In January 2018, we were selected as CAFF-IASC Fellows for one year. Our aim as CAFF-IASC Fellows was to contribute to the work of these organizations, and in particular to contribute to the CAFF Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative steering group and CBMP Terrestrial group, respectively. In this report, we reflect on our experiences during this fellowship, and detail the opportunities we had to be involved with these organizations.

Reflections on the CAFF-IASC Fellowship:
“Being a CAFF-IASC fellow has helped me to find my way in the world of conservation policy, and to connect my research with conservation of Arctic migratory birds. By attending several meetings, I have established connections with an international network of conservationists, which has also helped to increase my connection with conservation and policy on a national level in the Netherlands. The experience of being a fellow in 2018 drives me to continue to interweave conservation, both in CAFF and other organizations, with my scientific research on Arctic biodiversity, and to stay active as a conservationist. Also, my intention is to finish writing the review on climate warming effects on Arctic migratory birds, which I started in 2018 during my time as a fellow”. -Thomas Lameris

“The CAFF-IASC Fellowship provided an accelerated introduction to the international networks that collaboratively advance Arctic biodiversity conservation, and the mechanisms through which conservation science and policy advance one another. The Fellowship has been a tremendous opportunity to participate in these processes, and to contribute in a tangible way to the state of Arctic biodiversity knowledge. The CAFF-IASC Fellowship is a powerful tool for encouraging early career researchers to connect their knowledge and findings to broader conservation initiatives”. -Erica Oberndorfer

We view this fellowship as having delivered mutual value for us as Fellows, and for CAFF and IASC as the fellowship host organizations. We anticipate that our involvement with CAFF-IASC will continue into the future, and that we will continue to bring the experience acquired during our fellowship to the work of these organizations. We also see our role continuing as peer mentors for incoming CAFF-IASC Fellows. Overall, the CAFF-IASC Fellowship has been an exceptional experience for us as early career researchers. We would like to highlight the welcoming and collaborative spirit of the colleagues we have worked with in these organizations, and especially acknowledge Tom Barry and Allen Pope for their guidance and commitment to the success of this fellowship program.


This report was authored by the 2018 CAFF-IASC Fellows. The first CAFF-IASC Science Policy Fellowship program ran from Jan 2018 – Jan 2019. Two early career scientists, Erica Oberndorfer (Canada) and Thomas Lameris (the Netherlands) were selected based upon a competitive application process organised by the Association of Early Career Scientists (APECS). The two fellows joined, respectively, the CBMP Terrestrial and AMBI Steering Committees. As two international organizations based in Akureyri, Iceland, the Conservation of Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and Arctic Council Observer the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), teamed up together and with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) to help early career scientists get more involved in the process of taking research from results through to science policy recommendations.

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