I am a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa, Canada. My research interests are focused around determining how permafrost is responding to climate change in the Canadian Arctic. After completing my MSc (Geography) at Queen’s University, I joined the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics at the University of Ottawa. At Queen’s, I worked in the Canadian High Arctic looking at features related to permafrost thaw, and during this time I fell in love with the North! My current research is focused on determining the impacts of forest fires on discontinuous permafrost in the south-western Northwest Territories, Canada. Little work has been done to quantify the impacts of fire on permafrost in this region, even though the increasing frequency and magnitude of fires has the potential to accelerate permafrost loss.
Working on large multi-disciplinary projects in northern communities has made me realize that science communication is a vital part of conducting research, and I strive to make this an important part of my projects moving forward.
I am applying to be part of the APECS Executive Committee because I would really like to take on a larger role within the APECS structure and think it would provide me with valuable skills moving forward. I was elected to sit on the Executive Committee with a temporary position in June, and this gave me an opportunity to get a feel for how things are done. I was able to participate in the bi-weekly meetings and the decision making and am keen to continue to be a part of it. I had not thought about any career paths other than research to date, but my experience at APECS so far has been inspiring me to pursue new things!
I have been part of the APECS Council for the last 9 months and have had such a positive and fulfilling experience and would really love to be more involved. I was the Project Group Lead planning the spring equinox Polar Week 2017, and although it was challenging at times, I found it extremely rewarding. It was a learning experience, but in the end helped me improve my leadership skills. I would like to continue being a part of Polar Week planning in the future, as I think it is useful to have someone who has been a part of it in the past help with planning as to not re-invent the wheel every year. I was also a part of the social media project group at this time, and I think there is room for improvement in this group (ie. we just need better involvement from council members) and I think I could help with this too. Being a part of APECS has made me realize how important science communication and I am keen to build my skills and help others do so.
Here is a list of things I've done with APECS so far: organized the “Polar Science 101: Breaking Down Scientific Concepts For a General Audience” blog series; put together the Polar Art Showcase during Polar Week; moderated an online panel discussion about “Working in Collaboration with Indigenous People and the Role of Traditional Knowledge in Northern Research”; organized a Reddit AMA and Photo Contest for Polar Week; planned the #PolarPeople Twitter campaign during Polar Week; part of planning September 2017 Polar Week; and weekly updates of APECS social media.
I have also been in contact with APECS Canada and will be helping out with their NC in the future. Specifically, I represented APECS International on a teleconference with Global Affairs Canada and a wide circle of parties working on issues related to the Arctic in Canada. I am also going to be part of planning an APECS event on Student Day of the Arctic Change conference in Quebec City in December, 2017.
I have finished all pressing deliverables for my PhD and have no plans to travel during the next term, and will definitely have the time and drive to be a part of the APECS Executive Committee! I hope you consider my application.
I will be in the field in August and September (dates TBD) but have regular internet access.