Another Excom term is coming to its successful conclusion! On September 24, 2014, we had our last Skype call. Our agenda was headed by making decisions regarding the composition of the Council for the next term. The vote on new Excom and Council members is taking place this week, and the results will be announced next week. Meanwhile, the outgoing Excom provided updates on a few current and upcoming APECS activities and discussed any transitional items that needed to be passed on to our new leaders. A closing reflection on the term of 2014/15 was on the whole very positive. Your outgoing Excom has enjoyed the steep learning and would like to give our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved with the countless APECS activities of last year. If you are as of yet a spectator, do not hesitate to become active and make the most of the APECS experience. We know what we are talking about!
An Excom call took place on May 8, 2014. There were only two agenda items, which nonetheless made for a lively meeting. (i) Gerlis provided a website update. The good news is that the website is stable and posting may happily resume (this item being a case in point). (ii) The Excom decided on several main questions arising from the draft Strategic Plan that will be brought up for discussion at the Council call later in May.
The ExCom had another productive bi-weekly meeting on March 11th, 2014. First of all, we were very happy to welcome the new APECS Council co-chair, Heather Mariash. Heather has been involved in APECS for many years, most importantly as part of the RAC. She is bringing her experience and dedication to the service of the council, and we are looking forward to work with her.
During the meeting we also discussed several new exciting projects and opportunities. First, APECS Brazil, one of our very active national committee, is organizing a career development workshop in September. We are excited that our ExCom President, Christie Logvinova, will be joining them for the workshop to tell them a bit more about APECS. Second, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) is offereing APECS members an amazing opportunity to participate in the writing of a series of documents titled Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic. The ExCom briefly discussed the application process that we will use to select candidates. Keep your eyes open for announcments regarding this cool opportunity soon!
The APECS ExCom had another productive meeting on February 28th, 2014. Major topics dicussed were how the APECS council, the APECS Membership Involvement Committee and the APECS Education and Outreach Committee can engage more members and work better together.
Polar week is also fast approaching with lots going on. You can view what events are being held around the world here, and see a map of the events here. Don't forget the share your own event and launch a virtual balloon for Polar Week, March 15 to 22, 2014!
During the first Skype call since the Excom In-Person meeting in Tromsø in January, we discussed the following items in no particular order: 1) APECS' support of the FOSTER project; 2) the activities of our Council members; 3) the newsletter; 4) the upcoming Polar Week in March; 5) any outstanding tasks from the IP meeting; and 6) general updates from the Excom members.
FOSTER stands for Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research. Their training events are open access, open data, and open science, and they asked for APECS' input into a call for events or activities to be hosted in the second half of 2014. Another call later in this year will look at an opportunity in the first half of 2015.
The Council chair Mika Laiho has been working on the Council's quarterly report and the Excom is looking forward to the results. In the meantime, the Council will advertise for a Council Co-chair as well as a MIC co-chair. In addition, the Council welcomes open applications from any APECS member throughout the year.
The Excom is in favour of issuing the APECS Newsletter on a quarterly basis. Adam Naito is mostly in charge of producing it and a quarterly issue is expected to decrease his workload while increasing its quality.
The Polar Weeks centred around the equinoxes in March and September as well as Antarctica Day on December 1 should be fixed and highly visible features on the APECS calendar. APECS International is represented by the wide an varied activities of the EOC (Education, Outreach and Communication Committee) sub-committee. Furthermore, we try to coordinate our activities firstly with what PEI (Polar Educators International) are doing and with what our many National Committees have planned. APECS also endeavours to reach and encourage enthusiastic individuals, through the MIC (Membership and Involvement Committee) , to become active at their institute or their university.
The minutes from the IP Meeting have now been compiled. The action items will be updated at the next Skype call. Excom members were reminded to brief the group on their activities before each new call. The next call will be on February 28.
The APECS Excom in-person meeting (Tromsø, Norway; January 17-18, 2014) did more than it said on the tin: it not only provided the five of us with a chance to finally meet in person; we were also joined by our Director and our three ex-officio members!
After having spent a first industrious day at the University of Tromsø, we were kindly hosted by the Director of the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project Jenny Baeseman and her family on the second day. Add any number of visitors, and it was a full-house indeed. Thank you, Jenny!
True to form, our agenda was equally packed. We carefully evaluated various ongoing APECS activities: what was going well and what was in need of adjustments. A look at our Council, our sub-committees, and our working groups showed that we are on top of our priorities for 2013/14. Thanks to the hard work of the previous ExCom to secure funding for the directorate, we even dared to say that our workload was overseeable – even enjoyable!
Pressing matters that are now being tackled are the APECS Strategic Plan 2014-17 as well as the relationship of APECS International with its National Committees and their respective partners. Such matters serve to remind us that as we grow as an organisation, new and exciting situations continuously arise. We are proud of our National Committees and we hope that long-lasting and fruitful partnerships will come out of it.
On that note, our ExCom meeting also provided the chance for several side-meetings with some of our APECS partner organisations: Jenny Baeseman of said Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project discussed which direction our cooperation could take; and Charles Fierz, President of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) is very much looking forward to a collaboration that will motivate more early-career alpine scientists to join APECS and benefit from the membership. Furthermore, we met with representatives from the University of the Arctic (UArctic), with whom we share our field schools and graduate programs catalogue and whose student ambassadors very much look forward to some joint events in the near future.
Thanks to the in-person meeting, your APECS Excom feels confident and invigorated and cannot wait to engage on the tasks of a 'cool' 2014.
The APCES Executive Committee had another busy meeting on December 16th 2013.
One important item on the agenda was the discussion of proposals that APECS is submitting as part of the proposal call for the Third International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III). This is an important opportunity for APECS to be present at a conference where the future directions of Arctic research will be discussed. Most important will be a workshop that APECS wants to organize as part of the conference to increase the involvement of early career researchers.
We also discussed the new look of our monthly Newsletter! Thanks to Adam and Anton for working on this beuatiful design.
Finally, we discussed the involvment of APECS members is many conferences and events all over the world (Arctic Frontiers in Tromso in 2014, the Economist Arctic Summit in London in 2014, ArcticNet in Halifax in 2013, etc.)!
The APECS ExCom had another meeting on December 4th, 2013. Many items were covered including some up coming grant proposals (i.e. the Norden Project). One topic that has been much discussed amongst the ExCom lately has been the groeth of numerous National Committees.
Although several national committees are long established and very active (i.e. the UKPN) others are relatively newly formed (i.e. APECS Bulgaria). Similarly, some National Committees are quite small in numbers with less than 30 members (i.e. APECS Portugal), other groups number in the hundreds with leadrship boards of 20+ people (i.e. APECS Canada). While many national committees are fully functional under a informal leadership structure (i.e. APECS US NorthEast) others are moving towards highly structured formalization as recognised independent organizations (i.e. APECS France), which allows them to apply for external funding. And some countries have joined together to create more regional groups (i.e. APECS Benelux - Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg). With all this diversity the APECS leadership is working hard to make sure that all the different groups are supported and connected with APECS International.
The ExCom 2013-2014 met online for the second time this term on November 6, 2013. The main item on the agenda was the APECS 2013-2014 Priorities document. In a mammoth two-and-a-half-hour effort, President Christie Logvinova (Wood) led us through the list of priorities and we diligently discussed and adjusted the strategies to accomplish these.
Some major points of discussion were the nurture and expansion of our partnerships with other institutions and organisations; the encouragement of community website use and website development; and the support of current Workings Groups and the formation of new ones.
The new ExCom for the 2013-2014 term met for the first official meeting on October 18th, 2013. Discussions invovled getting everyone up to date on the current working groups, open council positions, and the upcoming first council call of the year.
A major discussion point was also how APECS handles being asked to sign on to letters, petitions, movements etc by other groups. The APECS leadership agreed that for APECS to sign on to any form of support the wording and context must be in line with our own organization and membership values. Our leadership will continue to uphold the integrity and respect with which APECS was founded upon and continues to act in accordance with.
We again thank Bredbåndsfylket for their continuted support of us and the GoToMeeting system.
On October 3rd, 2013 APECS entered yet another new term with the handing over of the APECS leadership from one ExCom to another. Both the outgoing and in the incoming ExComs gathered on the GoToMeeting system to talk about lessons learned, projects underway and plans for the future.
The outgoing ExCom shared their experiences on the ExCom. Many talked about the great experiences being on the ExCom brought to them. The new ExCom also had lots of questions, especially with regards to time management, work flow strategies, and how to handle the flow of emails that ExCom members experience.
Once all questions for the outgoing ExCom were addressed the ourgoing members left the call and the incoming members got down to business. A new president was elected. The priorities for the year were discussed. Plan are already underway for in an inperson meeting, but as always there is never enough time to cover everything so council and chair position details were scheduled for another call to happen the following week. Stay tuned here for more details!