30 April, 2015 News stories

NERC Advanced Training Short Course

A Skills Framework for Delivering Safe and Effective Fieldwork in the Polar Regions

Course date: 26 August – 8 September 2015

Deadline for applications: 4pm, Friday 15th May 2015

Do you know the science theory but are unsure of how to apply it on the ice? Then this training course could be just for you! Here’s a unique chance for PhD students and Early Career Scientists to gain practical skills of working safely and effectively in the polar regions. Using leading polar experts, participants will learn amongst the best how to translate exciting scientific ideas into safe, achievable and effective field plans. The course consists of three days learning at the Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey and three days of practical training exercises on the ice in the Arctic.

Numbers will be strictly limited to 16 participants, with the Arctic field component being run with two consecutive teams of eight.

You’ll be staying with the UK’s leading scientists working in the Arctic and looking at all aspects of polar science, including:

  • Fieldwork planning in remote regions: how to develop a comprehensive, achievable field plan; legal, political and environmental obligations; risk assessment; shipping equipment; financial planning and budgeting. BAS Operations Managers will give practical examples of project planning from their extensive experience in both polar regions.
  • Remote sensing options and use of topographic maps: use of a GPS and GIS; aerial photographs and satellite images. Members of the BAS Mapping and Geographic Information Centre (MAGIC) will demonstrate some of the latest state of the art techniques.
  • Field instruments and power systems: a practical demonstration at BAS of the types of field instruments used in the deep field; cold proofing and preparation; packing and transport; power sources. BAS Head of Future Systems will be on hand to offer practical advice on a range of issues.
  • Ny Ålesund programme: atmospheric, geophysical and glaciological techniques at Midrelovenbreen; high-precision GPS, ground-penetrating radar and grid surveys; tundra ecological field techniques; field survey and collection; safe transfer of specimens to the laboratory; use of small boats for both marine survey and collections.

To apply in the first instance, email Ali Teague—basstudent@bas.ac.uk confirming:-

  • you are a UK-registered PhD student or ECR working in a sector aligned to NERC’s science remit
  • your institute will provide Arctic travel and Arctic fieldwork insurance
  • you have a current passport valid until at least 31 January 2016
  • you are able to attend the course between 26 August and 8 September 2015.

You will then be invited to:

  • complete an application form
  • submit a full CV
  • submit a letter of motivation (no more than 2 sides of A4) which should include a brief description of your PhD/postdoc research topic, and an account of how you think that you will benefit from this course
  • provide an email from your home institute supervisor or departmental manager confirm- ing their support and that you are covered by insurance for Arctic travel and Arctic field- work.

You will be expected to submit a short report after completion of training. Selection for the course will be overseen by a small committee comprising BAS tutors. This course is for PhD students and ECRs registered with a UK academic institution. Priority will be given to NERC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership students, although other UK-based PhD students and ECRs may apply.

The deadline for the receipt of completed applications is 4pm, Friday 15 May 2015, and applicants will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible after this date. A preliminary programme will be issued in due course.

All travel and subsistence costs will be covered by the course. Please note that for the first group of eight students to travel to Ny Ålesund the course will end on 4 September, and for the second group there will be a break between 29 August and 1 September.