Contributed by the new UKPN coordinator Amélie Kirchgäßner
The British branch of APECS, the UK Polar Network, held its Annual General Meeting at the Royal Astronomical Society in London on the 25th of January 2010, rounding off an exciting year full of in-spiring events and marking the beginning of another one.
2009 started off with a workshop on At-mospheric Sciences in Cambridge in April, followed by a workshop on Arctic Marine Science in Ply-mouth and one on Cryospheric Sciences in Sheffield in November. All local organising committees did amazing jobs in pulling together programs that combined keynote lectures by senior scientists with hands on sessions, e.g. in computer ice sheet modelling or analysis of sea ice proxy in Arctic sediments.
Additionally there were mentor panel sessions on topics such as grant writing, career development, and outreach skills. All these workshops were attended by 30 to 40 early career scientists - many even from outside the UK - which just shows how relevant and topical the workshops were! We are very grateful for the sponsoring we received from the Natural Environmental Research Council, the IPY Office and various other funding bodies that made this workshop series possible. UKPN’s Education and Outreach team was also hard at work during 2009, organising and participating in outreach activities at the Newcastle Life Centre, during the IGS IPY meeting in Northumberland, and at the British Science Festival at the University of Surrey. The feedback our fantastic volunteers received is more than proof, what an excellent job they have done in engaging people of all ages, and sharing the enthusiasm we feel for what we do.
The AGM was also an opportunity to look ahead at activities already in the pipeline for 2010. Events that already throw their shadow is the continuation of our workshop series with events planned for early April in Leeds on the “Variability of Polar Climate” (in run up to EGU), one in Loughborough in November titled “Physical Evidence of Polar Environmental Change” and one focussing on Science Communication skills, which is currently scheduled to be held in Aberdeen in January 2011. We will also tag a UKPN event day of mentoring sessions and a workshop on open source GIS onto the “Cir-cumpolar Remote Sensing Symposium” in Cambridge in September. With regard to E&O our outreach people have already been active, and booked UKPN a slot during the British Science Festival in September in Birmingham, and this time the topic will be: Glaciers and Sea level rise.
We will keep you informed, of course, via the APECS newsletter, but in the meantime also feel free to check out: http://www.polarnetwork.org or contact us under info[at]polarnetwork.org.