logo image for top of page

a core project of

Frequently Asked FrostByte Questions

As we get a lot of questions on FrostByte, we have added some of of the most frequently asked and some answers here. Watch the How to make a FrostByte video here: https://vimeo.com/72886272. We will be updating this section over the coming months and add more information. So please check back frequently. If you do have questions that are not covered here, please contact Jenny Baeseman - the creator of FrostBytes or CliC's fantastic video editors, Lorna Little and Erik Warming.

What is a FrostByte?

FrostBytes are ‘Soundbytes of Cool Research'. These 30-60 second video recordings are designed to help researchers easily share their latest findings with a broad audience. FrostBytes were developed by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS, www.apecs.is) to share interesting information about the Polar Regions. CliC is pleased to partner with APECS to share cryospheric research with the public.

Who should create a FrostByte?

Anyone can create a FrostByte! As one of our efforts to provide professional development opportunities, we require all early career researchers receiving a travel or accommodation award from CliC/WCRP to work with our video editor to create a FrostByte to be shared through our website and other educational materials. We also encourage keynote speakers and other workshop participants to create these simple outreach materials too!

IMPORTANT: You do not need to know how to create a video or do any editing to submit a FrostByte. We have a few great volunteers who are ready to help you create your FrostByte. On this page you will find more detailed steps with the information we need from you to create your masterpiece.

How will my FrostByte be used?

Your FrostByte will be featured on the CliC and APECS websites, in the CliC newsletter and in other educational material for multiple audiences - it is part of the public domain. It will also be part of the Cyrosphere Podcast Series available through iTunes. You should also feel free to embed your FrostByte on your webpage, share it with friends and family - and use it however you would like.

What do I say in a FrostByte?

Remember your FrostBytes should only be between 30 and 60 seconds and made for a general audience. Written out, this is roughly 4 to 8 sentences or a solid paragraph - not more. You just want to hook the listener by giving them some intriguing information that will make them want to learn more. You should also say a little bit about yourself and what most interests you about your work and how it relates to society. Because these videos are meant to be understood by a general audience, don't get too bogged down in the small details of your research - present the big picture and why what you are working on will improve our understanding of a certain topic and how that impacts people.  Think of it as telling your bus driver what you do for a living, or talking to your non-science friends and family. Keep it simple, but make sure people will learn something from it. You don't need to break down the specifics of your modeling code or present that latest graph from a paper you are working on - just explain your work in a simple way and be sure to include why people should care about what you are doing. If you are not sure what to say, feel free to email your draft text to Lorna before recording it and we can help you refine it if you want.  View the Sample FrostBytes below for some suggestions.

How can I record my voice?

You can use your own computer, cell phone, or whatever tool you happen to have.

If you plan to record your voice with your own computer, you will need to send us the file in either mp3, wav or mov formats. Below are a few videos that show you how to do this with a PC or Mac. Once you have recorded your FrostByte, be sure to save it with your name in the file name. If the file is small enough (mp3 works well) you can just email the clip to Lorna Little for further processing. If the file is too big to email, you can use a free online service such as http://www.yousendit.com/ to share your recording with us.

Using Your PC - Sound Recorder: Start/Accessories/Entertainment/Sound Recorder

Using Your Mac - Quick Time: Applications Folder/Quick Time


In Powerpoint for Mac 2011 the following instructions may help.

  1. You develop your powerpoint talk, first without sound
  2. Save it
  3. Goto Slide Show
  4. Choose Record Narration
  5. Choose the microphone you’re using (it is supposed to be set up earlier for your Mac, of course, and it is important that the quality of sound record was checked and is good). 
  6. Then press Record
  7. The following happens 99% automatically – you progress the presentation, you speak (in full voice!) on slides and remain silent during slide transition, PPT records the sound, then you save the file under a different name – you may need to do it several times to polish but because the talk is short, this does not require too much time. Please make sure you speak clearly and loudly and there is no ambient noise in the room when you narrate the talk. Recording sound also records times of slide transition.
  8. If you do not like how you recorded a slide or two, there are tricks (available on the internet) allowing you to polish an individual slide but I myself will do several passes through the whole talk and will use the best narration.


What kind of images should be used with my FrostByte?

Since the FrostBytes are produced as videos, we need to have a few images to show while people are listening to your voice. These images can be photos of your field site, the equipment you use, your colleagues, or whatever else you would like to use to share your work with the world. You can also send charts, graphs and tables, but make sure they are simple to understand and pleasing to the eye - complex diagrams that take you 2 minutes to explain are probably not a good idea. You may also want to include a 'credits or acknowledgements' image to thank your funders and colleagues. To help keep all our FrostBytes looking somewhat similar, we have provided a template with Powerpoint that you can use to create your title and credits slide. Here is a ppt file with slides to use for the intro and ending. Its important that you do not change the formatting so things stay consistent from Byte to Byte: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bdq83hkinhsqqyc/CliC-FrostByte-slides.pptx

All images should be sent in as either jpg, tiff, png or pdf. Be sure the filenames are descriptive so we know which is which and include your name in the filename. Then email them to Lorna Little with the list of the files and a short caption for each photo. You will also need to include where you would like the images to 'change' during your voice recording if you have specific thoughts on this. Each of your images should stay on the screen for ~4 seconds for a photo, 8-10 for a graph, chart or table, and 5-7 for a map. The total FrostByte is between 30-60 seconds, so no more than 10 images should be sent. Again, if the files are large, we recommend using a free online service such as http://www.yousendit.com/.

I've played a little with video editing, can I make my own FrostByte?

Sure! If you want to create your own FrostByte, a video of you working at your field site or in the lab, or anywhere you would like would be great. You can use your own digital camera with the video setting or even your smart phone.  If you are skilled at editing you can add the intro and ending slides to the FrostByte yourself, or we can do that for you. For some fun ideas on things that can be done, check out an example of a frostbyte here: 


Here is a ppt file with slides to use for the intro and ending. Its important that you do not change the formatting so things stay consistent from Byte to Byte: https://www.dropbox.com/s/72lgx5b9rs3q1gn/Frostbytes_template-2014.pptx?dl=0

Feel free to include a link where people can find more information on your research and a photo of you is always nice too.

Be sure to save the file as an mpeg4 or another YouTube compatible format and title the file: CliCFrostbyte_YourFirstName_YourLastName - then submit it (see below).

How do I submit my FrostByte?

If you made your own video, just send Lorna Little the file as an mp4, mpeg, mov, etc  along with the following information:

- Title of your Frostbyte

- Your First and Last Name

- Your Current Institution or affiliation

- A few keywords describing your project

- One ot two sentences about the topic of your frostbyte. A intro text that can follow you Frostbyte

- A website address where they can find more information about your research

If you would rather have our editors help you, send the above information together with your voice recording as a wma, mp3 or mov file (or let us know you used the embedded recorder), any the photos you want shown during your video and the ppt you edited with the cover and ending slides… our amazing editors with take it from there.

Here is an example of what you should send us if you would like our editors to work their magic:

Name:                        Britta Sannel

Current institution:   Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Keywords:                 permafrost, peatlands, thermokarst

Website address:      http://people.su.se/~bsann/index.htm

List of picture files:  Britta_Sannel_FrostByte_Picture1_Britta_on_field_work





Picture1 Should start at the very beginning.

Picture2 Should start when I say “By comparing old aerial photographs with…”

Picture3 Should start when I say “…extensive landscape changes have taken place.”

Picture4 Should start when I say “But, at the same time many other lakes…”

Picture5 Should start when I say “Since peatlands store large amounts of carbon…”

Don't forget to tell us where we can download your voice recording.

(see the final product of the instructions listed above here)

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have questions about anything that is not covered on this page or to submit your FrostByte please contact Jenny Baeseman, CliC's Director and the creator of FrostBytes or the FrostByte editors: Lorna Little or Erik Warming.

Anything else I should be aware of when making the FrostByte?

Standard copyrights rules apply, so please be careful using music, images and video covered by copyrights. There is a example of a Frostbyte creator that was asked for €300 by Sony, for using a specific piece of copyrighted music. There are several royalty free music libraries out there.