The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is proud to announce the 4th annual APECS International Online Conference to be live-streamed on 16 May 2018. This year’s theme, “Butterfly Effect: Small Changes, Big Impact,” challenges polar scientists to communicate the impacts of changes occurring in and connected to polar and alpine regions, including their environment, local communities, science methods, and policy and education.
The Poles are dynamic and complex regions, vulnerable to the effects of climatic and other changes, and inextricably linked to the rest of the globe. The concept of the butterfly effect was originally coined by Edward Lorenz to illustrate how a tornado could be affected by minor changes, such as the flapping of butterfly wings far away and several weeks earlier. This concept also has broader applications. For example, a change in the mid-latitudes can effect changes at the Poles and vice-versa; minute temperature changes can significantly impact local communities or ecosystems; the development of new scientific methods and technologies can generate answers to outstanding questions and open new fields of research; in the wake of shifting global politics, a small alteration to a document can modify treaty impacts and lead to significant consequences; a small act in your community, such as sharing your science at a local school, can inspire and mold future visions for our planet.This year, APECS challenges the scientific community to make an impact by presenting the large and the small of their research ideas, methods, and outcomes: a short presentation in our one-day virtual event can have a significant impact, both on you and the audience of the 4th APECS International Online Conference!