The project Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) International Directorate Office - Shaping the Future of Polar Research is a succession of the previous project APECS: Shaping the Future of Polar Research International Office funded by the Research Council of Norway from 2010 to 2012. The Directorate coordinates all activities of APECS in Norway and internationally and is crucial in achieving APECS mission of developing effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach, facilitating interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and thus creating a continuum of leadership, knowledge and excellence in polar research. The highlights for 2015-2016 are:
Publication of the APECS Strategic Plan 2016-2020: The APECS Strategic Plan for 2016-2020 outlines key areas for APECS to concentrate on in order to continue developing as an organization. Already this year, we made a number of changes. For example, we created two National Committee coordinator positions within the APECS Council to act as a link between our growing number of National Committees and the APECS Leadership, developed our social media presence, and re-organized council tasks into clearly defined projects (e.g. Antarctica Day project group).
Publication of the results of the APECS-CliC-IASC-ICARP III project Where are they now lasting from 2014-2016 in the Journal Polar Science.
APECS International Mentorship Award 2016: The highlight of the year was the launch of the APECS Mentorship Award. The inaugural award was presented to Dave Carlson (Director of the World Climate Research Programme ) at the Arctic Science Summit Week in Fairbanks, Alaska in March. Without Daves unfailing support and encouragement to APECS members (and numerous other early career researchers), it is safe to say that APECS would not be where it is today.
Our transition to a new membership database is now complete and we already have over 2300 members signed up from 63 different countries and territories. Our National
Committees do a tremendous amount of outreach and organize many events, especially
around the APECS International Polar Weeks and Antarctica Day. This year we are delighted that two new National Committees were established and one re-established. APECS Germany will now provide a long-awaited national committee for the 7% of our members who reside there, APECS Chile will help us strengthen our presence in South America and the southern hemisphere, and we welcome back APECS Belgium!
In 2016, APECS and its national committees organized panels and workshops at major polar conferences and meetings (including the APECS workshop at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States and at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Malaysia in August 2016) as well as successful education and outreach events (Antarctica Day 2015, International Polar Weeks in March and September 2016) across the world. These included also an online Photo Competition in March 2016, as well as a Polar Figure Competition and a Polar Film Fest in September 2016. Planning continues for several events in 2017 including at the ASSW 2017 in Czech Republic, the 9th International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) in Sweden and the SCAR Biology Symposium in Belgium. In addition, the early planning has started for the 2nd APECS World Summit 2018 before the POLAR2018 conference in Davos, Switzerland.
In keeping with its goals of further developing its networks and strengthening its partnerships, APECS in 2016 continued to work with our Norwegian and international partners in creating support and opportunities for early career researchers.
The APECS organized also several online events including: the second APECS Online Conference 2016 and several webinar series (e.g. career development series; USAPECS Science Communication Webinar Series and the Arctic Snapshots 2016). A training webinar was also organized together with SCAR and COMNAP for the fellowship programs that both organizations are providing (April 2016). More webinar series are planned for 2017 and the 3rd APECS International Online Conference will be in March 2017.
Norwegian Highlights 2016: APECS presence in Norway has allowed us to contribute to the career development of Norwegian students, enhance recruitment, promote Norwegian excellence in Polar Research and further establish international collaborations. APECS contributed again to Arctic Frontiers 2016 with a Science Communications Panel jointly with the High North Academy at UiT; the organization of outstanding poster awards for early career poster presenters; and the very successful 3-day Science for Schools event co-organized together with with the Nordnorsk Vitensenteret and Arctic Frontiers for schools in Tromsø. Similar events will be organized for Arctic Frontiers 2017 with the science communication panel being replaced with a panel on alternative career paths.
Norway, as a leading polar research nation with strong development plans for the northern regions, needs to recruit and develop talents and capacity in natural, physical and social sciences. Following the success of the IPY 2007-08 in recruiting the next generation of polar researchers, special efforts need to be made to retain them and to nurture new young scientists. APECS is working to do both.
Being the preeminent organization for polar ECRs, APECS enhances opportunities of its members to continue th eir careers in the polar realm by providing them with career development tools, enhancing their skills, knowledge, experiences, and connecting them with colleagues internationally and nationally. Concurrently, together with its partners APECS is focused o n education and outreach by engaging school children, students, and teachers in polar sciences. Communication is one of the most important steps for increasing the understanding of polar regions in the future.
With a constantly expanding APECS network, the International Directorate with a full-time Director will be critical in APECS continued success in the coming years. The Director will oversee and manage APECS activities, ensure the continuation of fundraising and successful strategic initiatives, an d create new ways for APECS to maintain and improve its leadership role in training of polar ECRs. Due to its otherwise annually changing leadership, the Directorate will provide APECS with institutional continuity.
The key activities of the APECS Direc torate will be to:
- Further develop APECS network of members & partners
- Ensure APECS financial sustainability
- Undertake assessment of current needs of polar ECRs & evaluation of APECS activities
- Contribute to major international & national conferen ces
- Further advance the APECS website, web-based activities, & social media presence
- Produce APECS scholarly & popular publications
Please see a Project Description for more details.
MILUTARENA-Formidlings- og koordineringstiltak knyttet for miljø- og utviklingsforskning