Winter School

Published on 17.08.14


Antarctic Ecosystems in a Changing World

Science Communications Workshop

Antarctica is often thought of as a barren, lifeless place. But dip beneath the icy cover of the ocean and the surface of the land and you will find an abundant and diverse range of life…..but for how long? Changing climates are being more strongly felt in the Polar Regions than anywhere else in the world. This will alter the habitats of many Antarctic species. This year’s Winter School will highlight the vulnerability and possible resilience of Antarctic ecosystems as the environment changes. With a focus on marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and via discussions and practical demonstrations, Winter School presenters will describe pressing issues for Antarctic species and the ecosystem as a whole. They will address the questions of what the future might hold, the consequences of anthropogenic change, and, how New Zealand research is contributing to a better understanding of these fragile ecosystems.


Who should attend?

  • Media personnel interested in climate change and Antarctic ecosystems
  • Those involved in or interested in policy development around Antarctica, climate and ecosystems
  • Those involved in or interested in policy and planning around Antarctic species, marine and terrestrial ecosystems
  • Educators interested in climate change and Antarctic ecosystems
  • Current and potential sponsors of Antarctic and Southern Ocean research

Course outline:

The course is designed to be interactive, with ample time for questions and discussions, and inclusion of demonstrations to illustrate the key concepts.

Friday 20th May Evening

Session 1

Introductions and setting expectations.

Evening Session

Talk from Te Radar: Te Radar’s Antarcticology, an illustrated comedic lecture on all things Antarctic.

Saturday 21st May

Session 2

Climate change predictions - what increased CO2 emissions mean from an Antarctic perspective.

Sessions 3, 4 and 5

In Sessions 3, 4 and 5 we will describe and discuss the current understanding of Ross Sea Antarctic ecosystems, and knowledge of how they might respond to a changing environment. These sessions will focus on land based systems (terrestrial and fresh water aquatic) and coastal marine environments.

Evening Session

Overview of the 2016/17 Antarctic Science programme and current expeditions.

Sunday 22nd May

Session 6

General discussion, Q and A.

Session 7

Feedback from participants - what are the key messages, challenges and required actions?