Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

News from and about the wider APECS Network. If you have an article to contribute, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submit via our reporting forms for APECS National Committees

2017 APECS International Mentorship Award Recipients: Dr. Hugues Lantuit and Dr. Renuka Badhe

APECS is thrilled to announce our 2017 APECS International Mentorship Award recipients - Dr. Hugues Lantuit and Dr. Renuka Badhe! These awards were established as a meaningful way to recognize and honor the efforts of mentors within the international polar science community who have devoted significant time and energy towards building a supportive community for early career researchers (ECRs).

This year, we received several deserving nominations for both categories and it was difficult for our award committee to select the winners in both award categories:

HuguesDr. Hugues Lantuit (Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany) is the 2017 recipient in the APECS category, where APECS committees were encouraged to nominate a mentor who has made an outstanding contribution to the success of APECS. Ten years ago, Hugues was the co-founder of APECS, a network that supported since its formation over 7600 members during the early stages of their careers. With this, as well as with the foundation of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN), he “provided ECRs with platforms to get connected with each other and to get deeply involved into the international polar research landscape”. Hugues has been an inspiration and bright example of passion for the polar sciences for many early career researchers and he provided solid foundations for future polar scientists to get actively engaged. Among others, through this position as the Executive Director of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) he helped to develop and maintain frameworks for the inclusion of ECRs at professional events, meetings, committees and working groups of which many APECS members have benefitted from over the years.

Hugues has been a great motivator and supporter for early career scientists. Since the foundation of APECS, he has been involved in many of our workshops and webinars, serving as a mentor for the participants and sharing his experience and advice; for example, how to navigate the world of polar acronyms or networking at conferences. Aided by his understanding that people will achieve more as a group than as individuals, he has supervised more than 20 PhD, Master’s, and Bachelor students. Nominators reiterated that “it was [Hugues] who infected [them] with the desire to learn more about the Polar regions” and provided the opportunity to succeed through fieldwork, speaking opportunities, and trusting them to take control of their academic careers.

Renuka BadheDr. Renuka Badhe (European Polar Board, Netherlands) is the 2017 recipient in the member category, where we encouraged APECS members to nominate someone who has been an outstanding personal mentor to them in their career. Dr. Badhe was nominated by several individuals who said that, “as far as mentors go, Renuka belongs in the ‘rockstar’ category.” Renuka has been been a strong supporter of several APECS national committees, and early career researchers and professionals from around the world have benefitted from her generous donation of time and sharing of her expertise. She is also a masterful creator of networks, not only amongst APECS members but the entire global polar community. Furthermore, not only is she a high-profile woman in polar science, but Renuka has also been open about the challenges she has faced throughout her career while remaining an outspoken advocate for members of underrepresented communities.

The nomination letters emphasized that she “never hesitates to provide support whether it is through her professional position or personal engagement”. Her “mentorship has been anything but passive. She has consistently gone out of her way to ensure that my voice is heard in professional settings as well as become a true friend - one of the few people I know that I can call upon at any hour, with any professional or academic concern, and she'll be there with a compassionate ear and thoughtful advice". The nominators also highlighted Renuka`s “talent for identifying someone’s research interests and priorities, and introducing them to leaders in the field, with a suggestion of how they may be able to mutually assist one another”. She is “a strong advocate for early career researchers, [who] helps to push our work to the forefront even when we might lack the confidence to do so”.

On behalf of all APECS members, we would like to sincerely thank Hugues and Renuka for everything that they have done as mentors for both our organization and so many of us as individuals. We are honored to present the 2017 APECS International Mentorship Award to them both as a small token of our enormous gratitude for their time, wisdom, and passion.

Would you like to recognize a mentor for their commitment? Nominations for the 2018 APECS International Mentorship Award will be announced early in 2018 on our website. You can learn more about this year’s nomination process through our archived page

APECS Workshop at SCARBio17

One day ahead of the recent 2017 SCAR Biology Symposium, APECS organized an early career scientist workshop for conference participants (and anyone else interested). Lovely weather, sci-comm, fabulous guests, … read further for some impressions.

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The conference, which brought >300 Antarctic scientists from all over the world together, was scheduled to start on Monday. For this workshop, 37 people (+4 speakers) met already on Sunday morning on KU Leuven premises. The main workshop theme was “communicating with a non-scientific audience”. After getting organized, we jumped right in with José Xavier, scientist in Portugal and England, explaining what science communication is and why it is important. Siska Waelkens, working for the Faculty of Science of KU Leuven, then talked about the bridge that scientists need to build between themselves and others to facilitate mutual understanding. We continued with a coffee break (also very important for communication…). Stéphanie Brabant from France TV subsequently showed footage recorded during the recent Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition. She showed both good and less good examples of live interviews, outlining aspects that are critical to keep in mind when being interviewed as a scientist. Lastly, we switched topics with Grant Humphries (from up next, talking about scientific data management – another crucial issue for basically any scientist.


Leuven spoiled us with perfect weather, so lunch was quickly relocated to the park just outside the building. In the afternoon we split up into two working groups: delving deeper into writing for non scientific audiences (for example school kids) and giving an interview with journalists. We briefly re-gathered, exchanged experiences and enjoyed another coffee break, before again splitting up for two parallel breakout sessions. This time one group worked with Grant through some examples of sharing code and/or data with github (an extremely useful tool, for those that don’t know it). In the other group we practised giving “lightning presentations” – in this case short two minute presentation without supporting slides. Not an easy task at all, so worthwhile practicing! After this long day, we met once more to briefly tell each other what we learned and saying our goodbyes (although many met shortly after again at the conference icebreaker). It was a great day, I’d say! Many thanks to our supporters (AntEco & SCADM, as well as LBEG as host), speakers, and of course also the participants!


APECS Workshop: Communicating Across Borders

Communicating Across Borders: APECS Oceania Workshop

APECS Oceania hosted a two hour workshop for early career researchers in Hobart on 4 July 2017, just prior to the 2017 SCAR Humanities and Social Sciences Depths and Surfaces Conference. Almost 40 early career researchers from all over the world took part in the event, with one third identifying themselves as scientists, one third identifying as social scientists, and one third as humanities scholars. All were united by their interest in communication, and in making connections with others outside their usual sphere.

In today’s research climate, communication is an important skill. Researchers need to be able to not only communicate with colleagues in the same area, but with those from very different backgrounds, and the wider public. A panel session in the first hour addressed the challenges associated with “communicating across borders" and noted that such borders may be disciplinary, geographic, or between areas such as science and policy. Panelists came from a range of backgrounds, and were very responsive to questions from the audience. The panel consisted of:

  • Dr Renuka Badhe (Executive Secretary - European Polar Board)
  • Mr Elias Barticevic (Chilean Antarctic Institute - INACH)
  • Dr Adrian Howkins (Environmental Historian - Colorado State University)
  • Dr Mel Fitzpatrick (Climate Scientist - E & O - Science Communication)
  • Dr Meredith Nash (Homeward Bound programme - UTAS)

APECS mentors 4 July

APECS Panel Mentors with COMNAP flag. Thanks to COMNAP for sponsoring catering at this event.

The second half of the workshop involved breaking out into three groups to workshop themes that had been flagged as of interest when participants registered. Dr Daniela Liggett, Dr Cornelia Lüdecke and Dr Elizabeth Leane led discussions on “Fostering Interdisciplinary Projects,” discussing their own experiences and then helping workshop participants identify common ground, and providing strategies for planning a collaboration.

When it came to “Fellowships and Opportunities,” mentors provided advice on writing grant applications, from the perspectives of both successful applicants (Dr Rowan Trebilco and Dr Ursula Rack) and those who regularly review such applications (Dr Alan Hemmings and Dr Renuka Badhe). The guidelines for the COMNAP and SCAR Fellowships provided a useful guide, opening the floor for discussions about how to plan for such an application, and ensure it meets the criteria. As one workshop participant put it:

“I really enjoyed having three ''experts'' explaining the process of applying for funding. Personally, I have no experience in applying for such grants so it was great to have an examiner detailing what was expected that wasn't necessarily expressed in the instructions. The experts seemed genuinely keen to help us and the atmosphere, as well as the small size of the group, made it easy to participate. Despite being general, I still got concrete tips that I will for sure use the day I apply for a grant!”

Finally, those interested in “Science Communication” were in for a treat, thanks to the expert tutelage of Dr Mel Fitzpatrick and Stephen Curtain. The small group atmosphere lent itself well to in depth discussions, and left all participants with many elements to consider the next time they explain their research to others.

We thank the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) for their support in providing catering for the event, the mentors for their time, and all those who took part.

This event was organised by Hanne Nielsen, Gabriela Roldan, and Helene Aflenzer, along with Sumi Jayaseelan, Cyril Jaksic, and Ephaphrus Mamabolo


APECS workshop panel 4 July

APECS Panel in full force, chaired by Gabriela Roldan

Break out session APECS workshop 4 July

Break out session on fostering interdisciplinary research

 Break out session on funding at APECS workshop 4 July

Break out session with tips on writing grant applications


Get involved in the APECS leadership for the 2017-2018 term!

ExCom PragAre you looking for a way to get or remain active in APECS and the APECS leadership?

We encourage YOU to consider applying for the APECS Council or the APECS Executive Committee for the 2017-2018 term starting on 1 October and help shape our organization over the next year!

The APECS Council is the larger of the two leadership committees of APECS. Its members work on projects, coordinate APECS activities, and govern the organization. No prior experience in APECS is necessary to join the Council, and we encourage all APECS members to consider applying. The APECS Executive Committee consists of five members, who are elected by the Council to manage the day-to-day decisions of the organization. Any APECS member can apply for the ExCom, but some prior experience with APECS or equivalent is generally recommended.

You can find out more information on how to apply to the:

For both opportunities, the application deadline is on 8 September 2017 at 23:59 GMT.

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

Upcoming Webinars: The IPCC and Early Career Scientists

APECS 10 year logoYESS LogoIPCC LogoThe IPCC and Early Career Scientists Webinars

19 July 2017

Webinar 1: 7:00 – 8:30 UTC / GMT
(9:00 – 10:30 CEST, 15:00 – 16:30 CST, 17:00 – 18:30 AEST, 19:00 – 20:30 FJT)


Webinar 2: 15:00 – 16:30 UTC / GMT
(8:00 – 9:30 PDT, 11:00 – 12:30 EDT, 12:00 – 13:30 ART, 17:00 – 18:30 CEST)

Want to know how you can get involved in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as an Early Career Scientist?

The Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) community and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) are organizing two webinars on 19 July 2017.

Join us online to hear representatives of the IPCC talk about their activities and the opportunities available for Early Career Scientists. The content in both webinars will be similar, but to accommodate as many time zones as possible we run the webinar twice.

The IPCC is currently in its Sixth Assessment (AR6) cycle, during which it will produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report and the Sixth Assessment Report. These webinars will be an occasion to discuss the opportunities for Early Career Scientists to contribute to the work of the IPCC during this cycle. Moreover, the webinars will coincide with the opening of the first order draft of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) for review comments. 

If you wish to know more about the IPCC activities and how to be involved in the AR6, save the date and register here:

Places are limited and only the 100 first to register will be able to attend.

What is the IPCC?

The IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Since its inception the IPCC has produced five comprehensive Assessment Reports and several Special Reports on specific topics. IPCC has also produced Methodology Reports, which provide practical guidelines on the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories for the inventory reporting requirements of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). One of the many successes of the IPCC was receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 together with Al Gore "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".

These webinars are organised by YESS and APECS with the participation of IPCC.


APECS Germany at the 26th Annual Meeting of the German National Committee SCAR / IASC in Cologne (June 8-9, 2017)

Gruppenfoto German SCAR IASC Meeing 2017For the third time in a row, APECS received an invitation to select a representative among its members to be a guest at the annual meeting of the German National Committee SCAR/IASC (NK SCAR/IASC). The NK SCAR/IASC serves as the national body for the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and it further plans and coordinates the activities of German university research in the field of polar sciences. The 26th iteration of the NK SCAR/IASC meeting was held at Schloss Wahn, located in the outskirts of the beautiful city of Cologne. The 2-day meeting was very well organized, thanks to Martin Melles and Eliza Stehr from the University of Cologne.

For this year’s meeting, however, the circumstances were a bit different from the previous two years, as July 2016 (just after last year’s meeting of the NK SCAR/IASC, attended by Heike Link as the former APECS representative) marked the official start of APECS Germany, the new German National Committee within the international APECS network. Hence, the current and still quite recently elected chair of APECS Germany, Andreas Preußer, took the opportunity to announce the formation of our National Committee on behalf of the current APECS Germany Board and the 176 German APECS members in total, as well as to give a short presentation on the first successful activities for young polar researchers in Germany that took place and/or were initiated in 2016/2017. Please check our website and facebook-page for more information on these events. Furthermore, a brief overview on international APECS activities over the last 12 months was given, with the most interesting news in this regard being the new location of the main seat of the APECS Directorate Office which moved from TromsØ (Norway) to Potsdam (Germany) in February 2017 and being hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for the next 5 years.

Besides the 14 official members of the NK SCAR/IASC, currently being chaired by Günther Heinemann, 21 guests from various research institutions, funding agencies and federal ministries were attending the meeting - all occupying leading roles in the German polar research community. The list of affiliations included the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Marine Research, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and its Priority Program for Antarctic Research (SPP-1158), the German Association for Polar Research (DGP) and of course APECS. Major topics concerning German polar research focused on the “International Framework”, “Infrastructure and Expeditions” (this year with a special focus on MOSAiC – the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate), “National research planning and strategies” as well as more general SCAR and IASC matters from the respective SCAR and IASC international working groups.

 As almost every participant was invited to give a short report or statement on their respective contribution to these topics, the 2-day meeting was densely packed with interesting information. However, likewise to most scientific conferences there were several coffee-breaks available to serve as an extended stage to initiate discussions in a more relaxed atmosphere. 

In this context, it became clear that many attendees were quite happy to hear that APECS Germany had been officially founded and signalized willingness to support and collaborate in the future. As a first outcome, the coordination workshop of the Priority Program for Antarctic Research in September 2017 (APECS Polar week!) will likely set the framework for a 2nd APECS Germany workshop.

Overall, we are happy to see that the NK SCAR/IASC recognizes APECS (Germany) and the role of early career scientists (ECS) in general as an integral part of polar research in Germany. The invitation of an early career scientist to participate in their annual meetings can give valuable insights into national science activities and the translation of international science agreements and guidelines to a national level. Not less important – the NK SCAR/IASC is an ideal occasion to extend an ECS’s professional network by facilitating communication with experienced senior researchers, federal institutions and/or funding agencies.

If you are interested in learning more about APECS Germany and/or you want to actively participate in planning and organizing activities in Germany – get in touch with us! germany-board[at]

Registration open for the APECS Italy Workshop at the SCAR PAIS Conference in September

For the occasion of the SCAR PAIS conference in Trieste (10 - 15 September 2017), APECS Italy is organizing a workshop on 11 September about the use of Social Media to effectively communicate science to the wider public.

Often, it seems, the ability to communicate our research is undervalued, or at least not given the importance it deserves. However, especially in a society in which “science culture” is not generally taken into account (just think of the popularity of falsehoods such as the “correlation” between vaccinations and Autism, “Stamina therapy”, or the idea that climate change is a hoax), the ability to render the results of our research comprehensible to the society at large is fundamental.

Involve, impassion, educate. These are the three objectives that every researcher should have in mind when concluding a project.

Today, thanks to the existence of social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, this goal is much more within reach. The power of these instruments is in the hands of all of us, and this is especially evident when “hyped results” from “fake science” go viral. It is necessary then to reverse this trend: to do what we can to make “good science” go viral, and involve the members at large of these social media communities. How? The goal of the workshop that APECS Italy is organizing alongside the PAIS conference aims to address this “How?” by providing practical tools to participants in order to be able to successfully share their own research.

Practical Information and Registration:

When? September 11th – 6:00 PM
Where? Stazione Marittima – Molo Bersaglieri 3 – Trieste – Room: Vulcania1
Who? Guests and program TBD

For more information and to register, please visit the APECS Italy website

Polar Prediction School 2018: First call for applications

European Commission LogoApplicate logoThe EU Horizon 2020-funded APPLICATE project, in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organisation’s Polar Prediction Project (PPP) in occasion of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and other partners are organising the second Polar Prediction School 2018 on weather and climate prediction in the polar regions from 17 - 27 April 2018 at Abisko Scientific Research Station in Sweden.

APECS 10 year logoYOPP LOGO beb4effb3cThis school, for early career scientists, will include a combination of polar weather and climate theory lectures with exercises on modelling and field meteorology techniques as well as soft skill training. Each of these components forms a crucial pillar of the prediction problem, and the motivation for combining these is to provide participants with a complete overview of the components required to understand and predict polar weather.

The Polar Prediction School 2018 will be open to 30 early career researchers (focus on advanced graduate students, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers) from around the world. An international set of instructors will be teaching the sessions. As during the first Polar Prediction School in 2016, classes will be held at the Abisko Scientific Research Station, in Sweden, where the instructional facilities are conveniently located in an environment well suited to Arctic observations.

More information and how to apply can be found on the Polar Prediction School 2018 website. Application deadline is 15 September 2017.

Upcoming webinar: Arctic Data Center: Tools and Strategies for Archiving your Data on 21 June

Arctic Data Center ARCUS Webinar0617APECS Webinar: Arctic Data Center: Tools and Strategies for Archiving your Data
June 21, 2017 at 17:00 GMT

Presenter: Amber Budden, Jesse Goldstein and Chris Jones

Registration Link

The NSF Arctic Data Center plays a critical support role in archiving and curating the data and software generated by Arctic researchers from diverse disciplines. The Arctic community, comprising Earth science, ecology, archaeology, geography, anthropology, and other social science researchers, are supported through data curation services and domain agnostic tools and infrastructure, ensuring data are accessible in the most transparent and usable way possible. This interoperability across diverse disciplines within the Arctic community facilitates collaborative research and is complemented by interoperability between the Arctic Data Center infrastructure and other large scale cyberinfrastructure initiatives.

During this webinar we will provide a brief overview of the the Arctic Data Center; the history, infrastructure, and partnerships that support long-term preservation of the data and metadata. We will highlight the many features and services offered by the Arctic Data Center before stepping through some best practices for working with data and guidance on how to archive data to with the Arctic Data Center.

Upcoming APECS panel at ICASS IX in Umeå on 8 June

Career Panel ICASS2017Studying social sciences gives us all plenty of opportunities to use scientific knowledge and skills, not only for a career in academia, but also in governance, community development, planning and many other areas. Learn with us about opportunities and challenges in career choices for young Arctic social science researchers, both inside and outside academia!

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) will be organising a panel discussion on "Careers opportunities in Arctic Social Sciences" during the 9th International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) (8-12 June 2017, Umeå, Sweden), where you will have an opportunity to hear career experiences of our excellent panelists that we hope would be inspiring for your future career choices.

Join us on 8 June 2017 at 14:30 at Umeå University in room MC313.

Meet our panelists:

  • Mare Pit (German Arctic Office / AWI, Germany)
  • Anne-Lill Drugge (Centre for Sami Research (Cesam) - Vaartoe, Sweden)
  • Gail Fondahl (University of Northern British Columbia, Canada)
  • Katrin Stephen (IASS, Germany)

Apply now for upcoming Polar Science Communication Workshop

Polar Science Communication Workshop: Aug. 12-14, Boulder, CO, USA
USAPECS scicomm workshop flyer


We would like to announce an opportunity for polar scientists of all career stages to obtain formal training in science communication strategies during an NSF- and NASA-funded workshop held in Boulder, CO, USA from August 12-14, 2017. The workshop will take place immediately prior to the International Glaciological Society (IGS) International Symposium on Polar Ice, Polar Climate, Polar Change at the University of Colorado Boulder. The workshop will include two days of oral communication training by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and one day of written communication training by Dr. Max Boykoff and his team from the University of Colorado Boulder.
The workshop is open to 32 polar scientists from all career stages and spanning all disciplines in the physical and social sciences. Workshop participants do not need to attend the IGS symposium in order to participate in the science communication workshop. Funding for domestic travel and lodging are available for ~19 early-career scientists.
Workshop applications and additional information can be found at Applications are due June 5th. Notification of acceptance, and early-career funding if applicable, will be made by July.
Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions regarding workshop details or the application process, and please let your colleagues know about this workshop!

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A43
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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