Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


Dear Colleagues

You will by now have seen the notice that the Open Science Conference and SCAR Delegates meeting, to be held in Hobart, Australia in July-August 2020, have been cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SCAR Executive has already put in place a range of alternative strategies to continue the business of SCAR. This includes the business of our Subsidiary Groups and the Secretariat. These strategies are listed at the end of this document, in a record of the main meeting we held to do so, but excluding a few ‘Delegates only’ matters in keeping with our Rules of Procedure.

The implementation of some of the strategies will commence after discussions to be held individually with Subsidiary Group Chief Officers. These discussions will include what happens to Chief Officer positions in the interim, and what steps we have to take given each Chief Officer’s individual circumstances.

What course SCAR will take to hold its meetings will now be the subject of discussions to be held with the Members’ Delegates based on alternatives proposed by the Directors. Having such Delegates discussions is, in itself, not straightforward. The Executive has, however, already implemented actions to address these matters. Proposals that we have already communicated to the Delegates are listed below.

The SCAR Executive realises that these are not simple matters to navigate and that doing so at the moment is itself complicated. But we will work as swiftly as possible to have conversations with our Delegates, with our Subsidiary Group Chief Officers, and with other members of our community.We would be pleased to try to answer any questions you may have either as a Delegate, Chief Officer, SCAR representative, or member of our community.

We would like to indicate, however, that if we have a flood of queries, we will not be able to deal with all of them immediately. We will simply prioritise based on securing the continuation of SCAR’s business and the business of its Subsidiary Groups first. We will then attend to other matters. We trust you will support us in this prioritisation.

In concluding, the SCAR Executive thanks all of those who worked so hard and invested so much to get our, now cancelled, meeting arranged. In particular, our local partners, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; the Australian Academy of Science; and the Tasmanian State Government. Rhonda Bartley from the AAD has been a consummate professional, hugely energetic, and simply incredible local lead. SCAR is especially grateful to Rhonda and the team around her for their work.

SCAR also recognises the important contributions of the Acting Chief Scientist, Tas van Ommen, and the previous Chief Scientist, Gwen Fenton, and the support of other AAD staff through its Director, Kim Ellis.Likewise SCAR recognises the work of Leishman Associates, and in particular Helene Stewart, and the generosity of the sponsors who had agreed to support the SCAR-COMNAP 2020 meeting.

Finally, we recognise the work of our member researchers and Chief Officers who have come up with the exceptional diversity of papers and posters that were intended to be presented at the OSC. Thank you for all of these amazing abstracts. The SCAR Executive will work with everyone to build, in innovative ways, on these community efforts to share Antarctic and Southern Ocean science progress.

The Local Organisers will be in touch about registrations and so on as they do the work necessary to give effect to the meeting cancellation. Should you wish to raise any pressing matters with SCAR, please do so by directing your e-mail as follows:

To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Re: SCAR OSC and Delegates

Steven L Chown
SCAR President
On behalf of the SCAR Executive

SCAR Directors Special Meeting COVID-19 Report

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