Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

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APECS International Polar Week Fall 2016 was from 19 - 25 September 2016!

We want to celebrate on a global scale by focusing on the science being conducted in the Arctic and Antarctic. Inspired by the many great things that came out of the International Polar Year celebrations, we hope that the bi-annual Polar Week celebration will link people in polar science and polar education. The polar regions of our planet contain some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. These ecosystems support a rich array of life, both human and non-human, on both ends of the globe. Whether it's in the Arctic or Antarctic, scientists from all over the world are working together to increase our knowledge of the cryosphere and its inhabitants. It is for this spirit of international cooperation and the excitement of scientific discovery that the APECS proudly supports International Polar Week.

International Polar Week is an opportunity for APECS to promote polar science. APECS uses this opportunity to plan & develop polar science related activities alongside teachers, educators and those interested in polar education for the equinoxes of each year. The equinoxes in March and September are the only time when everywhere on earth the day length is 12 hours, a perfect opportunity to celebrate the poles on a global scale!

For information or questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Polar Week Figure Competition Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered a figure into our Fall Polar Week figure competition

Voting has closed and we can now announce the results: congratulations to all!

1st place: Noémie Ross and the 'A Frozen Ground Cartoon' team

Ross Noemi

‘A Frozen-Ground Cartoon’ is a scientific outreach project presenting permafrost research conducted in the field with thematic comic strips. It is coordinated by a core group of Permafrost Young Researchers from Canada and Europe and is funded by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). This poster is realized by Noémie Ross, a professional young artist from Montréal, Canada. For more information click here.
'A Frozen-Ground Cartoon' Team: Project Leader: Frédéric Bouchard Collaborators: Bethany Deshpande, Michael Fritz, Julie Malenfant-Lepage, Alexandre Nieuwendam, Michel Paquette, Ashley Rudy, Matthias B. Siewert, Ylva Sjöberg, Audrey Veillette, Stefanie Weege, Jon Harbor

2nd place: Mathieu Casado, University of Paris, Saclay

Acquisition of the isotopic composition signal in Polar Region: first, during evaporation, the clouds are depleted in heavy isotopes by the cumulated effect of equilibrium fractionation at the phase transition and kinetic fractionation; second, the cloud isotopic composition is depleted at each precipitation events as the heavy isotopes are preferentially found in the condensed phase; finally, in remote polar region, due to the low amount of precipitation and it is necessary to take into account post-deposition processes in the isotopic budget of the snow.

3rd place: Ruth C. Heindel, Dartmouth College

RCH soilcrustfigure

Conceptual framework for understanding the role of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in the West Greenland landscape. Starting in a high productivity stable state (shrub and graminoid tundra), wind disturbance can remove soil and vegetation, exposing loess and glacial till. After biocrust development, the role of the biocrust either as a permanent landscape cover or a successional facilitator determines whether the landscape remains in a low productivity stable state or returns to the initial high productivity state. Concept from Bowker et al., 2007.

Sharing Science with the Virtual Polar Film Fest


During Polar Weeks, which are week-long polar events held around the solar equinoxes, APECS members get creative about sharing science with their communities and the broader public. These events are often informal and meant to highlight the most fascinating aspects of polar science and the broader themes that make the subject globally relevant. This year, the USAPECS Board piloted a Virtual Polar Film Fest to harness the power of inspiring and exciting educational videos that are already available online and repackaged them for Polar Week in September 2016.

Video nominations were crowd-sourced from the polar research community. We received more than 100 submissions (already posted on Vimeo and YouTube) of both amateur and professional videos of varying lengths, some of which covered serious topics and others that were more light-hearted (e.g., “Happy Feet”). Videos were reviewed and organized into four themes, each of which was highlighted on a day of the Film Fest: Frozen Worlds, Partly Frozen Mostly Cute, Climate & Connections, and People at the Poles.

During Polar Week, APECS members hosted in-person and virtual watch parties where groups gathered to watch selected videos and/or playlists and discuss what they were watching with APECS experts. In-person watch parties were held in Boulder (CO), Fairbanks (AK), Orono (ME), Whitehorse (YT), Potsdam (DE), and Cambridge (UK). Virtual watch parties were hosted by Alice Bradley, Mia Bennett, Morgan Seag, and David Schutt on Twitter using the #PolarFilmFest hashtag. Playlists were also widely disseminated to APECS members, APECS partners (including Polar-ICE), and over social media.

Overall, Polar Film Fest videos racked up over 24,000 views, contributing an average of 8% to the total views on the films featured on the playlists. There were 184 tweets using the #PolarFilmFest during the week, with participants from around the world contributing. We hope to run the Virtual Polar Film Fest again, creating new playlists, including more languages besides English, and working with partners to host more exciting events that bring together the arts and sciences!

The 2016 Virtual Polar Film Fest was organized by Allen Pope, Alice Bradley, Ariel Morrison, David Schutt, Olivia Lee, and Alex Thornton with further help from the USAPECS Board and APECS members. If you would like to get involved in future events like this one, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

APECS Oceania Social Media Presentation

This Polar Week (Fall 2016), communication was in the spotlight for APECS Oceania. On Monday 19 September (1300 AEST), Indi Hodgson-Johnston from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (Hobart) presented an introduction to "Social Media for Marine and Antarctic Scientists." Tune in to a recording of the talk to learn about the various social media platforms, how to use a hashtag, networking effectively online, and ways to promote your research. 

Social Media for Marine & Antarctic Scientists from APECS Webinars on Vimeo.

APECS Oceania’s Indi Hodgson-Johnston talked about:
  • The value of a social media presence 
  • Working out what you want to achieve from dipping your toe into social media
  • How to set up social media accounts (with an emphasis on Twitter)
  • How to promote your research sensibly (and avoid those trolls)
  • How much time does it take? 
  • How to find other scientists in your field
  • Etiquette, visualisation, professionalism etc. 
  • Honest reflections of several years working with companies, organisations and other researchers in social media
  • And so on… 
Why social media? 
Employers are increasingly demanding outreach and communication skills of their employees. A solid social media presence provides scientists and other researchers with precious contacts, networking and outreach opportunities that are beyond those found in traditional research institutions. But it’s a bit scary when you hear about trolling, multiple platforms etc, so that’s why we’re going to tell you all about how to set up accounts, what to say, what not to say, who to follow and so on. It’s aimed at a wide audience, from those wanting to start up an account, to those that want to refine their audiences. 

To view a recording of the presentation on the APECS vimeo channel, click here.


List of other activities during International Polar Week September 2016

Name  Date  Location  Description 
 Movie night  19/09/2016  -  25/09/2016   Potsdam,  Germany  Movie night with Arctic/Antarctic movies 
 APECS France  webinars  03/10/2016  -  07/10/2016  Various  A series of webinars organized by APECS France.
 APECS  Webinar:  Understanding  the ecological  power of  communication:  Culture &  nature tourism  contexts  22/09/2016  Online  APECS Webinar: Understanding the ecological power of communication: Culture & nature tourism contexts Presented by  A/Prof Tema Milstein - University of New Mexico? Thursday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m. (US Mountain Standard Time)
 Polar Film  Festival  20/09/2016  Cambridge,  UK  An evening of short films (thanks US-APECS!) about the polar regions in celebration of International Polar Week.
 Arctic Science  Ministerial  Side-Event:  Arctic Science  as a Vehicle for  STEM  Education and  Citizen  Empowerment  27/09/2016  Washington,  DC, USA  In collaboration with Arctic Portal, Arctic21, the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), PoLAR Partnership, EDU-Arctic,  and  the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, ARCUS hosted a special side-event to the 2016 Arctic Science Ministerial  meeting at  the ARCUS office in Washington, D.C. on 27 September, 2016. Scheduled to take place immediately before the  opening  events of the first White House Arctic Science Ministerial (September 27th - 28th), this special event was intended  to  engage the international community of Arctic stakeholders in a constructive dialogue around one of the four key themes  of  the Arctic Science Ministerial: "Arctic Science as a Vehicle for STEM Education and Citizen Empowerment." It also  provided  a key opportunity for leaders participating in the Arctic Science Ministerial to engage with the wider Arctic  stakeholder  community and media on these topics before the closed meetings of the Arctic Science Ministerial begin.  Beginning at 9am  EDT on 27 September, two 1-hour panel discussions by an international group of Arctic leaders explored  opportunities for  advancing the use of Arctic research and education activities to inform worldwide audiences about the  changes happening  in the Arctic and to help empower Arctic residents most impacted by the complex dynamics shaping  the region. An  introductory plenary by Mark Brzezinski, Executive Director of the U.S. Government's Arctic Executive  Steering Committee  kicked-off the conversation. The public was invited to attend the event presentations via online  streaming.
 Marine Institute  Research Open  House  19/09/2016  St. John's,  Newfoundland,  Canada  Join the Marine Institute for an International Polar Week Open House on Monday, September 19 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00  p.m. Stop by the MI Gym to meet representatives from the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER), the Centre  for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (CSAR), OceanNet and the Centre for Centre for Applied Ocean Technology (CTec) who  will be on hand to chat about their work in the Arctic. There will be interactive displays, videos and you'll even get to meet  some Northern sea creatures.
 Reddit Ask me  anything (Polar  week)  22/09/2016  Online/UK  Following on from previously successful reddit AMA's during polar week, the UK Polar network is hoping to host an event  from 7-9pm GMT on "Ask me anything for polar scientists".
 Polar Film Fest:  APECS Canada  Watchparty in  Whitehorse!  21/09/2016   Whitehorse,  Yukon, Canada  Watchparty for the Polar Film Fest!

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A45
14473 Potsdam
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