UK Polar Network involvement
I am currently the vice president of the UK Polar Network (September 2020 – September 2021) – the UK branch of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists. I have been on the committee for several years and I had the honour of being the president in 2019 – 2020. We currently have over 400 members from across the UK. If you’re a polar-focused undergrad, PhD student, or it has been less than seven years since you completed your doctorate (excluding career breaks), it is definitely worth signing up. To look at the outreach and events I took part in, see the outreach and events page.
We share employment opportunities, hold events, and support the polar early career community
We organise and facilitate events targetting the skills needed for a further career in polar research
We carry out educational activities in schools, with schemes such as polar pen-pals, and hold outreach events nationwide
As president, I oversaw our 24 member committee, managed funds and funding applications, liaised with our partners and organised bi-monthly meetings. We had a successful year despite the challenges brought by the global COVID-19 pandemic; we held a popular ‘Science outreach in schools’ workshop, a webinar giving information on the Antarctic Bursary, contributed to a paper on early career networks, ran a successful field course in the Russian Arctic, and I was a presentation judge at the 6th annual APECS International Online Conference. Many of our plans were put on hold, but we will be delivering those this year instead. We were successful in our two funding bids, and we developed an equality, diversity and inclusion team to spearhead our future direction.
As co-head of education and outreach and festival organiser (2018-2019), I planned and executed events at two festivals (Southampton Science and Engineering Festival 2019 and WOMAD 2019), organised and took part in school visits and the polar pen pal scheme, contributed to an infographic map of the Arctic, and attended the Polar Educators International conference.
We are able to do all of these activities thanks to education and outreach grants from the British Antarctic Territory department of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.