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

2nd APECS BeNeLux symposium: Belgian impression

2nd BeNeLux 1After the first edition in Ghent, Belgium last year, the APECS BeNeLux (Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg) symposium is becoming a tradition. On October 31st, the 2nd edition took place in the Hague, Netherlands and was organized by our colleagues Frigga Krusse and Libby Jones.

The general impression of our Belgian delegation: what a success! The extremely varied programme was received well by the 40 participants. This symposium had it all: a diverse group of speakers, as not only scientists were represented but also a conservator of a museum, policy makers, a high school teacher and even a high school student. Presentations by (keynote) speakers were followed by pitch poster presentations, Frostbytes and workshops on outreach and polar policy. Sufficient time for networking was available during breaks, lunch with milk, as Dutch tradition prescribes and the reception after the symposium.

Several people who were present at this symposium also attended the Dutch National Polar Symposium on the next day in The Hague, as this was all perfectly timed.

After this successful second edition, we look forward to the third edition, in 2014 in Luxembourg.

  2nd BeNeLux 22nd BeNeLux 3

APECS Portugal IV Career Development Workshop in the University of Algarve, Portugal

apecs portugal final31st October 2012

APECS Portugal organized its fourth annual workshop last week in the University of Algarve in Faro, Portugal. Dedicated to “How to be a Polar Scientist”, we had with us 13 Portuguese earlier career scientists, 3 APECS Portugal mentors and 4 international guests. During the day we discussed science, communication and opportunities to do research in the Arctic and in the Antarctic regions.  We counted with the presence and communications of Alexandre Nieuwendam, president of PYRN, Iglika Trifonova vice president of APECS and APECS Bulgaria, Ylva Sjöberg from APECS Sweden, Dr. Mark Mallory Canada Research Chair in Coastal Wetland Ecosystems of Acadia University, and Dr. Hans-Otto Pörtner researcher in the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany (AWI).   

With main focus of the workshop being dedicated to how to communicate polar science to the society we had two brilliant talks about how to make our message pass through visually with Bruno Cruz that is a graphic designer and taught us how to do good poster. And another talk presented by José Xavier that presented the Educational projects that are being conducted by the scientists of Portuguese Polar program and APECS Portugal.  

The APECS Portugal workshop was a very successful. During a full day program, the young scientists present in the room have the change to know about the work of each other, discuss, create networking bonds, learned ways of improve their communication skills and plane future research future steps. Once again the APECS Portugal workshop was a success.

APECS Portugal Workshop 2013

Announcing the new Council and Council subcommittee chairs for the 2013-2014 APECS term

We are happy to announce the APECS Council and Council subcommittee chairs for the 2013-2014 term!

The Council will be led by Michael Laiho and Vincent Carrier. Michael is a graduate student at the University of Lapland (Finland) who is interested in the relevance of Arctic governance for the European Union's energy policy. Vincent is a graduate student working at both Laval University (Canada) and the University Centre in Svalbard (Norway). He's studying the biogeography of pico- and nanoeukaryotes in different water columns around Svalbard. Michael and Vincent both have considerable experience working with other polar organizations and we look forward to the ideas they will bring to the Council this term.

The APECS Council also has three subcommittees: the Research Activities committee (RAC), the Membership Involvement committee (MIC) and the Education and Outreach committee (EOC). This year the RAC will be led by Ruth Hindshaw and Laura Fleming-Sharp. Ruth is a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (UK) and is interested in constraining how chemical weathering is affected by glaciation. Laura is a research/program assistant at the Arctic Studies Center (USA) and is also currently the main project coordinator for the APECS Nordic research project "Bridging Early Career Researchers and Indigenous Peoples in Nordic Countries" funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers (Norden). Both Ruth and Laura are new to the Council this year and we look forward to the fresh perspectives they will bring to the RAC. For the second year in a row, the MIC will be led by Ines Tavernier. Ines is currently the coordinator of the UGent Marine Sciences Center of Excellence (Belgium) and has done a wonderful job over the past year of coordinating with the many national committees within APECS. This year the EOC will be under the direction of Kristen Shake and Erli Costa. Kristen is a graduate student at Clark University (USA) interested in Arctic marine policy and Erli is a postdoctoral researcher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) who studies Antarctic seabirds. Erli and Kristen both have a passion for science education and outreach, and have many ideas for new initiatives for the EOC.

To find out more information about our great new team you can check out their bios on the Council webpage. We are looking forward to seeing what great things this Council will do with our new chairs this term!

Please join me in welcoming our new chairs!

APECS Career Development Webinar Series Fall 2013 starting on 6 November

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is pleased to announce its Fall 2013 Career Development Webinar Series, highlighting a sample of the career opportunities available to graduates with degrees in the sciences. The speakers in this series represent a cross-section of the worlds of academia, government, and non-profit work. All have (or are nearing completion of) advanced degrees in the earth, physical, or biological sciences. Many have polar connections.

Each webinar will begin with a brief introduction by the speaker, who will give a broad overview of his/her own career path, the challenges and rewards, the day-to-day experience, and the reasons for choosing this particular focus. After this introduction, a period of discussion will begin, in which audience members can ask questions of the speaker. Each webinar will last approximately one hour and will be broadcast online using the GoToWebinar platform. APECS looks forward to your participation!

This week we will have two webinars in that series:

Wednesday, 6 Nov, 12:00 noon GMT
Presenter: David Scott, Executive Director, Canadian Polar Commission
Title: "Government Official"

Thursday, 7 November, 16:00 GMT
Presenter: Michael Kerwin, Associate Professor, University of Denver
Title: "Academic Teaching"

If you are unsure about your time zone, you can look of up alternate time zones at

To attend the webinar
Each webinar will be conducted using the GoToWebinar platform. To attend a webinar you just need your computer or smartphone, and an internet connection. A headset or headphones and a built-in microphone are recommended, but not essential. We are not using webcams or telephones, so you do not need a web cam or telephone to participate.

To reserve your webinar seat in the "Government Official" webinar on 6 November go to:

To reserve your webinar seat in the "Academic Teaching" webinar on 7 November go to:

Upcoming webinars:
This is just the first of a series on webinars on this topic. To view a full list of upcoming webinars go to our current career development webinar listings.

GoToWebinar has been provided as an in-kind contribution from Bredbåndsfylket.

For questions or more information please visit our Career Development Webinar page or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Workshop Report: The Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

WCRP GC 2013 bannerThe WCRP (World Climate Research Program) set forth a series of grand challenges to address highly specific and highly focused topics that are critical to improving our progress in understanding the climate system. One of these challenges was the “Cryosphere in a Changing Climate”. To move the discussion of this concept forward, a workshop was held in Tromsø, Norway on 16-18 October 2013. The Climate and the Cryosphere Program (CliC), through APECS, provided support for a few early career scientists to participate in this workshop.

IMG 5074 smallAs one of these ECR participants, I assisted in managing the webcast as well as sharing workshop content on Twitter. I participated in the glaciology breakout sessions, shared two posters of my research work, and created a Frostbyte ( My participation in both sharing my work as well as helping with a minor part of the online sharing of the meeting gave me the opportunity to develop many helpful skills.

Additionally, I benefitted from the networking opportunities that the workshop provided. I connected with new colleagues with whom I might work in the future both scientifically and organizationally, re-connected with senior colleagues within glaciology, and benefitted from conversations with other early career researchers from around the world. Much of the group discussions benefitted from a collegial and a collaborative atmosphere, and the workshop was an interesting opportunity to observe and learn from where it very clearly worked.

I am very much looking forward to participating in some of the action points suggested by the workshop. A workshop report as well as recorded talks from the workshop will be available shortly on Be sure to watch out for future opportunities available from APECS and CliC. Thanks again to WCRP, CliC, and APECS for making this opportunity happen for me.

Allen Pope
Photo courtesy of Rob Massom

French Polar Week 2013

APECS French polar week photoAbout 600 students in 18 different schools participated in the second French Polar Week, which was organised between September 30 and October 4 by the recently created French national committee. Seven webinars allowed students to learn about polar regions, with topics ranging from biology to geopolitics.

Teachers were also invited to participate in a science & art activity about the Antarctic Food web, where students learned about the different species of the ecosystem, about the links between these species, and about the things that might affect krill abundance such as harvesting strategies or climate change. The students' drawings were compiled to create an image of the Antarctic ecosystem. 

French-speaking APECS members interested in E&O activities are invited to contact APECS-France at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Antarctic glaciology webinar - 5 November 2013 at 16:00 GMT

We are pleased to invite you to participate in Antarctic glaciology webinar highlighting recent glaciological studies in Antarctica on 5 November 2013 at 16:00 GMT.

Presentations and speakers are:

Holocene glacial history of the Weddell Sea: the record in the ice rise
Neil Ross | Lecturer in Physical Geography, University of Newcastle, UK

Weakening contract between ice shelves and ice rises caused by fracture
Christopher Borstad | Post Doc, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA

Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf: Bathymetry and Ice Thickness
Kiya Riverman | Penn State University, USA

Geologic control of Whillans Ice Stream grounding lines and the Crary Ice Rise, inferred from ground-based gravity measurements
Atsuhiro Muto | Penn State University, USA

This webinar is a follow up of the first International Workshop on Antarctic Ice Rises held in Tromsø late August this year, with support from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC), Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), British Antarctic Survey and Norwegian Polar Institute’s Center for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems. Presentation video, slides, posters and Frostbytes are available on the workshop web-site:



Date and Time: Tuesday, 5 November 2013 at 16:00 GMT (18:00 CET)

Check your time zones at:


To reserve a spot in the webinar, please follow the link:


To attend a webinar a computer or smartphone and an internet connection are needed. A headset or headphones and a built-in microphone are recommended but not required. Webcams and telephones will not be used in the presentations and are not needed to participate.

GoToWebinar has been provided as an in-kind contribution from Bredbåndsfylket.

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

Join our first APECS Nordic Webinar!

"Bridging the Gap: Indigenous, Social and Natural Science Perspectives on Research Relationships in Nordic Countries"

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 at 17 GMT
Presented by:
  • Gail Fondahl, President of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association, University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), Canada
  • Gunhild Rosqvist, Tarfala Research Station, Stockholm University, Sweden
During the webinar we will also share indigenous perspectives about science communication followed by a discussion and Question and Answer session.
The webinar is intended to highlight the main communication challenges faced by natural scientists, as well as social scientists, in their community-based research efforts. As well, it seeks to highlight Indigenous perspectives on how to open a successful dialogue and begin to overcome challenges.
In this webinar, you will be introduced to the fundamental issues that can hinder cross-communication between social scientists, natural scientists and members of indigenous communities in Nordic regions. When communication is compromised, relevant knowledge and evidence from indigenous sources can be left out of scientific considerations, and the validity of findings can be compromised in turn. Climate change is a problem that impacts us all, so it is essential to start working together to find solutions we can share.
To reserve your webinar seat go to:
Upcoming webinars: 
This is just the first of a series on webinars on this topic. To view a full list of upcoming webinars go to the Project's webpage.

First Workshop in Career Development from APECS Brazil

The X International Polar Week and the I Workshop on Career Development occurred between 17 and 20 September 2013 at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, and RJ, BRAZIL. There were two round tables, 5 lectures, 6 oral presentations and 14 short courses with an average of 12 participants per course.

foto abertura 2013

We rely on presence by over 100 people in the four-day event all together with 80 teachers and 6000 students that could virtually participated via live streaming. We also found that more than 7300 people have been reached by APECS-Brazil website ( and fan-page on Facebook ( where we posted pictures of the activities performed during the event. It means that an average of 1,800 people per event day followed the information published by the website and Facebook, which was used as a mean support for dissemination the activities. We had over 20 schools throughout Brazil (from the Amazon to the Rio Grande do Sul) involved in these activities. The recorded lectures during the X SPI and I WDC will be edited and distributed to participating schools and for schools that did not access the virtual activities due to technical problems. The abstract book is available on

On the last day of the event the Association of Ocean and Pole Early Career Researchers and Educators (APECS-Brazil) was made official with the presentation of the Foundation Act and the Statute of the Association.

As additional products a lecture on the Graduate Program in Education, management and science divulgation was made by Ma Ines Tavernier from Belgium, two additional virtual lectures by prof. Dr Jose Xavier to schools in Rio Grande do Sul, five lectures in schools in São Paulo (Dr Jose Xavier, Dr Sandra Freiberger, Ma Francyne Piera) and a lecture attendance in school in Rio de Janeiro (Dr Jose Xavier, Dr. Schneider Erli Costa, Ma Elaine Alves). Dr Jose Xavier also presented two lectures during the Brazilian Symposium on Antarctic Research in São Paulo, Dr Fernanda Quaglio presented APECS-Brazil during this event. The work during the Polar Week activities in the Amazon has been presented by Ma Francyne Elias Piera. Because of all those information’s, all the objectives and proposals set out by the event were fully achieved.

APECS launches “Bridging Early Career Researchers and Indigenous Peoples in Nordic Countries” project

APECS is proud to announce the launching of a research initiative funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers (Norden). The project, "Bridging Early Career Researchers and Indigenous Peoples in Nordic Countries" is a 14-month research project that will identify ways to enhance engagement between early career researchers (ECRs) and Indigenous peoples and Northern community members in Nordic regions

Leveraging the collaborative, education and outreach experience of APECS, this research initiative seeks to address research collaboration challenges for early career researchers and indigenous peoples, particularly in a context of increasing climate change across the Nordic Polar regions. As stated during the Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change in Anchorage (2009) "Indigenous Peoples have an important role to play in addressing climate change through their knowledge, experience and rights over land and development...however, this contribution has been largely ignored". This is often a result of the communication gap between researchers and Indigenous peoples. Better incorporation of this knowledge into Arctic research in Nordic countries as well as effective and meaningful communication between Indigenous and Northern residents with researchers is crucial.

There will be multiple ways for you to get involved in this project:

- join a webinar in our upcoming webinar series for the project featuring key Nordic researchers and Sami leaders starting on October 23

- take part in the online survey aimed at early career researchers and indigenous peoples in Nordic countries

- add your name to our database for early career researchers and indigenous people in Nordic countries to connect with each other

- join us for a 2-day workshop on at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2014 in Helsinki, Finland on 7 / 8 April 2014

- if you are living in the Nordic countries, join one of our APECS national committees and help working towards an APECS Nordic network

Stay tuned to the APECS website for updates and more information!

For the latest information on the project, visit the project website. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Another term begins at APECS!

APECS is excited to announce that another leadership term has begun! APECS' sixth Executive Committee (ExCom) is now in place and ready to continue to shape the polar world. Russell Fielding (USA), Frigga Kruse (Netherlands), Jean- Sébastien Moore (Canada), Iglika Trifinova (Bulgaria) and Christie Wood (USA/Russia) have been elected to form the ExCom, the main leadership body of APECS. Jennifer Provencher (Canada), Penny Wagner (USA/Norway) and Yulia Zaika (Russia) will serve as ex-officios and support the new ExCom over the coming year. And of course, Gerlis Fugmann, the newly appointed APECS Director will continue to support and foster the group from the directorate office in Tromsø, Norway.

Christie WoodWith a new term, comes a new president, and this year Christie Wood will be taking on this role. Christie is a graduate student in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University in the United States and works with Karen Frey in the Polar Science Research Lab. Her research focuses on understanding the impacts of sea ice decline in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas on the dynamics of dissolved organic matter, which plays an important role in the marine ecosystem as both a carbon source for the microbial food web and as an inhibitor of light. Her work is carried out through a combination of field measurements (as part of NASA's ICESCAPE mission), lab experiments, and satellite remote sensing observations. For the coming year Christie will be based out of Moscow, Russia and looks forward to helping develop APECS programs with the ExCom and Council.

This year the APECS Council is made up of 32 very enthusiastic members from 13 countries: Cristian Aldea (Chile), Elaine Alves dos Santos (Brazil), Sarah Bartholow (USA), Vincent Carrier (Canada/Norway), Eleanore Darlington (UK), Archana Dayal (India), Pedro Echevesta (Spain), Francyne Elias-Piera (Spain/Brazil), Ellyn Enderlin (USA), Laura Fleming-Sharp (USA/Canada), Ruth Hindshaw (UK), Patricia Johnston (Canada), Alia Khan (USA), Minkyoung Kim (Korea), Michael Laiho (Finland), Maja Lisowska (Poland), Silvia Lourenco (Portugal), Sanna Majaneva (Finland/Norway), Heather Mariash (Canada/Finland), Adam Naito (USA), Karolina Paquin (Norway), Hugo Romero (Chile/UK), Kristen Shake (USA), Sarah Strey (USA), Astrid Surmatz (Netherlands), Zuzanna Swirad (UK), Ines Tavernier (Belgium), Alexander Trindade Niewendam (Portugal), Tristy Vick-Majors (USA) and Bianca Zhang (Iceland). Additionally, Allen Pope (USA) and Mariette Wheeler (South Africa) also remain on the council in ex-officio roles.

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 Annual Report 2012-2013 released!

Dear APECS members,

Annual Report 2012 2013Another busy year has passed in APECS! I would like to take this moment to highlight some of the amazing accomplishments APECS has had during the last term.

We saw our membership grow to include over 4200 members in 75+ countries! In addition, we are continuing to diversify with our increasing number of national committees where we are seeing how our members are reaping the benefits of regionally organized polar activities. Our members participated in several international conferences and meetings where we organized panels, workshops, social events, poster awards, and a variety of new webinars. We are also currently planning more events for the coming year at e.g. the International Glaciological Society meetings, ASSW 2014, AGU 2013, ICASS VIII, SCAR 2014, and many others. We also partnered with the Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC) to continue our successful Frostbytes initiative developed out of the IPY conference in Montreal, 2012. APECS also initiated new partnerships and renewed its collaborations with all of our partners who have been instrumental to providing opportunities and support to our members.

One of the major changes for APECS this year included a transition in the APECS International Directorate. We have successfully secured funding for the next three years with the fantastic support of the University of Tromso, Norwegian Polar Institute, and the Research Council of Norway! With this new change we would like to welcome our new Director of APECS, Dr. Gerlis Fugmann. We would once again like to wish, Dr. Alexey Pavlov, the APECS Director 2012-2013 the best of luck in his new career and we are happy that he will continue to be part of APECS as a mentor.

All of these highlights can be found in the 2012-2013 APECS Annual Report summarized by the outgoing 2012-2013 APECS Executive Committee.

A special thank you goes to the University of Tromsø, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Research Council of Norway for hosting and supporting the APECS International Directorate in Tromsø! Our success would not be possible without your support and commitment to APECS.

Thank you to the many talented and dedicated members and mentors who volunteered their time this year to help us achieve continued success in shaping the future of polar research!

Penelope Wagner, APECS 2012-2013 President
-- on behalf of the Executive Committee and Director

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.

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