Opportunity to attend Marine Research and Education Conference in Moscow

Applications are invited from early career researchers (from PhD level to 10 years post-PhD) with an interest to marine stations to participate in a side-event during the Marine Research and Education Conference in Moscow, November 21-22, themed “Interdisciplinary marine research in the Arctic and Northern Atlantic Oceans”. The event is in collaboration with the UK Polar Network,  the Marine Research Center of Lomonosov Moscow State University, the UK Science & Innovation Network and NERC Arctic Office.
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Workshops will be held at Moscow in the Institute of Oceanology with travel and accommodation support available. Please download the conference schedule and application form linked at the bottom of this post (to save the files you can right-click and print to PDF).
The application deadline is midnight (GMT) on 17th September2018 (i.e. 00:00 18/9/18 GMT). 
Please return completed application forms to to applications@polarnetwork.org for UK-based researchers or to info@maresedu.com for Russian-based researches with a title UK-Russian side-event.
Any additional enquiries can be addressed to the conference organising committee at info@maresedu.com

Software Workshop

  • Do you write any code?
  • Have you ever come back to your code from 6 months ago and had no idea why it doesn’t work any more (or what it even does)??
  • Does your code mysteriously stop working overnight even though you’re sure you didn’t change anything?
  • Do you ever wish you could get back your lovely code from last week that worked just fine before you changed it?
  • Do you use (or will you use) any kind of software in your research at all?
 

If you answer yes to any of the above then this workshop is for you!* We are holding a free day long workshop at UCL on September 18th on polar software which will cover everything from version control and writing better code to specific software used in polar research. We have a range of brilliant speakers from academia, as well as some who have taken the software skills they have learnt from academia into industry.

Apply here now! Limited help with travel costs are available. Registration is free, deadline is August 31st. If you’re not already convinced (and you really should be) there’s free lunch too 🙂

This workshop is for all early career polar researchers no matter your level of experience, masters, PhD and beyond and has been partially funded by the Software Sustainability Institute.

We also encourage participants to stay for our polar sciences hack day on September 19th- we will be joining with students from other disciplines (e.g. physics, computer sciences) to come along and work on some polar problems for a day so even if you don’t think you’re great at coding here is your chance to get some help from those who are, and put into practice the skills you learn during the workshop.

Any questions? Email Sammie Buzzard at s.buzzard@ucl.ac.uk

Homeward Bound expedition

By Maddie Brasier.

I’ve been a member of the UKPN for 5 years now, I joined the committee as the education and outreach officer in 2013 and have since helped organise and lead outreach activities across the UK. The network and its meetings have been a great source of peer networks throughout my PhD and I was most grateful to receive a UKPN donation toward my Homeward Bound Expedition to Antarctica this year.

Homeward Bound is an international leadership initiative for women in science, the programme is delivered over a 12-month period training the participants in science communication, leadership, personal strategy and visibility, culminating with a three-week expedition to Antarctica. A total of 78 women from 14 different counties and different STEM fields took part in the expedition which visited Antarctica in February-March 2018.

During the expedition I could network with the other Homeward Bound participants, gaining contacts around the globe and insight into different scientific disciplines including conservation, policy, education and sustainable technologies. This was an amazing experience and opportunity. Science working groups within the 2018 cohort are now planning initiatives to help improve the gender gap in science, reduce our impact on the planet and raise awareness of climate change.

Antarctica was chosen as the backdrop of Homeward Bound because of its isolation and vulnerability. Training in this environment, removed from everyday life and communications, where our impact of climate change is so visibile, underlines the growing need for international collaboration to help future generations live more sustainably. During the expedition we visited 4 different research bases; Carlini (Argentina), Great Wall (China), Palmer (USA) and Rothera (UK) as well as sites of historical importance; Port Lockroy and Base Y (British) and other locations of biological interest.

As many UKPN members will be aware, visiting the polar regions is a unique and very moving experience. Being able to visit so many bases is also very rare. Having studied Antarctic biology for the last 6 years during my masters and PhD, I was really excited to see Antarctic science in action and learn more about operations in the field. These insights will feed back into future outreach work, helping to inspire young peoples into STEM subjects.

Once again I am really grateful for the support of the UKPN and as I move onto the next stage of my career (I finished my PhD 3 weeks before my expedition), I hope to take these newly acquired skills into my future work. The Homeward Bound program is a 10 year initiative and for any UKPN members or followers thinking of applying, I am more than happy to discuss my experience of the programme and help with applications.

If you wish to contact Maddie please email her at mjbrasier90@gmail.com

The UKPN donation came from an education and outreach grant from the British Antarctic Territory department of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

More information on the Homeward Bound expedition can be found here

UK-Russia Arctic Early Career Researcher Workshop

On 1-2 March the 1st UK-Russia Arctic Early Career Researcher Workshop will be hosted at Moscow State University hosted by the Faculty of Geography and Marine Research Center. The event is organised by the NERC Arctic Office and the UK Science and Innovation Network in Russia, in partnership with the UK Polar Network and the National Committee of the Association of Early Career Polar Researchers in Russia.

The event is aimed at building practical connections between early career researchers from the United Kingdom and Russia, with the aim of promoting international scientific cooperation and identifying avenues for future joint UK-Russia Arctic research.

The programme of the workshop features a series of presentations from participants, discussions in break-out groups and visits.

The event will be held under the UK-Russia Year of Science and Education 2017.

UK-Russia Arctic Research ECR collaborations

The UK Polar Network invites applications from UK-based early career researchers (from PhD level to 10 years post-PhD) to participate in and foster research links through collaborative workshops in the Russian Arctic.

These events are in collaboration with the UK Science & Innovation  Network, APECS Russia, NERC Arctic Office and Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Workshops will be held at Moscow and Cambridge with travel and accommodation support available.

Application deadline is 5th January, 2018 and any additional enquiries can be addressed to the NERC Arctic Office: arctic@bas.ac.uk

Download application form and return with a 1 page CV to applications@polarnetwork.org

Early Career event at UK Arctic Sciences

On Wednesday 20th September, during the UK Arctic Sciences Conference, the UK Polar Network will host an early career panel event. The theme will be "International Collaboration" to tie in with the theme of this years Polar Week, organised by APECS. The panel will be held between 18:30 and 19:30 in the Oban Inn (Stafford Street, Oban). We will be at the venue from 18:00 to 20:00, and food will be available to order at the bar. Panellists include Dr Jon Cohen (University of Delaware), Dr Helen Findlay (Plymouth Marine Laboratories), Dr Tom Brown (Scottish Association for Marine Science), Dr Jo Browse (University of Exeter), and Henry Burgess (UK Arctic Office). Please join us for this early career event (generally undergraduate to post-doctorate level, but we're not very exclusive). Contact Laura Hobbs (laura.hobbs at sams.ac.uk) for more information.

Sounds of Change: Greenland Ice Sheet Melt – A Science Outreach Project

During the recent BAS workshop in Cambridge the UKPN facilitated a competition for a polar science outreach proposal. The project "Sounds of Change: Greenland Ice Sheet Melt" was picked for it's original idea. We wish to congratulate Heather Bell (Durham University), Joseph Nolan (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), and Zuzanna Swirad (Durham University) for this achievement and we are looking forward to support their efforts realising the proposed project.

The project aims to produce an open access digital soundscape documenting the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The project organisers plan on using mostly ambient noise which has already been recorded and is available in archives and from polar researchers who undertake fieldwork in Greenland. The soundscape will travel from the interior of the ice sheet following researchers in the field, on a route out to the ocean with the sounds of rivers in flood, iceberg calving events and the impacts that the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is having on local inhabitants. They hope that this resource will be used in schools and alongside museum or art exhibits.

Please get in touch with the UKPN or the project leaders if you have some interesting recordings you wish contribute to this exciting project or would be willing to document some soundscapes during your upcoming research trip.

Post by Julia Feuer-Cotter

ICE – Making in Transit Event Series and Exhibition Opening

This event, which was coordinated by artist Jennifer Crouch, was the first in a series of unique and diverse evenings that explore the topic of ice. Jennifer’s Arctic Circle Residency in the Norwegian island group Svalbard was inspired by indigenous craft in action and her acts of making and interacting with the land, and ice in particular. The event was hosted at the Cube in Shoreditch, London on the evening of December 08, 2016. The evening was kickstarted by a hands-on painting session using a variety of frozen inks and salt to create an on-going collaboration between the visitors and Jennifer. The artist exhibited a variety of pieces that reflected on her time in Svalbard and amongst others utilised maps, textiles, and wood to engagement with experiences of ice. During the evening geographer Julia Feuer-Cotter (UK Polar Network & University of Nottingham) discussed the geographical realities and imaginings of the Arctic using smell and sensory memories and especially focused on the perception of environmental change through odours. The theoretical physicist Gabriele Cesare Sosso (UCL & London Centre for Nanotechnology) explained the exciting microscopic differences that are responsible for various forms of ice we engage in the Arctic. A completely different pole, and interestingly one that appears in a hexagonal shape, was introduced by Ellie Armstrong (Oxford University). Her talk focused on the pole of the planet Saturn and it’s unique cloud pattern. The event was accompanied by an ice-cream-making demonstration that not just made the place smell fantastic, but also explored the physics of crystallisation and the historic production of ice cream in England. After learning that in eighteenth century England ice was brought from glaciers and icebergs to create the treat, tasting the created ice cream was much encouraged. Find out more about Jennifer’s event series at www.makingintransit.com Post written by Julia Feuer-Cotter making-in-transit-2 making-in-transit-3 making-in-transit1

Poster Workshop at the Challenger Conference for Marine Science 2016

At the Challenger Society for Marine Science conference in September 2016, the UK Polar Network ran a workshop for early career scientists on making and presenting good scientific posters. The event was attended by over 50 people and we had a panel including Dr. Yvonne Firing (National Oceanography Centre Southampton) and Dr. Sian Henley (Univ. of Edinburgh). The workshop began with a few hints on what makes a good poster; attractive, clear visible title, easily readable without large amounts of text, clear diagrams and not overcomplicated. We then showcased some examples of winning posters. Sian Henley bravely slipped her poster into the session for anonymous criticism. It became clear during this that while there are many different opinions on what makes a “great” poster, there was aspects which people didn’t like. It is important to consider the type of conference you are at (Is your poster up all week?) and your audience. The UK Polar Network also provided two poster examples, one which was obviously “bad” and the other which was an improved version of the same (fake) research about moving polar bears to the Antarctic to cope with a declining sea ice environment and loss of food. You can see both of these examples below, hopefully which one is bad and improved is obvious to you. ukpn-bad-poster-example
ukpn-better-poster-example
  Before our panel discussion we went through a few other ideas for making a great poster, some of these are:
  • Keep text to <800 words
  • Have handouts available (also if you print your poster on A4 you should be able to read it)
  • Avoid dark backgrounds and consider colour blindness!
  • Use other media tools, if you have a video think about having a tablet
There were also some good tips for presenting a poster, a few unique suggestions also:
  • Keep hands out of pockets and don’t chew gum
  • Talk to your audience, not to the poster (it doesn’t care)
  • Keep sweets or chocolates with you, it will draw people in
  • Make a t shirt advertising your poster, or even put your most interesting figure on it
  • Don’t wear sunglasses inside, people will assume you are hungover, high or both
During the panel discussion a lively debate occurred on the consumption of alcohol during poster sessions. Some were in favour, some were not, however everyone agreed that over-consumption was bad, and you shouldn’t be slurring and spilling drink on your poster (or worse your audience)! Overall, the event went well with plenty of discussion and participation from the audience. We hope that people take away some of the hints and tips provided, and we look forward to seeing some excellent posters at the next Challenger Conference! For further information please contact kyle.mayers@soton.ac.uk

Join us for Antarctica Day 2016!

This year sees the return of the collaboration between the UKPN and Our Spaces to lead the Antarctica Day (1st December) festivities. As part of the events, we are inviting individuals, pupils, classrooms and schools to participate in celebrating Antarctica Day by designing a flag for the Antarctic.
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Handprints for peace from Cape Henry Collegiate School, USA

Design your flags on an A4 size, using pencils, pens, the computer or any other materials. Send your flags to us (education@polarnetwork.org), and the flags will hitch a ride all the way to the Antarctic with our flag-bearers. Your flags will be displayed around the Antarctic, and you will receive a photograph of your flag, along with a certificate for proof of travel, and to tell you where they ended up! Why are we doing this? Why celebrate Antarctica Day? The Antarctic treaty was signed in 1959 by twelve countries who were active in science research during the International Geophysical Year in 1957-1958. The treaty includes statements such as ‘Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only’, and ‘Scientific observations and results… shall be exchanged and made freely available’. The treaty celebrates a milestone of peace in our civilisation with hope and inspiration for future generations. This year, we want to continue to expand Antarctica Day, and expand our flag project. Last year we had over 35 schools and 200 flags. Can we do better this year?
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Antarctica Day 2015 at UKAHT's Port Lockroy, Western Antarctic Peninsula

For researchers travelling to the Antarctic: You can help! Are you heading down to Antarctica or any of the surrounding Antarctic Islands this Winter (November – January)? If so, please let us know! All we ask is for you to help bring down some of these flags, which will be sent to you in pdf or jpg format (however many you are willing to help with!) and photograph them on Antarctica as proof of them having made the journey down south. However you do so is completely up to you – you can be as creative as you want.

For teachers and parents:

A penguin-themed flag from the British International School in Cairo, Egypt

We’ve uploaded many school resources, including class plans and PowerPoints on how you, as an educator, can introduce Antarctica and Antarctica Day into your classroom, and have your students create flags to be sent down to Antarctica. We would like to emphasise that submissions to us can only be up to 5 flags per school - if you would like to submit your flags to us, please contact us on education@polarnetwork.org. The idea is for your students to design flags for the Antarctic. You can either get all students to design flags, and then chose your ‘top five’ or you could design a couple of flags as a whole class/year group. Digital pictures of the flags are sent to us, and we then print off these picture and send them down to the Antarctic with our scientists and engineers in November and December. A picture of your flags will then be taken within the Antarctic, and the student/classroom will receive a certificate to say where their flag was displayed. There is also a chance that a competition will be run for the best flags to be hung up around the British Antarctic Survey and Scott Polar Museum. We can provide a large number of resources and lesson ideas. We would also like to maintain a relationship with the school afterwards, either by a visit to the school from a scientist, or an online Q&A session for your students with a scientist. This is an international activity, and so far we have schools from over 20 countries taking part. The UKPN would love to have your school participate in this exciting event. To help you implement this activity within your classroom, we’ve attached a sample class plan for Antarctica Flags that has been most popular over the last couple of years! If you would like this class plan in another language, please let us know by replying to this email.
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Researcher Christine Dow and her team display a flag at South Korea's Jang Bogo Research Station.

This year, our deadline for submission of Antarctica Day flags will be slightly earlier, on the 1st November (exactly 1 month before Antarctica Day!), because we’d like to get your flags to be photographed in Antarctica on the 1st December.  Lastly, to keep updated and involved in the Antarctica Day festivities, please follow us on Facebook (UKPN and Antarctica Day) and Twitter, where we will be regularly posting your flag submissions and other relevant items counting down the days to December 1st. Please get in touch at education@polarnetwork.org if you have any questions.