Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


We, the APECS Executive Committee (ExCom), held our annual in-person meeting on 21 and 22 March as part of the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) and Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

DSC 1602We met for two full days to discuss important topics related to the present and future directions of APECS. Topics included general communication within the organization, setting directions for the next APECS strategic plan and a Polar Early Career World Summit to be held alongside the upcoming ICARP IV and ASSW 2025 conference in Boulder, Colorado, USA. The meeting gave us the opportunity to discuss topics on an extended basis which is not possible during our digital bi-weekly two hour meetings. This was also the first time many of us met in person, so it was a great opportunity to get to know one another.

Using the opportunity of being at ASSW, we organized a flash talk session and a networking event for early career researchers. On Sunday afternoon, 24 March, we put together an amazing session of 20 5-minute presentations which included a diverse range of topics with speakers from natural and social sciences. We were delighted with the very interesting, entertaining and “flashy” talks and the engaged discussion and question session that followed. A huge thank you is extended to all our speakers of this session. 

DSC 1744That evening, everyone came together for a cozy social and networking event at Summerhall, where we ate pizza and had a fun round of polar bingo. This event was generously sponsored by the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) and we would like to thank them for making this event possible.

Several other events were organized during ASSW by our National Committees, including the UK Polar Network (UKPN, APECS NC in the UK). These events covered a wide range of topics such as the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in polar science, the importance of networks like APECS to the development of ECRs, and a workshop about writing funding proposals. In addition, UKPN and APECS Iceland co-organized a speed science session to stimulate collaborations between ECRs. We would like to use this opportunity to thank our National Committees for holding these events and actively seeking the contribution of other APECS members. These activities highlight the important and brilliant work that is developed by the National Committees across the different countries where APECS is represented, providing polar ECRs a local platform to improve their scientific expertise, soft skills and engage with other ECRs in their country. 

DSC 1977The outcomes of the APECS and Arctic PASSION Sharing Circle, a week-long event which was held in October 2023, were presented to the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) Working Groups and in a session co-led by APECS Project Officer, Lisa Grosfeld, during the AOS. APECS had a poster at the Science Day held 26 March at the Dynamic Earth. APECS Executive Director, Sarah Strand, presented APECS’ perspectives in the Arctic Science Funders Forum session and in the IASC Council meeting. Sarah participated in the ICARP IV Steering Committee meeting and multiple ExCom members and Directorate Officer Axel Schlindwein participated in the meetings of the ICARP IV Research Priority Teams. 

Two of our ExCom members participated in the panel discussion on the final day of the AOS that launched the EU-Polar Net 2 white paper containing recommendations to accelerate the development of a sustained and fully integrated polar observing system; ExCom contributed to editing this white paper. In the panel discussion, Will Harcourt and Deniz Vural both spoke about the critical role of ECRs and the importance of including them at all stages of development. ExCom is grateful for this opportunity.

Last but not least, we would like to sincerely thank the ASSW Local Organising Committee for their warm welcome and all of their support during and prior to the conference!

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APECS International Directorate
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Huginbakken 14
9019 Tromsø
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