During the Third International Symposium of Arctic Research (ISAR3) in Tokyo, Japan (14-17 January 2013), an APECS career development panel was organized. Such a panel aims to break the ice between senior scientists with an extensive career and young students who can benefit from the experience and perspectives of mentors.
The panel was composed of five mentors (from left to rigth):
Dr. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten, head of the AWI Research Unit Potsdam with the Section of Periglacial Research and professor for Isotope Geology at the Potsdam University
Dr. Larry Hinzman, director of the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) and professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dr. Volker Rachold, Executive Secretary of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)
Dr. Atsuko Sugimoto, professor at the Faculty of Environmental Earth Science at Hokkaido University
Dr. Kazuyuki Shiraishi, director-general of the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR)
About 50 polar researchers, young and older, Japanese and international, attended the panel and asked several questions to these mentors. Questions such as: “How do you find a good mentor to guide you through your scientific career?” were answered, and accompanied by practical tips.
Dr. Volker Rachold: “I found it quite interesting that most experts had the same tips.”
After moderating the panel with Neurasimuguli Alimasi, Ines Tavernier, APECS Vice President, gave an introduction about APECS at the University of Hokkaido (Sapporo) upon request of professor Atsuko Sugimoto. First, a student seminar was held, followed by the talk on APECS.
Professor Ralf Greve, Glacier and Ice Sheet Research Group, Sapporo: “I know APECS from the beginning and thought of them as just another organization. But it is absolutely amazing to see how they have grown over the past years.”
Ines gave a general introduction of APECS and the people running this organization on a day-to-day base. She told her personal story of how she was introduced to APECS, how APECS Belgium and APECS BeNeLux (Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg) were formed, what Frostbytes are and most importantly: what APECS does for young researchers and how they can be involved.
Rei Fujiyoshi, student at Hokkaido University: “I strongly wish that a similar organization would exist for students not active in the polar regions!”
Professor Atsuko Sugimoto definitely does not need to be convinced of the importance of APECS for her students and of the possibilities their involvement would create, so we do hope the number of members in Japan will increase in the future and that they will engage themselves to become an active group of enthusiastic young polar researchers.