Bangor Polar Symposium

Saturday 8th December 2012 School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University (North Wales) An informal one day symposium for early career scientists to present their work, network and gain advice on polar careers. Key note speakers include Dr Stephanie Wilson (Antarctic zooplankton) and Nick Hughes (Sea Ice).
If you would like to present your work or attend this exciting event then please submit your abstract by the 10th of November at http://www.polarsymposium.com/. £10 registration fee includes refreshments, buffet lunch and dinner.This event is supported by the UK Polar Network, Endeavour Society, School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University and Calegeo.

Report on the UKPN Workshop: Modelling In the Polar Sciences

The UKPN Modelling in the polar sciences workshop ran from the 2nd to the 4th of April 2012 in the Geography department at the University of Sheffield. It was attended by 30+ masters students, PhD students and early-career researchers all interested in learning about mathematical modelling and how it is applied in the polar sciences. Participants enjoyed talks and practicals covering topics from ice ages to ice divides delivered by a range of highly respected academics. Felix Ng, Sheffield, began the workshop with an introduction to mathematical modelling providing a useful summary of the different types and uses of modelling, and sharing his love of the subject by describing the links between hydrodynamics and horse locomotion. Next, Michael Griffiths from the Sheffield computing department introduced us to the Sheffield supercomputer which we used to compile and run models during the rest of the workshop. Andrew Fowler, Limerick, then ran a computer practical where participants gained experience of modelling ice ages. Later in the afternoon participants got a chance to present their work in a poster session. Judges Felix Ng, Iestyn Barr, Queens Marys, and Ian Rutt, Swansea, chose Edward Gasson’s poster entitled ‘Modelling the onset of Cenozoic Antarctic glaciation’ as the winning of the poster prize which was presented at the end of the workshop.

Participants enjoying modelling ice ages during Andrew Fowler’s computer practical. From left to right: Jonathan Day, Leeds; Christopher Williams, Leeds; Eleanor Darlington, Loughborough; Aisling Dolan, Leeds.

The next day began with talks about the GLIMMER-community ice sheet model from Ian Rutt and Stephen Livingstone, Sheffield, and a practical run by Ian aimed at teaching students how to compile and run GLIMMER for themselves. That afternoon Richard Hodgkins, Loughborough, gave a talk and ran a practical on the modelling of the glacier hydrology using linear reservoir and time-series approaches. That evening the conference dinner was held at a local restaurant called The Milestone. The next morning Grant Bigg, Sheffield, and Pete Nienow, Edinburgh, presented interesting talks about the Arctic’s contribution to Heinrich events and hydrological observations in West Greenland. These were followed by a talk and practical run by Richard Hindmarsh, British Antarctic Survey, about ice divides and grounding line stability. The workshop provided an opportunity for young scientists to interact with each other and with some of the most respected and established academics in their respective fields. Everyone who attended took a huge amount from the event both academically and socially. I would like to thank all the people who helped organise the workshop, including but not limited to: Iestyn Barr, Jeremy Ely, Stephen Livingstone, Sarah Wrathmell, Tom Hurst, Amir Levy, John Owen. I would also like to thank Sheffield University for use of the Geography Department and supercomputing facilities and Foreign and Commonwealth Office for funding that made the workshop possible. Jonathan Kingslake, University of Sheffield.

Modelling In the Polar Sciences Workshop – April 2012

The use of mathematical modelling is becoming increasingly important in all areas of science. This spring, the UKPN will continue our highly successful programme of workshops bringing early career polar scientists together to meet and learn about specific areas of the discipline. This free workshop will focus on the use of modelling in the polar sciences. It will be held at the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of April 2012. Following the format of previous successful UKPN workshops, we will be organising lectures and practical sessions that will cover a broad range of polar science-related subjects where mathematical modelling plays a role. These will to be led by a number of highly respected academics including Grant Bigg, Sheffield; Andrew Fowler, Oxford; Edward Hanna, Sheffield; Richard Hindmarsh, British Antarctic Survey; Richard Hodgkins, Loughborough; Pete Nienow, Edinburgh; Felix Ng, Sheffield and Ian Rutt, Swansea and more! As well as lectures and practical sessions, the workshop will include sessions on the basics of modelling, poster sessions where participants will be encouraged to present their work (modelling-based or otherwise), careers discussions, and a group dinner where we will get a chance to properly meet each other and enjoy an evening out in Sheffield! This workshop is aimed at early career polar scientists (Masters, PhD and Post-docs) who already make use of modelling or are interested in doing so, not just people who are already knowledgeable in the field. We aim to integrate the skills of students with modelling experience with those who wish to develop skills in this important aspect of research. It will be great to welcome a broad range of Polar Scientists to Sheffield in April! Please keep an eye on the mailing list and here on the UKPN website for more details regarding when you can sign up! For further details please contact: Jonny Kingslake - University of Sheffield Stephen Livingstone - University of Sheffield Amir Levy - Keele University and Iestyn Barr - Queen Mary University of London

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

Summary of biology and ecosystems workshop

The workshop ‘High latitude biology, ecosystems and the future; A multidisciplinary approach’ organised by Coleen Suckling ran for 2 days mid November in the British Antarctic Survey. This was the first biology based workshop from the UK Polar Network’s career development series which saw twenty-three early career stage participants arrive to network in Cambridge. Excellent talks were provided by keynote speakers discussing multi-disciplinary science and future insights for the Arctic (Ray Leakey; Scottish Association for Marine Science), Antarctic (Andy Clarke; British Antarctic Survey) and acclimations and adaptations on the polar regions (Melody Clark; BAS). Some of which will soon be available to view on the APECS website (http://apecs.is/apecs-news/4533-ukpn-biology-and-ecosystems-workshop). The participants were given opportunities to network through producing media aimed talks on their fields. Using information generated from the talks and the skill sets of the participant’s mini-mock grant proposals were generated on mutually agreed important polar questions. Future insights on these questions were discussed to determine how approaches proposed to answer them today may change over the next decade. Interestingly the participants drew to similar conclusions – molecular and satellite applications will become increasingly important in the future! Participants also presented their work to each other through a poster session. Alan Rodger (Science Leader, BAS) closed the meeting with his inspirational talk ‘Where is environmental science going?’. He informed the participants that the 21st century is the century for biologists due to the urgency to understand the repercussions of rapid climate change on ecosystems and highlighted the importance on utilizing a multidisciplinary approach. The organizer would like to thank everyone who helped and participated in the workshop, particularly to the British Antarctic Survey.

Keynote speaker Andrew Clarke

 

Career mentor panel at IGS-BB 2011

The UK Polar Network will be hosting a Career Mentoring Panel at the British Antarctic Survey during the IGS British Branch Meeting (7-8th September). In addition to the scientific program, the panel will be a great opportunity for early career researchers to ask mentors questions about taking the next steps in their careers. This is open to all early career scientists registered at the meeting: http://www.bas.ac.uk/about_bas/events/igs2011/index.php The IGS British Branch Annual Meeting is an informal two-day meeting at which presentations are welcome on all aspects of ice and snow research. Postgraduate students in particular are welcome to attend and present their work. The meeting will consist of both oral and poster presentation sessions. Registration closes on Wednesday 6th July.  

UKPN at the British Science Festival 2010

Members of the UKPN spent last week at the British Science Festival teaching 8-10 year olds about glaciers, from how they form to their impact on the world and us. We had a great team, with Antarctic scientists, postgraduate students, lecturers and recent graduates taking on the role of education. We all managed to bring something different to the classroom and our wide range of backgrounds gave the students a variation of knowledge from the fields of glaciology, biology, meteorology and paleoclimatology! Held in Birmingham at Aston University, the festival was a chance to teach potential future scientists about the research that is being undertaken in the Polar Regions, excite them, and inspire them to choose a future in science. During the week our workshop “The Polar Meltdown” was visited by over 350 pupils, many of whom had never heard of a glacier before but we hope they left informed and inspired about the Polar Regions! We also managed to speak to many people involved in education, and get the UKPN better known in these fields. It was great to see not only children, but also adults interested in current Polar research. A big thanks to all the team; Allen, Martin, Tamsin, Nicola and Iestyn, and also the event organizers. And a massive thanks to all the schools that attended and made our week so enjoyable!

UKPN at the IGS British Branch 2010

During the annual IGS British Branch meeting, held at Aberystwyth University by the Institute of Geography and Earth Science, the UKPN held a mentoring session for early career scientists concerning career paths and future employment. The session was held at the end of the first full day of the conference and was attended by over 45 delegates including Masters students, PhD candidates, post-doctoral researchers and others in full-time employment. The panel consisted of four leading scientists in cryospheric research; Dr Robert Bingham (University of Aberdeen), Dr Neil Ross (University of Edinburgh), Dr Nick Rutter (Northumbria University) and Maarten Krabbendam (British Geological Survey), all with various backgrounds and career paths.

Lessons from the session; as scientists in glaciology we must be flexible; be prepared to follow research around the world. Prove to yourself and to others that you are the right person for that job, or for that research grant. Be confident in your own abilities, and do not give up if you fail to get the job or funding. The same goes for getting your work published; you will receive criticism, but use it as a positive and not a negative… even the best academics get work rejected! Staying within your comfort zone or expanding your research areas, the choice is yours, as long as you can prove to future employers that it has benefitted you. Network; building good relationships within the glaciological community will improve the chances of getting employed. And finally, follow your ambitions.

Feedback from the session was extremely positive, from both the delegates and the panel. We wish to thank all of those who attended, those who posed questions and to Robert, Neil, Nick and Maarten for proving a wealth of information to budding cryospheric scientists.

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.