Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


Between January 26 – 30, the 14th Arctic Frontiers conference was held in Tromsø, Norway. The theme of the 2020 conference was “The Power of Knowledge” and it brings together an international community of students, early career researchers,  and young professionals to share knowledge and new perspectives. This year, APECS contributed to the Arctic Frontiers Young programme with several activities:

  • An Early Career Researcher Networking Night on 28 January,
  • 6th edition of the Nansen Poster Awards on 29 January,
  • “Science for Schools” from 28-30 January.

The winner of the 6th edition of the Nansen Poster Awards is...

For the 6th time, APECS and Arctic Frontiers arranged the Nansen Poster Awards. During the 2020 Arctic Frontiers conference, 17 poster judges evaluated 28 posters. The evaluation criteria included the visual appearance of the posters, the content and presentation of data, the quality of research, and the skills of the presenter. The winners receive travel support and/or registration for an Arctic Frontiers conference during the upcoming three years. 

The winners of the 6th edition of the Nansen Poster Awards in 2020 are: 

    • 3rd place: Aleksei Kishanko from Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas in Moscow, Russia: Shallow gas potential of the Arctic offshore areas
    • 2nd place: Alistair Everett from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Tromsø, Norway: Extending the Ice Watch system as a citizen science project for the collection of in-situ sea ice observations
    • 1st place: Kathy Dunlop from the Institute of Marine Research in Tromsø, Norway: Sustainable Aquaculture in the North – identifying thresholds, indicators and tools for future growth

  poster winners AF 2020

Congratulations to Kathy, Alistair and Aleksei! Image copyright: Institute of Marine Research in Tromsø (left) and Arctic Frontiers (right). 


Science for Schools 

For the 6th time, 10th and 12th grade Tromsø school kids had their own conference during Arctic Frontiers. Science for Schools was arranged in cooperation with Vitensenteret, Arctic Frontiers and APECS. 

During three days, early career researchers gave plenary lectures with hands-on experiences in the morning that were followed by poster presentations of the school kids and a science show in the afternoon. The plenary talks by early career researchers featured microplastics and invasive species in the Barents Sea (Anna Gebruk, University of Edinburgh, UK), The Climate-ecological Observation System for the Arctic Tundra (Leif Einar Støvern, UiT The University of Tromsø, Norway), bio-based agents for oil spill treatment in Arctic environments (Ariadna Szczybelski, UiT The University of Tromsø in collaboration with SINTEF Ocean AS in Trondheim, Norway), marine fungi (Brandon Hassett, UiT The University of Tromsø, Norway) and permafrost presented in the Frozen Ground Cartoons (Frédéric Bouchard, Université Paris Saclay, France).

SfS summary pic

The poster presenters, a science show in Vitensenter, and the remote presentation about the Frozen Ground Cartoons. Image copyright for all photos: Andrea Schneider. 


The school kids had picked a topic of their interest and prepared a poster about it; the most popular topics in 2020 were (micro-)plastic and heavy metal pollution and its impact on the Arctic ecosystem and food web, climate warming and ocean acidification, sea ice decline, oil spills and shipping industry  in the Arctic ocean. All posters were presented to and evaluated by early career researchers who were impressed by the quality of all posters, the student's attention to detail and global understanding of their topics. 

Each day, the best presentation was awarded with a culture card for Tromsø. The winner of the day on Tuesday is the poster on “Permafrost - and why we need to prevent it from thawing” by students from Sommerlyst High School. The winner of the day on Thursday is the poster on “How does Global warming affect the Ocean” by two students from Tromstun High School. The overall winner of the 10th graders was the poster entitled “No Fish on their Dish” from Tromsø International School. Their price is a visit to the Kongsberg satellite observation and research facility in Tromsø for the entire school class.

The 12th grade winner poster was called “Sealife on Acid” and was a study about the effects of ocean acidification on blue mussels from students of Kongsbakken Videregående Skole. The 12th graders price is a visit to a research site that focuses on fish and marine food products (Havbruksstasjonen) near Tromsø for the entire school class. A report and photos are published on the school`s webpage (in Norwegian). 


We thank Arctic Frontiers, Arctic Frontiers Young, Vitensenteret, all poster judges and the APECS-Arctic Frontiers organizing committee for their efforts. We particularly thank Arctic Frontiers, Arctic Frontiers Young, and Vitensenteret for their continuous support in making the poster competitions possible and kindly providing great prices for the school kids and early career scientists. We are looking forward to next year!

The APECS-Arctic Frontiers organizing committee: Katalin Blix, Ariadna Szczybelski, Kristin Nymark Hegglund, Andrea Schneider


4 institutions


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APECS International Directorate
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Huginbakken 14
9019 Tromsø
Email: info(at)

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