On the 19th of April 2023, ahead of the Executive Committee in-person meeting, the APECS event “Portugal in Polar Science: Breaking the Ice” was organized at the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Coimbra, Portugal.
During this event around 40 early career researchers (ECRs), students and mentors (participants pictured above) met to talk about Portuguese polar science. The talks covered the breadth of activities being conducted by researchers and educators affiliated with Portugal, including:
- the use of drones to study Antarctic vegetation
- accessing hydrothermal vents in deep-sea polar regions with remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs)
- the effect of contaminants in Antarctic biodiversity
- the impact of policy and climate change in the Arctic and its indigenous communities
- the role of associations such as APECS in the life of ECRs, and how these organizations can help individuals to become better scientists & professors
- the importance of ECR involvement in education & outreach activities.
After the presentations, it was time to discuss the challenges faced by ECRs when deciding to pursue a scientific career. There was a panel discussion with questions raised by the audience covering funding, and at an earlier career stage, how to know which are the best master’s courses to choose and how one’s choices influence one’s career path.
This event served not only as a platform for students interested in their potential opportunities in polar science, but was also a great chance for APECS members, who usually meet online, to network in-person.
José Santos, University of Aveiro, presenting his work about hydrothermal vents in the central Arctic Ocean.
Event participants network during the coffee break.
Panel members of the round-table discussion "Challenges of ECRs".