Local Social Catch-ups

It has been a very busy summer for many, and Semester is about to begin for 2019. Because of this, we are encouraging local catch-ups for meet-and-greets and to have a relaxed affair.

In Hobart, we will be going to the Antarctica Exhibit at the Tasmania Museum and Art Galley on Saturday the 16th of February, 2019. We will be meeting at 2pm, for those interested, and will be there for an hour or so. Then, we will be getting a bite to eat together afterwards, no obligation (particularly due to the diversity of diets). If you are in the Hobart area, feel free to come along.

Check out the Past Events for photos.

Member of the Week

As you may be aware, either through Facebook or Twitter, APECS Oceania has been publishing small profile snap-shots of members of APECS Oceania, typically on Fridays. The Member of the Week can also be found on the APECS Oceania website under About Us > Members.

If you want to feature in the Member of the Week and you are a current member of APECS Oceania, feel free to contact us via Facebook or via email (apecs.oceania@gmail.com). If you want to feature, but you are not a member, join APECS Oceania first, but clicking here.

Happy 2019

APECS Oceania wishes everyone the very best for 2019. As a new year’s resolution, we have updated the APECS Oceania homepage. Take some time to look around. We are trying to have an updated Events section, while looking at improving our Members section. Any feedback will be appreciated.

Before we ended the year, 2018, we has the Annual General Meeting (5th December, 2018) held at the University of Tasmania Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. New members of the National Committee were selected. Minutes can be found under News – Meeting Minutes.

This year, APECS Oceania will be contributing towards the SouthCOP 2019 conference in New Zealand, participating in Antarctica Day events, and hosting our 2nd APECS Oceania Symposium. In 2020, APECS Oceania will be involved in the 9th Open Science Conference presented by SCAR and will be held in Hobart, Tasmania!!! Some details can be found under Events – Future Events; while some past events have been updated under Events – Past Events.

If you need to contact us, do not hesitate. Our email is apecs.oceania@gmail.com and one our our National Committee members will be in contact with you.

All the best,

APECS Oceania

Join APECS Oceania Committee

We currently have opportunities for enthusiastic postgrad and early career researchers to join the APECS Oceania Executive Committee.

If you are interested in joining the Executive committee and want to get more involved in APECS events in Australia and New Zealand please fill complete the application form

If you’d like more information about what’s involved and what we do please contact us at: apecs.oceania@gmail.com


Communicating Across Borders Workshop – 4 July 2017

Communicating Across Borders: APECS Oceania Workshop

APECS Oceania hosted a two hour workshop for early career researchers in Hobart on 4 July 2017, just prior to the 2017 SCAR Humanities and Social Sciences Depths and Surfaces Conference. Almost 40 early career researchers from all over the world took part in the event, with one third identifying themselves as scientists, one third identifying as social scientists, and one third as humanities scholars. All were united by their interest in communication, and in making connections with others outside their usual sphere.

In today’s research climate, communication is an important skill. Researchers need to be able to not only communicate with colleagues in the same area, but with those from very different backgrounds, and the wider public. A panel session in the first hour addressed the challenges associated with “communicating across borders” and noted that such borders may be disciplinary, geographic, or between areas such as science and policy. Panelists came from a range of backgrounds, and were very responsive to questions from the audience. The panel consisted of:

  • Dr Renuka Badhe (Executive Secretary – European Polar Board)
  • Mr Elias Barticevic (Chilean Antarctic Institute – INACH)
  • Dr Adrian Howkins (Environmental Historian – Colorado State University)
  • Dr Mel Fitzpatrick (Climate Scientist – E & O – Science Communication)
  • Dr Meredith Nash (Homeward Bound programme – UTAS)

APECS Panel Mentors with COMNAP flag. Thanks to COMNAP for sponsoring catering at this event.

The second half of the workshop involved breaking out into three groups to workshop themes that had been flagged as of interest when participants registered. Dr Daniela Liggett, Dr Cornelia Lüdecke and Dr Elizabeth Leane led discussions on “Fostering Interdisciplinary Projects,” discussing their own experiences and then helping workshop participants identify common ground, and providing strategies for planning a collaboration.

When it came to “Fellowships and Opportunities,” mentors provided advice on writing grant applications, from the perspectives of both successful applicants (Dr Rowan Trebilco and Dr Ursula Rack) and those who regularly review such applications (Dr Alan Hemmings and Dr Renuka Badhe). The guidelines for the COMNAP and SCAR Fellowships provided a useful guide, opening the floor for discussions about how to plan for such an application, and ensure it meets the criteria. As one workshop participant put it:

“I really enjoyed having three ”experts” explaining the process of applying for funding. Personally, I have no experience in applying for such grants so it was great to have an examiner detailing what was expected that wasn’t necessarily expressed in the instructions. The experts seemed genuinely keen to help us and the atmosphere, as well as the small size of the group, made it easy to participate. Despite being general, I still got concrete tips that I will for sure use the day I apply for a grant!”

Finally, those interested in “Science Communication” were in for a treat, thanks to the expert tutelage of Dr Mel Fitzpatrick and Stephen Curtain. The small group atmosphere lent itself well to in depth discussions, and left all participants with many elements to consider the next time they explain their research to others.

We thank the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) for their support in providing catering for the event, the mentors for their time, and all those who took part.

This event was organised by Hanne Nielsen, Gabriela Roldan, and Helene Aflenzer, along with Sumi Jayaseelan, Cyril Jaksic, and Ephaphrus Mamabolo

APECS Panel in full force, chaired by Gabriela Roldan

Break out session on fostering interdisciplinary research


Break out session with tips on writing grant applications

Flying Flags to Celebrate Antarctica Day

APECS Oceania (Hobart branch) and the local Young Antarctic Scientists have teamed up to organise a special Antarctica Day event for a class of Grade 4 students at Calvin Christian College in Kingston, who are taught by Chris McMinn, Jono Laning and Christina Flinn. The Young Antarctic Scientists are a group of mainly PhD students from the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. They are led by Guy Williams and are enthusiastic about the outreach of the research being undertaken at these institutes.

The students of Calvin Christian College have been busy creating flags that represent Antarctica, using what they have learnt from the Young Antarctic Scientists, who have previously visited the class this year. As part of the Antarctica Day activities the students will be presenting their Antarctica Flags to Eva Cougnon. Eva is a PhD student at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart and will be taking the flags with her when she travels on board the Aurora Australis to Antarctica in early December. Eva will photograph the flags on their journey to the Antarctic continent and will send this image along with a certificate back to the class so they can see just how far their artwork has traveled.

Antarctica Day is a great outreach opportunity for APECS Oceania, and though this is the first time the Antarctic Flags activity has been run locally we are looking forward to getting more schools involved next year and establishing a stronger link between local students and the researchers who study and work in Antarctica.

For other information on similar Antarctica Day events please check out OurSpaces

Survey Participants Sought

Two groups of researchers based in NZ and Australia are currently studying the well-being of people working in Antarctica. One survey is for anyone who has been to Antarctica (first paragraph and link), the other is for those who have worked there specifically during the polar night (Austral winter) (second paragraph and link). Please find information and links to the surveys below.

Have you worked in Antarctica? This is your opportunity you to have a voice, share your story of your time in the Antarctic and help in the development of supports for future Antarctic personnel working in Antarctica. Dr. Kimberley Norris and student researcher Clare Hawkes from the University of Tasmania Australia are investigating the experience of Antarctic employment, as told by past Antarctic Personnel. The aim of this study is to better understand how Antarctic employment impacts personnel and how best to study it. Participation in the study involves completing a survey consisting of short answer and rating-based questions, which will take approximately 30 minutes of your time to complete. If you are interested in participating, please follow the link below for further information and access to the survey. Thank you in advance for your time. https://goo.gl/Y0tueb

Any former winter-overs would be ideal participants for Cyril Jaksic‘s study, which consists of an online questionnaire of approximately 20 minutes. Participation in the study is entirely voluntary and participants will not be asked to disclose their name, guaranteeing their anonymity. This study aims to investigate the psychological factors related to adjustment to Antarctic stations. Specifically, we are interested in predicting one’s social fitness to the station, job satisfaction, job performance, mood, sleep quality and cognitive performance. This study is being conducted as part of a PhD project through Lincoln University (New Zealand). If you are interested, click on the link below to know more about it and to take part in it:
http://lincoln.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_79b4l6T3SxerMs5 If you have any questions, feel free to contact: Cyril Jaksic 

International Representatives

APECS Oceania members are also represented at the international level, on the APECS Council and Executive Committee:

We have a representative at the Executive Committee: Hanne Fønss Nielsen (University of Tasmania), and three representatives at the Council: Adam Campbell (University of Otago), Meagan Dewar (Deakin UniversityInternational Penguin Early Career Scientists) and Gabriela Roldan (Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury)

Meet your reps here and wish them good luck!


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events for the 2017 term and beyond include:

APECS Oceania plans to have a presence at each of these events. If you are aware of any upcoming events that should be added to the list, or would like to volunteer to help at any of the events, please do get in touch.