18 September 2017
This year’s IGS British Branch meeting was hosted by Lancaster Environment Centre in association with the Data Science Institute at Lancaster University.

Almost 40 speakers took the spotlight over two days to share their research with over 100 attendees. With the addition of 52 posters on topics as wide ranging as environmental pollutants in sea ice and the secret life of ice sails, there was plenty of interesting discussion around all aspects of ice and snow science. 

The meeting was preceded by a DSI-sponsored workshop on Environmental Data Science which was attended by 26 PhD students and post-docs from a range of UK universities.  Hands on experience of working with change point detection and extreme value theorem was delivered by experts in the field; DSI’s own Rebecca Killick and Emma Eastoe. The session ended with a brilliant opportunity to discuss, with the experts, how these techniques could be applied to individual attendees’ research. An icebreaker barbecue, with plenty of food and drink, kicked off the main event at the end of Tuesday.

The conference programme included invited speakers John Smellie from Leicester University, Jemma Wadham from the University of Bristol, and Robert Mulvaney from the British Antarctic Survey (who took us on a search for ‘the oldest ice on earth!’) and talks were given by colleagues from as far afield as South Africa. Every talk offered a new, interesting perspective and their contents were discussed at length at coffee breaks and lunch. A dedicated poster session on Wednesday afternoon enabled delegates to discover more amazing work undertaken by the British Glaciology community this past year, as well as to sample the local beer from Lancaster Brewery.

In fact, the Lancaster Brewery was the venue for the conference dinner and nearly half of the delegates took the opportunity to join a tour of the facility. After sampling more beer, and eating a delicious meal, an after dinner speech was given by our esteemed colleage Pete Niewnow of Edinburgh University and live contemporary folk music was performed by the Alona Lane band.

After a big day and night, Thursday started with more talks and some (much needed) coffee breaks and ended in prize giving to this year’s best student poster and best student talk. The conference was a big success and we left feeling inspired by the level of excellence that was shown by all delegates. It was also great to see so many young people, many of whom are PhD students, doing incredible work!

LEC and DSI are proud to have hosted the 2017 IGS British Branch meeting and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year in Exeter!