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Antarctic Environments Portal

About Us

Background

The Antarctic Treaty and the various international agreements negotiated under the auspices of the Antarctic Treaty, set high standards for environmental protection and the conservation and rational use of marine living resources. Emphasis is placed on the importance of Antarctic as a natural reserve devoted to peaceful use and scientific research.

To fulfil their obligations under the instruments of the Antarctic Treaty System, the Parties and other stakeholders need access to independent, relevant and up-to-date scientific information on Antarctic environments and human activities in the region. The Antarctic Environments Portal aims to provide such information.

Information that is available through the Portal is thoroughly peer-reviewed before being published. An Editor, supported by an Editorial Group oversees the review process and is responsible for ensuring information available through the Portal is accurate, apolitical and up-to-date.

The information available in the Portal is mainly provided in the form of Information Summaries.

Information Summaries

The Portal includes summaries of the current state of knowledge on issues of relevance to Antarctic managers and policy makers, and on environmental pressures likely to cause change into the future. Information Summaries are based on the best available science. They are intended to be concise, technically accurate, politically neutral and accessible to a broad audience. The briefings do not make policy recommendations.

All of the information summaries on the Portal are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are up to date.  Where summaries have been superseded by newer articles they are placed in the Archive in order that a record of the development of our knowledge on key topics is maintained.

Management of Content

Anyone can propose content for the Portal by contacting the Portal Editor: [email protected].

All content that is submitted to the Portal must be based on published, peer-reviewed science. The Guidelines for Authors can be found here. The Portal Editor organises a peer review of draft content. These reviews are done in conjunction with an Editorial Group before the content is made public. The process includes a number of review steps to ensure that only the highest-quality information that adequately summarises the current state of knowledge is published in the Portal.

In preparing Information Summaries, authors should consider that officials involved in the work of the Antarctic Treaty System are the primary audience for the Portal, although SCAR’s broader stakeholders are also a target audience.

Users who contribute to the Portal must clear any copyright issues before submitting to the Portal. Contributions to the Portal are held under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – Share Alike 3.0 licence.

Management of the Antarctic Environments Portal

The Antarctic Environments Portal is managed by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research with funding and support in-kind generously provided by several Antarctic Treaty Parties.

The Portal Editor is Dr Keith Reid, Australia.

The Portal Assistant Editor is Dr Johanna Grabow, SCAR Project Officer, UK.

The Portal Editorial Group comprises: Prof. Carlota Escutia, University of Grenada, Spain; Dr Polly Penhale, National Science Foundation, USA; Dr Susie Grant, Chief Officer of SCAR’s Standing Committee on the Antarctic Treaty System (SC-ATS) and Marine Biogeographer at the British Antarctic Survey, UK, Assoc. Prof. Akinori Takahashi, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan and Amanda Lynnes, Director of Environment & Science Coordination, International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).

The Portal Manager is Dr Chandrika Nath, SCAR Executive Director.

The Portal Management Board oversees the running of the Portal and consists of Dr Chandrika Nath; Prof Deneb Karentz, SCAR Vice President for Science, and Chair of the Biology Department at the University of San Francisco, USA; Dr Susie Grant, Chief Officer of SCAR’s Standing Committee on the Antarctic Treaty System (SC-ATS), and Marine Biogeographer at the British Antarctic Survey, UK; Dr Daniela Liggett, Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and the Portal Editor in an advisory role.

Support

The portal was established by Antarctica New Zealand and Manaaki Whenua / Landcare Research, and prior to moving to SCAR in January 2020, was hosted by the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with funding provided by the Tinker Foundation. SCAR is grateful for financial contributions from New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the Netherlands which will support SCAR’s management of the Portal.

Credits

The infographics for the Southern Elephant Seals, Geothermal Environments, Non-native Species and Microplastics articles were created by then MSc Science Communication student Emma Needham. The header images for the Portal Information Summaries were kindly provided by Ramcharan Vijayaraghavan (Antarctic Wildlife Diseases, Important Bird Areas, Predicting Antarctic Climate Using Climate Models) and Unplash.