In a rapidly changing world, the ability of scientists to communicate their work to the public is becoming ever more important, and training in this key skill ever more valuable. The UK Polar Network will be holding a workshop on the 12th-14th January 2011 at the University of Aberdeen, providing a fantastic opportunity for early career polar scientists to develop their proficiency within this area.
Many different aspects of science communication and public engagement will be explored during the workshop. These will include the making of natural and scientific television programmes; the link between research establishments and the media and public; the role of government in science communication; expeditions as a means of inspiring and educating young people, and scientific and polar exhibitions and attractions.
Interaction and informal discussion will form a key part of all sessions. External speakers will be present from the BBC, the Open University, the Scottish Government, the University of Aberdeen, Education Through Expeditions, and the British Antarctic Survey, providing invaluable expertise and experience from which participants can learn.
Practical experience in outreach and communication will also be emphasized, with participants given the chance to present talks and posters of their own, and take part in a hands-on session on effective outreach. This aspect of the workshop will cumlinate in an actual outreach event, planned with local school groups, to give participants the chance to put their new and improved skills into practice.
Registration for the Aberdeen workshop will open on the UK Polar Network website in autumn 2010. Attendance will carry a nominal fee, but it is anticipated that funds will be made available to support travel and accommodation for participants that have no other source of expenses funding.
The dissemination and communication of polar science and issues remains a key focus of the UK Polar Network. This science communication workshop will provide early career researchers with the skills, abilities and confidence required to better themselves as ambassadors for their fields, for the Network and for science as a whole.
We invite all early career polar scientists from across the UK and around the world to this exciting workshop and we look forward to welcoming you to Aberdeen in January!
Hi UKPN! My name is Allen Pope and for the next three weeks I will be up in Ny Ålesund, Svalbard for the next 3 weeks doing fieldwork. My research is related to collecting ground-based glacier-surface reflectance data to help in validation and interpretation of satellite and airborne imagery.
In addition to myself and two other team members, we will be joined by our mascot Fjord the Reindeer. As an outreach measure, Fjord will be keeping a blog of our activities, research, life in Ny Ålesund, and stories about Arctic research complete with photos, maps and hopefully video.
So, check it out at www.notrudolph.blogspot.com, and keep checking back as he’ll be putting up new content frequently. Please feel free to tell any friends you have interested in education & outreach, too – we would love to get questions from anybody interested in our work or Arctic fieldwork in general whether school kids or armchair explorers. If you’re interested in more expeditions and outreach, check outwww.educationthroughexpeditions.org.
As a great start to the Career Skills series this year, the University of Leeds hosted a multi-disciplinary workshop Investigating Variability in Polar Climates; Past, Present and Future. The workshop took place on the 8th and 9th of April and saw over 30 PhD, Masters students and Post-Docs gather to discuss the latest topics surrounding variability in Polar environments.
The workshop was organised by PhD students at the University of Leeds; Aisling Dolan, Amber Leeson, Sarah Monks, Thomas Pleavin, Jo Browse and Abigail Clifton.
Two keynote talks were given by leading scientists from the British Antarctic Survey. Dr. Anna Jones gave a presentation on ‘Air/snowinteractions and its influence on polar tropospheric chemistry’ and Dr. Adrian Jenkins gave a talk on oceanic forcing on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Other speakers included Prof. Jane Francis and Prof. Piers Forster (IPCC Author) looking at the past and future evolution of Polar Climates. Technical sessions included An Introduction to Modelling Polar Climates, Polar Meteorology, Polar Atmospheric Composition and Cryosphere Remote Sensing. A speed researcher networking session was given by Dr. Andrea Howarth (Skills Training, Leeds) and anintroduction to Science and the Media was given by Hannah Isom; a Senior Press Officer at Leeds. Practical sessions on ice sheet modelling (Dr. Daniel Hill, BGS) and a Q&A panel on fieldwork also provided an interactive learning environment.
Many researchers gave a poster of their current or projected research and all posters were of a very high standard. Three posters were chosen by a panel of senior academic judges as outstanding; Kathryn Nye (Durham, best overall poster), Carys Cook (Imperial College, highly commendable) and Daniel Grosvener (Manchester, highly commendable). The poster session and conference dinner offered a valuable networking opportunity and allowed for many in depth discussions about current Polar research.
We feel that the workshop was a huge success and we hope that early career researchers found the event of value and that it may have sparked off future collaborations. We would like to take the opportunity to thanks all of the participants and presenters who made this event as enjoyable as it was.
Particular recognition must also go to our sponsors – the Natural Environment Research Council, International Polar Year International Programme Office, the University of Leeds (Institute of Climate and Atmospheric Science, Earth System Science Institute and the Sellwood Group for Palaeo-Climatology) and the Royal Meteorological Society - for making this event financially possible.
Aisling Dolan (UKPN Committee)
- An overview of UKPN, its aims and general future directions
- An overview of UKPN events in 2009.
- Discussion about UKPN events in 2010.
- Discussion about the proposed spring/summer school in 2011.
- A talk by an external scientist on a broad, topical subject.
This has to be the science cruise with the highest density of UKPN committee members and other active members on board: On Monday, the team for the second field campaign of the Antarctic Deep Water Rates of Export (ANDREX) project sets off from London Heathrow and amongst the scientists are Loic, Sinhue, Libby, Geli and several others you might have heard of as part of a UKPN event or the other.
The cruise is going to investigate deep water export from the Weddell Sea and of course we will maintain a blog to keep you and everybody who's interested, updated on our progress and daily life on the ship. Check it out and tell your friends!