New APECS Executive Director

Top image: Incoming Executive Director of APECS Sarah Strand (left) and outgoing Executive Director Josefine Lenz (right). Photo: Josefine Lenz. 

UNIS PhD candidate Sarah M. Strand is appointed as the new Executive Director of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).

11 February 2022
Press release from UNIS

On 1 February 2022 UNIS PhD candidate Sarah M. Strand took over as Executive Director of APECS. The last years the Directorate has been located at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany. Now the Directorate is hosted by  The Arctic University of Norway, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Fram Centre, all located in Tromsø, Norway. This is where Sarah Strand will relocate to, as soon as her PhD thesis is submitted.

“I love polar sciences and the Arctic – but I also love to work with people”, Strand says when describing her motivation for the 5-year position as APECS Executive Director.

She has experience with organization management, as she served as Executive Director of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) from 2016 to 2020.

Portrait of Sarah Marie Strand
Sarah Strand is the new Executive Director of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).

“I think APECS saw me as a good fit for the role, as I know the polar research environment in Norway pretty well”, Strand says.

One of her ambitions is to get more grants for APECS through the relevant national and international funding agencies.

Although she has already started in the position, Strand will remain at UNIS this spring to finish her PhD thesis on permafrost before heading south to Tromsø. She plans to move to the mainland in May.

Born and raised in California, U.S.A., Strand has been living in Svalbard since 2014. When the time arrived to finish up her PhD degree and start planning the next step, she never doubted where she would head next.

“I hoped to find a job in Tromsø. Of course, it will be hard to leave Svalbard, but Tromsø will be a great place for me”, she says.

UNIS wishes her the very best of luck with both the dissertation and the new job in Tromsø!

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early career faculty members, early career professionals, educators, and others with interests in Polar and Alpine regions and the wider cryosphere.



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