“Arctic-focused youth find inspiration at the UK Polar Network”
You’ll see a familiar face in the WWF’s first magazine of the year. This edition of The Circle showcases the voices of the youth and their movements forwards. Our own festival co-coordinator, Chloe Scott, discusses ways to support the interested youth; those disproportionately affected by climate change, and so those who deserve the opportunity to be involved in future decisions.
The online Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) launches tomorrow followed by the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS)!
The ASSW is an international assembly convened by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), fostering communication and collaboration between international policymakers, scientists, indigenous people, businesses and NGOs in discussing and addressing key Arctic issues.
This year event will be held online on 27 March – 2 April, and registration is currently live and open to everybody.
We are happy to report, that the second Arctic Interdisciplinary Studies 2020, ARCTIS 2020, field course in Khanty-Mansiysk city and vicinity, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region, West Siberia, Russia was successfully held in February 2020, co-organised by the UKPN and APECS Russia.
As per tradition, the course included various disciplines: Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Terrestrial, Marine (Hydrology) and Social & Humanitarian, which were covered via lectures, practical sessions and fieldwork, including a trip to the Mukhrino research station.
The course also benefited from a stakeholder meeting, trips to local museums and get together events. “The course was a success and everyone, including participants from the UK and Russia, lecturers and organizing committee enjoyed it”, sharedSaule Akhmetkaliyeva, Head of UK Arctic – Russia ECR group for UKPN.
We are looking forward to receiving more photos and feedback on the course, keep your eyes open for future posts!
In collaboration with Pint of Science and supported by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust as part of their Antarctica In Sight programme, come and enjoy an evening of Arctic and Antarctic celebration. There’ll be a quick-fire quiz with a variety of prizes, so make sure to bring some knowledgeable friends!
It is now well-recognised that science outreach is an essential soft skill for any researcher. Do you understand the necessity but feel too underprepared to get involved? We’re offering online training for anybody interested in taking their science into the classroom and adding a polar theme. The training will be led by a science communication expert and a school teacher to allow both worlds to come together. The focuses will be science communication for children and activity preparation, with tips on public speaking.
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.
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:
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.
Tamsin Gray, a former member of the UK Polar Network committee, has recently been featured on the UK science careers website FutureMorph. This site is a great resource for people looking to see exactly what careers in the sciences can be – they might be research, but they might be a lot more!
Feel free to use FutureMorph and Tamsin’s profile in future education & outreach events you may be planning.
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!