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 Director Position application in Tromso, Norway!!!!

APECS is looking for a new director ... apply today for a career opportunity of a lifetime!!!

The University of Tromsø, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics has a position vacant as APECS Director – temporary position until 31.12. 2014. The period of appointment may be extended.

Due to the commencement of a new contract to fund the Directorate in Tromsø, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is seeking a new director to lead the organization to new heights.

The APECS Directorate is based at the University of Tromsø, Norway in a vibrant environment with other secretariats and researchers. The position is funded for 2 years. The successful candidate is expected to find support beyond this period. As the full-time employee of APECS, the Director is tasked with guiding the development and administration of the organization, along with overseeing and managing all APECS activities, finances and events.

In its 6+ years, APECS has evolved into the pre-eminent international and interdisciplinary organization for polar early career researchers, now comprising around 4000 members from 76 countries including students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the Cryosphere. In collaboration with international organizations, leading polar researchers, educators, and funding agencies, APECS aims to enhance career development opportunities, stimulate research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach to provide a continuum of knowledge for generations to come.

For more information read the collection of our activities and the most recent annual report.


For further information please contact: Penelope Wagner, APECS President, +1 302-981-6869, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Qualification requirements

The successful applicant will have the following skills and experience:


  • A post-bachelors degree in a relevant field, preferably at the PhD level, but applicants at the Masters level will be considered.
  • Excellent presentation skills, adept networking, and confidence speaking in large and intimate groups.
  • Experience in mentoring, conducting research, science education, and outreach.
  • Strong written communication skills and evidence of experience in writing reports, funding applications and planning/scoping documents.
  • Willingness to live in Tromsø, Norway (required) and travel on a regular basis nationally and internationally (approximately 1 week per month).


  • Experience in polar science
  • Experience in managing people and projects, including experience with advocacy, conflict management and negotiations.
  • 3+ years of experience in research, education, science management and/or policy.
  • Knowledge of Joomla! or similar Web content-management systems.
  • Knowledge of the non-profit sector and the relevant legal environment.
  • A proven ability to apply new (particularly internet-based) technology to manage projects and a willingness to learn new software and computer skills.
  • Strong organisational and human resource management skills with excellent interpersonal and team building skills.
  • Knowledge of APECS and its activities is desirable
  • Ability to engage young researchers and works closely with the Council and Executive Committee to encourage participation and new ideas from new APECS members

Applicant must have a good command of English both written and verbal.

Application deadline is June 6, 2013.

Please apply at JobbNorge at:

First French Polar Week

There is a growing need for improved science communication from polar scientists to communities and classrooms around the world.  However, linking people with the often-distant polar regions can be a significant challenge. One way to address this challenge is through an international educational event led by polar scientists called the International Polar Week (IPW). Expanding on country-specific activities and participation is key to expanding the IPW.

Three French APECS members organised the first French Polar Week last April. Several activities were proposed to schools, including an Ask-a-Scientist forum and Webinars. Thanks to APECS GoToWebinar platform, more than 300 students were able to hear young scientists talk about different topics such as living in a small village in Greenland or on a research station in Antarctica.

Thanks to the great feedback received from the different schools, which participated in this first French Polar Week, we are planning to develop the project, wishing that it will continue for years into the future. Anyone interested by the project is welcome to send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Contributed by Anne-Mathilde Thierry

Poster Awards at the ASSW 2013

ASSW2013 logoASSW2013 logo polar bearArctic Science Summit Week 2013 in Krakow, Poland, was a great success this year and many talented early career researchers used this conference to present their research projects. The three best posters by early career researchers attending the conference were awarded Poster Awards. The winners were announced in the closing ceremony of the conference. Congratulations on behalf of APECS to:

- Alexandra Bernardova (Centre for Polar Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czeck Republic): What is hidden in reindeer's droppings? A botantical and parasitological study

- Monika Kędra (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland, USA): Organic matter sources and sinks in high Arctic fjord

- Jennifer Ann McGetrick (School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Canada): Expert Assessment of Geographic Information Science (GIS) for Health Communication in Natural Resource Development of the Canadian Arctic

The Poster Awards were coordinated by APECS with the help of Yulia Zaika, Gerlis Fugmann, Maja Lisowska, Julia Schmale and Alexey Pavlov. A special thank you from all of us to the many poster judges for taking their time evaluating the posters! All award recipients received free registration for the Arctic Science Summit Week 2015 in Japan! Thank you to the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the organizing committees for the Arctic Science Summit Weeks in Poland 2013 and in Japan 2015 for making these awards possible.


ASSW2013 logo polar bearThe Workshop

Prior to the science symposium at the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) in Kraków, Poland, APECS held a one day career development and thematic workshop on 16 April.

28 early career researchers from more than 10 countries and a large variety of research disciplines used the opportunity to learn about new approaches in conducting science, how to communicate their science to stakeholders, and to discuss about the global relevance of the Arctic.

ASSW Workshop Group6 mentors, representing natural and social sciences, indigenous people and the science-policy interface, gave talks and led the breakout groups in the morning and afternoon. Some of the discussed topics were:

·         What skills do we need to be successful scientists?

·         Tips and tricks for science communication.

·         How can we better engage stakeholders and local communities in solution-oriented science through mutual learning?

·         New developments in Arctic research.

·         The Arctic’s relevance in the Earth System.

In addition, our executive director gave an introduction to APECS.

At the end of an intensive workshop day, a number ideas and recommendations were discussed. Main outcomes from this event are:

·         APECS will nominate a representative for the MOSAiC project.

·         The indigenous people secretariat encouraged APECS to jointly do a field school or similar event in a local Arctic community.

·         It was recommended that APECS reaches out further into the global research community and uses upcoming opportunities to highlight the importance of including early career researchers in science and governance processes as well as organizations.

·         APECS was encouraged to develop an internship program. First organizations assured their support during the workshop and following science symposium.

For details regarding the program, mentors and attendees please click here.

Further APECS activities during ASSW

I APECS members were engaged in a number of additional ways in this year's Arctic Science Summit Week.

  • More than 10 APECS members attended the working group meetings of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) prior to the conference
  • 9 APECS members served as early career co-conveners in all sessions during the science symposium
  • On 17 April, APECS invited early career researchers to learn about APECS activities
  • 3 APECS members received poster awards during the closing ceremony.


Early Career Conveners at the ASSW 2013

ASSW2013 logoDuring the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) 2013 in Krakow, Poland, several early career researchers had the opportunity to be co-conveners for the sessions in the Science Symposium part of the conference. This provided a very valuable training experience for all of them over several months. The early career conveners worked with senior researchers in preparing the sessions and their content by helping with the advertising, the reviewing of abstracts and most importantly the chairing of the sessions during the conference.

Thank you to the Scientific Steering Committee of the ASSW 2013 for working with APECS to make this opportunity happen and for encouraging this very active participation of early career researchers at the conference. A special thank you also to the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) for generously providing funding for the early career conveners to attend the conference.

The early career conveners at the ASSW 2013 were:

- Sara Strey – Atmosphere Processes and Global Climate Connections

- Yulia Zaika - Cryospheric Changes: Drivers and Consequences)

- Monika Kedra - Marine Processes and Variability

- Sonal Choudhary - Terrestrial Ecosystem Responses to Environmental Stressors

- Gerlis Fugmann - Impact of Global Changes on Arctic Societies

- Julia Skupchenko – Arctic People and Resources: Opportunities, Challenges and Risks

- Sandra Juutilainen – Applying Traditional Knowledge to Better Understanding the Changing Arctic

- Michał Łuszczuk – Arctic System Science for Regional and Global Sustainability

- Adam Naito – Changing North: Predictions and Scenarios

For more information about all the early career conveners at ASSW 2013 click here

Registration open to participate in the first SOOS Asian workshop via the APECS GoToMeeting System

soos logoThe first Asian workshop of the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) will be held the next 23-24 May in Shanghai, China.

APECS members from Asian and non-Asian countries are invited to participate in Day 1 (23 May) of the workshop through the APECS GoToMeeting system. To register, send an email to the APECS ex-officio member in the SOOS Scientific Steering Commeettee, Dr. Tosca Ballerini (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Friday 17 May.

The first SOOS Asian workshop is organized in collaboration with the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC), the State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modelling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and with the sponsorisation of the Scientific Commette for Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Scientific Commette for Oceanic Research (SCOR).

The workshop will provide an opportunity to highlight the research and observations being undertaken by Asian countries in the Southern Ocean and to stimulate discussion and foster further involvement from Asian countries in SOOS activities.

During Day 1 (23 May) there will oral presentations by representatives from the Asian scientific community to illustrate their national and organizational research and observation activities and capabilities (current and planned) in the Southern Ocean. SOOS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) members will also present an overview of their international activities in the Southern Ocean. The meeting will be broadcasted by APECS through the APECS GoToMeeting system.

SCAR and SCOR warmly encourage the participation of early career scientist in the workshop. Participating in the workshop will allow APECS member to get in touch with leading scientists from Asian and non-Asian countries and will be an excellent networking opportunity for all APECS members.

For more information about the workshop:

APECS at the AMAP AACA-C workshop in Saint Petersburg

IMG 4427 smallerJennifer Provencher represented APECS at the AMAP AACA-C workshop in Saint Petersburg Russia. The AACA (Adaptations for Action in a Changing Arctic) workshops are a series of workshops  that seek to integrate knowledge from modelers and reserachers about the future of changing Arctic systems, and plan potental adaptations actions for the region.

Currently, the Barents Sea, Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas and Davis Strait-Baffin Bay regions have been identified as the pilot areas where assessment and planning will take place in the next year. The meeting was highly successful with three local regional meetings planned for the fall in which more early career representatives will be invited to participate in. At regional meetings expertise from all sectors active in the region and stakeholders will be brough together to identify areas where further existing framwork exists, and where further planning is needed.

The main message that all the working groups are taking away that although climatic changes may be affecting the region differently, major changes are taking place in the Arctic region and stratgeic plans are needed in order to plan.

International Workshop on Polar Education and Science

cartaz NEW NEWOne of the biggest challenges that scientists have today is to communicate their science efficiently to their peers, to the media, to the general public to everyone. Still today we see colleagues of ours talking in conferences that we do understand very little. Solution: improve our communication skills! Your supervisor, your department, your colleagues (and students) and your CV will thank you! To address this issue, an international workshop was organized in Portugal in 26-28 March 2013, titled "EDUCATION MEETS SCIENCE: BRINGING POLAR RESEARCH INTO THE CLASSROOMS”, by the Institute of Marine Research of the University of Coimbra (Portugal), the Alfred Wegener Institute (Germany) and the British Antarctic Survey (UK), with the Museum of Science of the University of Coimbra and the national Agency Ciência Viva, following the success of the teachers/educators workshop at the International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 Conference in Montreal and Oslo in 2010.

DSC 4700 SA total of 41 invited participants (i.e. teachers/educators and invited scientists) from 13 countries (USA, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Bulgaria, UK, Germany and Swirzterland) participated, inlcuding various APECS members (both sicentists and teachers/educators). The scientists gave science lectures in the morning, whereas the afternoons were composed by demonstrations that teachers/educators could implement in their classrooms), finishing the days with panel discussions addressing key issues for teachers/educators and scientists. See the film here

Methane overload 1The workshop was a success and concluded that the new association Polar Educators International (PEI) is getting stronger and stronger, highly engaged in collaborating with other organizations, such as APECS, in POLAR WEEKS, and determined to define a clear strategy to help polar teachers/educators and scientists to introduce polar science at local (schools), national and at the international levels, while sharing educational resources. For early career scientists this means more opportunities to get involved in education and outreaxh and improve communication skills.This is really good news for APECS!

In Memory of APECS member Katharine Giles from University College London (UCL)

A few days ago we lost a very special person in the sea ice community.  Katharine Giles became an APECS member in 2008 and after participating as an active young researcher, she continued her role as a wonderful mentor in our organization as a research fellow and lectuer at the University College London (UCL).  Dr. Giles became an instrumental asset to to the community with her work with satellite altimetry on sea ice freeboard from CryoSAT-2, along with her late collegue Seymour Laxon.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family during this difficult time.

More information can be found at:

APECS at The Economist’s Arctic Summit

The Economist Group attempts to provide high-level international forums for senior executives to discuss opportunities and challenges in different spheres. The Economist's Arctic Summit ( was designed to focus on the Arctic and to promote constructive thinking on its present and future state and development. The Arctic Summit took place in Oslo, Norway on 11-12 March and attracted more than 150 policy makers, scientists, environmentalists, businessmen, and representatives from the industry sector. A number of topics through a combination of plenary talks and panel discussions were covered: changes in the Arctic environment, shipping, exploration of mineral resources, shipping and associated risks in the Arctic, environmental and geopolitical perspectives of the Arctic development. APECS was invited to be present at the meeting as well, and three APECS representatives participated in it: Teresa Valkonen (Co-Chair, APECS Finland and APECS Education and Outreach Committee), Ylva Sjöberg (Executive Secretary, APECS Sweden) and Alexey Pavlov (Director, APECS).

What are the major thoughts about the Summit from early career researchers’ perspective?

1. The Economist’s Arctic Summit showed very clearly how difficult it is to effectively communicate between different groups: scientists, policy makers, industry representatives, environmentalists, general public and others. This question was briefly brought up during discussions. One particular core group that was mentioned is young people as a group that realistically could change their opinions about topics related to the polar regions and a climate change.

2. Arctic exploration is not restricted by political or law regulations, it is restricted by technological challenges and will require sound scientific findings. Thus, it was clearly stated that new, breakthrough technologies will be required in the future and need to be created by a competent and well-educated people. Human capital will be crucial here. Representatives from almost all sectors strongly emphasized the need for more data and research in the Arctic.

3. A striking aspect of the Summit was a lack of women among the speakers with an original program with only 1 female expert of 25 speakers (Nina Jensen, WWF Norge). Due to a last minute change in the program, Ellen Baum from the Clean Air Task Force also appeared at the Summit.

What APECS could do in the future?

1. There are huge differences in how language, and communication in general, is used in different fields of the society. Acknowledging these differences will the first step to get the voice of scientists to be heard. APECS Education and Outreach committee has already done a great deal in this direction. APECS should further ensure outreach, education and science communication activities and to emphasize its importance for the whole APECS community.  Even more work with schools and a general public will be required in the future. We should also facilitate more cross-disciplinary communication within APECS community as well as between APECS members and early career representatives of different sectors.

2. APECS leadership should look wider beyond traditional academic careers and build meaningful relationships with an industry sector to provide more relevant training and opportunities for polar early career researchers. In parallel, APECS should invest more into emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary and international research cooperation.

3.  APECS is already doing a great job in terms of training of female polar scientists.  For example, 4 of 5 APECS Presidents have been female researchers and a current executive committee consists of all 5 enthusiastic ladies. We hope that we could continue this tendency in the future.

Contributed by Teresa Valkonen, Ylva Sjöberg and Alexey Pavlov

Online meeting of the Membership Involvement Committee

The revival of the Membership Involvement Committee (MIC) has not remained unnoticed. On March 18th, several representatives of National Committees (NCs) discussed  the working of the MIC during an online call and focused on the working of NCs. Representatives were present from Belgium, Portugal, Russia, Norway, Spain, Finland, Sweden, UK, US northeast, Poland, and Oceania.

Tips and tricks were given from more experienced NCs when it comes to keeping people engaged when it is difficult to meet in-person because of a wide geographical range, how to deal with funding issues, and how you can reach more people.

Representatives from NCs will have regular skype calls (every 3 months) to discuss problems and upcoming events, there are plans to hold a second broadcast of webinars for people in Asia/Oceania, the NCs of Portugal, Sweden and the UK will organize a webinar together to talk about the benefits and challenges involved in working at the national level, there will be skype calls between different NCs during Polar Week September (1. Spain and Portuguese speaking countries, 2. Scandinavian countries) to have a stronger collaboration between countries and we will interview people who started with APECS to find out what they are doing now and how APECS influenced their career.

Would you like to be involved at the national level, have a look at the webpages of the NCs:

There is no NC listed for your country yet? Think about it and have a look at the MIC page:

APECS participating in upcoming AACA workshop

APECS is happy to be participating in the upcoming Adaptation of Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) meeting being held in St Petersburg, Russia, April 22-26, 2013. The AACA series of workshops is being lead by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), a working group of the Arctic Council.

The overall aim of the workshop is to develop strategies to meet user needs to analyze consequences that may occur in relation to combined effects on the Arctic ecosystems and on social and economic development, based on current climate models. From AMAP "The use of climate model outputs in practical applications is a significant scientific challenge. Model data can be useless or even misleading if used improperly.  Improper use of model data is a result of both unsatisfactory communication between providers (modellers) and users (economy sectors, etc.) and existing major gaps in the scientific knowledge. The challenge is particularly pronounced in the Arctic region with its notorious inter-model projection scatters and the vigorous climate variability. The scientific problems of model data use in impact studies include approaches to model discrimination, dealing with model ensembles and associated probabilities and uncertainties, added value and added uncertainties of downscaling techniques, different confidence in model projections of different climate variables, etc. The key question: what can climate science suggest to users in various sectors?"

APECS Russia members, as well as an APECS representative will be participating in the workshop, which brings together climate modellers, marine and terrestrial system researchers, social scientists and socio-economic modellers. Check in here mext month for a summary of the meeting, and an update on the AACA program.

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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