The 2nd Conference PalaeoArc had a start that literally freezed the audience. Indeed, the whole connection of the University of Pisa went down just 15 minutes before the beginning of the online conference. Such a wide appeal was raised for the Conference before it started, that hackers decided to sabotage it. However, this hectic beginning was quickly overcome, and the Conference was a success that registered the participation of 5 invited speakers and of more than 250 researchers from 26 Nations. At least about 19% of the participants were Early Career Scientists.
The main conference was preceded by two workshops dedicated to them and, although the events were completely online, we were able to let the students actively interact during the workshops. Indeed, during the first workshop, focused on the application of SEM to Earth Sciences, we were able to live streaming images of the instrument and of the software while analyzing some samples. Similarly, during the activity dedicated to the taxonomy of the foraminifera genera Islandiella and Cassidulina, students had the chance to discuss the taxonomy of the specimens they are studying, by sharing photos during the workshop.
As the PalaeoArc network aims to further understand past and present environmental changes and processes in the Arctic, the conference developed around the 4 main themes of the PalaeoArc program:
1) Dynamics of the terrestrial environment and landscape evolution;
2) Dynamics of Arctic ice sheets, ice shelves and glaciers;
3) Dynamics of high latitude oceans and sea ice;
4) Climatic response to, and interaction between, the different parts of the Arctic system.
The discussions that followed up the different presentations were animated and were not limited by the virtual nature of the conference. Indeed, the Zoom account made available by IASC was provided with a live chat, always open for participants to debate. Also the decision to create a channel dedicated to the Conference on the platform “Mighty Networks”, where to upload the posters, making all the participants able to comment, revealed to be appropriate.
Overall, the Conference was scientifically very stimulating, as it can be inferred by the abstracts collected in the PalaeoArc 2021 Abstract Book (many abstracts will be developed into papers, that will be collected in a PalaeoArc 2021 Special Issue of Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research).