SCAR OSC Antarctic Public Engagement Events

SCAR OSC 2014, Auckland: Get your Tickets for the Amazing Evening

New Zealand’s Antarctic Festival, NZ IceFest presents an Auckland Taster of
Evening Events and Exhibitions especially for the SCAR Open Science
Conference. These events will showcase some of New Zealand’s renown artists
and comedians, as well as SCAR’s own International Antarctic Expertise
events open to both the general public and conference attendees.

Named for some of the last words written in Robert Falcon Scott’s diary,
this unique experience in an evocation of Antarctica: of whiteness and cold
and ceaseless winds. With texts by poet Bill Manhire set to music by
composer Norman Meehan, sung by Hannah Griffin and interwoven with the
images of photographer Anne Noble, this song cycle remembers those who live
and those who have died on the ice. Event starts with a pre-concert talk by
Bill Manhire.
– Mon 26th August, 7.30pm, Sky City Conference Centre.
– Tickets $35. Available on the NZ IceFest website or through your SCAR
registration (can be updated at any time)

Following Te Radar’s trip to Antarctica with Our Far South, Te Radar
presents Antarcticana, an illustrated comedic lecture on all things
Antarctic. The rigors of scurvy, scientific madness, odd flora and fauna
and the even odder folk who have explored there.
– Tues 27th August, 7.30pm, Sky City Conference Centre.
– Tickets $35. Available on the NZ IceFest website or through your SCAR
registration (can be updated at any time)

Savour the wonder of Antarctic science after hours at Auckland Museum. Sit
back and listen to a panel of internationally renowned Antarctic scientists
from the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) talk about the
international endeavour of Antarctic Science, discoveries of working as a
scientist at the bottom of the earth, and what the future holds for
Panelists include:
– Dr Carlota Escutia, Universidad De Granada, Spain
– Professor Martin Siegert, Co-Director, Grantham Institute, Imperial
College, London
– Professor Chuck Kennicutt, Professor Emeritus in Oceanography, Texas
A&M University
– Professor Richard Bellerby, Research Scientist, Norwegian Institute for
Water Research
Thur 28 August, 7pm, Auckland Museum
Tickets available from Auckland Museum. General Public $10, Auckland Museum
Circle and Institute Members $7.50, Students $5

Inside the Antarctic Huts of Scott and Shackleton
Step ?inside? the historic huts of Antarctic explorers Captain Robert
Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton to relive a time of extraordinary
polar exploration. Experience a unique audiovisual work* created by New
Zealand photographer Jane Ussher and the Antarctic Heritage Trust and
become immersed in the landscape, isolation and lives left behind by these
heroic early explorers. Encounter incredible Antarctic objects from
Auckland Museum?s collections and find out what it was like to live, work
and play in the earth?s southern-most continent. Then through the work of
exhibition partner, Antarctic Heritage Trust, discover what?s happening to
conserve this heritage on the ice today.
*Original immersive experience shown as part of NZ IceFest 2012, with
support from the Christchurch City Council.
– Wed 27 Aug to Sun 05 Oct, Open 10am ? 5pm, Special Exhibitions Hall,
Auckland Museum
– Free with Museum entry

Nita Smith
NZ IceFest Education and Public Engagement Coordinator

Antarctic Environments Portal & APECS Workshop at 2014 SCAR OSC

Deadline for applications is Monday 30 June 2014

For any further questions and enquiries, please contact either Jana Newman ( or Sira Engelbertz (

The Antarctic Environments Portal (Portal) project and APECS will jointly convene a workshop for Early Career Scientists (ECSs) at the upcoming SCAR Open Science Conference (OSC) in Auckland, New Zealand. This workshop is a great opportunity for ECSs to be involved in the development of a potentially significant tool to link Antarctic science and Antarctic policy. The workshop is open to 25 ECS applicants who will also receive a NZ$ 50 grant each as contribution towards their expenses. Funding for the workshop is kindly provided by the Norwegian Government.

Date: Thursday 28 August 2014; Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Location: Auckland Room 3, SkyCity Convention Centre, 88 Federal Street, Auckland, New Zealand
Focus Group: Early Career Scientists, Limit of Participants: 25
Cost: Free + catering will be provided

Apply by 30 June 2014 and join the workshop to not just learn more about the Portal but exchange your views with our five mentors from the Portal project team and Steering Committee:

– Birgit Njåstad, Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway
– Prof. Steven Chown, Monash University, Australia
– Dr. Neil Gilbert, Constantia Consulting, New Zealand
– Dr. Fraser Morgan, Landcare Research, New Zealand

– Prof. David Walton, British Antarctic Survey (Emeritus Fellow), United Kingdom


The Portal ( is a project to link the growing body of scientific research on Antarctica with the governance work of the Antarctic Treaty System, in particular through the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP). The Portal is an online platform including summaries of the state of knowledge on CEP priority issues, the management of those issues and environmental pressures. Information in the Portal is based on peer-reviewed science and existing CEP materials. The content is intended to be non-technical and a-political. It is subject to a robust editorial process.

The current management of the Antarctic Environments Portal is provided by Antarctica New Zealand, the technical design and development is currently provided by Landcare Research New Zealand. Partner organisations are: SCAR, the Australian Antarctic Division, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. A steering group comprised of scientists, policy and technical experts and a SCAR representative provide leadership, oversight and expert guidance to the Project Manager.


The Portal is an exciting initiative at the interface of Antarctic science and policy. A beta or demonstration version of the Portal was recently demonstrated at the meeting of the Antarctic Treaty System’s meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection, and it was very well received The Portal is still under development and will be fully functional by June 2015. The objective of the Portal & APECS workshop is to seek the views of emerging science and policy leaders on the project and on making the Portal user-friendly. This feedback in the development phase will be instrumental to the project’s success.


Interested ECSs can apply by sending an expression of interest including brief self-introduction and academic background as well as motivation to attend the workshop to Jana Newman ( The application for the workshop will include the consideration for the NZ$ 50 grant for participants. No separate application for sponsorship is necessary. Deadline for applications is Monday 30 June 2014.

For any further questions and enquiries, please contact either Jana Newman ( or Sira Engelbertz (

The SCAR Visiting Professor Scheme 2014

SCAR is pleased to announce the launch of its ‘Visiting Professor Scheme 2014’The scheme is designed to encourage the active involvement of scientists and academics in Antarctic research, and to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in Antarctic research.

The Visiting Professorship is for mid- to late-career stage scientists and academics (at least 5 years after completing their PhD) who are involved in Antarctic research, providing the opportunity for them to undertake a short-term visit (1 to 4 weeks) to an institute in another SCAR member country, to provide training and mentoring.  The ultimate goal of the scheme is to strengthen the scientific research capacity of countries with smaller or less well-developed Antarctic research programmes, promoting capacity building in the host institute and developing long-term scientific links and partnerships which will lead to advances in Antarctic research.

The Visiting Professor Scheme is seen to complement the early-career SCAR Fellowship Scheme ( by providing scientists and academics with the opportunity to intensify collaboration amongst SCAR member countries and to contribute to SCAR’s objectives.

The scheme provides awards of up to USD $2500 each, covering the cost of an international return flight and some contribution towards living expenses for the visiting period.  Some commitment is required from the candidate’s home institute (or the candidate themselves, if retired) and the proposed host institute.

Full information on the scheme, including details of the application process and the criteria on which applications will be assessed, is available on the SCAR website.  Follow the link from the SCAR home page:
The closing date for applications is Thursday 31st July 2014.Queries about the scheme should be sent to

National Research Council (NRC) Seeking Input on Science Priorities

The National Research Council (NRC) Committee to Advise NSF Science Priorities for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research is seeking your input.

This committee is charged to articulate a strategic vision for NSF’s investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean research– anchored by community engagement and input, and building upon the broad vision of key scientific questions identified in the 2011 NRC report “Future Science Opportunities in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean“, as well as other relevant efforts such as the SCAR Horizon Scan currently underway.  The goal of this study is to develop consensus recommendations on priorities for compelling research that could feasibly be undertaken in the coming decade or so, and outline practical steps forward to implement this research.  Our scope stretches across topics as diverse as geology and geophysics, terrestrial and aquatic biology, glaciology and ice core studies, ocean and atmospheric sciences, astrophysics and space weather, as well as cross-cutting areas such as education, public engagement, and data management.

As input for this study, the committee would like to draw widely on the expertise and experience of people across the Antarctic and Southern Ocean science communities.  We are planning a series of outreach events to be held at various locations across the country, where you may have an opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas in person (dates and locations will be circulated once the plans for these events are further solidified).   In addition, we’ve set up an online “Virtual Town Hall” at the link given below, where you are invited to submit your ideas in writing.

This NRC study presents an important opportunity to help shape the future of Antarctic and Southern Ocean research, and we do hope you will choose to take advantage of this opportunity.   The committee welcomes and values your ideas.  The window for input will remain open for the next several months (until November 1, 2014), so you should have ample time to contribute.

Please feel free to share this email and the link with any of your colleagues who you think may be interested.  Questions can be directed to Lauren Brown at the NRC:

Thanks in advance for your input,
Robin Bell, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Committee Co-Chair
Bob Weller, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Committee Co-Chair

Antarctic Scientists Work on 20-Year Goals


Antarctica has been the focus of a major conference in Queenstown over Easter. Dozens of scientists came together, and for once they were not after answers, but questions. The world’s best Antarctic scientists say we cannot ignore the icy continent.

“As we always say, what happens in Antarctica actually has global implications,” says American oceanographer Chuck Kennicutt.

Fifty-five scientists from 24 countries have convened in Queenstown for the first-ever Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan conference. Their aim was to come up with the most important questions about Antarctica that need to be answered in the next 20 years. Delegates submitted 800 questions, and they were culled to about 100 over the three days of the conference.

“They were questions about how ice sheets relate to sea level, changes in the ocean, changes in the atmosphere and also changes in weather and long-term climate patterns,” says Dr Kennicutt.

Scientists say sea level rise caused by Antarctic ice melt is likely to be a major issue for New Zealand. There may be another marine-based problem – increased acidity in the Southern Ocean, which threatens our shellfish stocks.

“To which extent that might be happening is something that for sure we don’t know,” says marine ecologist Jose Xavier. “But what we are witnessing today and our predictions for the future is that they will have an effect, and probably a negative effect, regarding ocean acidification in New Zealand waters.”

That’s just one of the questions deemed most important. It’s now hoped they can set out to answer them, with a more cohesive direction than they have had in the past.

For more information, including video, see the item on the 3 News website.

For further information on the Horizon Scan, visit the Horizon Scan section.

Polar Research Board E-Newsletter


Message from the Chair

The earth is changing, and the polar regions, as usual, are changing faster and by larger amounts than the global average. To any student of the planet, this is old news. Old in the sense that it has long been clear that change is happening today, and old in the sense that the earth is always changing. What is new is that there is a new dominant agent of change, one that can think, plan, and understand that it is responsible for change. The explosion of humans on the planet, both in numbers and in resource needs, has created a collision of sorts between our awesome ability to change the earth, and our fledgling ability to responsibly manage that power.


Read more……

Forthcoming Events: April 2014 Conferences

Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) 2014

7 – 12 April 2014, Helsinki, Finland

ASSW 2014 will include the 2nd Arctic Observing Summit (AOS). For more information, please visit the ASSW website.

[pdf] Second Circular

10th Annual Polar Technology Conference

15 – 17 April 2014, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

The primary purpose of this conference is to bring together Polar Scientists and Technology Developers in a forum to exchange information on research system operational needs and technology solutions that have been successful in polar environments. This exchange of knowledge helps to address issues of design, implementation, and deployment for systems that are to achieve their research goals in the Polar Regions.

Past participants have come from the private sector, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academia. Presentations generally cover system requirements for proposed research along with descriptions of systems and approaches that have been proven in polar deployments. Typical hardware and software topics have included weather stations, robotics, power systems, telemetry, and remote communications. The scale of systems ranges from the autonomous data collection towers to large scale research stations. Polar venues represented include under, on, and above the ice, tundra, or sea.

We are pleased to have support from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs as an endorsement of the concept of bringing together providers and consumers of these technologies in hopes of benefiting from that synergy.

For more information and to submit an abstract or to register, please visit the Conference website.