Have you ever heard of YESS, the Young Earth System Scientist community? It is an international network of early career scientists focused on the earth sciences. YESS was founded and is run by early career scientists, predominantly Masters and Doctoral students, but also Postdocs and in many ways it is similar to APECS. Where APECS brings together emerging researchers in Antarctic sciences, YESS brings together emerging scientists in the earth sciences. The central idea around YESS is to create a space for early career and emerging researchers to communicate, network, and participate in both scoping and distilling essential scientific questions and disciplines for the future of earth science research. In doing so it creates an environment where members can mature and train in essential skills and tools not often taught when doing or studying science. These include but are not limited to:
- Writing proposals for meetings;
- Organizing large meetings and conferences;
- Chairing sessions; and
- Sometimes converting ideas into research questions.
During September of 2016 at the CLIVAR Open Science Conference held in Qingdao, China, it was decided to form an African sub-community of YESS. YESS-Africa is currently headed by Faten Attig Bahar, a Doctoral student from the University of Carthage, Tunisia, as well as Steve Arowolo, a Doctoral student from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
YESS is a fantastic space to participate in as an early career scientists, as it provides a way to network on both a local and internationally level. Just as important is that it informs on useful meeting and conferences not often communicated on our local networks. (Check out their very handy Conference and Workshop section on their website!) These meetings are useful for early career scientists, particularly in finding collaborators and broadening your horizons and perspectives. YESS also provides information on courses relevant to earth sciences, funding opportunities, and there is even a very handy job list! So if you have ever wondered what your job prospects and opportunities might be once you have graduated, have a look at their job listings. Lastly, YESS is a very useful way to network, in the earth sciences at the very least. In South Africa this is especially import, given that our local networks are lacking with respect to earth system science. So why join YESS, or even APECS, you might ask? Well, participation in such associations might be an essential step toward building a well-coordinated and organized future earth system science community.