Many of you will now be preparing for the Antarctic field season, after a productive conference one - at least as far as Polar2018 has been concerned. The meeting was widely attended, attracted much attention, and showcased an incredibly diverse range of science in, from and about Antarctica.
At the meeting, the SCAR Delegates elected to form a Standing Committee on the Humanities and Social Sciences to give further effect to the work being done by this diverse array of researchers. Several other Expert and Action Groups were formed. The Delegates also elected M (Ravi) Ravichandran (India), Catherine Ritz (France) and Gary Wilson (New Zealand) as Vice-Presidents for Capacity Building, Science, and Administration, respectively. Details of these developments can be found on the SCAR home page (www.scar.org)
The Delegates also requested the Executive to undertake a structural review of SCAR. Gary Wilson is responsible for the implementation and has developed a terms of reference in keeping with the views expressed by the Delegates. Gary will be raising several questions with the SCAR community and those with whom SCAR interacts frequently. The SCAR Secretariat will be managing this activity. Therefore, if you receive a request in this regard, you will know what the background to it is.
The SCAR Business Meetings also saw the establishment of three Scientific Research Programme Planning Groups. These are: Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics and Global Sea Level (led by Tim Naish), Near-Term Variability and Prediction of the Antarctic Climate Systems (led by Tom Bracegridle) and Integrated Science to Support Antarctic and Southern Ocean Conservation (led by Aleks Terauds). These programme planning groups are open to any SCAR members and the leads should be contacted for information on the groups and participation therein.
These focal research areas are especially significant in the context of the recently released Special Report on 1.5°C warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the report can be found here: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/).
At Polar2018, we celebrated the award of the Tinker-Muse Prize to Mike Meredith. This was the tenth award of the Prize. The Tinker Foundation and SCAR have now announced separately (see the SCAR News page) that this was the last award to be made. SCAR is grateful, on behalf of the entire community, for the opportunities created through this award by the Tinker Foundation. The SCAR Executive is now exploring opportunities for a similar award for Antarctic researchers.
SCAR has also made some changes to the way it runs its fellowship schemes. Perhaps most visible is the transition of the Visiting Professor Scheme to a Visiting Scholar Scheme. That scheme is now calling for applications. SCAR receives considerable additional support from some Members for these fellowships and we recognise the significance of this support.
Finally, SCAR will attend the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources meetings to be held in Hobart shortly. We continue to recognise the importance of a strong working relationship between SCAR and CCAMLR.
Steven L Chown