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

Call for Abstracts extended until 31 January 2017: 3rd APECS International Online Conference 2017

Outside the box logoDeadline for abstract submission extended until 31 January 2017!!

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) cordially invites you to submit an abstract for our 3rd APECS International Online Conference 2017 which will kick-start Polar Week on the 20th of March 2017. This year’s theme is “Outside the Box: Encouraging alternative solutions for undertaking and communicating polar research.” We encourage abstracts for punchy 10 minute PowerPoint presentations consistent with this theme.

Please visit the conference website to learn more about the conference and submit your abstract by the 31st of January 2017 at 22:00 GMT. We will notify you with regards to the success of your abstract prior to the 15 of February 2017.

Please note that this is an online conference that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home or office. Please direct any questions you have to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

APECS Italy Antarctica Day 2016

APECS Italy Antarctica Day2016The Italian Association of Polar Early carrier Scientist, (APECS Italy) in collaboration with the Ca’ Foscariri University of Venice has organized the Antarctic Day 2016 with the contribution other organizations and associations. In particular an important support has arrived from the PNRA (Programma Nazionale di Ricerca in Antartide – Italian National program for Antarctic research), CNR (Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche – National Research Council) and the Accademia Nazionale delle scienze detta dei XL. The second edition of the Antarctic day, the first one was in 2015, had the aim to introduce to students from secondary school as well as to the student of the Ca foscari University of Venice the Antarctic continent. A total of 7 researchers have been invited to present their research experiences in Antarctica as well describe the role of the Antarctic continent from a geopolitics and environmental point of view. A particular attention was give to the Antarctic treaty and all the typology of research conducted. Considering the importance of the polar area in the global climate and earth system we decided to extend the celebration also to the Arctic, in particular the Svalbard Archipelago. Three researcher have been invited to talk about the research conducted in the Svalbard as well introduce this magnificent archipelago with its unique fauna and flora. In total almost 200 students were present at the outreach seminar, almost 150 from secondary school and fifty from Ca foscari University of Venice. The Antarctic day seminar was divided in two section, the first section about Antarctica, from 9.00 am to 11.00 am and the Arctic section from 11.40 to 13.00. During the break, a show and tell session has been organized. The show and tell had the aim to show the material (includes clothes) and instrument used for the research in Antarctica. The Students had the opportunity to “touch with their hands” the equipment used at the poles and fill their curiosity about poles.

APECS Italy Antarctica Day 2016 2During the Antarctic day 2016, APECS Italy has announce the release of their new website ( The website has the aim to work as platform for all the polar early carereer scientist where everyone can share their polar experience as well as their research topics.

Apecs Italy would like to thanks all the peoples help in the organization and the speaker during the Antarctic day. The list of the peoples involved is include below:


  • Andrea Spolaor (Apecs National coordinator, Ca Foscari University of Venice)
  • Francois Burgais (Ca Foscari University of Venice – APECS Italy member)
  • Andrea Gambaro (Ca Foscari University of Venice)
  • Warren R.L. Cairns (IDPA-CNR)
  • Rossano Piazza (Ca Foscari University of Venice)


  • Prof. Carlo Barbante (Ca Foscari University of Venice, CNR-IDPA)
  • Dr. Michela Segnana (Ca Foscari University of Venice)
  • Dr. Elena Barbaro (Ca Foscari University of Venice - APECS Italy member)
  • Dr. Warren Cairns (CNR-IDPA)
  • Dr. Marco Vecchiato (Ca Foscari University of Venice - APECS Italy member)
  • Dr. Roberto Sparapani (CNR)
  • Dr. Luisa Poto (CNR-IDPA)
  • Dr. Roberta Zangrando (CNR-IDPA)
  • Dr. Jacopo Gabrieli (CNR-IDPA - APECS Italy member)


  • Massimiliano Vardè (IDPA-CNR)
  • Villoslada Hidalgo Maria Del Carmen (Ca Foscari University of Venice)
  • Elena Gregoris (IDPA-CNR)
  • Sarah Padoan (Ca Foscari University of Venice)
  • Giuliano Dreossi (Ca Foscari University of Venice)

Recapping the APECS-AGU Cryosphere Career Panel: Applying for the Next Step

AGU APECS Panel 2016At the American Geophysical Union last month, APECS and AGU continued the tradition of cosponsoring the Cryosphere Careers Panel. The panel, which included a mix of both academic and non-academic scientists, was comprised of Dr. Åsa Rennermalm, Dr. Bob Rich, Dr. Twila Moon, and Dr. Sophie Nowicki.

From the academic side, Dr. Rennermalm is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Rutgers University. Dr. Moon is a Lecturer at Bristol Glaciology Centre, University of Bristol. Dr. Moon has broad experience applying to jobs in both the U.S. and the U.K., where she recently moved and started a tenure-track position.

From outside academia, representing someone who has pursued what he calls a "non-traditional science career," Dr. Rich is Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Consortium (ARCUS). While pursuing his PhD in Chemistry at UC Berkeley, he realized that he didn't want to be in a lab all day but he really wanted to keep working with scientists on a deep level. As a result, he sought out a career path that would help improve people's lives on a wholesale level using science. In May 2015, he began working at ARCUS as Executive Director, where he is responsible for a staff of 14 people, including scientists, project managers, administrative support, and technology experts.

Finally, Dr. Nowicki is a research scientist and deputy lab chief at the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard. In other words, she's a civil servant doing science for the US government.

Applying for the next step

As the target audience largely included early-career scientists looking to make a jump from one stage to the next, the discussion centered on "applying for the next step." What follows is a summary of the questions, most of which came from students and postdocs in the audience, and the panelists.

Read more ...

Antarctica Day Photo Competition from APECS Belgium and Netherlands

Belgium Netherlands Photo Comp2016

APECS Belgium along with APECS Netherlands organized an Antarctic Photo competition to celebrate Antarctica Day on December 1st 2016.

In total, 132 photos from 32 different photographers were submitted for the contest and displayed on Facebook to let the public vote for their favorite pictures.

The overall winner, Bartek Jerzak, received 101 likes for his shot “Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) in the vicinity of the H. Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station”.

In addition to the public prize, the national committees selected a few other pictures that, in their opinion, deserved to be highlighted in one way or another. Check out all the winning pictures including some “special awards” here. Currently, we plan to display large prints of the winning pictures during the upcoming SCAR Biology Symposium to be held in Leuven, Belgium in July 2017. If you would like to acquire one of these amazing pictures, that’s your chance!

We believe the photo competition was a great success. It showcased the beauty of Antarctica and engaged many scientists as well as non-scientists on social media, thereby also promoting the work APECS international in general and APECS BE/NL in particular.

APECS Sweden at Polarforum

APECS Sweden new logo 2016As part of Polarforum, the annual conference for Swedish polar research, APECS Sweden had a whole afternoon of sessions for early career researchers on 23 November 2016 at the Maritme Museum in Stockholm.

We started with a panel discussion about careers in and outside of academia after a "polar" degree. Our speakers were Veijo Pohjola from the University of Uppsala and Karen Assmann from the University of Gothenburg, both academics; Åsa Lindgren from the Swedish Polar Secretariat who also works as a polar guide; and Sandrine Testaz who is responsible for scientific coordination and communication at the French embassy in Sweden.

Ulf Jonsell from the Swedish Polar Secretariat then gave an overview of upcoming calls and expeditions that students and early career researchers can apply to.

After a well needed coffee break (which actually was a poster session), we received some valuable polar safety training from Henrik Tornberg (how to plan your fieldwork, what to pack, life saving piece of kit...). In particular, we all want a harness and a bevvy bag now!

Finally, we reported on APECS Sweden's activities for 2016 and elected the 2017 Executive Secretary, Céline Heuzé from the University of Gothenburg.

Expand your Frontiers: APECS Career Path panel discussion for early career researchers

Have you been wondering what your career alternatives are besides staying in academia? Are you passionate about Arctic science and you would appreciate some inspiration about how to proceed with your career? During the Arctic Frontiers "White Space - Blue Future" 2017 Conference in Tromsø Norway (22 - 27 January 2017), the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and Arctic Frontiers Young will give you the opportunity to hear the experiences of professionals with scientific backgrounds that chose different career paths inside or outside of academia. Get involved, ask questions and get ideas for your own career path!

Join us on 25 January 2017 at 14:00 at UiT The Arctic University of Norway in room E0101

This years panelists include:

  • Prof. Dr. Bodil Bluhm from the University of Tromsø
  • Dr. Katrin Bluhm from Akvaplaniva
  • Lawrence Hislop from Climate and Cryosphere project (CliC )
  • Dr. Dennis Fink from Mediomix

2016 APECS Season's Greetings

2016 Seasons Greetings first slideDear APECS members, supporters and friends,

APECS had again a very successful year in 2016 and we wanted to thank all of our members, mentors, sponsors and partners for helping us shape the future of polar research!

Enjoy some of our best moments of 2016 in our APECS Season’s Greetings video.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all of you! We are looking forward to a fantastic 2017!

Best wishes,

Alice Bradley, APECS President 2016-2017
Gerlis Fugmann, APECS Executive Director
on behalf of the APECS Leadership

APECS Switzerland celebrating Antarctica Day 2016

The Antarctica Day 2016 was held by the APECS Swiss National Committee on the 1st and 2nd of December. One early career scientist organized an event at the WSL institute in Zurich and another one in a primary school in Neuchâtel.

Antarctica Day @ WSL:

WSL is a federal research institute and 300 people are working there. On the 1st of December, two presentations were organized for the whole WSL. The first presentation was made by Konrad Steffen on the effect of climate change in Antarctica and future politic action by Switzerland in Polar regions. The second talk was held by Julia Schmale, from the Paul Scherrer Institute about her project on the oncoming Antarctica Circumpolar Expedition. The topic was related to atmospheric components in the Southern hemisphere.

In total, over 60 people took part of this event which is surprising as very few polar scientists are working in this institute. This showed the overall interest from many people for Antarctica and we had a very good feedback.

Antarctica Day 2016 SwitzerlandAntarctica Day in a primary school:

Four classes of a primary school took part of the Antarctica day. In the morning, a power point resuming the climate, geography, history and fauna was presented by the professors. The power point was prepared by the APECS members beforehand.

In the afternoon, an APECS member came and could answer all remaining questions about the continent, as well as present the scientific work done down south.

The questions were on very different topics and lasted over two hours. The APECS member also brought with her a “working suit” used by the scientists to work in very cold conditions. The students could try it on and realized how warm and heavy it is.

The week preceding the Antarctica day, the children had the exercise to draw an Antarctica flag. These flags are already on their way to Antarctica, with an APECS mentor (Julia Schmale) that will make a circumpolar expedition around Antarctica. She will display the drawings on the ship.

This Antarctica Day was a real success in school and the children showed a lot of interest and curiosity about this continent. The feedback from the professors and parents was very positive!


ICECAPS Workshop 2016: highlighting the role of communication for a successful science career

rsessionIndian Polar Research Network (APECS-India) collaborated with Wildlife Institute of India-ENVIS centre on Wildlife & Protected Areas to celebrate the Antarctica Day by hosting ICECAPS 2016 (Improving Communication Effectiveness and Capacity Addition in Polar Science), a science communication workshop for early career researchers and graduate students. The workshop was attended by about 50 masters and PhD students from biology, geology, and environmental science disciplines. The theme of the workshop was providing orientation to the young minds towards a successful career in Polar Science and to equip them with key communication skills. Sessions on Climate change and Protected Area network in Himalayas, Trans-boundary biodiversity conservation and Antarctic treaty system with a focus on Madrid protocol were conducted to utilize this platform for outreach activities. These sessions also underlined the challenges faced by biodiversity conservation efforts in the Polar Regions and the need for sustained scientific data collection and publishing in achieving these goals.

First day into the workshop, the participants were introduced to the importance of communication in the day to day life of a researcher. The participants were given tips on writing emails to a potential research supervisor or an adviser, creating professional resumes and developing networking skills during professional gatherings. Participants were also exposed to effective presentation skills that would help them in getting noticed in a science conference. Interactive hands-on sessions on identifying appropriate funding agency, grant writing process and the process of developing a research proposal were conducted. Lastly, the participants were introduced to the document preparation system Latex for creating large documents with basic hands-on practice.

Amit talks about Himalayan plants on thennature trail icecapsDay two of the workshop was initiated with a field session on the plants of the Himalayan foothill campus of Wildlife Institute of India. Participants were taken around the nature trail to learn about the adaptive features of the plants and were also brought in close encounter with migratory and resident species of the campus. Later, an exhaustive session on the open source software R was conducted to initiate them into the world of ecological analysis. This session familiarized participants with basic working and simple statistical analyses with R. In the end, students were taught the concepts of effective sampling design, choosing variables in a study, determining the sample sizes, and experimental vs. mensurative approach.

Sixty percent of the applicants of the workshop were M.Sc. students, 27.5 % were PhD students while the rest were early career researchers with less than 5 years to complete their PhDs. Around 60% of the students were already working in the Polar Regions and the rest intending to do so in their future career. The toughest job in this workshop, with students from different disciplines and academic backgrounds, was to invoke the interest of participants to communicate. We played Polar Bingo in the beginning of the workshop to break the ice between the students and generate an interest in the workshop topics. Our team of resource persons also interacted continuously with them between the sessions. Feedback from the participants was encouraging as almost 93% termed it “very useful” for their research career. Participants responded to include popular science writing in the future workshops while giving A-rating to sessions on R program, Grant writing and improving presentation skills.


New IASC Fellows announced

iasc webThe International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), have the pleasure to announce the start of the fourth edition of the IASC Fellowship Program. During the selection process, managed by IASC in close cooperation with APECS, five successful early career scientists were chosen from 101 applicants. The reviewers were impressed by the record amount and excellent quality of the applications.

The IASC Fellows 2017-2018 are:

  • Thomas Armitage, Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, University College London, UK / NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA (Marine Working Group)
  • Alevtina Evgrafova, University of Bern, Switzerland (Terrestrial Working Group)
  • Manisha Ganeshan, Universities Space Research Association, USA (Atmosphere Working Group)
  • Violetta Gassiy, Kuban State University, Russian Federation (Social and Human Working Group)
  • Shridhar Jawak, National Centre For Antarctic & Ocean Research, Earth System Science Organization (ESSO), Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, India (Cryosphere Working Group)

More information about the IASC Fellowship Program can be found here

APECS Netherlands/ Belgium Symposium 2016

APECS Netherland Belgium Symposium2016In the fall of 2016 the national APECS committees of the Netherlands and Belgium joined efforts in organizing a shared symposium. Organizers of the symposium were Ariadna Szszybelski and Douwe Maat from the APECS NL board and Henrik Christiansen and Igor Stelmach Pessi from the APECS BE board. The symposium was held on the 2nd of November in the headquarters of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and was financed by this same organisation. Douwe and Igor kicked-off the symposium with a welcome and a shared presentation on the different ways in which APECS can be beneficial to early career polar researchers. During the day two invited speakers climbed on stage. The first invited speaker was Kees Rade, the Dutch Arctic Ambassador, who informed us about the Dutch Polar Strategy until 2020. He explained which Dutch ministries are involved in polar politics and on which pillars this is based: sustainability, economy, research and geopolitics. This was followed by an interesting discussion on the interface of science and politics. The second speaker was Joseph Nolan from the European Polar Board (EPB), who explained what the EPB does and how scientists can benefit from it. This talk was followed by a discussion on what EPB can do for early career scientists. Possibly the EPB can be a platform for exchange of early career scientists amongst different institutes and universities, but at the moment there are no concrete ways yet.

Over the day, 8 APECS members, being Andrea Cabrera, Henrik Christiansen, Sebastiaan Koppelle, Eveline Pinseel, Hans Slagter and Stef Bokhorst, presented their scientific work on very different topics, such as the demography of Arctic marine mammals, evolutionary history of polar diatoms and iron in the Arctic Ocean. In addition, Heather Mariash, current APECS ExCom member, informed the public about Polar Educators International and her own role in APECS. Esther Kokmeijer, an artist and APECS Netherlands board member, showed different ways in which art can be used as a form of communicating science, without toning down on either art or science. We were pleased with the special attendance of three high school students, and hopefully APECS members to be: Maarten Burggraaff, Mees van Rhijn and Menno Hosper. All three students have been to the Arctic for their final exam projects and Mees gave a talk about his work on the color of polar bear fur. The last session of the meeting was by Ariadna and Henrik, who explained in which ways APECS members can contribute to APECS as an organization or to APECS’ aims, such as education and outreach, and in which ways peoples contributions would benefit them.

A total of 27 people attended in a nice mix of different scientific career stages from high school student to postdoc. A short questionnaire for feedback and suggestions was send around. In general the responses were very positive. The symposium was experienced as a good mix between scientific talks, politics and discussion. Although some people had to travel quite far, the location and venue were also well-accepted. Some suggestions for improvement were for instance an evening program with more time for discussion and networking, a more general part of the meeting in which APECS topics such as planning of new events can be discussed, and more information on the Dutch and Belgian polar research programs. All in all, also the organizers of the Dutch and Belgian national committees were very pleased with the attendance of the meeting and the quality of the talks. For the near future both committees are looking forward to more of these fruitful collaborations or contributions to each others activities. The talks of the organizers, pictures of the symposium and more information on the program is available on the Dutch and Belgian national committee websites: and


Call for Abstracts: 3rd APECS International Online Conference 2017

Outside the box logoThe Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) cordially invites you to submit an abstract for our 3rd APECS International Online Conference 2017 which will kick-start Polar Week on the 20th of March 2017. This year’s theme is “Outside the Box: Encouraging alternative solutions for undertaking and communicating polar research.” We encourage abstracts for punchy 10 minute PowerPoint presentations consistent with this theme.

Please visit the conference website to learn more about the conference and submit your abstract by the 20th of January 2017 at 22:00 GMT. We will notify you with regards to the success of your abstract prior to the 3rd of February 2017 at 22:00 GMT.

Please note that this is an online conference that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home or office. Please direct any questions you have to: 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
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