APECS Portugal is the Portuguese representative of Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).

APECS Internacional

   Nowadays, APECS International is based in Tromsø (Norway), and its host institutions are the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Fram Centre.  

   Founded in 2007, APECS is an international, interdisciplinary organization of students, researchers, educators, and public interested in the polar regions. Moreover, it is recognized as the greatest legacy of the International Polar Year, held in the same year. After the birth of APECS International, numerous national committees were also created, including APECS Portugal, with the aim to facilitate the communication between the communities and reach the largest number of young researchers in each country. At the moment, APECS represents 29 National Committees of young polar researchers spread across the various committees worldwide, from Germany, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, India, Brazil, among many others.

    All APECS International activities are programmed and maintained by a varied number of working groups and committees made up of members and various mentors. This leadership is led by young scientists who are interested in and want to continue to project APECS Int into the future of polar science.

APECS International leadership board.
(Source: https://apecs.is/who-we-are/leadership)

   APECS Int’s day-to-day activities are essentially monitored by the Executive Committee and the Directorate, who are responsible for working with their members, consultants, and partners to continue to develop the organization and support young polar scientists.

Executive Committee

   This group is composed of 5 members elected by the APECS Council. Once elected, these members internally will elect someone to the position of President and the rest are automatically elected as Vice-Presidents. They meet online every two weeks, and the minutes of the meetings can be seen here.

Executive Committee APECS Int 2022-2023

International Directorate

   This group is made up of several elements that coordinates the organization’s body, networking, and the website itself. The team works from Tromsø (Norway), where APECS Int is headquartered. This is made up of a group of three different institutes: University of Tromsø – Arctic University of Norway; Norwegian Polar Institute and the Fram Centre.

Sarah Strand

Sarah Strand

Current Executive Director at APECS Int

APECS Portugal

APECS Portugal

   APECS Portugal has been in full swing since 2007. Initially led by José Xavier and Alexandre Nieuwendam in the important formation process, they are the ones who constitute the association’s first executive committee.

   Annually, APECS Portugal has the duty to elect 1 to 2 members that will represent APECS Portugal in the APECS Council. These representatives have the responsibility of being the communication bridge between APECS Int and APECS Portugal, being active and participate in the different activities of APECS Int. They are responsible for participating in meetings, filling out semestral activity reports to tell what APECS Portugal does, as well as voting in the Executive Committee elections.

   At the moment, APECS Portugal has two representatives at APECS Int: Graça Sofia Nunes e Débora Carmo.


   APECS Portugal is among the numerous branches of APECS International, and thus the goals are mutually shared.

   To facilitate interdisciplinary and international communication and collaborations between young scientists and with senior researchers

    To offer career development opportunities

   To promote scientific education and outreach as an integral part of polar research

   Regarding activities, we are one of the most active national committees of APECS International. Over the past 15 years, we have had a constant growth, both in terms of people involved and activities carried out.  Currently, we highlight the organization of our annual Workshop, the monthly edition of both “Open Science” and our Newsletter, and the organization of the Portuguese Polar Weeks twice a year. In addition to those, we also hold webinars on different polar science themes, and are often present at science and education conferences, as well as numerous public science events across the country.

   All this success, growth, and energy are supported and the result of several excellent committees and people who have given their best throughout all these years, making APECS Portugal alive and possible. Today it is made up of an executive committee of 12 members, all of whom are volunteers, most of them PhD or master’s students, with a network of over 100 members. It currently has Joana Fragão as president and Lucas Bastos as vice-president.

   This development of APECS Portugal is also due to the several institutions which support us, from the Foundation for Science and Technology, the Portuguese Polar Committee, the research centres that make up the Portuguese Polar Program and from private support that spurred the growth of the community of young polar researchers.