See Marius speak at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on 31 August from 18:30-18:40! Marius will present on APECS and APECSSA at the upcoming IAPSO-IAMAS-IAGA Assembly. Have look at the preliminary program for the Early Career Scientists networking session here. Will you be attending? Send us a photo of your presentation / poster / or anything else of interest (with a short description) and we’ll post it on our website.
Did you ever want to know how vibrations can effect the comfort levels of sailors, researchers and other passengers on a polar research vessel? Have look at the recent article published by researchers from the University of Stellenbosch. The article Whole-body vibration exposure on board a Polar Supply and Research Vessel in open water and in ice, published in Cold Regions Science and Technology (Vol 141, pgs 188-200), provides measurements of a comfort benchmark for the design and evaluation of future polar research vessels in operational conditions.
Has APECS assisted you in how you engage with the public about your research? Have you ever attended an APECS organised event? Why don’t you take part in the APECS Education and Outreach Survey! It will only take a few minutes to complete. The survey deadline is 18 September. You also don’t need to be a current APECS member, as long as you were at one time part of APECS.
The APECS International Polar Week Fall 2017 is just around the corner. The week will take place from 18 to 24 September and consists of a series of events happening globally, with the goal of promoting the science taking place in polar latitudes. You can learn more about the #PolarWorld by joining the online events throughout Polar Week:
- #PolarWorld Frostbytes Competition (with prizes!)
- #Polar Week Film Fest 2017
- Blog series throughout the week
- Reddit AMA featuring APECS members
- #PolarWorld on Twitter
- and much more!
How can APECS SA get involved? Send us your ideas and attend events near you!
Also have a look at what other countries are doing by looking at the Polar Week activities from around the world!
It was the autumn of 2017 and the SA Agulhas II is getting ready to set sail across the Southern Indian Ocean to one of her favorite stops – Prince Edward Island group. She will drop her “terrestrial” researchers off at Marion and then set off again with the marine scientists to investigate the Islands and their surrounding waters until mid-May.
Even though this is an annual voyage for the SAAII, the research is continuously developing and advancing. Ongoing research programs such as the Mammal Research Institute’s seal surveys have been running for more than 30 years – one of the longest ongoing surveys of its kind, globally! Other research questions have only emerged recently, with new discoveries in plant genetics and species distribution – where were the glaciers during the last glacial maximum?
A range of universities and institutions are involved in terrestrial and oceanographic research around this pristine environment. The geomorphologists on board from UFH, UNISA and UFS, investigated water quality, wind processes and glacial landforms for signatures of climatic influences on the current landscape. Botanists from UP, RU and SU investigate the response of vegetation to changes in climatic factors and island conditions. They went so far as to vacuum some plant cushions this year to see what the wind transport and where it all ends up.
There is a team of meteorologists who constantly look up into the sky for signs of nasty weather. They warms the rest of us when to rather stay indoors. And the sky is not the limit on Marion! Research programs from SANSA and SKA look beyond the big blue for signals from our sun and beyond to tell us more about the workings of our own galaxy.
This year’s expedition also included a photographic team from USA’s National Geographic Society, doing a story on the life of sea birds. Follow @thomaspeschak and @ottowhitehead on Instagram for their latest release!
The facilities are maintained by the South African Department of Public Works. Every year during the take-over period, this team works around the clock to ensure the diesel generators are serviced, leaks are fixed and the base remains stable and insulated for the over wintering team who will stay behind once the SAAII returns to Cape Town.
The overwintering team await in anticipation for the return of the mother ship in April 2018, carrying another team of eager take-over personnel who will scrutinise the island for more scientific answers, or more questions.
Interested in what a typical field day in Antarctica is like? Have a read of Liezel’s experiences as a field scientist to the South African research station (SANAE IV) in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Liezel is also the Organisational Liaison of APECSSA and has, through her studies, visited both Antarctica and Marion Island twice.
The 2017 Biennial Society of Southern African Geomorphologist’s (SAAG) conference has started and two of our National Committee members, Liezel and Christel, are in attendance. Venue is the University of Swaziland in Manzini (Kwaluseni). The day started off with a welcoming note by the Vice-Chancellor of the university, followed by an address and opening of the conference by the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs of the Kingdom of Swaziland. The next two days will be jam-packed with exciting presentations on everything ranging from erosion research to cold climate studies. A workshop on the use of bio-engineering and Vetiver grass will be held on Friday. For more on the presentations by the attending geomorphologists and professionals, or the ‘landscape detectives‘, have a look at the program here.