Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

News from a variety of sources related to research in the Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine regions as well as the wider Cryosphere. Many thanks to APECS members and the wider Polar research community for contributing to this shared resources! If you have an article to contribute, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Polar Challenge Launched

Wanted: Autonomous vehicle for 2,000 kilometre mission under sea-ice
Reward: 500 000 Swiss francs

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation have launched a new Polar Challenge to develop an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) capable of a 2,000 km mission under the sea-ice in the Arctic or Antarctic.

The aim is to stimulate innovation into new monitoring tools for the Polar oceans, to complement satellite observations and ultimately expand scientific research capabilities and climate services in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

The Polar Challenge – with a prize of 500 000 Swiss francs – is being announced during the Arctic Science Summit Week, 12-18 March in Fairbanks, USA.

“With the Polar Challenge, we hope to open new horizons in under-ice navigation, endurance and environmental monitoring,” said WCRP Director David Carlson. “This is vital to improve our understanding of the polar oceans which are key indicators of environmental change and which have major influences on global climate.”

“The reliability of long-term climate change outlooks in Polar regions is severely limited by the scarcity and cost of in-situ systematic observations of the sea-ice and below,” emphasized WCRP Senior Scientist Michel Rixen.

“New generation AUVs such as underwater gliders provide a potential cost-effective option for scaling up observing networks for the Polar regions. The Polar Challenge seeks to stimulate innovation in new technology to help scientists unravel some of the mysteries hidden under sea ice,” said Mr Rixen.

The WCRP and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation hope the competition will promote technological innovation towards a future cost-effective, autonomous and scalable observing network for ice-covered ocean regions based on a fleet of such platforms, similar to what ARGO, a global network of more than 3,500 free-drifting floats, has accomplished for the open ocean.

AUVs are already used in an operational context around the world in ice-free zones, and they surface on a regular basis to get a GPS fix and to transmit environmental data. They are able to collect crucial and high quality oceanographic observations (such as temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and acidity) at much lower cost compared to conventional observing systems.

But under the sea-ice, the operating range, positioning and data transmission represent major challenges for current underwater vehicles. The integration of recent progress regarding power systems, and navigation and communication techniques for example, would expand the scope of applications of such vehicles, currently mainly limited to the open ocean.

The Polar Challenge will be at least three-fold, in terms of under-ice navigation, endurance and environmental monitoring. It will include a set of specified and required scientific measurements. The challenge offers new potential to develop data sets of ice and under-ice properties in unexplored territories. Eventually these vehicles will help scientists monitor ocean heat, fresh water inputs and exchanges, and ocean acidification in those regions.

The WCRP is inviting contributions from all relevant stakeholders to this important and exciting initiative. This effort advances WCRP research priorities in polar oceans. It will also contribute to the World Meteorological Organization’s Polar initiatives and is expected to benefit the wider stakeholder community (weather, ocean, environment, safety, transport, energy, tourism, etc).

The World Climate Research Programme is sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

For further details, including competition rules and registration, see the Polar Challenge website.

For further information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

World Heritage potential in the Arctic

Marine science experts from around the world gathered at UNESCO’s Headquarters in a two-day working meeting to explore possible new marine World Heritage sites in the Arctic. Experts discussed unique and exceptional Arctic features that could potentially merit inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list for their nature conservation values.

The Arctic is home to geological features and animals found nowhere else in the world. It is also ground zero for climate change, warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. As sea ice retreats and the area becomes increasingly accessible to shipping and oil and gas development, the need for conservation of the area’s Outstanding Universal Values grows.  At present, there are just two World Heritage sites in the region: Ilulissat Icefjord and Natural System of Wrangel Island ReserveEarlier work by the World Heritage Centre and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) determined that the Arctic region is underrepresented on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Participants debated the Arctic regions’ most unique natural features that are currently underrepresented on the World Heritage List, including distinctive geological processes, iconic species and high densities of endemic biodiversity found nowhere else. They also studied potential new sites that could meet the World Heritage criteria and compared them with sites that are currently listed on the tentative World Heritage List.

A key conclusion of the meeting centered on the intimate interaction between local communities, traditional cultures and the Arctic’s natural environment and agreed that the Outstanding Universal Value of the Arctic region should be considered from both its cultural and natural perspectives.

This week’s scientific meeting was part of an innovative multi-year project led by IUCN in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the World Heritage Centre’s Marine Programme. It is made possible through the generous support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The results are expected to be launched at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, September 2016.




Polar Ecology Conference is organised by the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia from September 19th to September 21st 2016 - see program for more info. Main focus of the conference is the recent dynamics of Arctic ecosystems. Geographically the conference aims to the Arctic with special emphasis on Svalbard. However studies from Antarctica or high mountainous regions are highly appreciated as well.

During last decades the Czech Republic is slowly becoming an important member of the scientific community in the Arctic. We feel that the opportunity of meeting new people and creating new partnerships is especially appreciated by our young scientists and students. Therefore, the main goal of the conference is to welcome especially young researches from both fields of biological and Earth sciences. This conference is supposed to be an ideal place for exchanging knowledge and experiences.

Special attention will be paid to young scientists. The best poster and best oral presentation will be awarded a special prize by the scientific committee. Young scientist category is defined by being a student at the time of the conference or having the PhD finished less than 5 years ago.


In cooperation with Yulia Zaika(APECS) and Maja Lisowska (IASC) we will organize an APECS panel on "International scientific cooperation and fundraising". Practical tips from our experienced mentors would certainly help you to proceed in your future career, plan your research stays and prepare all whats necessary! The meeting is intended especially to young scientists but all the others are welcomed as well!

For more information please visit the conference website:

“Arctic Floating University-2016” Expedition Project «Exploring the Novaya Zemlya mysteries»

вымывмывямыApplication deadline is 15 Febuaryплав

Expedition Dates: June 05-24, 2016

Expedition Duration: 20 days

Expedition Organizers: Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M. V. Lomonosov, Roshydromet, Russian Geographical Society

Expedition Route: Arkhangelsk – Kolguev Island – Matveev Island – Dolgy Island – Belyi Nos Meteostation – Varnek Settlement (Vaygach Island) – Meteostation named after Fedorov (Vaygach Island) – Malye Karmakuly Settlement (Novaya Zemlya) – Russkaya Gavan’ Bay (Novaya Zemlya) – Mac Bay (Novaya Zemlya) – Inostrantsev Bay (Novaya Zemlya) – the Zhelaniya Cape (Novaya Zemlya) – Sosnovets Island – Arkhangelsk.

Expedition participants: 56 people (students, post-graduate students, research fellows of both Russian and foreign scientific and academic institutions)


- assessment of the conditions and degree of contamination of the local island territories of the former industrial activity zones in the areas of work for elimination of the accumulated environmental damage in Novaya Zemlya;

- study of the species diversity and populations at Novaya Zemlya archipelago and adjacent waters in the context of climate change;

- comprehensive monitoring of changes in the vegetation of the Arctic tundra transition zones in the context of climate change;

- study of the historical and cultural heritage of the Russian Arctic national park in order to develop tourism and educational activities;

- study of human body adaptation mechanisms to the conditions of high latitudes in the Arctic;


An organization of the expeditions is carried out by means of co-financing by the organizations participating in the project.

A participation fee per person is 280 thousand rubles. The fee covers: accommodation (the bed in the cabin, meal, and network connection), the transport expenditures and administrative costs during expedition.

February 15, 2016

Application should be send to e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Elena Kalinova,

assistant of project leader, NARFU

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; +79116841331

Application form 1 and form 2

PACES Workshop during ASSW 2016

During this year’s ASSW meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, the air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies (PACES) project will hold a meeting entitled “Arctic air pollution: A collaborative framework for natural and social science” to which we would like to invite you.

The purpose is to draw together researchers active in the physical/chemical science of air pollution with those active in social science topics (e.g., development, sustainability, risk, adaptation, policy, health and more). We would like to explore common interests and begin to outline joint research objectives under PACES.

When: 14 March, 3-5h30 pm

Where: ASSW, Fairbanks, Alaska (room information will be circulated shortly before the meeting)

If you are unable to attend ASSW but would like to join remotely (please note the shift to Alaskan time), we would be happy to arrange this. Please let us know by 1 March if you plan to attend remotely.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us in case of questions (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

We are looking forward to seeing many of you.

The organizing committee
Sandy Starkweather, Kathy Law, Julia Schmale, Steve Arnold, Chuck Brock

Field-based bachelor courses in Arctic Geophysics at 78degrees North

Concurrent bachelor courses are available in The Middle Polar Atmosphere, Polar Meteorology and Climate, and Polar Ocean Climate at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) in Autumn 2016 (August-December). Together, these courses provide students with a rigorous and hands-on introduction to geophysical processes and feedbacks between components of the Arctic atmosphere and ocean. The courses are available for any bachelor student enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education in Norway or internationally. Master's students can also be eligible for these courses. All instruction is in English.

The application deadline for these Autumn 2016 courses is February 15, 2016. More information on these courses, other course offerings, and UNIS in general can be found at

AGF-210, The Middle Polar Atmosphere
This course will lead to basic understanding of key processes controlling the stratosphere and mesosphere in the polar regions. These include radiation, chemistry, dynamics and circulation, particle precipitation, aerosol physics and wave activity in the middle atmosphere. The formation and effect of planetary and gravity waves will be described. The importance of waves in connecting the middle atmosphere to the troposphere will be discussed. Special attention will be paid to how radar, lidar, optical and rocket instrumentation can be used to investigate the middle layers of the atmosphere.

The students will get an introduction to the physics of dust/aerosol particles and their role in formation of the noctilucent clouds, polar stratospheric clouds and mesospheric radar echoes. The fieldwork at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO) will be connected to airglow observations. Radar and lidar measurement techniques will be introduced during a trip to And?ya Space Center (ASC).

AGF-213, Polar Meteorology and Climate
The course covers a variety of themes important for the weather and climate in polar areas: small and local scale meteorology; boundary layer meteorology; turbulence; local wind phenomena such as katabatic and mountain winds; dynamic meteorology; radiation and remote sensing; atmospheric chemistry; numerical modelling and weather forecasting; climate processes and climate change. Emphasis will be on the differences between the polar atmosphere and the atmosphere at mid-latitudes and on understanding the physical processes involved.

The field component of the course provides an introduction to a number of meteorological observational techniques. Special attention will be paid to exchange processes between the atmosphere and diverse surfaces, local meteorological processes typical of polar regions and the challenges of weather forecasting in the Arctic.

AGF-214, Polar Ocean Climate
The course gives an overview of the water masses and current systems in the Arctic Basin, the Greenland, Norwegian, and Barents Seas, and a comparison with the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. Convection associated with cooling and freezing of surface water influences the vertical structure of the water masses. The thermobaric effect on the compressibility of seawater has its relevance for determining the deep circulation in the world?s oceans. The small-scale double diffusion also has an impact on convection in regions where the conditions for this process are favourable.

The dynamic theory is associated with the circulation and current systems in the different Polar Regions, in particular the Arctic Basin, the Greenland Sea, and the circulation around Antarctica. Essential processes here are the wind-induced circulation, including rotational effects, upwelling and downwelling associated with wind-induced divergence and convergence, and also tidal currents. Frontal dynamics and the topographic impact on current systems are also covered.
Fieldwork will take place during a scientific cruise with a research vessel. Students make reports from selected field measurements.

The University Centre in Svalbard
The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) is the world's northernmost institution for higher education and research, located in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen at 78?N. UNIS offers high quality courses at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level in Arctic Biology, Arctic Geology, Arctic Geophysics and Arctic Technology. There is no tuition fee at UNIS, but in order to do a course at UNIS all students need to pay a semester fee of NOK 500 (ca. EUR 58).

-- Marius O. Jonassen Associate Professor Department of Arctic Geophysics The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) +47 7902 3300

EarthCube is Soliciting Challenging Use Cases in Polar Sciences

Is your research hindered by a technical or computational problem? Is
managing your data an overwhelming challenge? Are you spending your
research dollars on servers instead of science?

We're building EarthCube to help scientists like you do your work and make
discoveries. EarthCube's goal is to transform geosciences research by
developing and leveraging computer-based technologies (cyberinfrastructure)
to address the computational challenges that can tax even basic research.
We want to know what you need the EarthCube cyberinfrastructure to do for

Adding your use case(s) to our library will ensure that your community's
requirements are considered by the EarthCube technical planning effort.
Please sign up here: for a 90-minute interview to
discuss what you need EarthCube to do.

Questions? Please contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on the EarthCube Use Case Working Group effort,
including examples of completed use cases, please see

Call for Papers: Journal Advances in Polar Science

Dear Colleagues,
We would like to draw to your attention and request that you consider submitting a manuscript to Journal Advances in Polar Science (APS) sponsored by Polar Research Institute of China and Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration.
We are now soliciting papers on relevant polar research topics for of APS Vol. 27 No. 1, No. 2 to be published towards the March, June of 2016 respectively. APS accepts four types of manuscripts:
(1) Reviews: Summarizing results and achievements in a particular topic or an area, commenting on the current situation, and advising on research directions.
(2) Articles: Reporting important original results in any area of polar science.
(3) Letters: Briefly presenting novel and innovative findings related to polar science.
(4) Trends: Reporting important scientific news, information, and academic affairs, as well as major international programs in all areas of polar science.
We hope that you might consider submitting a paper to this issue which will have a quick review and publication time.
Submission of new manuscripts can be made online at and should follow the format given in the "Instructions" for authors at the journal website
We welcome your involvement in this and future editions of Advances in Polar Science. We look forward to the submission of new manuscripts and for any suggestions of future ?Special Issues? (which can be made via email to the editorial office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We encourage you to share this announcement broadly with interested colleagues.

Mr. Xiaoliang Ling

Associate Editor
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Submission Online:
Tel 86-21-58713642
Editorial Office of Advances in Polar Science
Polar Research Institute of China
451 Jinqiao Road, Pudong New Area
Shanghai 20136

Cryospheric Sciences" section of "Frontiers in Earth Sciences

Dear colleagues,

the "Cryospheric Sciences" section of "Frontiers in Earth Sciences" was launched in June 2015, and the first papers have been published.

"Cryospheric Sciences" aims for rapid publication of original, innovative, high-quality research on all aspects of the cryosphere. So far a total of 10 papers including topics on glaciers, ice sheets, sea-ice and permafrost have been published with an average of 3.5 months between first submission and acceptance (when the paper instantaneously is available online).
Around a dozen papers are currently in review.

Selected features of the journal include:
- a wide range of article types
- Submitted or rejected papers are not online at any time.
- an innovative online review system enabling direct discussions between authors, editors and reviewers
- innovative system of impact metrics
- Special issues (so-called 'Research Topics') can be initiated by anybody (Special issues have 25% lower fees).
- FEES are independent of number of pages or use of color, depending only on the article type. Rejected articles are not charged any fees.
Original research papers: $1900; Mini Reviews, Perspectives ... : $875; Opinion ...: $250; Book Review, Commentary ...): free
- COPYRIGHT is retained with the authors.
- Currently there are 17 Associate Editors covering the breadth of cryospheric sciences, and >100 so-called 'Review Editors' who constitute a pool of primary 'go-to reviewers'.

We hope this new journal complements the existing ones in our field. Looking forward to your submissions.

New grid of terrestrial gravity anomalies in Antarctica released

New grid of terrestrial gravity anomalies in Antarctica released

Announcing the release of a gridded dataset of terrestrial
(free-air and Bouguer) gravity anomalies in Antarctica. It is for the
first time that a gravity anomaly dataset comprises almost the entire
Antarctic continent. It is based on 13 million data points and covers an
area of 10 million km**2 corresponding to 73% of the Antarctic continent.

The new dataset is given as grid with a resolution of 10 km and
comprises free-air gravity anomaly, Bouguer anomaly as well as an
accuracy measure. The data are available at:

The derivation of the data grid is described by an article entitled "New
Antarctic Gravity Anomaly Grid for Enhanced Geodetic and Geophysical
Studies in Antarctica" by M. Scheinert et al., published in "Geophysical
Research Letters" (accepted article online at since 8 January 2016, proofreading
still in progress).
Please cite this paper whenever you publish results of your work using
these data.

I would also like to acknowledge the huge efforts by numerous colleagues
at many different institutions worldwide, who managed to accomplish
gravity measurements in Antarctica and contributed data. This fruitful
international cooperation is coordinated in the framework of IAG
(International Association of Geodesy) Subcommission 2.4f ?Gravity and
Geoid in Antarctica? (AntGG) and SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic
Research) ?Expert Group on Geodetic Infrastructure in Antarctica?
(GIANT), which I?m delighted to chair. With more data to be compiled,
updates of the Antarctic gravity grid are planned to be released in the
near future.

Mirko Scheinert

MBAL and GMBANAL: Newly released compilations of mass-balance data

Dear colleagues - Some of you may be interested in the recent appearance of new
releases of GMBAL, a compilation of global data on the annual and multi-annual
mass balance of glaciers, obtained by direct (glaciological) and geodetic methods;
and GMBANAL, a continuation of GMBAL in which regional and global estimates are
provided by means of arithmetic averaging of the data and also by spatial
interpolation to unmeasured glaciers.

These new releases, each labelled as R1501, are now downloadable from (click Global Glaciology, then Mass
Balance of Small Glaciers for GMBAL or Global Analysis of Mass Balance for
GMBANAL). They supersede the previous release R1301 of two years ago and feature
continued steady growth of in-situ glaciological measurements and continued rapid
growth of geodetic measurements, especially regional-scale geodetic measurements.

As before, most of the glaciological measurements are drawn from the Fluctuations
of Glaciers database of the World Glacier Monitoring Service, but GMBAL includes
some that are not (yet) in that database. However GMBAL is currently by far the
most complete source of geodetic measurements. GMBANAL relies on version 5.0 of
the Randolph Glacier Inventory for its description of global glacier geography.

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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