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;


*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(“AustralianAntarcticDivision/SOmap”, ref = “dev-0.5”).

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)

First APECS Oceania Bulletin

Welcome to the first APECS Oceania Bulletin!!! We will be aiming to send these out quarterly to keep all our members informed of what is happening in APECS Oceania, upcoming dates and events, opportunities and ways to get more involved in APECS Oceania.

Feedback from the APECS Oceania meeting

We had our last open meeting on the 29th August. Here’s a short summary:

  • Art-Science-Collaboration: the APECS International Art group searches for people who are interested in organising an event/exhibition of local artists (more information below in “opportunities”). There is some space available at Hobart June to August 2020 around the Australian Antarctic Festival and SCAR 2020, so if anyone is keen to organise something in Hobart, please message us (apecs.oceania@gmail.com). 
  • Polar Week September 2019: This time APECS Oceania is very busy organising events in the upcoming Polar Week (see below in “upcoming events”)! Events will provide zoom links where possible, so it will be possible for everyone to join!
  • APECS workshop for SCAR 2020: Before the start of the conference SCAR 2020 in Hobart, APECS will organise a workshop. If you are keen to help out with the organisation, please keep your eye out for further announcements coming soon!
  • Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan: APECS Oceania has put together a comment to the AASSP on behalf of APECS Oceania ECRs.

The next meeting is scheduled for mid- to late-October.

Upcoming Events

Polar Week 23rd – 29th September

APECS Oceania region

Wednesday 18th September: Public Forum: “The Southern Ocean: Australian interests, collaboration and challenges”, University of Tasmania, Hobart. More information here

Thursday 19th September – Pint of History – The Frozen Desert featuring Hanne Nielsen (APECS Oceania/UTAS), Elizabeth Lane (UTAS) and others, Shambles Brewery Hobart. More information here

Saturday 21st September – Hobart local social catch-up; ice-skating! Glenorchy Ice Skating Rink Hobart. More information here

Monday 23rd September – Melbourne local social catch-up. More information here

Tuesday 24th September – APECS/MASS Seminar Series “Human Perspectives on Antarctica” featuring Hanne Nielsen, Shaun Brooks and Jessica Melbourne-Thomas, IMAS Aurora Lecture Theatre, Hobart and online via zoom. More information here.

Wednesday 25th September – APECS Oceania Webinar “Polar Art” featuring Gabby O’Connor. More information here.

Friday 27th September – APECS Iberoamericana online conference (in Spanish). More information here.

Friday 27th September – APECS/BOTES Polar Week Quiz, IMAS Flex Space Hobart. More information here. Book your tables now!

Tentative date 2nd October – APECS/DataTas “Antarctic Mapping” workshop, IMAS Aurora Lecture Theatre Hobart. More information coming soon.

APECS International 

Monday 23rd – Sunday 29th September: Polar September Selfie challenge, share your science and polar experiences on social media using the hashtag #ScientistsWhoSelfie!

Monday 23rd – Saturday 28th September: Polar Film Fest with USAPECS, submission form and more information can be found here.

… and other events like a photo contest with the Alpine Cryosphere Group or Polar Art interviews! Keep your eyes open on APECS International social media channels!

New Zealand Antarctic Season Opener 3rd – 8th October

Many exciting events are happening in Christchurch for the New Zealand Antarctic Season opener. More information coming soon.

Upcoming conferences

SouthCOP “Southern Hemisphere Conference in Permafrost” 4-14 December, Queenstown.  See here for more information

SCAR2020 31 July-11 August 2020, Hobart. Opportunities to be involved will be advertised soon!

*Are you attending a conference and would like to represent and promote APECS Oceania, please get in touch apecs.oceania@gmail.com

APECS Oceania opportunities

  • Join the APECS Oceania social media team! We are seeking social media enthusiasts to help communication, promote and engage APECS Oceania, for more information see here.
  • Do you have a passion for communicating polar science through art? We are seeking people to lead and coordinate art-science collaborations in Australia and New Zealand, for more information see here.
  • Local social catch-ups; we are seeking keen people to organise local social catch-ups around Australia and New Zealand to provide APECS Oceania members in that region a way to meet, catch-up and form a network.  If you are interested in running an event in your region please contact apecs.oceania@gmail.com

*Do you have ideas for other potential APECS Oceania projects, or want to get more involved please get in touch apecs.oceania@gmail.com

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our website for continual updates and opportunities!!

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.