Deadline approaching for SCAR and COMNAP Fellowships

There are just two weeks remaining to the deadline for applications for the 2015 SCAR and COMNAP Fellowship Schemes.

SCAR and COMNAP fellowships are worth up to US$15,000 each and up to six fellowships in total are on offer for 2015.  The 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. The deadline for applications is 3 June 2015.

For more information on SCAR and COMNAP Fellowships, visit the SCAR website at: www.scar.org/fellowship/information or the COMNAP website at: www.comnap.aq/SitePages/fellowships.aspx.

The SCAR and COMNAP schemes have again been launched in conjunction with CCAMLR’s Scientific Scholarship Scheme, which provides funding of up to AU$ 30,000 to assist early career scientists to participate in the work of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee and its working groups over a period of two years.  The scheme was established in 2010 and a maximum of three awards will be made in 2015. The objective of the scheme is to build capacity within the CCAMLR scientific community to help generate and sustain the scientific expertise needed to support the work of CCAMLR in the long-term. The deadline for CCAMLR applications is 1 October 2015.  For more information, visit the CCAMLR website.

SCAR Newsletter – April 2015 edition

The latest issue of the SCAR newsletter is now available.  With articles on various SCAR awards and on the Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) Project, this edition also covers:
• SCAR focus on . . . the Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean
• News and Announcements from SCAR
• Antarctic Science News
• Polar News and Announcements, including an update from APECS
• Forthcoming Events
… and more!

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

 

Help to guide the future of SCAR!

In preparation for the next SCAR Strategic Plan (2017+), SCAR is undertaking a structural review.  As part of this process, we would like you to give your opinion in a (purposefully!) short questionnaire . . . .  Note that you only need answer those questions you feel are relevant to you and your organization.

Your feedback by Wednesday 8th April is much appreciated!

The questionnaire is available at:  http://goo.gl/forms/hJFhQEyigk

Abstract submission open for SCAR’s ISAES 2015

The full website has been launched for the SCAR International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (XII ISAES 2015), which is being held in Goa, India, from 13-17 July 2015Abstract submission is now open on the website, with a submission deadline of April 15th 2015.

For further details of the Symposium, including information on the program, social events and field trips, please visit the Symposium website: www.isaes2015goa.in.

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.

Outcomes from the 1st SCAR Antarctic & Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan

Six priorities for Antarctic science

The official outcomes of the 1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan were published online today as a COMMENT in Nature (512, 23–25; 2014 http://www.nature.com/news/1.15658) entitled “Six priorities for Antarctic science”.

In April 2014, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) convened 75 scientists and policy-makers from 22 countries to agree on the priorities for Antarctic research for the next two decades and beyond. This is the first time the international Antarctic community has formulated a collective vision through discussions, debate and voting. The Horizon Scan narrowed a list of hundreds of scientific questions to the 80 most pressing ones.

The questions fall broadly into six scientific priorities: 1) define the global reach of the Antarctic atmosphere and Southern Ocean; 2) understand how, where and why ice sheets lose mass; 3) reveal Antarctica’s history; 4) learn how Antarctic life evolved and

Survived; 5) observe space and the Universe; and 6) recognize and mitigate human influences. A few examples of critical questions that need to be answered include:

a)    How will the recovering ozone hole and rising greenhouse-gas concentrations affect regional and global atmospheric circulation and climate?

b)   Will changes in the Southern Ocean result in feedbacks that accelerate or slow the pace of climate change?

c)    What factors control Antarctic sea-ice seasonality, distribution and volume?

d)   Are there thresholds in atmospheric CO2 concentrations beyond which ice sheets collapse and the seas rise dramatically?

e)    What do geological signatures of past relative sea level tell us about when and where planetary ice has been gained or lost?

f)     What are the genomic, molecular and cellular bases of adaptation in the Antarctic?

g)    What is the nature of the Dark Universe?

h)   What is the current and potential value of Antarctic ecosystem services and how can they be preserved?

The assembled experts concluded that to answer the 80 highest priority questions, it will be necessary to provide long-term sustained and stable research funding; access to all of Antarctica throughout the year; application of emerging technologies; strengthened protection of the region; growth in international cooperation; and improved communication among all interested parties. Maximizing scientific return while minimizing the human footprint should be the goal, and coordinated international efforts that engage diverse stakeholders will be crucial.

Former SCAR President Mahlon ‘Chuck ’ Kennicutt II, who lead the Horizon Scan, summarized that “Antarctic science is clearly globally important. The southern polar community must act together if it is to address some of the most pressing issues facing society…. It is time for nations involved in southern polar research to embrace a renewed spirit of cooperation as espoused by the founders of the Antarctic Treaty – in actions not just words.”  While this is the first Antarctic Horizon Scan, it is recommended that SCAR repeat the Horizon Scan exercise every four to six years in support of national strategic planning efforts and emerging integrated science, conservation and policy efforts.

Communicating the global importance of Antarctica to the public must be a priority. Narratives need to better explain how the region affects and is influenced by people’s daily lives. Antarctic success stories, such as signs of ozone recovery, engender confidence in the power of changes in behavior. SCAR President, Jerónimo Lopez-Martin concluded, “Antarctic science has never been more important to our understanding of how the Antarctic and Earth system work, what this foretells about the future of our planet and the role that humans play in observed change. The challenge is to find new ways for the global Antarctic community to act together to realize this potential for the benefit of all.”