Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

 

APECS organized a fascinating panel discussion on Tuesday 23 January during the Arctic Frontiers conference entitled “Adventures in the Field”. Inspired by the work that APECS is doing as part of the INTERACT project, the panel discussion focused on what it takes to do fieldwork in the Arctic. Four speakers, with many years of experience between them, shared many of their stories, anecdotes, and advice with an enthusiastic audience of over 40 people. Ingrid Wiedman (University of Tromsø) shared her experience of doing fieldwork from research vessels and how one needs to ensure excellent planning and communication when one is a scientific cruise leader. Alex Messerli (Norwegian Polar Institute) also highlighted how important it is to have detailed plans as well as several backup plans. She pointed out how essential it is to have a good field team that is well-informed and aware of each of their responsibilities. Morten Rasch (University of Copenhagen) shared a few stories from his perspective as station manager and leader of the INTERACT station manager’s forum. Being well prepared to go out into the field makes the station staff’s lives much easier, and is particularly important in view of safety and avoiding any possible rescue operations. Morten also highlighted how as early career researchers one should focus on the smaller and ‘relatively easy’ to obtain funding opportunities that are available, for example, the INTERACT transnational access programme. Svein Mathiesen (International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry) gave an excellent overview of how fieldwork in the Arctic, particularly through working with local communities, had changed his life. He shared several very funny anecdotes as well as much good advice. A healthy discussion with the audience rounded off a well-appreciated and interesting hour talking about adventures in the field!

Arctic Frontiers2018 panel Kopie

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