APECS Oceania September Polar Week News Article

The APECS International community celebrated September Polar Week 2019 from the 23 to the 29 of September, and APECS Oceania collaborated with very popular events during this equinox celebration! 

The festivities commenced with a Marine and Antarctic Seminar Series (MASS) held at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania in Hobart on the 24th September.  The seminar series focussed on the “Human perspectives of Antarctica” with three talks providing different perspectives on this topic.  Dr Hanne Nielsen (UTas) gave a summary of the “60 years of the Antarctic Treaty system), Shaun Brooks (AAD) provided an “understanding the human footprint on Antarctica” and are we “too big for our boots?”, and the series was culminated with a talk by Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas (CSIRO) on the “Southern Ocean ecosystem conservation and management”.  This event was well attended and even promoted by Dr Hanne Nielsen on ABC Hobart! If you miss the event, a recording is available here.

APECS Oceania thanks the MASS Seminar Series organisers for allowing APECS to conduct this event as part of their program, and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies for the support of the venue and afternoon tea that was provided.


Svenja Halfter introducing APECS, APECS Oceania and how to get involved (photo: Alyce Hancock).

On 25 September, Gabby O’Connor is an artist, educator and interdisciplinary researcher based at NIWA in Wellington (New Zealand) gave a webinar titled “Art, Data, Audience and Disruption. Embedding Art in Antarctic Field Research” where she shared her experience in collaborating with an Antarctic science team from New Zealand and how her art communicated the research findings. In her talk, Gabby gives excellent tips and suggestions for early career researchers to engage art as a platform for science communication. You can watch her webinar here.

Follow Gabby on Instagram: @studioantarctica and @theunseen_by_gabbyo
and Twitter: @o_gabbyo

Gabby O’Connor.

We interviewed Adele Jackson, an environmental artist based at Gateway Antarctica, Christchurch (New Zealand) for the Polar Art weblog. Adele shared with us why the Polar Regions inspire her artwork, and also what artists inspire her! Read more about Adele’s interview here.

Follow Adele on Twitter: @antarcticartist and Instagram @adelejackson

Adele Jackson
Art-piece by Adele shown in the first of a series of Antarctic Sun Lines solar-powered artworks will be displayed at Christchurch Art Gallery / Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Aotearoa / New Zealand from 1st – 6th October 2019 as part of the city’s Antarctic season opening programme.

On the Friday of Polar Week, APECS Oceania worked with the Bottom of the Earth Society (BOTES) to organise a Polar Week Quiz at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), Hobart, Australia.  6 quiz teams tackled 4 rounds of questions on oceans, Antarctica, general knowledge and real news/fake news as well as a not so easy a bonus of name the Antarctic icebreaker.  The even ended with much excitement as the winning quiz team was announcement (through a series of funny comments, additions and subtractions) as the “APECS Predators” who marginally beat “The Featherstars”, “Sea Cucumbers and Hummus” and “Salty Sea Dawgs”.  This team included winners of the 2018 APECS Oceania and BOTES Polar Week Quiz making us wonder if they should be handicapped next year!!! A big thank to BOTES for working with APECS Oceania to organise and run this fun evening, IMAS for supporting the event and donating prizes to the winning team and runner-up team.  We look forward to teaming up again next year with BOTES for another fun filled quiz!

The quiz teams ready to tackle 4 rounds of questions and bonus “Name the Antarctic Icebreaker” round (Photo: Alyce Hancock).
The winning team, “APECS Predators” (Photo: Joshua Foster).

The Polar Week celebrated continued into the following week with APECS Oceania collaborated with DataTas to organise an Antarctic Mapping Workshop at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), Hobart, 2nd October. The workshop was run by Dale Maschette, Australian Antarctic Division, and focused on basic mapping theory, why mapping  Antarctica in R is hard, how to do mapping in base R, and a new tool that has been developed by Dale and others for mapping Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in R (Somap). This workshop was a mixture of theory and large sections of practical application, with a focus on practical examples of R mapping techniques.  If you missed the workshop a recording is available here and all the materials required for the workshop are available here.

We thank Dale Maschette, who without his hard work preparing and running the workshop, this would not have been the success it was.  Also thank you to Ben Raymond for assisting during the workshop, and to DataTas for teaming up with APECS Oceania to run this event.

Presenter Dale Maschette (Photos by Alyce Hancock)

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