APECS education and outreach activities for shaping the future of polar research

Lead Author Ruth, Vingerhagen
Institution Contact University of St. Andrews, Scotland Association of Polar Early Career Scientists
Co-Authors Gerlis Fugmann, APECS / UiT The Arctic University of Norway Yulia Zaika, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Theme Theme 4: Building Long-term Human Capacity
Session Name 4.6 Gaining a better understanding and awareness of the Arctic through education and outreach
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is an organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early career faculty members, educators and anyone with interests in Polar and Alpine regions. APECS developed during the 4th International Polar Year (IPY 2007-2008) with the primary objectives of stimulating interdisciplinary and international research collaborations and developing effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach. An important part of our job as scientists is communicating our research and its impact on others and therefore IPY placed a strong emphasis on education and outreach in its planning. Many early career polar researchers are actively engaged in sharing their work and the importance of the Polar Regions with broader audiences.
APECS has considerable experience in education and outreach activities through its involvement in the Polar Resource Book project during the IPY as well as the IPY Education, Outreach and Communication (EOC) Assessment Project. In collaboration with the APECS National Committees we organise highly successful annual outreach events such as Antarctica Day and the International Polar Weeks which reach hundreds of school children all over the world. Other outreach activities include Frostbytes and, social media activities (e.g. Reddit, blogs, twitter). APECS is an example of how a community-based and community-driven group can achieve broad international recognition and can serve as a model for future organizations aiming to engage early career scientists in a meaningful and lasting way.