New Generation of Polar Researchers

Meet the 2015 NGPR Leadership Symposium Scholars:


NGPR Scholar logo

NGPR Scholars

This file includes background on the thirty-eight recent Ph.D. graduates who were competitively selected to attend the 2015 NGPR Leadership Symposium.

NGPR Leadership Symposium
May 2-9, 2015
USC Wrigley/Boone Center for Environmental Leadership
Catalina Island, California

The NGPR Leadership Symposium will provide a select group of early career researchers with an interdisciplinary collegial network and bird’s-eye view of the broad spectrum of research taking place in the Arctic and Antarctic. Discussions, projects and informal activities all help facilitate the development of communication and leadership skills and the formation of interdisciplinary collegial networks.

A total of four International Polar Years (IPY) have been held to date, including the first such collaborative, international event in 1882/83; see

The fourth and most recent International Polar Year (IPY; see included a once-in-50-years opportunity to catalyze interactions among a new generation of polar researchers - see NGPR_Symposium_Report.pdf and International Polar Year: New Generation of Polar Researchers Share their science. The 2008 NGPR symposium was such a success that a second will be held in 2015 so that another cohort can develop a similar sense of history and purpose.

The 2015 NGPR Leadership Symposium will provide a new cohort of polar researchers with an interdisciplinary collegial peer network, and a broad overview of emerging polar research. At the same time, this new group will be provided with a set of professional skills to enable them to work more collaboratively and productively on the challenging questions at the intersection of science and society, and to communicate and interact more effectively beyond the ivory tower. The NGPR model is committed to providing new scholars with a foundation that will motivate and allow them to engage in system-level research and leadership positions earlier than might otherwise be possible. By providing motivated young scholars with the skills, resources, and insights they need to place their work in a more global context, the NGPR model seeks to improve the odds that insights from different sources can advance our understanding of polar environments and systems to better understand polar regions address future opportunities, needs and concerns.

Travel for the selected early career researchers who reside in the U.S. and on-site expenses for all selected researchers will be covered by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation.


NGPR Leadership Symposium Eligibility

The 2015 NGPR Leadership symposium is open to early career researchers who completed their Ph.D. degree between 1 January 2009 and 31 October 2014 and who have completed at least some of their Ph.D. or subsequent research in a polar regionOur goal is to represent the full diversity of polar research. Applicants conducting research on any topic in the bio-, geo- and social sciences, engineering and other fields are encouraged to apply.

Selection Process: Participation will be limited to a total of 36 invited early career scholars. Each symposium application will be evaluated by at least 3 reviewers with expertise in the applicant’s major area of research. The review criteria will include research quality, commitment to polar research, professional service and outreach interests. Selection will favor research excellence and leadership potential.  

Expenses: On-site room and meals will be covered along with air fare between the Los Angeles International Airport and & any other U.S. airport, and between the Los Angeles international Airport & the U.S.C. Wrigley/Boone Center for Environmental Leadership on Catalina Island. Travel from locations outside the U.S. will not be covered. 


Application Deadline

3 November, 2014


Application Instructions

1. First, register your Ph.D. dissertation with DISCCRS.

To apply, you must first register a one-page abstract of their PhD dissertation using the interactive form. To be eligible for the symposium, your Ph.D. degree must have been completed between 1 January 2009 and 31 October 2014. Do not register your Ph.D. unless it has been completed and accepted by your committee between those dates. Once registered, your dissertation abstract will become publicly available at

Note that while DISCCRS is focused on climate change, the NGPR symposium is not restricted to this topic. Research in any area, including but not limited to climate change is appropriate.You may contact if you do not wish your citation and abstract to appear on that site.

2. Next, follow the application instructions.

You must submit a 2-page resume, two essays, and two letters of recommendation by the November 3, 2014 deadline.



U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Polar Programs (PLR)
NSF 1445402 to Whitman College, C. Susan Weiler, PI 


C. Susan Weiler
NGPR Director & Co-Organizer
Senior Research Scientist
Whitman College

Karla Heidelberg
NGPR Co-Organizer
Associate Professor
University of Southern California

Nancy Rose
NGPR Administrative Assistant
Whitman College