St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada is set to welcome an influx of early career scientists this July as it plays host to the Fourth ICES PICES Early Career Scientist Conference.
The successful conference had its inaugural event back in 1999, then called the “Young Scientists Conference on Marine Ecosystem Perspectives", held in Denmark. In 2007, ICES and PICES joined forces and the event has since taken place every five years, alternatively hosted by each of the organizations (USA 2007, Spain 2012, and South Korea 2017). In 2022, alongside ICES and PICES, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will host the conference. This year, the event has the further honour of being an official event of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable development (2021–2030).
One of the main aims of this conference is the development of contacts and associations among early career scientists. The organizers hope that all participants take the opportunity to meet new colleagues, make contacts, and discuss collaborations that will persist long after their return home and that this will help to advance our collective understanding of the marine environment.
Nine early career scientists, three representing each of the convening organizations, were selected to build the scientific programme. The theme chosen by the scientific steering committee, Ocean sciences for the future we want, is directly linked to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021–2030 and the important role early career scientists play in the current and future health of our oceans and coasts for the benefit of humanity. They developed nine theme sessions under the wider themes of Ecosystem and ocean processes, Inclusive, interdisciplinary, and transparent ocean sciences, and Emerging technologies and techniques for ocean science.
In addition to the scientific presentations, participants will enjoy a full schedule of keynote speakers. Paul Snelgrove, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Shelley Denny, Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources, Liisa Peramaki, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Enrique Curchitser, PICES and Rutgers University, will all deliver inspiring lectures during the week.
Participants will have the opportunity to further acquaint themselves with the Ocean Decade as the Canadian Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) Node will be present to provide an overview of the global ECOPs programme. In addition, the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) will host a workshop to boost networking skills with tips from a diverse panel of highly qualified professionals, as well as a chance to put these into practice with social networking BINGO.
Located at the easternmost point of North America, Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site is home to the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador and is an iconic symbol of the province's marine history. Participants have the opportunity to take a break from scientific presentations and soak up the history of the location. Who knows? There may be some whale sightings as well!
ICES, PICES, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are excited to meet, host, and listen to the future generation of marine scientists in St. John's this July!