Using digital resources to conduct education and outreach for polar science

Theme 4. Education
Session Name 4.5 Formal and informal education in Arctic studies and science outreach in the Arctic
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter
Author(s) Jean Holloway (University of Ottawa, Canada), Alexander E. Thornton (Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, USA), Jilda A. Caccavo (University of Padua, Italy), Hanne Nielsen (University of Tasmania, Australia), Gerlis Fugmann (Alfred Wegener Institute / Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, Germany)
Abstract text

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is a multidisciplinary, international organization dedicated to maintaining a network of early career researchers to share ideas, develop collaborative research directions, provide career development opportunities, and promote education and outreach related to polar research. APECS has participated in education and outreach related to polar science for over a decade. This is achieved through innovative science communication, well-integrated public outreach and engagement, and partnerships with Arctic organizations.


Examples of one- and two-way engagement between APECS’ members and the general public are illustrated in our involvement with digital events and social media initiatives. Successful events include the APECS Polar Weeks, webinars, and the  APECS’ annual online conference. Webinars in particular help provide online education and training, and APECS in cooperation with several partner organizations have hosted over 130 webinars.


One of our popular social media initiatives are the biannual Polar Week celebrations; Polar Week includes Twitter campaigns, Reddit “Ask Me Anything” discussions, and photo and video contests. Benefits to using modern technologies and techniques for stimulating education and outreach about Arctic research include easier dissemination of ideas across geographic distances as well as to remote areas with minimal cost and a low carbon footprint. While this poster focuses on APECS’ experiences, we will also highlight how innovative communication promotes international discussion and cooperation across disciplines, and then offer suggestions on how to incorporate similar elements into other outreach programs.

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