Happy Antarctica Day!

Happy Antarctica Day 2019!

Today the Antarctic Treaty is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Every year since 2015 the UKPN have organised an outreach project – the Antarctica Day Flags Initiative – with the aim to spread the word about this success story for world-wide collaboration and to hope its message and values inspires future generations.

We asked participating schools to create a flag for Antarctica (as it is without an official flag) which they believe symbolises this continent. 

The flags are then sent to us here at UKPN, who pair flags from schools with researchers and station staff that are heading down to Antarctica for the Austral Summer (November-January). The flags are then transported all the way to Antarctica with these “flag bearers”, and proof of travel with a certificate and photos of their journey will be sent to the schools upon the flag bearers’ return.

For more information about our Antarctic Flags initiative, please visit: https://britishantarcticterritory.org.uk/blog-uk-polar-network-antarctic-flags/ or contact us at antarctica-day@polarnetwork.org

#AntarcticaDay2019_UKPN #PolarOutreach #AntarcticFlags

Seals of Antarctica

It is only two days left before the Antarctica day and today we want to share beautiful pictures of most amusing marine mammals by talented wildlife photographer Stas Zakharov: the Antarctica seals. There are 6 species of seals in Antarctica, including Antarctic Fur Seals, Leopard Seals, Ross Seals, Crabeater Seals and Weddell Seals, and these 6 species apparently make up the majority of all seals on earth. 

Weddell seals Leptonychotes weddellii at the Lemaire Channel

Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella, South Shetland Islands

Check out our Instagram;Twitter and Facebook for more posts and definitely check out @stas_zakharov_photo for more seals! 

The race to the pole – glance into history of Antarctic exploration

Today’s  post features history of exploration of the South Pole – fascinating and dramatic story of rivalry between the two expeditions.

“I am just going outside and I may be some time – he went out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since” From Scott’s diaries, 1912

Amundsen’s South Pole expedition. Image from: https://nationalpostcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/8-5_amundsens_group_at_pole_flag_flying1.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=780

Beginning of the 20th century was an era of polar exploration also known as Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. One of the key figures in the world’s history of polar exploration undoubtedly is Roald Amundsen who first reached the South Pole by land in 1911 and also led the first expedition that first reached the North Pole by air in 1926 (on-board the airship Norge).  Amundsen and Oscar Wisting were the first men to have reached both geographical poles. But behind this simple date stands complicated and dramatic history of numerous attempts to be the first to reach the center of either hemispheres, history that carried away lives of many noble researchers, including Robert Falcon Scott’s entire party who died on their return journey from the South Pole where they found Norwegian flag deployed 34 days before Scott’s expedition arrival. The rivalry between British and Norwegian expeditions, led by Scott and Amundsen respectively, is perhaps one of the most dramatic events in the history of discoveries.

Read more about the race to the pole, details and differences between the two expeditions at: 

Antarctica wildlife photos

Today for  campaign we wanted to share some beautiful images of perhaps most iconic representatives of Antarctic fauna: penguins.

Stay tuned and follow us on Instagram;Twitter and Facebook for more posts, news and photos! 

Chinstrap penguin, Hope point, Antarctic peninsula. Photo credits Dmitry Frey

King penguins and RV Vavilov near South Georgia Island. Photo credits Dmitry Frey

Antarctic Treaty

Antarctica day: Antarctic Treaty

Map of Antarctica with the flags of the Antarctic Treaty nations. Photo from: https://www.bas.ac.uk

The Antarctic treaty is an international agreement that sets aside the entire Antarctica continent as a scientific preserve devoted to peace and science “forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes in the interest of mankind”. The treaty ensured freedom of scientific investigation and ban of military activities on the continent. It was the first nuclear-arms agreement and the first institution to govern all human activities in an international region with no sovereign jurisdiction. The treaty remains a unique and inspiring example of international collaboration and implementation of the common heritage of mankind principle. 

Signed on December 1, 1959 in Washington, D.C., United States it came into force in 1961 and currently has 54 member parties 29 of which, including all 12 original signatories to the treaty, have voting status (the latest status list as of April 2019 is available via the link). The twelve countries that were the original signatories are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All member parties implement the articles of the Treaty through their national laws. The Antarctic Treaty System holds yearly Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM) and has an Antarctic Treaty Secretariat that facilitates and supports the ATCMs.

The treaty consists of 14 Articles and is available in English; French; Russian and Spanish.

Read more about the Treaty on the website of the British Antarctic Survey: https://www.bas.ac.uk/about/antarctica/the-antarctic-treaty/  

#AntarcticaDay2019_UKPN 

 

Antarctica Day 2019

Antarctica Day is celebrated on the 1st of December every year since 2010, when it was established to commemorate the signature of the Antarctic Treaty on 1st December 1959.

Antarctica Day was initiated by the Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces (www.ourspaces.org.uk) with aims of building global awareness of this landmark institution, and celebrating this milestone of peace in our civilization with hope and inspiration for future generations.

Flag of the Antarctic Treaty, source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/Flag_of_the_Antarctic_Treaty.svg/400px-Flag_of_the_Antarctic_Treaty.svg.png

Antarctica Day 2019 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic treaty. To celebrate this we launch the #AntarcticaDay2019_UKPN media campaign with a series of historic overview posts, photos and insights from current fieldwork in Antarctica.

Follow us on Instagram: @ukpolarnetwork;Twitter: @UKPolarNetwork and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ukpolarnetwork/ for more updates! 

Writing Successful Proposals: a guide for ECRs

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Don’t miss our upcoming workshop!

Writing successful proposals

The UK Polar Network will be holding a workshop at the Arctic Sciences conference in Loughborough in September. We are offering an optional social media for conferences session on the evening of the 10th, a morning workshop on proposal writing, and a free lunch. Don’t forget to register before 8th August.

To register, click here 

For more information on the UK Arctic Science Conference, click here

UK-Russia science session at Arctic Science Summit Week

UK-Russia Arctic Scientific Cooperation: Towards a Better Understanding of the Changing Arctic
Time: Friday, 24 May, 14:00 – 15:30
Venue: Northern Arctic Federal University, Room 11220 (Academic Board Room, 2nd floor, Arkhangelsk, Russia
Organisers: UK Science and Innovation Network in Russia (SIN Russia) & the NERC Arctic Office

The UK and Russian science communities have long-standing research cooperation on climate change in the Arctic. Over the past two years this cooperation has been marked by exciting new developments: dynamic bilateral projects, workshops, conferences and initiatives, with a special focus on early career links and institutional partnerships. These scientific partnerships are helping to advance our understanding of the changing Arctic and the global implications of these changes: from northern forests and palaeoenvironmental studies to terrestrial and marine ecosystems, to adaptation of local communities. Join our session at Arctic Science Summit Week 2019 to learn more about recent UK-Russia scientific work and explore what further wider collaborative research opportunities might look like.

Co-Chairs
• Henry Burgess, Head of the NERC Arctic Office, IASC Vice-President
• Dr Marina Kalinina, Adviser to the Rector, Northern Arctic Federal University (NArFU), Arkhangelsk; Vice-President on Interregional Cooperation at the University of the Arctic

Speakers
• Prof. Mary Edwards, University of Southampton, UK-Siberia scientific working group (DIMA)
• Dr Marina Kalinina, Adviser to the Rector, Northern Arctic Federal University (NArFU), Arkhangelsk; Vice-President on Interregional Cooperation at the University of the Arctic
• Dr Rachael Turton, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
• Dr Olga Tutubalina, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University
• Yulia Zaika, President of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists Russia (APECS Russia)
• Saule Akmetkaliyeva, UK Polar Network, Manchester Metropolitan University

Polar Software Workshop and Hackathon

Training the next generation of polar scientists in software sustainability

Organised in collaboration with the UK Polar Network and the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) UCL, more than 20 early career polar scientists were given the opportunity to improve their software skills during an interactive workshop. As with many scientific disciplines within polar sciences we have our software heroes with the opensouce code stored in github… and we have those who would never dream of sharing their code. There are, however, many who would like to fit into the first category and to be more open but are concerned about sharing their code. It was this group that we aimed to help, as well as those who would like to learn better practices in writing and developing their software.

The UCL Earth Sciences deinonychus ready to welcome participants to the workshop.

Several SSI fellows provided invaluable help on the day, not only through delivering their own sessions but also staying around and helping participants through the other practical sessions. Adam Jackson kicked off the day with an introduction to open science and sustainable software, and David Perez-Suarez and Yo Yehudi ran hugely successful workshops on testing and open scientific code through github respectively.

SSI Fellow Adam Jackson kicks off the day with an introduction to open science and sustainable software.

In addition to this training we had two speakers from industry who demonstrated that their software skills have transferred to careers outside of academia: Ruari Rhodes (Hiscox) spoke to us and Sam Thomas (Zopa) shared some of his wisdom from his previous work in academia. We were also fortunate enough to have an interlude from the coding from UCL’s Professor Chris Rapley who shared his extensive knowledge on climate change communication, setting us up nicely for the following day’s hackday.

Workshop particpants get to grip with David Perez-Suarez’s testing session.

The UK’s First Polar Hackathon?

Following the training workshop, many of the participants returned to participate in (as far as we are aware!) the UK’s first polar science hackathon. We were joined by participants from Airbus and other departments from UCL (physics and geography) to work on a variety of problems, including machine learning, shipping routes through the Arctic and extreme events in Greenland.

Projects were judged by popular vote, with a focus on open science, collaboration within the team, as well as results found during the day. Prizes for the hackathon were generously provided by Indorse.

A welcome pizza break from coding during the hackathon.

We will share results of this workshop with the international earth sciences community at December’s American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. We would like to thank the Software Sustainability Institute for providing funding for this workshop through my fellowship fund as well as the Association for Early Career Polar Scientists for additional travel support and endorse for sponsoring our Hackday. 
 
The resources from the workshop are available here: 
 
Adam Jackson (UCL)- Open science and sustainable software presentation source files
 
David Perez-Suarez (UCL)- Testing, Testing, One, Two… slides repository 
 
Ruari Rhodes (Hiscox)- Multi-lingual workflow and spatial data resources 
 
Yo Yehudi (InterMine, University of Cambridge)- Open Scientific Code using Git and GitHub materials slides 
 
Chris Rapley (UCL)- Climate Change- Delivering Value slides