100 Days to Antarctica Day!

Today marks the 100-day countdown to Antarctica Day! We at UK Polar Network will be working with Our Spaces this year to lead the Antarctica Day festivities--you'll be hearing a lot from us over the next couple of months. As part of this initiative, we invite individuals, classrooms and schools to participate in the festivities by sending us their renditions of Antarctic flags. The flags will then hitch a ride all the way to Antarctica, and we will send proof of travel with a certificate and photos of their journey!
Antarctica flag activity in Cape Town South Africa

Antarctica Day Flag event with the International Polar Foundation, in Cape Town, South Africa

What's so important about Antarctica Day and our Flags event? After almost fifty-five years, the Antarctic Treaty continues to shine as a rare beacon of international cooperation. To celebrate this milestone of peace in our civilisation with hope and inspiration for future generations – Antarctica Day is recognised to be December 1st -the day when the Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959. As an annual event, Antarctica Day encourages participation from around the world. Our aim is to continue expanding Antarctica Day through our Flags initiative as a globally-accessible platform to share, interpret and cherish the values associated with Antarctica for the benefit of present and future generations.

For researchers travelling to Antarctica

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. The photos in this post show various ways that past Antarctic teams have showcased these flags.

Rothera Station Antarctica Day

Staff at Rothera Research Station celebrate 55 years of the Antarctica Treaty with Antarctic flags

For teachers and classrooms:

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 or classroom--if you would like to submit your flags to us, please contact Julie Berkman <jberkman@ourspaces.org.uk> where she will provide you a DropBox link on reply. 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.
Antarctic Day - Escuela Rural 110, Soriano, URUGUAY

A classroom at the Escuela Rural 110, in Soriano, Uruguay, displays their renditions of the Antarctica Flag

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. 

Windless Bight_Gateway PCAS students w Antarctic Flags

Staff and students on the Gateway Antarctica expedition with Antarctica New Zealand display Antarctica flags on Christmas Day

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 with either me <tj.young@polarnetwork.org>, Jenny Turton <jenny.turton@polarnetwork.org> or Julie Berkman <jberkman@ourspaces.org.uk> if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing your Antarctic Flags!

 TJ Young and Jenny Turton

Polar outreach day in Leeds

On Monday 28th November 2011, UKPN member and University of Leeds PhD student Chris Williams educated and enthralled sixty children aged 7-8 about science and exploration in the Arctic region. Chris treated the budding polar enthusiasts to a fascinating photo presentation, lively discussions, real-life displays and interactive exercises to show the wonder and challenge of living and working in the Arctic environment. Feedback from the children and teachers was excellent and all participants went away with an appreciation of and fascination for the polar regions, and many future explorers were inspired!

Summary of UKPN at RGS Explore 2011!

In mid-November of 2011, Laura Hobbs and Thomas Perriment from the UKPN committee attended the Royal Geographical Society’s annual Expedition and Fieldwork Planning weekend – Explore. Set in the heart of London, the theme of the conference could not have had a less city feel to it; and with every lecture and workshop, it felt as though the doors to the world were opening a little more. After their own expedition-worthy journey from Plymouth to London, Laura and Tom set up their poster that would inform delegates and speakers about the UKPN, its aims and its benefits to early career scientists. Throughout the weekend, they were inundated with questions about the Polar Network, and people were amazed to find that this resource and wealth of information was available to them. They had a lot of interest in the workshops and outreachevents coming up this year, and I think it is safe to say that this interest will grow as word spreads throughout the expedition community. Laura said, "It was a pleasure to be part of such an exciting and inspiring event, and also great to meet many UKPN members, both new additions and those who have previously been involved." So what can we takeaway from Explore for the UKPN? Although predominantly explorers and adventurers, many delegates were interested in getting some scientific information to support their expeditions which may not have a research theme at their core. Thomas said, "The support available to expeditions and research trips in both physical and life sciences, as well as anthropology is vast, this is where the UK Polar Network can assist you and your team." Would you like to assist with expeditions and inform the team about research in the area? The interest in outreach work was quite frankly overwhelming… Let’s run with this and really put the UKPN out there in terms of engaging the future generation in Polar research. The Explore weekend is a great way to go about designing your own Polar expedition or research trip. The RGS and the staff are brimming with information, and their breadth of knowledge is incomparable and seems never-ending. If you have any ideas that you would like to discuss, please contact the RGS or contact the UK Polar Network can get you in contact with the right people

Polar Sedimentary Processes and Archives Workshop

The UKPN and Loughborough University are pleased to announce the Polar Sedimentary Processes and Archives workshop as the latest in the 2010 series of UKPN career skills workshops.

Location: Loughborough University Dates: 18th and 19th of November 2010. Sedimentary archives are key indicators of past environmental change across a range of timescales.  Coupled with an understanding of contemporary sediment processes, they make it possible to reconstruct terrestrial, cryospheric, atmospheric, marine, and lacustrine conditions, which are vital for accurate modelling of future scenarios for climate change. The workshop aims to explore the following themes: • How is the polar sedimentary archive used to understand past environmental processes? • How can past polar sedimentary processes be interpreted in terms of environmental and climatic change? • What uncertainties are there in the sedimentary record (past and present), and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the differing sedimentary records available in polar regions? •       How can we use polar sediments from different sources to obtain a regional perspective on past and present environmental change that would benefit climate modelling? We intend to appeal to early career researchers (MSc, PhD and post-doctoral researchers) working in polar, sub polar or alpine regions with an emphasis on sediments. The intention is to cover a range of sub-disciplines within the earth sciences including, glacial and periglacial sedimentology, limnology and palaeolimnology, hydrology, aeolian, marine and atmospheric sciences. This is not an exhaustive list and we welcome all polar researchers. Proposed sessions include • Glacial and periglacial sediments • Lacustrine sediments • Aeolian and Atmospheric sediments • Marine sediments • Arctic hydrology • Modelling future change in the Polar regions Planned sessions also include advice about publishing and a panel session on field research skills by leading academics. The workshop will provide an opportunity for peer to peer networking, skills training, encouraging collaborations and increasing the technical and scientific knowledge of participants. All delegates will be encouraged to do an oral presentation or produce a poster about their research, and will be encouraged to help in the organisation of the workshop, such as chairing sessions. It is anticipated that a small fee (no more than £10) will be charged for all delegates attending the workshop. This is a postgraduate event and costs will be kept to a minimum. The UKPN has donated some funding towards the conference which will be used to support travel and accommodation expenses of delegates. We invite all delegates to claim some funding towards the conference costs. We ask interested participants to pre-register by the 31st of August 2010 by using the online questionnaire at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SBXD9MW.  If you have any questions please email  lboroworkshop@polarnetwork.org.

IPY Oslo Science Conference, 8-12 June 2010

DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL THE 25TH JAN 2010!! The IPY Oslo Science Conference, taking place 8-12 June 2010 in Oslo, Norway, is the major IPY Conference, a brilliant opportunity to show off your polar science whether it's part of an IPY project or not. The IPY Oslo Conference also sets a precedent for the involvement of early career scientists at all levels of the conference and the activities during the event. APECS is coordinating the activities, and of course UKPN members are involved too! Spread the word so that this becomes the highlight of the year! The submission deadline for abstracts is the 20th January 2010, so get your abstracts in!! To submit, go to this webpage: http://www.ipy-osc.no/section/1257865053.48. There is plenty of support available for early career scientists (reduced registration fees, accommodation, Oslo stipends, travel fellowships), all of it tied to abstract submission. Any question regarding the application process, don't hesitate to contact us! We would like to use this opportunity to highlight some of the sessions UKPN members are (co-)organising and show you what else there is for early career scientists. Sessions with UKPN (or UK based APECS) conveners (apologies if I forgot anybody!):
  • T2-1 Climate and paleoclimate dynaimcs and processes (Louise Sime, BAS)
  • T2-4 Permafrost on a warming planet (Matt Strzelecki, Uni Durham)
  • T2-6 Ocean physical and geochemical dynamics and processes (Povl Abrahamsen, BAS)
  • T3-8 Ecosystems of the Southern Ocean (Angelika Renner, BAS/UEA)
  • T6-3 Adventures in the field: Impact of field programs for students, teachers, artists, writers and others (Allen Pope, SPRI)
  • T6-4 Global learning: The impact of the media (Jose Xavier, BAS)
APECS activities during the conference: APECS Professional Development Workshop - workshop with session on publishing your research, communicating science, funding, alternative careers, and more APECS Reception - speed dating with potential mentors APECS Lounge - in the middle of everything! THE meeting point of the conference Awards for outstanding presentations and posters! Application includes Oslo Stipend, Travel Fellowships and the APECS Professional Development Workshop
  • 20 February 2010 Abstract Acceptance Notification Date
  • 25 February 2010 Notification of Oslo Stipend Awards
  • 1 March 2010 Notification of Acceptance in APECS Workshop
  • 5 March 2010 Deadline to Confirm Stipend Acceptance
  • 8 March 2010 Stipend Recipients Conference Registration Deadline
So get your abstracts polished and send them in! For more info check http://www.ipy-osc.no and http://www.apecs.is/events/oslo2010 See you in Oslo, Angelika