website and facebook-page for more information on these events. Furthermore, a brief overview on international APECS activities over the last 12 months was given, with the most interesting news in this regard being the new location of the main seat of the APECS Directorate Office which moved from TromsØ (Norway) to Potsdam (Germany) in February 2017 and being hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for the next 5 years.

Besides the 14 official members of the NK SCAR/IASC, currently being chaired by Günther Heinemann, 21 guests from various research institutions, funding agencies and federal ministries were attending the meeting - all occupying leading roles in the German polar research community. The list of affiliations included the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Marine Research, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and its Priority Program for Antarctic Research (SPP-1158), the German Association for Polar Research (DGP) and of course APECS. Major topics concerning German polar research focused on the “International Framework”, “Infrastructure and Expeditions” (this year with a special focus on MOSAiC – the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate), “National research planning and strategies” as well as more general SCAR and IASC matters from the respective SCAR and IASC international working groups.

 As almost every participant was invited to give a short report or statement on their respective contribution to these topics, the 2-day meeting was densely packed with interesting information. However, likewise to most scientific conferences there were several coffee-breaks available to serve as an extended stage to initiate discussions in a more relaxed atmosphere. 

In this context, it became clear that many attendees were quite happy to hear that APECS Germany had been officially founded and signalized willingness to support and collaborate in the future. As a first outcome, the coordination workshop of the Priority Program for Antarctic Research in September 2017 (APECS Polar week!) will likely set the framework for a 2nd APECS Germany workshop.

Overall, we are happy to see that the NK SCAR/IASC recognizes APECS (Germany) and the role of early career scientists (ECS) in general as an integral part of polar research in Germany. The invitation of an early career scientist to participate in their annual meetings can give valuable insights into national science activities and the translation of international science agreements and guidelines to a national level. Not less important – the NK SCAR/IASC is an ideal occasion to extend an ECS’s professional network by facilitating communication with experienced senior researchers, federal institutions and/or funding agencies.

If you are interested in learning more about APECS Germany and/or you want to actively participate in planning and organizing activities in Germany – get in touch with us! germany-board[at]

Registration open for the APECS Italy Workshop at the SCAR PAIS Conference in September

For the occasion of the SCAR PAIS conference in Trieste (10 - 15 September 2017), APECS Italy is organizing a workshop on 11 September about the use of Social Media to effectively communicate science to the wider public.

Often, it seems, the ability to communicate our research is undervalued, or at least not given the importance it deserves. However, especially in a society in which “science culture” is not generally taken into account (just think of the popularity of falsehoods such as the “correlation” between vaccinations and Autism, “Stamina therapy”, or the idea that climate change is a hoax), the ability to render the results of our research comprehensible to the society at large is fundamental.

Involve, impassion, educate. These are the three objectives that every researcher should have in mind when concluding a project.

Today, thanks to the existence of social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, this goal is much more within reach. The power of these instruments is in the hands of all of us, and this is especially evident when “hyped results” from “fake science” go viral. It is necessary then to reverse this trend: to do what we can to make “good science” go viral, and involve the members at large of these social media communities. How? The goal of the workshop that APECS Italy is organizing alongside the PAIS conference aims to address this “How?” by providing practical tools to participants in order to be able to successfully share their own research.

Practical Information and Registration:

When? September 11th – 6:00 PM
Where? Stazione Marittima – Molo Bersaglieri 3 – Trieste – Room: Vulcania1
Who? Guests and program TBD

For more information and to register, please visit the APECS Italy website

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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