Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

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Rob DeConto awarded 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize

Rob Deconto lowresThe 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica has been awarded to Professor Robert DeConto, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. This recognition comes for his outstanding work on past and future Antarctic climate and for research integrating geological data with modelling to reveal likely consequences for future sea level rise from ice sheet melt.

Rob DeConto’s background spans geology, oceanography, atmospheric science and glaciology. He studied at the University of Colorado in the late 1980s and early 1990s before undertaking one of the first PhD studies on Earth System modelling to help understand warm climates in the geologic past. This was followed by post doctoral positions at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), before joining the faculty of the University of Massachusetts.

In the last fifteen years, Rob’s work has focused on the climate of Antarctica, the dynamics of ice sheets, and the sensitivity of the Antarctic Ice Sheets (and sea level) to conditions warmer than today. The need for model/field data integration was born in part from an international workshop he organized in 2002 that laid the ground work for what would eventually become the SCAR Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE) and SCAR Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS) scientific research programmes. His leadership has been instrumental in bringing ice sheet modelling and data acquisition communities together, enabling a data-constrained modelling approach to understanding the past and future behaviour of Antarctica’s ice sheets. This initially led to the now classic 2003 Nature paper with modeller David Pollard, Pennsylvania State University, which presented a new coupled ice sheet-climate model showing how atmospheric CO2 levels declining below ~3 times pre-industrial levels could initiate ice sheet growth on Antarctica.

Rob’s pioneering data-model integration strategy was also key to the success of the ANDRILL programme, central to SCAR ACE and PAIS, and eventually adapted by the International Ocean Drilling Program’s (IODP) science plan with an emphasis on the role of the South Polar region in climate evolution and sea level history.

Over the last decade, Rob has worked with colleagues to build on this basic methodology in a series of influential papers, incorporating new and significant ice loss processes that provide improved comparisons between model results and geological data. In their most recent article (DeConto and Pollard, Nature, March 2016), the models predict a doubling in the amount of sea level rise by the end of the century and beyond, compared with the 2013 assessment by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This increased sea-level rise comes from melting ice sheets if atmospheric CO2 emissions continue to rise as at present. They also show that aggressive reductions in CO2 emissions in order stabilize global warming at no more than 2 degrees C agreed in the Paris Climate Change Accord, substantially limits Antarctic ice sheet melting and future sea-level rise.

Rob DeConto says, “I am thrilled to receive this award. Our work indicates we do still have choices in addressing climate change and sea-level rise. The award will stimulate my work with colleagues to improve the robustness of this new generation of models, hopefully leading to greater confidence in confronting the issue.”

Julie Brigham-Grette, Head, Department of Geosciences. University of Massachusetts Amherst, and chair of the U.S. National Academy Polar Research Board, says, “DeConto has forged an international reputation through his work with colleagues toward understanding the processes and dynamic interactions of past ice sheets and climate. The latest article reflects his evolving research focus toward Antarctica’s future and global-to-local sea-level impacts, by informing international climate mitigation policy.”

The award will be officially presented to him at the SCAR 2016 Open Science Conference in Kuala Lumpur on August 23.

The Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica includes a $100,000 USD unrestricted award presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science or policy that has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica. The prize is funded by the Tinker Foundation, whose goal is to recognize excellence in Antarctic research by honouring someone in the early to mid-stages of his or her career. The Prize is inspired by Martha T. Muse’s passion for Antarctica and is a legacy of the International Polar Year. For further details, please visit the Muse Prize website.

Heinz Miller to receive the 2016 SCAR Medal for International Coordination

Heinz Miller 2016The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is pleased to announce that Dr. Heinrich Miller, from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany, has been selected to receive the 2016 SCAR Medal for International Coordination.

Dr. Miller has an outstanding breadth of expertise and scientific contribution across glaciology, geophysics and applications to ice core research. Of particular note has been his active involvement in SCAR and significant contribution to large-scale international scientific projects, as well as his involvement in the Council of Managers for Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), the Antarctic Treaty, helping link SCAR and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and his leadership in and vision for Antarctic science.

After receiving the news about his award, Heinz commented "I feel greatly honoured by receiving the SCAR Medal for International Coordination and I thank those who thought me worthy enough for this award. However, all I have ever done in Antarctic science was just governed by my fascination for science on and around this beautiful continent.”

The SCAR Medal for International Coordination is awarded for outstanding and sustained contributions to international cooperation and partnerships. Nomination of persons who have advanced SCAR's mission to initiate, facilitate, co-ordinate and encourage international research activity in the Antarctic region are encouraged. Awardees should have a distinguished professional career history. A record of recognition of international activities by their peers, including prizes, honorary degrees, and other awards, demonstrating the person's impact. The relevance of such coordination work should be demonstrated, for example with regard to capacity building, products of use to the wider community, data and information, etc.

Dr. Miller’s application, led by Hubertus Fischer, was considered by an independent medal committee and approved by the SCAR Executive Committee. He will be presented with the Medal at the SCAR Open Science Conference Banquet on 25 August 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Heinz Miller joins a distinguished group of past recipients of this Medal including Chuck Kennicutt and Rasik Ravindra (2014 joint award), Ian Allison (2012), Alan Cooper and Robert Rutford (2010 joint award), Claude Lorius (2008), and David Walton (2006). SCAR will also be announcing the recipients of the 2016 SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research and the SCAR President’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the coming weeks.

Please join us in celebrating the important contributions of Dr. Heinrich Miller.

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Abstracts for presentations on penguin research due June 30 - IPECS Early Career Forum

International Penguin Early Career Scientists (IPECS) is accepting abstracts for a small number of oral presentations during our 1st Early Career Forum on Sun., Sept. 4, 2016. The Forum is a scheduled session of our International Penguin Careers workshop (Sept. 2-4), to be held the weekend before and in partnership with the 9th International Penguin Conference in Cape Town, South Africa (Sept. 5-9). This workshop is free to attend, thanks to the generosity of our Major Sponsor, the Global Penguin Society.

If interested, early career scientists should submit abstracts for oral presentations during our Forum no later than Thurs., June 30, 2016. Each speaker will receive time to share their penguin research, time to answer questions, and then personal feedback from IPECS' expert mentors on how they can improve their presentation.

For information on workshop registration and abstract submission, please visit our website:

Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tweet @iPenguinECS with any questions.

SCAR OSC travel funding from AntEco


The SCAR SRP State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco) is pleased to be able to provide a contribution to travel funding (up to $1000 US) for a few Early Career Researchers* to attend the SCAR Open Science Conference in KL, Malaysia in late August this year.

Please answer the following three questions in your application:

1) Are you presenting either a poster or talk at the OSC? If so please provide the title
2) Please provide up to 2 sentences on how your work addresses the key objectives of AntEco
3) Please provide up to 2 sentences on how it will help your career to attend the OSC.
4) A one sentence budget detailing how you will spend the funds.

Please send your application to Huw Griffiths (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) AND Jan Strugnell (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Friday 17 June.

Please note: *ECR is defined for these purposes as less than 5 years post PhD. Applicants with a career break meaning that they are beyond 5 years post PhD will also be considered.


SCAR invites comments on draft Strategic Plan

SCAR logo white backgroundAs SCAR’s current Strategic Plan expires at the end of 2016, efforts are underway for the development of a new plan to meet the future needs of SCAR in the period 2017-2022.

As it was approved in the last SCAR Delegates Meeting, we have been working to develop a new strategic plan, under the guidance of the SCAR Executive Committee, Chief Officers, staff, and several other leaders within the organization.

This next Strategic Plan is intended to be reviewed yearly by the SCAR Executive Committee and Chief Officers, and is to be a living document – remaining relevant to SCAR’s changing needs in the period 2017-2022. The goal is to streamline the plan and make it short, succinct, direct, and purposeful. One of the main outcomes of the Strategic Plan meeting (held in conjunction with the SCAR ExCom 2015 meeting) was to focus on communication and strengthening SCAR, under the auspices of the SCAR Antarctic Science Horizon Scan. Thus the vision for the next SCAR Strategic Plan is:

SCAR’s vision is to be an engaged, active, forward-looking organization that promotes, facilities, and delivers scientific excellence and evidence-based policy advice on globally significant issues that are relevant to Antarctica.

The current version has been through several iterations by the Strategic Plan Team, and many national delegates, leaders of SCAR groups, and SCAR partners have provided feedback. We hope that you will find the document useful to enhance and communicate SCAR’s mission and carry out its goals for years to come.

We are now seeking feedback from the full SCAR community as we work to further refine the plan. Please provide specific comments to SCAR’s Executive Director, Jenny Baeseman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> by 6 June 2016.

The next version of the plan will be ready for the SCAR Delegates meeting in August 2016 in Malaysia.

The SCAR Strategic Plan 2017-2022 should be a consensus, inclusive document prepared after an open and iterative process of consultation. Therefore, we would like to count on your cooperation in reviewing and providing input to the SCAR Strategic Plan, Draft 6, which is attached in both pdf and MS Word versions.

Survey for external review of SAON

SAONThe Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) is an initiative of the Arctic Council together with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The purpose of SAON is to support and strengthen the development and multinational engagement for sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems that serve societal needs, particularly related to environmental, social, economic and cultural issues.

The SAON Board has established an External Review Committee to conduct an external review of SAON. The plan for the review states that the Committee should organise a survey among Arctic stakeholders. The outcomes of the survey will be used to inform the External Review Committee’s deliberations and be part of the report that the External Review Committee delivers to the SAON Board by 1st September 2016. There is more information about the External Review Committee and timelines for the work here.

The survey has 25 questions and will take 10-15 minutes to fill in. We should kindly ask you to complete the survey by 1st June.

Link to survey:

SCAR and COMNAP Antarctic Research Fellowships 2016

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The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes (COMNAP) have launched their 2016 Fellowship Programme for early-career researchers. The fellowships are worth up to USD $15,000 each and up to six fellowships in total are on offer for 2016. They enable early-career researchers to join a project team from another country for a short time, opening up new opportunities and often creating research partnerships that last for many years and over many Antarctic research seasons. The deadline for applications is 1 June 2016. Full details of the scheme, including the application process, are on the SCAR website at

The SCAR and COMNAP Fellowships are launched in conjunction with the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) Scientific Scholarship Scheme. For more information, visit

Call for Action Group Proposals- International Permafrost Association

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The International Permafrost Association (IPA) is pleased to introduce a call for funded Action Groups. Action Groups are meant to fund targeted groups working towards the production of well-defined products. Action Groups will be funded on a competitive basis at up to 2500 € per year (maximum of 5000 € over the life of an Action Group). Up to 10 000 € per year of the IPA total budget will be devoted to Action Groups. These groups will have limited terms and will need to focus on clearly defined research outputs, such as maps, science plans, or databases, that can be supported through the organization of workshops, management support, technical support, etc.

The application form is available online.

The application process requires the demonstration of a clear timeline and clear deliverables for the Action Group. It also calls for the involvement of young researchers and a commitment to disseminate results.

Do not hesitate toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the Secretariat of the IPA for more information. Proposals must be submitted electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., IPA Executive Director, by April 30, 2016. Please also send the proposals in cc to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Nominations open for Tinker-Muse Prize


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Nominations are now open for the 2016 Tinker Muse Prize. Nominations are open until Wednesday 11 May 2016.

The “Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica” is a US$ 100,000 unrestricted award presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science and/or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica. The Tinker Foundation’s goal is to establish a prestigious award that recognizes excellence in Antarctic research by honouring someone in the early to mid-stages of his or her career. The Prize is inspired by Martha T. Muse’s passion for Antarctica and is a legacy of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

The prize-winner can be from any country and work in any field of Antarctic science or policy. The goal is to provide recognition of the important work being done by the individual and to call attention to the significance of understanding Antarctica in a time of change.
The Prize is awarded by the Tinker Foundation and administered by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).

Quantarctica User Survey

QuantarcticaQuantarctica User Survey (5 minutes):

The Norwegian Polar Institute has developed the free, standalone open GIS package Quantarctica [] for Antarctic science and mapping. This geospatial data package is built on the open-source, cross-platform QGIS software, and includes a wide range of cartographic basemap layers, geophysical and glaciological datasets, and satellite imagery. The next version of Quantarctica, releasing in 2017, will focus on increasing the breadth and depth of the included open data from an expanded array of international partners and investigators. Priorities for this new version include Antarctic climatology, biology, oceanography, and atmospheric sciences. The Quantarctica project is also expanding its educational outreach through online and video user tutorials and user workshops.

As part of this enhanced outreach effort, the buildup to the 2016 SCAR Open Science Conference in Kuala Lumpur, and the upcoming release of Quantarctica v3, the Quantarctica project team has assembled a User Survey, with three main goals:

  • Collecting basic demographic information about Quantarctica's diverse user community
  • Soliciting and identifying new datasets for inclusion in future versions of Quantarctica
  • Identifying user priorities for new features and technical improvements

The User Survey is meant for everyone in the Antarctic community, including those who have never used Quantarctica or GIS software. Feedback from this survey will be used to prioritize improvements and additions to Quantarctica v3. The survey will close on May 31st.

Access the User Survey here:

Watch a quick tour of Quantarctica v1:

Registration for the (free!) Quantarctica User Workshop at the SCAR OSC in Kuala Lumpur, Saturday 27 August:

From all of us on the Quantarctica project team, we appreciate your feedback, and look forward to bringing the next version of Quantarctica to you, the Antarctic community!

George Roth, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Kenny Matsuoka, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
on behalf of the Quantarctica project team at the Norwegian Polar Institute

ASSW 2017 – Call for Session Proposals

ASSW2017Organizers of the Arctic Science Summit Week 2017 in Prague (Czech Republic) on 31 March – 7 April 2017 are now accepting session proposals for the ASSW 2017 Science Symposium, entitled „A Dynamic Arctic in Global Change“. The Science Symposium will be on 4-7 April 2017 and address the three sub-themes: (a) Changes in the Arctic, (b) Global Implications of Arctic Changes and (c) Impacts of Global Change on the Arctic. More information is available on the conference website:

An online form to submit session proposals, including a brief session description, the contact information of the proposed session conveners and other session details and suggestions for the meeting, is available here.

To facilitate the participation of early career scientists and indigenous peoples, the organizers recommend that each session proposal includes one early career scientist co-convener and/or one indigenous co-convener, if applicable. Session proposals should also consider the overall geographic and gender balance of the proposed co-conveners.

The tasks of the conveners include:

- soliciting submissions for their session;
- reviewing the abstracts submitted for the session;
- working with the Scientific Steering Committee to arrange the program of their session, including oral and poster presentations and chairing the session.

Depending on the session proposals received, the Scientific Steering Committee will possibly have to merge similar sessions.

Session proposal can be submitted until 30th June 2016. Lead conveners will be notified in July and the final list of sessions will be announced September 2016. Abstract submission will open on 1st October 2016 with a submission deadline not earlier than 30th November 2016 and notification of acceptance after 15th January 2017.

Any question should be directed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A43
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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