Upcoming Events

  • SAAG Biennial Meeting 25 Jul 2017 – 28 Jul 2017 University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni, Swaziland Website: http://www.saag2017conference.com
  • IAPSO-IAMAS-IAGA Assembly 27 Aug 2017 – 1 Sep 2017 Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa Website: http://www.iapso-iamas-iaga2017.com
  • ANTPAS (Antarctic Permafrost and Soils) Group Workshop 4 Oct 2017 at 9:00 am – 6 Oct 2017 at 7:00 pm Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, Via Ravasi, 2, 21100 Varese VA, Italy Website: www.antpas.org
  • 9th International Conference on Geomorphology (ICG) 6 Nov 2017 – 11 Nov 2017 Vigyan Bhawan, Rajpath Area, Central Secretariat, New Delhi, Delhi 110011, India Website: http://www.icg2017.com
  • AGU Fall Meeting 11 Dec 2017 – 15 Dec 2017 New Orleans, LA, USA Website: http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2016/future-meetings/
  • XXXV SCAR Biennial Meetings 19 Jun 2018 – 23 Jun 2018 Davos, Switzerland 35th SCAR Biennial Meetings & 8th Open Science Conference Website: www.polar2018.org
  • EUCOP5 22 Jun 2018 – 1 Jul 2018 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Station, 74400 Chamonix, France 5th European Conference on Permafrost
  • AGU Fall Meeting 10 Dec 2018 – 14 Dec 2018 Washington, DC, USA Website: http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2016/future-meetings/
  • AGU Fall Meeting 9 Dec 2019 – 13 Dec 2019 San Francisco, CA, USA Website: http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2016/future-meetings/

Precious goes to Ventura, the GRC and GRS

One of our Outreach Coordinator (Precious) recently attended the Marine Polar Science Gordon Research Conference and Gordon Research Seminar in Ventura CA, USA from 26-31 March 2017. GRC is an international forum founded in 1931 by scientists in order to enhance presentations and discussions of science frontiers in the biological and physical sciences, and their related technologies. GRS is a subdivision of GRC and aimed at early career science and scientists, such as APECSSA members. Furthermore, it is organised and run by early career scientists (Masters and Doctoral students, as well as Postdocs).

The 2017 GRS was titled ‘Advancing the Physical-Biological Understanding of Polar Marine Ecosystems Through Innovative Technology’, hosting 45 early career scientists from across the globe. The GRC was titled ‘Understanding Polar Ecosystem Change Through Time Series Observations, Technological Advances, and Biophysical Coupled Modeling’ and was concurrently hosted with the GRS. The nature of GRC and GRS is frontiers based, and prioritises unpublished or recently published work for participation. As a consequence the meeting focuses on new ideas, technologies and approaches to polar marine research. The 2017 meeting had particular emphases on sea-gliders (wave gliders) as an important technology for the future of polar science, amongst other technologies. It was suggested to organise internationally collaborated hubs to help reduce the cost of deploying, service and retrieving these instruments. This is important in a South African context, as fruits of this proposition might even be locally harvested, given the recently-developed sea-gliders and other ocean autonomous instruments expertise by the  Southern Ocean Carbon & Climate Observatory (SOCCO) program within the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Even more important, Cape Town is the most southern city with this expertise. This offers many opportunities for our emerging researchers and scientists and places them on an international platform where they can collaborate with their international counterparts. Furthermore, these efforts come at a time when there is a growing international interest in the importance of Southern Ocean physical and biogeochemical processes in relation to Earth system processes and climate change.

The GRC meeting also touched on varies aspects of earth system science including sea-ice modeling and biogeochemistry, as well as Arctic and Antarctic biogeochemical cycles. Both GRC and GRS incorporated broad aspects of polar science and consequently, diversity in the represented disciplines fostered discussions around interplanetary science and the interconnectedness of earth system science.

APECS Latest Newsletter

The latest APECS newsletter is now available. A few items worth noting are:

  • A webinar on ‘The first and only ice core histories from the Kilimanjaro ice fields’. The webinar will take place on 24 May 2017 and you can register for the webinar here.  For more information have a look our previous blog.
  • APECS will be holding a workshop at the upcoming SCAR Biology Symposium 2017 and you can still register for the workshop. The deadline is 25 June.
  • Abstract Submission is open (until 9 June) for the APECS Oceania Symposium ‘Addressing future Antarctic challenges from an Oceania perspective’ on 18-19 September 2017. Click here to read more and learn how to apply.
  • Call for Papers: Polar Record Special Issue: Education, Outreach and Engagement. Abstract submission is open until 31 January 2018. To view the full call for papers click here or submit a paper here.
  • The State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report has been released and is available here.

NRF Postdoc Calls are now open

The NRF has opened its call for the Freestanding, Innovation, and Scarce Skills Postdoctoral Fellowships (FISS). Applications close 6 July 2017 and must be completed online through https://nrfsubmission.nrf.ac.za. Freestanding postdoctoral fellowships amount to a maximum of R215 000 per annum, with Innovation and Scarce Skills postdoctoral fellowship amounting to R320 000 each. You may also apply to complete your postdoc overseas. More information is available on the NRF website or click here for the application funding guide and here for framework.

Free-Standing Postdoctoral Fellowships are encouraged for the following fields:

  •  Natural Sciences;
  • Engineering;
  • Technology;
  • Social Sciences; and
  • Humanities.


Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship are encouraged in the following fields:

  •  Biotechnology;
  •  Cellular and Molecular Biology;
  •  Engineering;
  •  Computer science;
  •  Physics;
  •  Astronomy;
  •  Mathematical Sciences;
  •  Nanotechnology;
  •  Chemistry;
  •  Earth Science;
  • Ecology;
  • Medical sciences;
  •  Social Sciences; and
  •  Humanities.


Scarce Skills Postdoctoral Fellowships are encouraged for the following fields:

  • Management: Financial Management
  • Financial sector: Accounting, Auditing, Statistics, Actuarial Science
  • Biological sciences: Biotechnology
  • Physical sciences: Mathematical Sciences, Physics, Geology, Computer Science, Information systems, Chemistry
  • Engineering: All fields of Engineering
  • Sector specific: Agricultural Sciences, Transportation Studies, Tourism, Demography

Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP)

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The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) takes place from mid-2017 to mid-2019 and is an initiative by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and a wide array of partners around the globe. It’s aim is to “promote cooperative international research enabling development of improved weather and environmental prediction services for the polar regions, on time scales from hours to seasonal” in both the Arctic and Antarctic. That is also why the year spans more than 12 months. Two years are needed to cover an entire year in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

A number of exciting projects are being run in the polar regions and you can subscribe to their mailing list at polarprediction@climate-cryosphere.org. To do those please send an email to office@polarprediction.net. You can also get your project endorsed by YOPP and all information is available on their website.

So what is being done for Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere? Quite a bit! Below is a list of projects currently running/scheduled to run.

  • Antarctic Meteorology and Snow Research: from Process Understanding to Improved Predictions (ASPIRE)
  • ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE)
  • GEO Cold Regions Initiative (GEO CRI): Information Services for Cold Regions
  • TRaceability and Improvement of Meteorological Measurements during YOPP intEnsive peRiods, to better investigate ABL characteristics and coupling processes in coastal Antarctica (TRIMMER)
  • Lower tropospheric Ozone Profiles over Antarctic Plateau (LOPAP)
  • RADiative Impact of ANtarctic Clouds Experiment (RADIANCE)
  • Precipitation Impact on the Regional ANtarctic Accumulation (PIRANhA)
  • Surface-Atmosphere Mass and Energy Exchanges at a Coastal Antarctic site (SAMEECA)
  • SpeCtral Reflectance over the Antarctic Plateau (SCRAP)
  • Southern Ocean Aerosol Clouds And ice Processes Experiment (SEASCAPE)
  • Southern Ocean Clouds Radiation Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES)
  • Influence of small-scale processes on the dynamics of the coupled atmosphere-cryosphere-ocean system on daily to seasonal timescales in the region of Adélie Land, Antarctica (AdelieHRM)
  • Additional upper air soundings from Neumayer and RV Polarstern (AWImet-SH)
  • Activities of Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (WGNE)
  • Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition: Study of Pre-industrial-like Aerosol Climate Effects (ACE-SPACE)
  • The offshore air mass journey and interaction with the Ross Sea surfaces: A process-based investigation of regional climate influenced by mesocyclones (RSR-Mesocyclones)
  • Water Budget over the Dome C Stataion (H2O-DC)
  • Multidisciplinary Ice-based Distributed Observatory (MIDO)
  • The Antarctic Clouds and Radiation Experiments (ACRE)
  • International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP) and International Programme for Antarctic Buoys (IPAB) (IABP/IPAB)
  • Antarctic Precipitation, Remote Sensing from Surface and Space (APRES3)
  • Italian Antarctic Meteo-Climatological Observatory at MZS, Victoria Land and at Concordia (IAMCO-YOPP)
  • Understanding Sea Ice: Mechanisms, Uncertainties and Climate ImplicationS (SIMU-CIS)
  • Measurements of Aerosols Radiation and CloUds over the Southern Oceans (MARCUS)
  • Polar Ocean Reanalysis Intercomparison Project (PORA-IP)



Western Cape Winter Rainfall Summit – Registrations Close Tomorrow!

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For those in Cape Town and the surrounding areas this summit organized by ACCESS and to be held at National Geo-spatial Information (NGI) might be worth attending. You can still register until tomorrow and the summit is open to the media and public. Students, especially, are encouraged to attend. The summit deals with the current challenges faced by the Western Cape with regard to water usage and rainfall patterns (and their prediction/modeling) and a set of experts and authorities from the CSIR, from UCT, UP and a few other organizations have been assembled to address topics on:

  1. What drives influences winter and summer rainfall in the Western Cape typically and
  2. on the event scale?
  3. How good are the predictions, why are there conflicting predictions and what do we
  4. need to do to improve them?
  5. What are the prospects for normal, above normal or below normal rainfall this coming
  6. winter and the following winter?
  7. How many seasons of normal rain would it take to secure the Western Cape’s water
  8. supply?
  9. Can we expect drier Western Cape winters in the future?
  10. Where must it rain in the Western Cape (taking topography into account)?
  11. How serious is the water security threat in the Western Cape?
  12. What are our options for managing water supply in the Western Cape?

Details to the summit are listed below:


Webinar May 24

If you are interested in climate studies, especially paleoclimatic aspects of this, then don’t miss out on the next APECS seminar to be held 24 May from 18:00-19:00 SAST (that’s 16:00-17:00 GMT). The webinar will cover what you can expect from conducting research on Kilimanjaro, using the example of investigating the paleoclimate of Kilimanjaro utilizing ice core studies. More information on the webinar is available on the APECS website. Or you can register directly here.


Job Opportunity: Engineer for Antarctica

Are you an electrical or electronic engineer or have a MSc, MTech or MEng with an engineering background? There are two positions available to spend a year at SANAE IV (the South African research station) in Antarctica. Have a look at the announcement below or contact Ms Engelbrecht on +27-28-312-1196 for more information.



Join the 2nd SEAmester

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This year will herald the second year of South Africas Class Afloat aboard our very own SA Agulhas II, a state-of-the-art icebreaker that is fully equipped for all marine research activities. After a very successful maiden SEAmester last year applications are now open for this year’s edition. The SEAmester introduces marine science as an applied and cross-disciplinary field and up to 50 students (Honours/BTech, MSc/MTech, Interns) can apply to join this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Traditional class-room lectures are combined with hands-on ship-based deck activities under the tutelage of 30 oceanographic, fisheries, biogeochemical and biological experts. To find out more read the South African Journal of Sciences article here.

APECS Newsletter

Check out the latest APECS Newsletter on their website. Do you want to learn how to make maps and figures with Quantarctica? There’s a webinar scheduled for 7 June! Would you like to nominate an APECS mentor for the amazing work he or she has done? Then do so here. These are just some of the topics covered in the recent newsletter so why don’t you have a peek at it? You never know, something might just catch you eye.

SAAG Abstract Submission Extended

5-2-2017 10-22-22 PM.pngIf you intent to attend the Biennial Southern African Association of Geomorphology (SAAG) conference, to be held in Swaziland from 25-28 July of this year, you will be happy to know that the abstract submission has been extended until the end of this month (May). The theme of the conference is SOUTHERN AFRICAN GEOMORPHOLOGY: PURE AND APPLIED and the themes to which abstracts can be submitted to include:

  • Soil erosion and rehabilitation in theory and practice
  • Bio-geomorphology: the use of plants to achieve geomorphic (landscape) objectives
  • Cold climate geomorphology
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • The geomorphology of wetland systems
  • Coasts and coastal stability
  • Geomorphology in general