07 June 2018
Special Update: Recruitment now open for Antarctic Science Platform leadership roles
The opportunity to apply for the Antarctic Science Platform Director and two Programme Leader roles is now open!
The Antarctic Science Platform presents an exciting opportunity to address research questions of critical importance to New Zealand and the rest of the world. The Platform Director and Programme Leaders will be central to the development and ongoing success of the Platform.
Applications close on Friday 29th June 2018. Details on how to apply are below.
We are seeking applications for the Antarctic Science Platform Director and two Programme Leaders to provide strategic leadership for the Antarctic Science Platform. Successful applicants will utilise their extensive knowledge and research networks (both national and international) to ensure that research programmes address the Platform priorities and ensure effective delivery of outcomes.
Successful candidates will have:
- A PhD in a relevant science discipline with a track record in research
- Experience leading complex multidisciplinary research programmes
- A high level of understanding of the strategic and policy needs of Antarctic research, both nationally and internationally
- Extensive networks and active relationships with Antarctic researchers and stakeholders
- A working knowledge of the New Zealand science system
The Antarctic Science Platform (the Platform) is a new Strategic Science Investment, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The Platform is a capability fund designed to enhance collaboration and innovation in order to deliver excellent research that supports environmental management and policy outcomes.
The Platform will comprise research programmes that contribute to understanding Antarctica’s impact on the global earth system and how this might change in a +2°C (Paris agreement) world. Substantive research programmes will be undertaken across four priority areas:
- Understanding the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
- Understanding the impacts of change in the Antarctic atmosphere and Southern Ocean
- Understanding threats to ecosystem dynamics in the Ross Sea
- Understanding change in terrestrial and nearshore Antarctic environments, and the connections between them
Research addressing the four priority areas will fall within two major research programmes. Programme One will study the Antarctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system in a warming world. Programme Two will investigate Ross Sea region ecosystem dynamics in a warming world.
The Antarctic Science Platform Director will provide leadership of the Platform. In addition, a Platform Steering Group will oversee the direction and progress of the Platform. The Programme Leaders will work with the Antarctic Science Platform Director, Antarctica New Zealand’s Chief Scientific Advisor and the Antarctic Science Platform Manager as part of a Platform Leadership Group. An Independent Science Panel will provide advice on research priorities and science excellence, and will review research programmes
Antarctic Science Platform Director
The Platform Director will provide strategic leadership for the Antarctic Science Platform and be accountable for its development and ongoing success. This is a part-time role (minimum 0.6 FTE) funded by the Platform. The Platform Director role description is available here.
Antarctic Science Programme Leaders
Two Programme Leaders (one per programme) will provide science expertise and planning support to the Antarctic Science Platform. These are part-time roles (0.3 FTE) funded by the Platform.
- Programme One will study the Antarctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system in a warming world.
- Programme Two will investigate Ross Sea region ecosystem dynamics in a warming world.
The Programme Leader requirements are available here.
For more information regarding these positions, please contact Antarctica New Zealand’s Acting Chief Scientific Advisor: Dr Fiona Shanhun – firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 21 408 909 or the Antarctic Science Platform Steering Group Chair: Gillian Wratt – email@example.com or +64 21 548 110.
Applications close on Friday 29th June 2018. To apply, please submit a current CV together with a cover letter outlining your relevant experience and interest in the role to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 29th June 2018. Please clearly indicate which role(s) your leadership is best suited to. Interviews for these roles will be scheduled between Monday 9th and Wednesday 11th July 2018
31 May, 2018
ANTARCTIC SCIENCE PLATFORM UPDATE
More than a hundred people took part in the two workshops to develop the research programmes in Christchurch and Wellington over the past few weeks (for details, see last month's Science Update). The participants came from across the country and were very diverse, bringing expertise in a wide range of scientific disciplines, policy, mātauranga Māori, technology, environmental causes, logistics and research management.
Each workshop spanned two days, over which attendees participated in a range of group and plenary activities, in order to detail the research that could be included in each research programme. The Programme Outlines for Programme One (The Antarctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system in a warming world) and Programme Two (Ross Sea region ecosystem dynamics in a warming world) were provided to participants in advance. Participants were challenged to design the best programme they could, which meant among other things, excellent scientific research that was multidisciplinary and multi-institutional in approach, focusing on pathways to policy outcomes, designing programmes that would attract international collaboration, encouraging capability growth, incorporating Vision Mātauranga in a meaningful way, and seeking to incorporate technology to advance frontiers. This was an exciting yet extremely challenging task for all involved, and we sincerely thank everyone for their commitment to and engagement in the process.
The positions of Platform Director and Programme Leaders (two) will be open in early June. The Steering Group are in the process of establishing the Independent Science Panel, who will play a key role in reviewing the research programmes as they develop. Meanwhile, the team at Antarctica New Zealand will continue to work on synthesising the information resulting from the recent workshops.
27th April, 2018
ANTARCTIC SCIENCE PLATFORM UPDATE
Two broad research programmes will form the core of the Antarctic Science Platform: The Antarctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system in a warming world, and Ross Sea region ecosystem dynamics in a warming world. The outlines for these programmes were developed by focus groups following a workshop in March, and have been considered by independent peer reviewers.
The objective of two workshops over the next fortnight will be to develop detailed descriptions of major projects that could collectively deliver these programmes of research. Invitations to these workshops were extended to research institutions across New Zealand and other interested parties. We have an impressive group of people coming together, including researchers from a wide range of disciplines and research institutions, as well as stakeholders and Antarctica New Zealand staff.
Programme One: The Antarctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system in a warming world
The overarching aim of this programme is to address how the Antarctic / Southern Ocean environment will change in a +2°C world, and understand the regional and global consequences of warming. To achieve this goal, the programme will focus on developing the data sets and process understanding required to detect and anticipate the implications of warming and associated environmental change in Antarctica. Research will investigate the coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere system, and focus on regions and processes where knowledge gaps exist, thereby having the greatest impact on how the world addresses the challenges of climate change. The work will involve significant Antarctic field campaigns that bring together multidisciplinary teams at geographical hubs. The complexity of the Antarctic system requires utilisation and integration of new and existing data of all types including proxies, model outputs, and remote sensing technologies. The knowledge gained through this programme will be used to improve predictions of Antarctica’s response to global change, such as rates of ice loss and changes to ocean/atmospheric dynamics, particularly with respect to the ambitions of The Paris Agreement.
Programme Two: Ross Sea region ecosystem dynamics in a warming world
The focus of this programme is to develop a mechanistic understanding of natural ecosystems (structure, function and variability) in the Ross Sea region, and the relative effects of both natural and anthropogenic changes on these ecosystems. The programme will use a multidisciplinary approach and incorporate technological advancements to concentrate on all ecosystem components – physical, chemical and biological – in areas that are most sensitive to change in the Ross Sea and along the Victoria Land coastline. The ability to predict ecosystem change will be enhanced through an improved understanding of the baseline state of ecosystem structure and function, key processes that drive variability and trends, linkages between ecosystem variability and physical drivers, and the inherent value of these ecosystems. This base of scientific knowledge and understanding will support effective management of the ecosystems within the Ross Sea region. Particular focus will be given to the roles of sea ice and meltwater in driving ecosystem change, other cross-system drivers, and the use of sentinel species/ecosystems to detect change.
4th April, 2018
ANTARCTIC SCIENCE PLATFORM UPDATE
A workshop was held in Wellington on the 27th and 28th of March to discuss broad research programmes to be conducted as part of the Antarctic Science Platform. The workshop attendees provided cross-representation of the Antarctic science community, and two broad programmes of work, each crossing multiple priority areas, were identified. The programmes will address the overarching purpose of the Platform, which is “… to understand Antarctica’s impact on the global earth system, and how this might change in a +2 degrees Celsius world”. Programme One will focus on ice, ocean and atmosphere interactions, and Programme Two will be centred on biophysical processes and ecosystems. The programme outlines are currently being refined, and further details will be circulated by the 20th of April. Institutions will be asked to nominate researchers to attend the workshops listed below.
Dates for the two workshops, which will include broad science and stakeholder representation, are as follows:
- Programme 1 (ice, ocean and atmosphere interactions): 1st and 2nd of May, in Christchurch
- Programme 2 (biophysical processes and ecosystems): 9thand 10th of May, in Wellington
Please note that we have cancelled the workshop scheduled for the 23rd and 24th of April.
9th March, 2018
ANTARCTIC SCIENCE PLATFORM UPDATE
Research Programme Development Workshops
In developing the Antarctic Science Platform, MBIE and Antarctica New Zealand agree that it must represent a departure from business as usual. The Platform presents an opportunity for developing new ways of planning and delivering Antarctic research. An important component of this fresh approach is the opportunity to develop integrated research programmes that are inclusive of research disciplines, institutions and expertise.
A series of workshops are now planned for March, April and early May to follow up the Antarctic Science Platform Impacts Workshop that was held in December 2017. They will develop the research programmes that will deliver the Impact Statements of the four Science Priorities. The first workshop will be held on March 27th and 28th in Wellington, with an objective of developing a number of ‘cross-cutting’ research programmes that will deliver on Impact Statements across two or more Science Priorities.
By instituting research programmes that span the Science Priorities, it is intended to establish research teams that by necessity require a mix of research disciplines to cooperate in order to address the Impact Statements relevant to that programme. This will foster new conversations and establish collaborations between researchers not necessarily used to working together. It is also anticipated that this approach will assist in identifying gaps in skills and expertise that can be addressed by the cross-cutting theme of ‘building innovation and interdisciplinary capability’.
Attendance at this first workshop is by invitation only, with attendees representing the range of disciplines and research institutions involved in Antarctic science. The names of the representatives will be made available on Antarctica New Zealand’s Antarctic Science Platform webpage once attendance is confirmed.
In the first week of April, the research programmes resulting from this first workshop will be presented via webinar to all who are interested. This presentation will also provide an overview of the process up until this point, and information about how researchers can get involved. A series of workshops will then be held in order to develop the research programmes further. Attendance at these workshops will likely be coordinated by the Research Offices (or their equivalent) at each research institution, in communication with Antarctica New Zealand.
The challenge is that the focus of each of these workshops will not be known until after the March 27/28 workshop. To that end, please be aware that the dates and locations set aside for these workshops are as follows:
· Research Programme A: 23rd & 24th April, Wellington
· Research Programme B: 1st & 2nd May, Christchurch
· Research Programme C: 9th & 10th May, Wellington
· If required, a further workshop will be scheduled for Research Programme D
28 Feb 2018:
Earlier this month, Antarctica New Zealand presented the Interim Plan for the Antarctic Science Platform to an assessment panel convened by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The next key step is to hold a series of workshops in order to develop research programmes that will deliver on impact statements that were developed during a workshop with scientists and stakeholders in December. These impact statements relate to the four priorities that MBIE identified during their consultation last year.
From mid-April, we will begin a series of up to four workshops, where the goal of each will be to develop the framework for a research programme. The dates and venues of these workshops will be announced as soon as the details are finalised.
14 Sept 2017:
Next steps for Antarctic Science Platform