Education Opinion

Association of Polar Early Career Scientists Promotes Professional Skills

Although focused on polar and cryospheric scientists, APECS’s resources give general advice that can help scientists of all disciplines develop “soft skills.”

By , Gerlis Fugmann, and Frigga Kruse

As a partner organization of AGU, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS; http://www.apecs.is) fully supports the views expressed in Wendy Gordon’s Forum article “Developing Scientists’ ‘Soft’ Skills” (Eos, 95(6), 55, doi:10.1002/2014EO060003). Her recognition that beyond research skills, people skills and professional training are crucial to the success of any early-career scientist is encouraging.

APECS is fully committed to helping advance members’ science as well as providing them with the transferable “soft” skills of well-rounded professionals. In a manner similar to the AGU Career Center programs, APECS offers extensive resources, including live and recorded webinars (http://apecs.is/careers/career-development-webinars/watch-past-webinars), connections to mentors (http://apecs.is/careers/mentorship/find-a-mentor), written guides (http://apecs.is/careers/conference-tips), and more.

Although focused on polar and cryospheric scientists, these resources give general advice that can help scientists of all disciplines address many of the points raised by Gordon (e.g., running a meeting, building consensus in a team, facilitating discussion, etc.).

Much like AGU does in its inclusion of student and early-career representatives, APECS also provides members with the opportunities to learn soft skills through practical experience in directing the organization, planning and facilitating events, and serving as representatives alongside more senior scientists in collaborative endeavors with our international partners.

APECS looks forward to seeing more, and especially more meaningful, opportunities for students and early-career scientists so that together we develop a strong scientific community for the future.

Finally, if you are a student or early-career scientist looking for more information, resources, or opportunities to become engaged, please do not hesitate to reach out to your section and focus group or your student or early-career representative within AGU or to APECS.

—Allen Pope, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H., National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colo., AGU Council Member, and APECS Council Ex-Officio; email: [email protected]; Gerlis Fugmann, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway, and Director, Association of Polar Early Career Scientists; and Frigga Kruse, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands, and Vice-President, Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

Citation: Pope, A., G. Fugmann, and F. Kruse (2014), Association of Polar Early Career Scientists promotes professional skills, Eos Trans. AGU, 95(24), 204, doi:10.1002/2014EO240004.

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