December 2019 APECS Oceania Bulletin

Find our December 2019 APECS Oceania Bulletin here.

The December Bulletin covers:

  • The APECS Oceania AGM and election of the APECS Oceania Executive Committee – congratulations to President Alyce Hancock, Secretary Katie Marx, National Representative Natalia Ribeiro!
  • Upcoming conferences to put in your calendar – UC Antarctic Conference (Christchurch, NZ), 4th Int. Forum on the sub-Antarctic (Hobart, AUS), and SCAR2020 (Hobart, AUS).
  • APECS Oceania opportunities for 2020 – March Polar Week, September Polar Week, Antarctica Day
  • Send your work / field work / onshore / offshore photos to APECSO.comms@gmail.com for us to share with the community – also recent publications and successes!

November 2019 APECS Oceania Bulletin

Find our November 2019 APECS Oceania Bulletin here.

The November Bulletin covers:

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)

APECS Oceania/Datatas – “Antarctic Mapping in R” Workshop

As part of International Polar Week, APECS Oceania (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) collaborated with Datatas to provide a workshop tackling all the difficulties of producing a good map. Specifically, the workshop was a mixture of the theory behind Antarctic Mapping in A with hands on practical examples using R mapping techniques including SOmap.

Presenters – Dale Maschette (AAD)

An audio and the slides for this workshop are available below;

https://echo360.org.au/media/0420cc62-521a-47ae-9623-705253aeed22/public?fbclid=IwAR2m1Y1Js1ITj5M7a-4RMtaqTwyyKmOYPA2McES9TvIVmXqIrYFY30oQRzc

*If you wish to follow along with the examples then please make sure you have R installed already on your laptop (preferably the latest version of R studio – R v 3.6.1 for software).

Additional packages required include:
tidyverse, sf, maps, sp, maptools, and raster which are all available on cran and some from github such as:

remotes::install_github(“clauswilke/relayer”)
remotes::install_github(“AustralianAntarcticDivision/SOmap”, ref = “dev-0.5”).
remotes::install_github(“eliocamp/ggnewscale”)

APECS Oceania Seminar Series – “Human perspectives on Antarctica”

As part of International Polar Week, APECS Oceania (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) presents a MASS on our impact on the icy continent. Our speakers will cover three perspectives starting with an overview of 60 years of the Antarctic treaty, then looking at the human footprint on the continent and finally considering conservation and management of marine ecosystems. Please come along to hear about the human side of Antarctica as well as learning more about APECS Oceania!

Presenters – Dr Hanne Nielsen (UTAS), Shaun Brooks (AAD), Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas (CSIRO)

Call out for art-science collaborations enthusiasts

APECS International Art group is searching for people who are interested in boosting art-science collaborations in Australia and New Zealand. If you have a passion for communicating polar science through art we need you!

We are hoping to build a team to help plan, foster and organise such collaborations with potential spaces available for event/exhibitions in Hobart June – August 2020 around the Australian Antarctic Festival and SCAR 2020.

If you are keen to help plan and organises such collaborations and events, please message us (apecs.oceania@gmail.com).

Call for social media and website manager(s)

APECS Oceania has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and its own website.  We are seeking social media and website enthusiasts to help us maintain and build these!  See below for a description of the potential roles, noting this is all dependent on the interest and time commitment of the applicants.

Website manager(s) 

Role: updating and managing the APECS Oceania website https://apecsoceania.com/ (WordPress site) including ~weekly updates of the news, events, and jobs and opportunities page, as well as occasional updates of the other website pages

Time commitment: ~1 hr a week

Social media team

Role: posting and maintaining a presence on Twitter and Facebook (@APECSOceania) with an aim to post 1-3 times a day Monday to Friday (we do not expect the social media team to post on weekends and public holidays but they can if they wish)

Time commitment: dependent on number of people and how the team wishes to manage the social media.  Previously we have had a sole twitter manager and sole facebook manager who each spent ~2hrs a week managing these platforms.

Social media and website back-up team

Role: support the website manager(s) and social media team during times of unavailability (i.e. if they are in the field).  This is designed to have a list of people who can take over management/presence on these platforms during times that the main teams are not available.

Time commitment: occasional periods of ~2hrs per week

***All positions are required to follow the 2019 APECS Oceania social media guidelines. 

To assist in the hand-over to the new team we will have a short meeting (via the video conferencing system, Zoom) between 9-13th October, to inform what has been done to date, expectations, etc., and a short hand-over document will be available for each communication platform. We require the new team to start their roles by the 13th September to provide communications prior and during Polar Week (23-28th September).

Please send you expression of interest to apecs.oceania@gmail.com with your name, work/study place, country, your availability and which role(s) you are interested in applying for by 5th September.

If you have any questions regarding the roles please contact Alyce Hancock, alyce.hancock10@gmail.com

Institute of Australian Geographers Conference (Hobart, Tasmania)

The Institute of Australian Geographers Conference for 2019 was held in Hobart at the Wrest Point Convention and Entertainment Center from the 9th to the 12th of July. Thanks to the generosity of the conference organisers, APECS Oceania was represented very well through the assistance of Nathaniel Young, a National Representative of APECS Oceania:

  • A small stall was set up with the APECS flag, flyers and pins, free of charge;

  • At the end of the Antarctic Connections sessions, APECS Oceania was promoted in a talk to approximately 20 attendees.

During the first day, APECS Oceania was also plugged by Nathaniel Young at the end of his talk on “Time series of crustal motion using GNSS: Exploring the expression of systematic errors“, highlighting the positive support the APECS Oceania and its members have offered during the span of his project.

Hopefully, through this exposure, more people become aware of this unique group, and its possibilities.

Winter Catch-up in Hobart

Winter is finally here (… and we didn’t have to wait eight seasons for it)!

APECS Oceania is hosting a local social catch-up for those living in or visiting Hobart in Tasmania on Friday the 5th of July 2019 from 5pm to 7pm. The evening will be spent by a fireplace at The Whaler (39 Salamanca Place, Hobart) with mulled cider available on tap. The table is booked under APECS Oceania and the warm glasses of mulled cider are $10 per glass – of course there are other options.

Come by and meet other APECS Oceania members, get warm, and enjoy the company. You are more-than-welcome to bring a guest, who may be interested in becoming a members of APECS and APECS Oceania.