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 at the 13th Session of the CliC Scientific Steering Group

Clic logo1

The Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Scientific Steering Group of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) met for its 13th session on February 17-18, 2017. The meeting was hosted at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and took place in conjunction with the International Symposium on the Cryosphere in a hanging Climate held from February 13-17, 2017. More than twenty presentations were in the agenda, and twenty-seven participants from thirteen different countries attended the meeting (both at the location and participating remotely). The meeting was led by CliC Co-Chairs Gerhard Krinner and James Renwick.

CliC group pictureLawrence Hislop, CliC Director, welcomed the participants and highlighted the different topics of the meeting: among them were evaluation of current projects benchmarking), identification of potential duplication of CliC activities, an update of the current Science Plan and new initiatives, linkages to other organizations and research groups, etc. 

A number of oral sessions covered the wide range of CliC and WCRP activities from contributing to the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to CliC supported Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects.

A focus was also on the multidisciplinary WCRP Grand Challenges: melting ice and global consequences, climate sensitivity, carbon feedbacks in the climate system, weather and climate prediction, water availability, sea-level change and its coastal impacts. The participants critically-reviewed the 2016-2020 CliC Science Plan, which describes their overarching research needs and themes: terrestrial cryosphere; marine cryosphere; ice sheets, glaciers and sea level; global and regional prediction and projection of the cryosphere.

Suggestions on the Science Plan were welcomed and led to an exciting discussion between the delegates about our future in an ongoing climate change. The core questions span the entire diversity of the Earth’s cryosphere: How much carbon is available in permafrost ? Why are Arctic and Antarctic sea ice behaving differently ? What is the contribution of glaciers and ice sheets to changes in global sea level on decadal-to-centennial timescales ? How does the cryosphere interact with the climate ? The answers are at the heart of an ongoing research effort across the science community. The group concluded that the current and proposed activities still reflect CliC priorities and that further work needs to be done to answer these questions.

CliC meeting room

As the APECS representative Christian Wild, I updated the participants on the actions of the Association of Polar Early Carrer Scientists (APECS). He pointd out that young scientists are passionate to contribute knowledge within the cryospheric community, be it through collecting invalueable observations, international research collaborations or education and outreach products related to the polar regions. CliC should clarify how to include Early Career Scientists generally in their activities through leadership, membership, planning and funding possibilities. Additionally, he gathered information about upcoming conferences/workshops and other opportunities for early career scientists to become actively involved. His participation at the meeting was a great experience and as his PhD topic targets the interaction between ice shelves and the ocean, he particularly enjoyed the discussion about the stability of the Antarctic ice shelves given the increase in both oceanic and atmospheric temperatures.

From a personal perspective, he had the chance to liaise with world-eminent experts of climate research and had the opportunity for more informal discussions during the breaks. Christian was also responsible for taking minutes and contributed to the meeting report. The final report of the 13th meeting of the WCRP’s CliC project Scientific Steering Group is now available at the CliC webpage and can be found here:

USAPECS: "Tweetstorm" event to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2017

USAPECS is organizing a "Tweetstorm" event to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. That day, polar scientists who use Twitter should tweet blurbs about why their research is important (with or without photos) using #EarthScienceIsCool.

Polar enthusiasts around the world are encouraged to contribute!


Himalaya Webinar on April 25, 2017

APECS is hosting a webinar titled Snow, Ice, Rivers, and Earthquakes: Himalayan Research and Life in Nepal, presented by Dr. Joseph Shea (University of Saskatchewan) on April 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM MDT (15:00 GMT).

Summary: From 2012-2016 Joe spent four years as a Research Scientist based in Kathmandu, Nepal, working in the "Third Pole". This talk will broadly cover the Himalayan research program that he contributed to, which includes high mountain hydrological and meteorological monitoring, UAVs, glacier modelling, and a major earthquake. Joe will also try to provide some insights into taking up positions in foreign countries, working and living as an expatriate/emigrant, and deviating from the traditional academic path.

Please register here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


ASSW Early Career Poster Award Winners

ASSW2017iasc webDuring the recent Arctic Science Summit Week (31 March - 7 April, Prague, Czech Republic) there were two evening poster sessions where early career researchers had the opportunity to showcase their work and impress a team of judges.  The well-deserved prizes were awarded on the final day at the closing ceremony. Prizes were awarded for each of the IASC working groups in addition to a 'cross-cutting' prize. The competition was jointly organised by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and APECS and coordinated by Ruth Hindshaw. We would like to thank all the judges who contributed their time to judge the posters and of course to all the presenters!


Atmopshere: Elena Kharyutkina "Tendencies in Current Climate Changes and Atmospheric Circulation Variability in the Arctic Region of West Siberia"
Cryosphere: Erlend Knudsen "Observational Evidence for Predictive Skills from Arctic Summer Sea Ice Extent"
Cross-Cutting: Diana Mastracci "“Hacking” Traditional Knowledge Based Solutions to Climate Change. The NASA “Sea-Ice” App Challenge"
Marine: Alex Thornton "Using Pacific Walrus Teeth to Study Patterns of Change in Alaska Food Web Dynamics"
Terrestrial: Anna Bobrik "Carbon Efflux and Soil Carbon Storage: Transect from Taiga to Tundra of Western Siberia
Social & Human: Yana Korneeva "The model of psychological safety of oil and gas shift workers in the Arctic"

The overall winner was Alex Thornton.

Congratulations to all!

2017 ASSW poster prize

Caption: Left - Alex Thornton presenting his winning poster. Right: IASC Vice President Larry Hinzman and APECS President Alice Bradley present Alex Thornton and Erlend Knudsen with their awards.

Earth Day Polar "Tweetstorm"

The US National Committee of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (USAPECS) is organizing a "Tweetstorm" event to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. The basic gist of the event is that polar scientists who use Twitter should tweet blurbs about why their research is important (with or without photos) on Earth Day using #EarthScienceIsCool.

We're hoping to get good enough participation to trend on Twitter so that there's a lot of exposure for the polar tweets. I think this is a great opportunity to increase awareness of the importance of polar research and I encourage everyone to participate.

Please circulate the Earth Day Tweetstorm flyer at the USAPECS website to anyone you think may be interested in the event! I hope to see your tweets on the 22nd!

APECS International Online Conference 2017 Prizes announced

APECS International Online Conference 2017 Prizes announced

The much anticipated third annual conference kick-started Polar Week on the 20th of March 2017. 44 spekaers presented over the course of 18 hours, providing many ways of thinking of the polar regions in novel ways. This year’s theme was: “Outside the Box: encouraging alternative solutions for undertaking and communicating polar research.” As a new generation of polar researchers stepping up to the plate, we must embrace new and innovative polar challenges. 

APECS congratulates the three prize winners, all of whom have won funds towards future conference travel: 

  • Arctic: Maciej Mańko, Katarzyna Walczyńska (session 1): 'On-board Citizen Science! How Tourist Can Aid Marine Biodiversity Monitoring in Svalbard?'
  • Antarctic: Hernan Sala: (session 4): 'Why is it Hard to Communicate the Future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet?'
  • Outside the box: Nuno Pereira (session 2); 'ViRAL: Virtual Reality Antarctica Laboratory'

Thanks to the talented key note speakers Jane Francis (BAS) - Session 1 - and John Walsh (Fairbanks) - Session 4.

We are also grateful to all the presenters and volunteers who made the conference possible.

For links to the conference recordings, and to view all abstracts of the 2017 Online Conference, please see


APECS International Mentorship Award 2017

APECS 10 year logoNominations are now accepted for the APECS International Mentorship Award 2017!

This year there will be two awards, which have been created to acknowledge the time and energy that mentors dedicate to early career researchers each year, and their efforts in building a supportive community.

APECS International Mentorship Award 2017 Categories:

  • “Member category”: APECS members are encouraged to nominate a mentor who has been an outstanding mentor to them during their career.
  • “APECS category”: APECS members, committees (including National Committees) and project groups are encouraged to nominate a mentor who has made an outstanding contribution to their APECS committees, activities or the organisation as a whole

The nomination process is open until 28 May 2017. More information about the award and nomination instruction you can find on the APECS website. Only complete nomination packages are accepted. 

Opportunity to work as Project Manager with APECS and UiT

INTERACT Logoapplicate logoUiT Logo eng posAPECS 10 year logoWe are announcing an exciting opportunity to work as Project Manager with APECS and UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)!

The Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT The Arctic University of Norway in cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) announces a vacant position for a Project Manager. The successful candidate will work on managing the UiT tasks focused primarily on training and outreach activities that complement APECS activities within the recently funded Horizon 2020 EU projects APPLICATE (Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: Modelling, observing system design and LInkages associated with ArctiC ClimATE change) and INTERACT (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic). The tasks will include, but are not limited to, organizing a Summer School, the development of an Online Course, and other online training resources for APPLICATE as well as developing a fieldwork planning handbook and a practical field guide for INTERACT. The candidate will support and work with a group of volunteers as part of the project tasks. As part of the distributed APECS International Directorate Office, the candidate will also at times contribute to other APECS activities as needed.

The opportunity is a temporary full-time position until 30 April 2019 in the Research Department of The Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics. The period of appointment may be extended. The Project Manager will be located and employed at UiT in Tromsø, Norway. Additionally, the project manager will hold the title of “APECS Project Officer” within the APECS International Directorate Office. APECS and UiT will collaborate on UiT tasks in the APPLICATE and INTERACT projects. The APECS Executive Director will supervise the candidate remotely from the APECS International Directorate office location at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany. 

The application deadline is 5 May 2017. The detailed position announcement and more information on how to apply can be found here:


APECS workshop at SCAR Biology Symposium 2017

logo SB2017 LargeJust one day ahead of the upcoming SCAR Biology Symposium 2017 in Leuven, Belgium, APECS is organizing an Early-Career Workshop under the overarching theme of "Communicating with a non-scientific audience - or: how to explain your research to your grandparents?". Most will agree that communication is key in promoting science and education, but what are characteristics of good communication? We want to tackle this from different perspectives (not only scientific that is) and plan insights given by seniors and hands-on practice. The program is still developing, but make sure to sign up early as it's first-come-first-serve!

Time: 9 July 2017, 9:30 - 16:30
Location: KU Leuven, Kolenmuseum, room KOL 0.04, Charles Deberiotstraat 32, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium

The workshop is free of charge, but please do register before 12 May 2017! For more information about the workshop and how to register, please visit the APECS website.

Swiss Polar Day, September 7th 2017, Zürich

APECS Switzerland is organizing a one-day symposium on polar research, the “Swiss Polar Day” that will take place in Zürich on September 7th 2017. The symposium will take place in anticipation of the International Polar Week in September and be hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL.

The symposium will provide a broad overview on all Polar research topics taking place universities/ institutions in Switzerland. Representatives of Swiss universities or research institution will present their university's’ activities in Polar research, inform about research platforms and future plans in Polar research, such as planned expeditions or projects.

The first (largest) part of the day is planned around presentation sessions open for the larger interested public. The second part of the day is reserved for a round table and networking event of the representatives of the universities/ institutes.

We invite you all to invite you all to participate in the presentation sessions of the Swiss Polar Day in September 2017 in Zürich. We also like to encourage you to extend the invitation to your colleagues in Switzerland.

A detailed program and a link for the registration will be available soon!

Winners of the APECS Polar Week Photo Contest 2017

Thank you for all the great submissions to the APECS International Polar Week Photo Contest 2017! After all the votes are in, we are happy to announce the three winners:

1st Prize in the "PolarPeople in action" category: Stefano Ambroso (Institut de ciencies del mar (CSIC), Spain

This is an expression of the hard work that Polarstern crew does daily on-board. The scientific team want to thank all of them because their work is essential for our investigation. The photo was taken on board of the german icebreaker Polarstern in the Weddell Sea during the expedition ANT XXIX/9 in January 2014.

Stefano Ambroso copy


1st Prize in the "PolarPeople & wilflife" category: Gabriela Roldan (Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, New Zealand)

'A tune for Adelia', the sound of a violin in the cold silence of Antarctica was enigmatic to the Adelie penguin. January 2015

A tune for Adelia GabrielaRoldan copy


1st Prize in the "PolarPeople at home" category: Elizabeth Erickson (University of California, Santa Barbara, United States)

Enjoying a snack break and rest after cutting ice blocks to build the kitchen walls. Antarctic home life. Ross Sea Ice Shelf, Antarctica, 1 November 2016

2 PolarPeople ElizabethErickson copy

Registration open for APECS-IASC-AMAP Workshop on 24 April 2017

amap logoiasc webAPECS 10 year logoThe Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) will be organizing a workshop on “Scientific Assessments: Process, Dissemination and Impact” at the upcoming International Conference on Arctic Science: Bringing Knowledge to Action in Reston, Virginia, United States on 24 April 2017.

There is an urgent, recognized need to bridge the gap between science and policy to enhance the use of scientific knowledge as a basis for decision-making. Scientific assessments are principal mechanisms for harnessing scientific information to inform policy- and decision-making. A scientific assessment is, however, far more than just a final report or deliverable, it is the entire multi-year process, within which expert knowledge is gathered, evaluated, interpreted - before it is communicated to decision-makers and other audiences.

Participants will have a chance to learn more about scientific assessments, their do’s and don’ts, best practices in translating and communicating science and knowledge into action, and how individual scientists can make their voice heard. Workshop outcomes will contribute with their views to the discussions on the last day of the conference.

The workshop is open to all participants of the International Conference on Arctic Science: Bringing Knowledge to Action.

Registration deadline is on 15 April 2017. To register, please fill out the online form here.

Early career researchers have the opportunity to apply for partial travel support provided by IASC. Application deadline for travel support is 5 April 2017.

For a draft schedule and more information, please visit the APECS website. 

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

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

APECS Directorate Sponsor
AWI WortBildmarke Farbe RGB
Further Sponsors and Partners for APECS projects, activities and events