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 and EPB sign MoU

APECS 10 year logoepb logo desktop 2015APECS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Polar Board (EPB), recognising our common goals of engaging and supporting polar science through scientific activities, promotion of polar facilities, and education, outreach and communication. The EPB and APECS recognise the importance of fostering the next generation of researchers that will be faced with increasingly critical challenges due to the impacts of climate change on the polar regions and their global significance.

Gerlis Maaike2

The MoU was signed by EPB Chair, Maaike Vancauwenberghe, and APECS Executive Director, Gerlis Fugmann, during the EPB Spring 2017 Plenary Meeting in Prague.

The European Polar Board (EPB) is an independent organisation that focuses on major European strategic priorities in both the Arctic and the Antarctic regions. Current EPB membership includes research institutes, funding agencies, scientific academies and polar operators from across Europe.

The EPB envisions a Europe with a strong and cohesive polar research community and wherein decisions affecting or affected by the polar regions are informed by independent, accurate, and timely advice from the EPB.

The EPB has a mission to improve European coordination of Arctic and Antarctic research, by optimising the use of European polar research infrastructures. We promote multilateral collaborations between our Members and provide a single contact point for the global polar community. We advance the collective knowledge of polar issues, particularly in the context of European societal relevance.

The EPB and APECS look forward to years of further collaboration.

More information on EPB can be found at

Webinar: Making Antarctic Maps and Figures with Quantarctica

Quantarctica promo slide

Making Antarctic Maps and Figures with Quantarctica

June 7, 2017

13:00 - 14:00 GMT


One of the most time-consuming and stressful parts of any Antarctic research project is simply making a map. Whether it’s plotting your own data points, lines, or images; making the perfect “Figure 1” for your next paper, or replying to a collaborator who says “Just show me a map!,” it seems that quick and effective map-making is a skill that we take for granted.

However, finding good map data and tools for Earth’s most sparsely-populated and poorly-mapped continent can be exhausting. The Quantarctica project ( aims to solve these problems by providing a package of pre-prepared scientific and geographic datasets, combined with easy-to-use mapping software for the entire Antarctic community.

In this webinar, we'll take a quick tour of what's available for you in Quantarctica before learning how to import and analyze your own scientific data. Then we'll dive into the world of cartographic design and show you how to create a great-looking, publication-quality map of your study site.

Registration link

What’s on at the EGU 2017

EGU CryosphereAPECS 10 year logoThe EGU 2017 offers plentify for polar ECRs from panels to social events! Whether it’s your first big conference and you are not sure how to approach it or you just want to catch up with some ‘old’ friends and colleagues. We kick-off the polar-rich EGU week during the Pre-Icebreaker Cryo meet-up on Sunday (23.4.) and head to the Icebreaker together afterwards.

Not sure which path your career might take? Join the APECS-EGU Cryosphere Polar Science Career Panel on Thursday (27.04, Session SC66/CL6.05/CR6.14), where our five panellists will engage in discussions around experiences, career paths and choices.

And meet up on Cryo Night Out (jointly organiyed by EGU Cryosphere Division and APECS on Thursday (27.04.) for a social evening with your peers.

Look out for more polar news, sessions and events on the EGU Cryospheric Sciences Blog, Facebook and APECS website. 

APECS at the 13th Session of the CliC Scientific Steering Group

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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.

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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