Monday, 8 October 2012

Antarctica New Zealand Conference Report

Sira Engelbertz and Lorna Little have provided the following report and photos of APECS Oceania activities at this year's Antarctica New Zealand Conference.  Thank you both for your work organising, and also to all others who made the event the success it was.


APECS Oceania @ 2012 Antarctica New Zealand Conference, 4-5 October, Christchurch:

APECS workshops at the annual New Zealand Antarctic Conference have become an integral part of this conference’s program over the past years. This year APECS Oceania (formed in May 2012) organised a session for this conference. Instead of the usual workshop or panel discussion, as has happened in previous years, APECS Oceania tried something new this time: Speed-Meet-A-Geek, a speed networking game.

The rules were simple. First, quickly find someone in the group to talk to. Then, you get three minutes to exchange information about yourself, your research, your further interests, etc. When the time is up, you move on to another person in the group and talk to him or her for another 3 minutes, and so on. BUT, to make it a little more challenging, participants also had to find a matching pair of Flakes, Blobs and Bubbles!

The Flakes, Blobs and Bubbles were taken from an art project and education & outreach flagship activity for the Fall 2012 International Polar Week. Pairs of images of flakes, blobs or bubbles – all drawn by kids at IceFest, the New Zealand Antarctic festival in Christchurch – had been handed out to participants at the beginning of the session. The task was to find the person with the matching image while networking at speed.

There were fantastic prizes for the first three matching pairs, kindly sponsored by COMNAP (Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs).All participants received a free drink, generously provided by Antarctica New Zealand. To make a long story short, there were many reasons to be part of Speed-Meet-A-Geek and none not to! Over 40 conference attendees (out of around 80) including students, early career scientists, mentors, APECS members and non-members (but potentially future members…) made Speed-Meet-A-Geek at the 2012 Antarctica New Zealand Conference a great success!

Apart from the Speed-Meet-A-Geek event, APECS Oceania presented also its poster to introduce the new joint Australian and New Zealand branch of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists.

Special thanks to: Ed Butler, Michelle Rogan-Finnemore, and Heidi Roop for all their help leading up to the event, Melissa Idiens for helping run the session, Igloo Bar for hosting APECS Oceania Speed Meet A Geek, and all conference attendees participating in the game!

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