SCAR Newsletter – September 2014 edition

The latest issue of the SCAR newsletter is now available, the first of 2014.  The considerable work involved in creating the new website and preparations for the XXXIII SCAR Meetings and OSC in Auckland have made it impossible to issue one until now.  This bumper edition covers:
• SCAR focus on . . . the Antarctic Environments Portal
• Results of the 1st Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan
• SCAR News and Announcements
• Antarctic Science News
• Tributes to Phil Smith and Martha Muse
• An update from APECS
• Forthcoming SCAR Meetings

… and more!


The newsletter is available to view and download from the SCAR website at

Announcement of SCAR and COMNAP 2014 Fellowship awards

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) are pleased to announce this year’s Fellowship awardees.

The Fellowships for early career researchers are worth up to US$ 15,000 each and, this year, 25 applications were received with six Fellowships (four SCAR and two COMNAP) being awarded.  The SCAR Fellowships are awarded to: Jaimie Cleeland (Australia), Camila Negrão Signori (Brazil), Fiona Shanhun (New Zealand) and Manoj M.C. (India).  The COMNAP Fellowships are awarded to: Sandra Potter (Australia) and Keith Soal (South Africa).

The winners of the SCAR Fellowships will carry out a range of scientific research in areas including long-term mark–recapture data on albatrosses, microbial diversity in the Southern Ocean, CO2 flux in Antarctic Dry Valley soils and biomarker-based reconstruction of late Quaternary palaeoceanographic conditions.  The COMNAP Fellowship recipients will carry out a project on topics of environmental policy and a technical project to understand ice loading on polar research vessels.  Candidates come from a wide geographic spread of countries, and further detailed demographic information will be available on the SCAR website in the coming weeks.

SCAR has been offering scientific fellowships to early career scientists since 2005.  Such fellowships have enabled Antarctic scientists to participate in a range of significant research including using ice cores to determine proxies for the Southern Annular Mode, a molecular study of Antarctic ostracods, and investigating particulate carbon and biogenic silica in sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.  Since 2005, 29 SCAR Fellowships have been awarded.

In 2011, COMNAP launched their Antarctic Research Fellowship Scheme, offering one fellowship for an early career person in order to carry out research within a COMNAP National Antarctic Program.  With this year’s awards, there have been two COMNAP Fellowships awarded for a total of six awards since the scheme began.

Fellowships support the scientific goals of SCAR and the international cooperation goal of COMNAP, to develop and promote best practice in managing the support to Antarctic science.  Fellowships enable early career researchers to join a project team from another country, opening up new opportunities and often creating research partnerships that last many years and over many Antarctic research seasons.  Many of the projects’ results were presented at the recent SCAR Open Science Conference held in Auckland, New Zealand in late August 2014.

For more information about the scheme, please visit the Fellowships section.

Two new countries and two new Vice Presidents join the SCAR Family

During the SCAR Delegates’ Meeting held in New Zealand this September 2014, two new countries joined SCAR: the Czech Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran, bringing the total number of countries in the SCAR family to 39. Two new Vice Presidents were also elected – Azizan Abu Samah (Malaysia) and Terry Wilson (USA).

Terry WilsonTerry Wilson is professor of geological sciences at Ohio State University. With her research group, she investigates the structural architecture of the Earth, how continents rift, and the interaction of the solid Earth and ice sheets in Antarctica, using structural field observations, geophysical data and GPS. Dr. Wilson is the U.S.delegate to SCAR, is active as chair of SCAR’s Scientific Research Programme SERCE (Solid Earth Responses and influence on Cryospheric Evolution) and has extensive experience working to create and sustain international programmes and collaboration. Dr. Wilson earned her PhD in geology from Columbia University in 1983.

Azizan Abu SamahProf Dr Azizan Abu Samah is a meteorologist with a PhD from the University of Reading, UK. He is currently a professor in the Department of Geography, University of Malaya, Malaysia. He is also the Director of the National Antarctic Research Centre and Deputy Director of the Institute of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the same university. His main interest is on tropical-polar and air-sea interactions. He was involved in a number of scientific advisory steering committees such as SHIVA (an EU Framework Programme), the UK’s NERC International Opportunities Fund,  Asian Network on Climate Science and Technology (ANCST) and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities’ Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies (CMAS). He was a member of SCAR’s 1st Horizon Scan in Atmospheric Sciences.