IPA Executive Committee Minutes

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November 23, 2016, Online

EC members in attendance: Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Chris Burn (CB), Isabelle Gärtner-Roer (IG), Dmitry Sergeev (DS), Ma Wei (MW), Karina Schollän (KS), Sarah Strand (SS)

A few participants joined after the Approval of agenda. Most participants were unable to hear DS, but CB was able to and thus relayed DS’ comments.

1. Approval of agenda

The agenda was approved by all present. HC explained the continuing numbering system, which will allow each case to have a specific number. She noted that points 15 and 16 would be combined.

2. Approval of Minutes from October 2016 EC Meeting

All participants were present after point 16, when the majority of participants approved the October 2016 EC Meeting Minutes (a response was not heard from MW or DS).  No one had comments. Information cases.


3. Review of October EC Meeting Minutes

HC reviewed the five major cases the EC will work on (shortened here from the October EC Meeting Minutes):

  • Developing a conference rotation concept, following the conference in Japan.
  • Considering if a constitutional change is justified and necessary to make the United States, Russia, China, and Canada always represented on the IPA EC.
  • Strengthening relationships with Adhering Bodies.
  • The possibility of a new permafrost journal or building upon the pre-existing relationship with PPP.
  • Creating conference guidelines.

CB provided the update that he has been in contact with Julian Murton, and Julian informed him that there is on-going discussion with the section of Wiley dealing with PPP. Julian expects to hear more from Wiley in December. CB has not communicated with Wiley directly, but may do so when he sees Julian in England in January.  CB explained that it is under consideration to increase from 4 PPP issues a year to 6, in hopes of reducing backlog.

4. Updates on Secretariat activity – transfer final on 1 December

KS explained that the document transfer had been finalized, and that she was in the process of ensuring SS had full bank access. KS said she eventually intends to provide a list of topics that the EC should keep in mind. SS followed up on KS’ comments and explained that she had recently gotten access to the bank account and continues to work on taking over all financial activity. HC mentioned that a small opening party for the IPA Secretariat at UNIS would be held 1 December. HC also mentioned that KS may be given an alternate title depending on the level of her continued involvement.

5. Updates from GTN-P

SS summarized GTN-P’s response to the EC’s recent funding decision regarding the GTN-P data management system. GTN-P agreed with the conditions of making a new implementation plan and backup database, and provided a time plan for completing these actions. Thus, GTN-P was transferred 5,000€ for immediate use. The remaining 7,000€ will be transferred to GTN-P in summer 2017, assuming they meet the goals in their time plan.

6. Frozen Ground update

SS reviewed the Frozen Ground content and explained that most contributions had been handed in, except for a few groups who requested extensions. SS has all the old template files from KS, so she does not anticipate problems in production and informed the EC she plans to distribute both Frozen Ground and the Country Reports by the end of January.

7. IPA Budget updates and overview

SS reviewed the IPA budget 2016-2020 document, highlighting proposed spending in the “support target activities” category. The annual budget for Action Group spending is 10,000€, and 8,000€ of this is already earmarked for preexisting Action Groups in 2017. SS informed the EC they should try to stay on or near budget, especially given the extraordinary funding of GTN-P. She explained that since this only leaves 2,000€ (if the budget is followed) to be distributed for new AGs in 2017, SS thinks there should only be autumn calls for AGs. SS also suggested that groups could be partially funded.

Before launching into the discussion regarding AG funding choices, HC explained that the Arctic Permafrost Transects AG application was received multiple weeks late, immediately prior to the EC meeting. She asked the EC what they thought about considering it. It was considered to delay consideration, but that would make the timeline of the AG irrelevant. Thus, it was agreed the AG would be considered in the current application pool.


8. Funding decision regarding the Action Group applications

Before discussing the specific groups, HC explained the complication of having one or more EC members on each AG application. She suggested an open discussion during the meeting, and then asked the EC members to submit their personal ranking of funding priority for the 3 groups by email in the days to follow. The timing of AG funding calls was also discussed, as it impacts funding allotment and if and when AG groups can reapply for funding.

There was agreement among the EC that the funding call for AGs should only be once a year, so it is decided that there will only be one 2017 call in autumn. This decision will likely be carried forward into future years, but could be reconsidered at a later time.

The EC had an open discussion about the 3 AG applications:

A. Thermokarst landsystems of northwest Canada
The proposed activity is very relevant and timely, but limited to Canada in terms of most participants and geographic scope. It is mentioned in the application that northwest Canada is considered an “ideal region to trial the study,” but the majority of EC members felt it was unnecessary to define such a limited “trial region,” especially given the scope of the research questions.

B. Overseeing the production of the next generation of IPA global permafrost mapping product and service
Since developing a new map/mapping service is currently a primary objective of the IPA, it is somewhat natural to fund this AG. However, members of this group did not have much to show at ICOP and organization has been somewhat chaotic in the past. In addition, the application did not appear fully formulated, and lacked a detailed budget. There was interest among the EC in giving conditional funding and demanding more mature plans and deliverables.

C. Arctic Permafrost Transects
The proposed AG group is multidisciplinary, touching on aspects of ecology and human activity/infrastructure. Transects have proved successful in biology but have not been frequently addressed in terms of permafrost. There is agreement that the group appears well prepared and has clear plans in terms of deliverables and publications. If the group is partially funded, it was suggested priority should be given to funding the travel associated with their proposed ASSW session, which will likely be popular.
The AG discussion ended with a brief consideration on if 1 or 2 of the applications should be funded. Since AGs typically do not utilize all of their funds, there was interest in potentially funding 2 instead of 1, even given the budget constraints. SS will try to follow up with group funding, especially at the mid-way point, to enable spending predictability.

Based on the AG application rankings HC received from the EC members, the following funding decisions were made following the 23 November meeting:

  • Thermokarst landsystems of northwest Canada – Not funded as the group should be more international; it is suggested the group could expand in terms of participants and geographic scope and reapply in autumn 2017.
  • Overseeing the production of the next generation of IPA global permafrost mapping product and service – 2500€ was granted for this AG’s proposed workshop at ACOP 2017; they were also asked to coordinate with GlobPermafrost for maximum success of deliverables, and to provide a report following the workshop.
  • Arctic Permafrost Transects – 2500€ was granted for this AG’s proposed workshop at ASSW 2017; additional funds requested to directly cover publication costs were not granted.

Added topic: PYRN’s letter requesting funding carry-over
This item would have otherwise fallen under AOB, but was discussed following the AGs because of its relevance to the budget and spending overall. Just before the 23 November EC meeting, PYRN sent a letter to the IPA Secretariat requesting that their unused 2016 funds could be carried into 2017. PYRN already carried 2015 funds into 2016 and was allotted extra funds for ICOP which were not utilized. Because of this, and to keep the IPA budget in check, SS suggests PYRN is allowed to carry-over 1080€, which was chosen because it is the standard annual IPA contribution to PYRN (1500€) minus their actual 2016 expenditures (420€). It is agreed some carry-over should be allowed to avoid overspending, but allowing total indefinite carry-over is not sustainable for yearly budgeting.

It is decided PYRN will be allowed to carry-over 1080€ from 2016 into 2017.

9. EC member responsibility of membership handling

HC asks IG to take on this task. IG said she would like time to look at the previous documents made by Lothar Schrott about this topic, and will talk to HC individually about the task. HC explained that it would be best to have progress to show on this topic by the meeting in Chamonix in June 2018.

10. IPA relationships with other groups

  • Making an official connection with the International Association for Engineering Geology (Dima is secretary of Commission C21, Permafrost Regions, in IAEG).
  • Dima suggests a formal agreement is made with IAEG; it is decided a MoU will be arranged. SS will contact the IAEG Board to begin the procedure.
  • Should the IPA submit something to the Global Cryosphere Watch Steering Group Meeting (via Hugues)?
  • It is decided the IPA should provide a simple status report.
  • IPA at ASSW: possible inclusion in SAON advisory board and IASC Cryosphere WG.
  • HC and SS both plan to attend ASSW; VR will also attend. VR will be involved in the activities of the observational sub-group of SAON.

11. India as a new Adhering Body (led by Renoj Thayyen)

SS gave an overview of her correspondence with Renoj Thayyen, which has covered the recent permafrost research activity in India and interest in forming a new Adhering Body at the lowest fee (250€). Since a permafrost research group is already somewhat formulated, HC suggested a digital ballot is sent to the IPA Council so India can be considered as an Adhering Body before June 2018 (the next in-person Council meeting).
The EC was in support of India joining as an Adhering Body and agrees that a digital ballot should be conducted.

12. Any other business (AOB)

12.1 ACOP 2017

SS gave updates on the opening of the abstract submission and registration. So far, things have been progressing as expected. HC and SS will attend, but no other EC members have made plans to attend.

12.2 ICOP report for PPP

KS reported that a draft of the report was currently circulating and would be submitted by the 1st of December. Parts of this report will be used for Frozen Ground, and they plan to put a photo gallery up on the ICOP website once they solve all hacking issues.

12.3 IUGS

A basic annual status report will be submitted to IUGS (the IPA did not receive funding necessitating anything more in-depth).

12.4 International Conference on Arctic Science: Bringing Knowledge to Action

VR said that he is part of the Scientific Committee for this conference, and will thus attend and can represent the IPA. The conference is mainly organized by AMAP and will include presentation of the SWIPA (Snow, Water, Ice, Permafrost in the Arctic) update report.

12.5 Thanking Karina for her service

HC thanked KS for her service as IPA Executive Director and for assisting in the Secretariat transition, in addition for her work on ICOP 2016. KS said she will be happy to answer questions when needed in the future.

HC reminded the EC members that she needs to receive ranking of the AG applications over email by 28 November. The next EC videoconference meeting is tentatively planned for February.

October 13, 2016, Online

EC members in attendance: Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Chris Burn (CB), Isabelle Gärtner-Roer (IG), Dmitry Sergeev (DS), Karina Schollän (KS), Sarah Strand (SS)
Excused: Ma Wei (MW)
CB missed first half-hour of the meeting due to scheduling conflicts

1. Approval of agenda

The agenda was unanimously approved by the participants; no additions were suggested.

2. Approval of Minutes from June 2016 EC Meeting

The 21 June 2016 EC Meeting Minutes were unanimously approved.

3. Information cases

3.1 Review of the ICOP in Potsdam by KS

KS’ connection was poor at the beginning of the meeting, so it was difficult for her to give a thorough report of the conference. However, she highlighted the IPA’s revenue from the conference, which was 2,540€ more than expected (28,540€ instead of the projected 26,000€). This extra revenue occurred because there were more participants than anticipated.

3.2 Review of Minutes from the 25th and 26th Council Meetings

HC reviewed the Minutes from these last two Council meetings, identifying the main cases that the EC will deal with in the coming two years. The Minutes will not be formally approved until the Council meets in Chamonix in 2018. The identified cases to be worked on by the current EC are:

  • The IPA EC needs to develop a conference rotation concept, following the conference in Japan (as this conference is serving as a test-case for sponsoring more regional conferences).
  • At the 25th Council Meeting, it was discussed if the United States, Russia, China, and Canada should always be represented on the IPA EC. The current EC should consider if this constitutional change is justified and necessary. A decision should be made regarding this matter before 2 new EC members are elected during the Council meeting in June 2018.
  • Lothar Schrott’s survey amongst the Adhering Bodies showed that many of the countries would benefit from a stronger relationship with, or more assistance from, the IPA. An EC member must be identified to continue this work and build upon what Lothar learned.
  • The suggestion to have a new permafrost journal must be followed up. This may manifest in a stronger relationship between the IPA and an expanded PPP. CB has taken on this responsibility in the EC and is corresponding with Julian Murton regarding this matter.
  • Conference guidelines should be developed which dictate timelines and requirements in terms of organization, content, and scheduling, while still retaining some flexibility. This is a project for the International Advisory Committee, chaired by Antoni Lewkowicz. Hopefully these guidelines can be applied to ICOP 2020 in Lanzhou, and potentially regional conferences before then.

3.3 Overview regarding the transfer process of the Secretariat from AWI to UNIS

SS and KS presented this agenda item. During the transfer period, SS has begun preparation of Frozen Ground and the Country Reports. She has also managed day-to-day correspondence (emails and social media), EC meeting organization, and Minutes preparation. KS has been managing financial interactions (such as Adhering Body dues and revenue from ICOP 2016), general ICOP 2016 follow-up, and hand-over of IPA materials relevant to the Secretariat in Svalbard. KS will also be writing the ICOP report for PPP. KS has assisted SS in learning the IPA website and email system. The outstanding tasks are transferring the finances and bank account (though it is likely the bank account will be kept in Germany), and ensuring SS knows the details of running the website. It is undecided if a face-to-face meeting will be necessary, or if the remaining business can be handled over the phone and/or Skype.

3.4 Brief overview of the IPA budget

It was pointed out during the IPA Council meetings at ICOP 2016 that the IPA had a negative balance for the year, due to unplanned expenses. Since ICOP revenue was more than expected, this negative balance has decreased and should be around -3,000€ for 2016 (to clarify, this is the balance for the fiscal year, not the overall IPA bank account). At the time of this EC meeting, Adhering Body membership fees were still missing from five countries: Finland, Germany, Mongolia, Romania, and Sweden. It is expected these payments will come in by the end of the year. More revenue was generated from individual membership fees than in previous years; this can be kept up by maintaining an active and informative web presence. SS also pointed out the consistent IPA expenditures, like early career researcher conference support (amount varies per year depending on conference size), PYRN financing (1,500€ per year) and the amount dedicated to Action Groups per year (10,000€).

CB suggested that the IPA annual income should be approximately 1 or 1.5 times annual expenditures to keep things in balance. The IPA’s current bank account balance must be preserved, as it serves as the organization’s back-up fund. If the Secretariat is not externally funded, this becomes particularly crucial. HC agrees, mentioning how extra money was needed to pay Stefanie Weege and how funding is not yet guaranteed for the operation of the Secretariat in 2020.

4. Discussion & Decision Cases

4.1 Review of Action Group (AG) history including funding, to provide background for continued support

HC started by giving an overview of the current AG funding table, specifically pointing out how the majority of AGs have not spend the funds they are allotted. CB agrees that this is a major issue, and thinks that the IPA should have clearer guidelines regarding AG funding and the (time) limits of its use. In addition, CB stresses the importance of reviewing AG applications together to ensure the fairest selection process. [Further discussion on this matter appears under Discussion Case 6.] VR generally agrees with the points made by CB, but suggests that AGs have flexibility with spending over their 2-year lifespan (thus allowing carry-over from the first year to the second). CB agrees with this point, and both CB and VR point out that the IPA should be very wary of funding AGs in a third year or otherwise outside of the original proposed timeline.

4.2 Funding request from the PaC Action Group following advice on their earlier application

HC explained that this group applied at the spring 2016 AG application deadline, and the previous EC asked them to make their plans more international and then resubmit their proposal. Finnish researchers were added to the original German and Russian participants, and the application was resubmitted towards the end of the summer. This group was previously funded in 2014 and 2015, though they have proposed new activities in their new application. CB feels that if the group has met the previous EC’s conditions for funding (making the AG more international), then the current EC must honor that decision and fund the AG. The AG was not fully promised funding, but they were certainly encouraged to reapply. VR pointed out that the PaC group has been one of the most successful AGs, and that they actually utilize the funds they apply for. VR, DS, and IG all agree the group should be funded based on their previous activity and success.

It was decided that the PaC application will be fully funded.

A short side discussion on AG application deadlines developed, as reviewing the applications in multiple pools potentially gives better odds to the first groups that apply. In the future the EC could consider one annual deadline instead of two.

4.3 GTN-P’s request for funding in relation to earlier funding and the funding of AGs

HC introduced the letter the IPA Secretariat received from GTN-P following ICOP 2016. GTN-P asked for financial support to maintain the database for one year, though they did not specify what this amount should be. At a recent GTN-P meeting, this amount was suggested to be approximately 10,000€. VR attended this meeting, and explained that funding for the Executive Director exists, but GTN-P does not have specific funding to support the data management system. Financial support from the IPA would both help GTN-P in a time of need and would clearly show the IPA’s dedication to GTN-P’s success. The IPA has previously earmarked money for GTN-P that was not spent, in total 13,000€. VR suggested that the IPA provides 12,000€ for one year of support.

Next, the EC discussed what conditions must be made in granting this funding. IG wanted to ensure GTN-P will be sustainable in the long run, and VR suggested that the EC requires GTN-P to prepare an implementation plan, including information regarding financial support. The IPA cannot support GTN-P on this scale every year, but there is interest in building a consistent sum (a few thousand Euros or less) into the annual IPA budget that goes to GTN-P in the future. CB pointed out that it must be made absolutely clear that this is a unique situation, and this level of financial support is a one-time occurrence.

It was decided that GTN-P will receive 12,000€, under the condition that they develop a new implementation plan. The money should be spent over 2016 and 2017.  

4.4 Update on and use of travel support for young participants to the Regional Conference on Permafrost, Second Asian Conference on Permafrost, 2-6 July in Sapporo, Japan

The IPA has budgeted 2,500€ for early career researcher support to attend the Second Asian Conference on Permafrost. The Japanese conference team has also secured additional funds to add to this pool. The conference sessions have been decided with both Japanese and international chairs for each session. The abstract submission system and registration was not open at the time of this meeting, but was planned to open in the near future.

It was decided that the IPA will support early career researchers at the Second Asian Conference on Permafrost in 2017 with the budgeted amount of 2,500€.

4.5 Frozen Ground content

HC explained that Frozen Ground is no longer printed and focuses on activities of IPA-associated groups (mainly AGs). SS listed the anticipated contents of this year’s Frozen Ground: words from the President, reports from all active AGs, PYRN and GTN-P reports, Standing Committee reports (ANTPAS & Education and Outreach), ICOP 2016 report, Japan conference preview, and an overview of new permafrost-related activity in India. HC suggested the ICOP 2016 section, which will be prepared by KS, includes the conference group picture.

4.6 List of organizations the IPA is associated with and assigning of EC liaisons where needed

To keep the meeting on time, this Discussion Case was only briefly mentioned. It was established that SS would include the list of organizations the IPA is associated with in the materials for the next EC meeting, so that EC members can consider which organizations they have ties with or want to work with, and inform each other in this regard.

4.7 Next meetings/planning of face-to-face meeting(s) during the coming 2 years

Due to technical challenges associated with online meetings, HC aims for the EC to meet once in person each year to handle strategic topics (vs. operational issues, which can be covered in online meetings). Ideally, the EC would meet at IPA conferences. HC asked if the EC members could meet in Sapporo in July 2017 for the Second Asian Conference on Permafrost, and in Chamonix in 2018 for the 5th European Conference on Permafrost. CB is committed to meeting in Chamonix, but does not plan to attend the conference in Japan. CB suggested that strategy meetings could also happen online, especially if a longer block of time is reserved and the online meeting system is adequate. He also suggested that HC could meet with EC members individually to understand viewpoints on particular issues, and then report back to the EC with a synthesis of the opinions. Both IG and VR are committed to the meeting in Chamonix, and are unsure about Japan. They are interested in attending the Japanese conference if possible; finding funding is a major factor in their ability to attend. DS cannot yet commit to either conference, but will try to secure funding to attend both.

The next online EC meeting is proposed for mid-November, two weeks after the next batch of AG applications are submitted. The EC agreed that this is suitable as long as the meeting is not pushed too late in the month (to ensure the AG applications receive a response in a timely matter).

4.8 Review of international meetings where IPA representation should be considered

It is established that no members of the EC plan to attend the International Symposium on the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (Wellington, New Zealand, February 2017). VR will attend the AGU Fall Meeting (San Francisco, December 2016), which includes a meeting of the Permafrost Carbon Network. SS will also attend AGU, representing the IPA, and will attend the Permafrost Carbon Network meeting and USPA meeting. VR suggested that SS should look into attending the NGEE Arctic meeting at AGU in addition.

4.9 IPA reporting to IUGS and PPP

KS is coordinating the report for PPP, to be completed by 1 December. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten and Antoni Lewkowicz will also contribute. SS will look into and prepare the report for IUGS.

4.10 Any other business (AOB)

HC had 3 AOB points.

A. Letter sent by Total (Russian petroleum company) to the IPA

The EC members agree a letter should be returned, thanking the company for interacting with the IPA and for providing research suggestions.

B. Newly formed permafrost group in India

Stephan Gruber put the IPA Secretariat in touch with Renoj Thayyen (National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, India), who is organizing permafrost research activities in India. SS has suggested to Renoj that he should contribute to Frozen Ground, and the response was positive. CB has met Renoj and thinks we should encourage India joining the IPA as an Adhering Body.

C. Transactions of the IPA

There are 5 articles for the PPP Transactions issue following ICOP.

It was decided Transactions as a project should be discussed in a future strategical EC meeting.

IG asked if there is permafrost-related activity in the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) implementation plan. VR provided GCOS with some materials but is unsure of the outcome.

June 21, 2016, Potsdam, Germany

EC members in attendance: Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Chris Burn (CB), Isabelle Gärtner-Roer (IG), Dmitry Sergeev (DS), Huijun Jin [representing Ma Wei] (HJ), Ma Wei (MW), Karina Schollän (KS), Sarah Strand (SS)

1. Decision to appoint Vice Presidents

According to the IPA Constitution and Bylaws, the new IPA EC had to establish itself by naming up to two Vice Presidents. VR was interested in serving another term as VP, and CB was happy to serve as the other VP if there was EC agreement. The EC then unanimously appointed VR and CB as Vice-Presidents of the IPA.

2. Consideration of IPA Executive Committee expansion

According to the IPA Constitution and Bylaws, HC explained that an additional EC member might be considered to ensure that the EC represents the diversity in permafrost science and engineering, in regards to regions and types of research. The Southern Hemisphere lacks representation on the EC, given that there was an EC candidate from the Southern Hemisphere. However, the addition of members is not necessarily beneficial and can make coordination more difficult.

A discussion ensued among EC members regarding who would/could be added and why this would be needed. VR points out that the new EC lacks someone working in Germany, given how active this country is in permafrost research. CB feels EC members should cover specific areas and bring specific expertise/skills to the table, and not just represent an institution. He wonders if an EC member could be added later in time, if a “gap” was felt on the committee. Lothar Schrott is proposed given his previous EC work surrounding membership and adhering bodies, but his addition would make the EC disproportionately European. The EC decided to remain at the current number, as there is no compelling reason to add another member. CB proposes that the issue can be revisited in 6 months to 1 year if necessary.

3. Discussion of RCOP rotation

Following the 25th IPA Council meeting it was requested that at the second ICOP 2016 Council meeting the EC should inform Council how to handle the rotation of the RCOP location. HC wants the EC to make a solid plan regarding this that can be presented to Council in Chamonix in 2018. Previously, the EC has been rather passive regarding conference hosting, and has not encouraged any particular region or institution to host. Currently, the IPA meeting rhythm is every two years, but increased activity may be able to sustain more frequent meetings. CB mentions the permanence of the constitution (since amending the constitution is one possible way of defining the issue’s solution), and stresses the need for careful consideration regarding how many years must pass before a region can host another meeting. The EC did not yet have a clear solution. It is decided that the Asian Conference on Permafrost in Japan (July 2017) will serve as a test case, and the issue will be revisited/evaluated following this conference. The outcome of this test case will influence the decision to potentially host a regional conference in New Zealand in 2019, which was not approved in the 25th Council meeting.

4. Development of the IPA Resolutions

The EC will present their suggestions for Conference Resolutions in the 26th Council meeting. HC presented the previous Resolutions and suggestions for updates. Members of the EC (CB and VR, specifically) think each resolution should refer to an area where progress is both needed and possible. The Resolutions should also be broad enough to cover the many facets of permafrost science. Mention of the carbon cycle is moved from the resolutions to the preamble, and GTN-P and permafrost maps are directly mentioned as tools for improved earth-system modelling. CB will combine the comments and read the resulting updated Resolutions at the closing ceremony.

The Resolutions of the IPA Council at the Eleventh International Conference on Permafrost held at Potsdam, 20-24 June 2016 are as follows:


  • Considering the growing recognition and diverse impact of permafrost on global society and climate; and
  • Considering the impact of permafrost on those who live or work in polar and high mountain regions; and
  • Considering the need to adapt engineering infrastructure to changes in the permafrost environment; and
  • Considering it imperative to coordinate and integrate knowledge of the carbon cycle and other biogeochemical cycles in permafrost regions; and
  • Recognizing that solutions to scientific questions and engineering challenges associated with permafrost require interdisciplinary teams and international collaboration; and
  • Reaffirming the importance of involving members of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) in all of its activities,

it is resolved that over the next four years, through its collaborations with other organizations and its own Action Groups, Interest Groups, and Standing Committees, including PYRN and the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P), the International Permafrost Association will:

  • Improve representation of perennially frozen ground in earth-system modelling using GTN-P products, permafrost maps, and new technologies;
  • Improve understanding of hydrology, ground-ice characteristics, and permafrost-related processes associated with the vulnerability of infrastructure, ecosystems, and land use in permafrost areas, and knowledge of hazards in these environments;
  • Empower citizens concerned with the changing permafrost environment by developing education and outreach products and projects for schools, universities, professionals, and civil society.

5. Division of EC member tasks/areas of specialty

With the new EC it is natural to review the key responsibility areas for each member. In the past, HC has worked with GTN-P and mapping projects, VR has worked with GTN-P and various international organizations, DS has worked with maps and coordination with the Russian permafrost community (including in relation to GTN-P). HC points out that MW will be the liaison for the next ICOP in Lanzhou. IG wants to work with GTN-P and maintain ties with the glacial community, which she is already engaged in. HC suggests IG is also involved in mapping. CB will keep in close contact with Julian Murton regarding any possible changes to PPP, and can serve as an IPA liaison in this area. He will also develop education plans and activities.

6. Discussion of EC meeting cycle

The EC should meet face-to-face every year. The EC will see each other in Chamonix in 2018, but ideally the EC would meet in person before this, possibly in Japan at the Asian Conference on Permafrost in July 2017. ASSW in Prague (spring 2017) and AGU Fall Meeting are suggested as other possible face-to-face meeting locations, but nothing is decided. This is a discussion point for the next EC meeting.

7. Agenda for the following Council meeting

HC will report on the new EC and transition of the IPA Secretariat from AWI to UNIS during autumn 2016. A formal vote on the 2020 ICOP location will take place, the International Advisory Committee will be nominated, the updated Resolutions will be presented, and the last Action Groups will give reports. It is decided that the next EC meeting will take place no earlier than the end of September. Meetings (via teleconference) will be held every 2 to 3 months. SS will compile a list of organizations associated with the IPA so the EC can determine which members will serve as liaisons to these organizations. SS will also keep track of relevant meetings to ensure the IPA is represented when necessary.

March 15, 2016, Fairbanks, USA

EC members in attendance: Antoni G. Lewkowicz (AL), Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Me Wei, (MW), Dmitry Sergeev (DS), Huijun Jin (HJ), Stefanie Weege (SW),
Excused: Hugues Lantuit (HL), Karina Schollaen (KS), Lothar Schrott (LS)

1. Agenda

1.1 Morning: Strategy

  • Review the past four years for highlight report at ICOP Council (what has been achieved and identification of future challenges – see material at the end of this agenda; review 2010 Strategy Plan attached)
  • IPA Journal
  • Questionnaire to Adhering Bodies (see document distributed earlier by Steffi)
  • Recommended Changes to Constitution, Mission Statement, Bylaws and Lifetime Achievement Award (see attached document with changes tracked from Toni and Hanne)
  • Finances
    • Financial report
    • Increase of country dues? inflationary increase in adhering body fees (starting in 2018 and subsequent years) – for discussion
    • contact to organizations instead of individuals
  • Review functioning of Action Groups, Standing Committees, GTN-P, PYRN

1.2 Afternoon

  • Group Photo
  • Approval of minutes for September 2015, November 2015 and January 2016
  • Council Meetings Agenda items at ICOP
  • ICOP report (registration numbers to date)
    • ICOP sponsor flyer
  • Life Time Achievement Award (approval for announcement plan and timing)
  • Tetsuo RCOP 2017 in Japan  (Japan 2015 dues) (3 pm)
  • Update on IPA-IAG travel grant
  • Action Group update
    • Permafrost Comics
    • Yedoma Region
    • InterFrost ?
    • Arcticcoast.info
      • Request by Arcticoast.info Action Group to reallocate funding for travel
  • Permafrost Glossary
  • Update on Permafrost Research Priorities (340 questions will go into categories and everyone can choose what he likes to look at e.g. geomorphology, April Voting, 1st results May, 1st presentation ICOP)
  • How many new Action Groups can we fund in April?
  • Renewal of membership of the International Advisory Committee
  • Use of IPA website for Occasional Publication from PPP
  • Update on IASC meeting 12-14 March 2016
  • Arctic Council is working on Gas hydrates-contact Paul Overduin AWI (letter of support)
  • Subsea Permafrost Map contact Paul Overduin, in review, IPA involved?
  • Future ASSW
  • Review of Action Item list

2. Next EC meeting

The date of the next EC teleconference meeting will be on April 2016 and Mai 2016. Next Executive Committee face to face meeting will be on 18 June 2016 in Potsdam, Germany (11th ICOP) and IPA Council Meeting on June 19, 2016.  On Tuesday June 21, 2019 will be a second Executive Committee meeting in the afternoon and on Thursday June 23, 2016 will be a second IPA Council Meeting in the afternoon.

September 24, 2015, Québec, Canada

EC members in attendance: Antoni G. Lewkowicz (AL), Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Huijun Jin (HJ), Lothar Schrott (LS), Stefanie Weege (SW), Dmitry Sergeev (DS)
Excused: Hugues Lantuit (HL), Karina Schollaen (KS).

1. Development on Permafrost Maps

Side meeting on 23 September with Philip Bonnaventure, Stefan Gruber (SG), HC, AL, and Tingjun Zhang (not at conference).
Ambition of IPA: session on ICOP with SG, he will make an overview map of permafrost together with his colleagues in the Action Group, paper in session, SG would be keynote speaker at the session, hope to have side meeting at ICOP, we aim for a group/project: 2017 workshop and start a strategy and implementation plan as done with GTN-P.
Review of how this should be done, product in 2020. Overview permafrost map, permafrost map service with all existing maps, existing maps have too many details, e.g. Ground ice content, too many people use not the IPA permafrost map, get rid of discontinuously permafrost classes, probability distribution maybe, that is process, cartographic challenges (isolated patches area does not necessarily have all isolated patches of permafrost in Canada).

AL: different purposes for the permafrost map:

  1. Education and outreach, in the end like postcard size, map would be based on data but not a data source, Stefan Gruber: permafrost map is currently used as data source, although it is too general, gradient of colour better than current colour classes.
  2. Mapping service where overly of existing maps, zoom in Yukon, which can be overlie, not judging, just adding what exist, data source map with high resolution in which will improve the global map, cooperation of new maps or more detailed maps into GIS database.
  3. Data source: GTN-P, modellers should not validate permafrost map, they should use actual data coming from GTN-P data source.

IPA should function of review the quality, not validation, give suggestion to modeller community how to use the data.
SG will write this up in two days and otherwise EC will remind him, not yet delivered the products yet, he will wrap it up for the ICOP, global map as one layer and we want to have several layers and wont approach a uniformed layer.

DS: New mapping service must include four groups:

  1. New data from GTN-P and other source with new data of pf state eg. Pf interaction with infrastructure, pf degradation, simple map reflects pf and infrastructure, geographical map with new symbols for infrastructure, t from IPY year, regional scale 5Mio.
  2. Collection of new methods of mapping, new principles which reflect new models and new approach, e.g. new legend for regional scale,
  3. Outreach, education, political products
  4. Technical group, like GTN-P programmer, who will provide the special software, how organize different in different scale

HC: DS has to send list of emails and full names of Russian colleagues who like to be involved on IPA developing mapping to send out formal invitation from IPA for ICOP session who are interested in working on mapping, clarify the most important, to keep IPA inclusive, 10-15 people,  send it to HC and CC to Toni and Phil (organizing committee for the session).
Strategic plan for priorities (1. Outreach map, 2. Data gathering what is known regional, trade change with new information, spatial data base what allows you to zoom to region, if people are willing to upload data, they could e.g. go to google earth and what exist for a particular area.
AL: DS points 2-4 should be in cooperate in the spatial data base including outreach.
HC Tingjun Zhang will make a list for the Asian colleagues working on the map, there will be a list of people from Asia to invite them to come to the ICOP session.
HC: soon enough GTN-P will produce thawing maps and we have to combine both together.

2. Strategy Plan 2010

Sent via mail by Stefanie on16 September 2015.
Revision of 2010: How well did it work, how much did we achieved? Do we have to change something? Main future goals of IPA? What are the future challenges? Who are we? Outreach
Runs until 2016 to work on a new one to present to council during ICOP 2016.
Summary on page 20 of recommendations: green –done, red-undone.

A. Governance

  • Replace the “Secretariat” by an “Executive Director”.
  • Seek the funding for an assisting administrative position – currently by AWI.
  • Replace Working Groups by Interest Groups and modify the mandate accordingly.
  • Add a PYRN co-chair to each Interest Group – PYRN is involved in many things, but not in particular achieved.
  • Outfit Interest groups with mailing lists and collaboration tools – old working groups, have no function, Interest groups are not our current project/action groups.
  • Establish target-driven and funded Project Groups – they become the Action Groups.
  • Create a new category of Membership entitled “Individual Membership” with no voting right and no representation at the Council.
  • Couple “Individual Membership” to free registration with the possibility to donate a pre-established sum.
  • Provide tools to national committees to contact its national individual members.
  • Request national committees to establish democratic and transparent structures – LS started working on it, AL suggest to start with Canada.
  • Encourage national committees to interact with funding agencies to help sustain IPA activities at the national level – working with the committees, not a particular thrust.
  • Focus the SCDIC mandate on data management and IPA core data products – that became GTN-P.
  • Rename the SCDIC Standing Committee on Data Management (SCDM) – Standing Committee on Data Information Community ended in GTN-P, does not exist anymore.
  • Provide an oversight role for the SCDIC in GTN-P.
  • Create a Standing Committee on Education and Outreach (SCEO).
  • Integrate Education and Outreach in the constitution and in future IPA activities.
  • Open new Education &Outreach SC to PYRN and external organizations involved in education and outreach – haven chosen to places to major thrust.
  • Create a database of subject matter experts (SMEs) – haven chosen to places to major thrust

B. Activities

  • Request the IAC to compile a set of guidelines for Conference organizers based on previous conference reports – maybe individual IAC reports after each conference as the international advisory committee.
  • Assess critically the added value of the proceedings and decide on their continuation – we decided no.
  • Define a nominal fee of 10 % to be taken on registration fees and paid back to the IPA.
  • Change the format of Frozen Ground to a shorter, and more attractive publication.
  • Shift the distribution mode of Frozen Ground to the electronic medium.
  • Post country and Working Parties reports on the IPA website.
  • Compile a four-year report of IPA activities prior to ICOP – that’s what should be done definitely in March 2016 during ASSW.

C. Finances

  • Increase country member fees every four years at RCOP – should have been done in Évora, there is no RCOP yet.
  • Convert fees to Euros on a 1/1 parity.
  • Provide metrics to Member countries to suggest an appropriate membership fee.
  • Encourage third-party applications to fund targeted projects through Project or Interest Groups – good in participation, but not have done it yet, maybe approach foundation to fund Permafrost Map, than we might have money to offer to participants.
  • Diversify income through Individual Membership, Fundraising activities – we do not have someone responsible for fundraising.
  • Dedicate a better part of the expenses to Initiatives stemming from Project Groups

LS suggest not just a list of items, as well categories in 1-3 priorities for next strategy to focus on important issues.
AL: Strategy was to bring us to a sustainable organization; there were not stable finances to give money to people like PYRN, Action Groups and activities. We are still producing frozen ground and member reports, we still have meetings every two years instead of 5 years with ICOP and RCOPS.
What are our priorities for the next 4-6 years and bring that to Council in June 2016? Where we would like to wish forward and which are low priority now?
HC: we moved from five year to four year cycle, now with USPA letter about RCOP, associated to economy. How much do we get through conferences? How do we do conferences in the future if this is our major income? Who are we? Are we to narrow, should we bring in biologists? Who runs it? New EC might have new opinion? Affiliation to other associations comes afterwards.
VR: What is the strategy to steer? We have to consider reacting on changes on Permafrost related questions and we have to balance it with traditions.
LS: Who we are inside and outside and where we want to go in the next years, immediate reaction after 2016 and long term perspective where we want to go. Define what we really want. Redefine the objectives of the IPA to show the community and later on to conference. How we demonstrate what we have achieved and what we want in the future and related to other organizations.

  1. Strategy plan, redefining IPA objectives
  2. Conferences important tool
  3. External organizations, better strength to important organizations

HJ: conference proceedings, ICOP the core of IPA, country has to decide it, some want to have it physical and some digital, RCOP: In the last years just in Europe because they have higher voting power. Who should have the right to make the decision? In Asia you have just a few countries having a membership in the IPA. Should you have more nation voting power or more from the big fives?  Lots of core products as GTN-P and Permafrost Map. We should have more focus on engineering and engineering companies, because they have more money for activities. Japan RCOP 2017; RCOP on Asia, southern hemisphere, American, whichever is right each year, never had a southern hemisphere conference

AL Strategy to discuss:

  • First: Mission and  objectives, what do we have and what should be fulfilled, that we can give recommendations
  • Conferences
  • Finances
  • Secretariat
  • Breath of the IPA (engineering, Bioscience?)
  • Relationship with other organizations
  • Proceedings
  • Location and voting of conferences
  • Increasing engineering content
  • Targeted activities: GTN-P, Mapping, Glossary
  • Outreach and education
  • Constitution of the next EC: having engineer or bioscience on the committee?
  • EC should come up with a recommendation on vice president: write letter to nomination committee, two of the position should be just for two years, turn over in Chamonix, so that not the whole EC will change except of the president, so that people stay 12 years, should be more turn over, stagger the turn

3. Mission Statement

IPA Strategy should be on website.
Action groups have to be included, currently just interest groups.
Assist society if they have permafrost related problems.
VR: there is no overriding of classical permafrost science by new interest e.g. ecology, biology. That is result of strategy. Now the new wave impacts on infrastructure and society, not only on engineering, more on food, national and international security.
HJ: Joint meetings like EUCOP, 4th Canadian Permafrost Conference, together with engineering and Russia.
VR: How to deal with mission of permafrost organization to incorporate with classical engineering and broaden the engineering aspect as theoretical engineering, not just applied engineering and society impact, natural science and technology.
HJ: suggests adding foster engineering and scientific research and in addition cooperation of science, engineering, administration, technology, outreach and education, most of it is technology driven to bridge science and engineering.
IPA did not lost position over the last 6 years.
HC: invite experts on 14 March in fields we might like to have more highlighted e.g. societal experts. Meeting with 1-3 to challenge why they not feeling involved by the IPA e.g. biogeochemistry. Not reviewing IPA strategy but to get a feedback before we finalize our strategic plan to take to council in June 2016. In the morning max of 3 hours and afterwards having our strategic meeting.

A. Graph

Main mission, objective and strategy of IPA.
Change color of France in new IPA flyer.
AL: Ask adhering members and individuals to take a look. One page document. What we currently think. Minor changes of last strategy plan. What do they think?
Deadline 14 March and to send it to council members as soon as possible afterwards to decide on it in June 2016.
LS with write short report/review of strategy on what we have achieved so fare and adding modified changes what we want to implement to get them focus on the future.

Action Item 1: by End of October to get feedback back from the EC in word version. Track change and put a comment. “I think this has to be done because of…. Send it to Toni and he puts together a document what reflects changes and why” Steffi sends out the word document of the mission.

The following mission statement is proposed to reflect the broadened objectives and realms of action of the IPA:
“The mission of the International Permafrost Association is to promote research in permafrost and permafrost-related fields within the global scientific and engineering communities, to support the activities of researchers in these disciplines, and to disseminate findings concerning permafrost to the decision-makers, the general public and educators. More specifically, the objectives of the IPA are:

  1. To foster scientific and engineering research in permafrost and permafrost-related fields globally through the formation of Interest Groups, Task Forces and the like, and to support the activities of these groups.
  2. To bring together all those interested in permafrost and permafrost related subjects at regular intervals to share knowledge and exchange experiences at International and Regional Conferences on Permafrost, as well as in specialized workshops and special sessions at multidisciplinary conferences.
  3. To be a point of access for accurate permafrost and permafrost-related information for the global scientific and engineering communities, decision-makers and politicians, the media and the general public, including those that live in permafrost regions.
  4. To develop scientific information products such as maps, data-bases, reports and the like, and to enable the widest possible public access to these materials.
  5. To develop educational and outreach products to increase understanding of permafrost and permafrost-related subjects among youth.
  6. To provide recognition for researchers through a series of awards and prizes that raise the profiles of the individuals and the IPA as a whole.
  7. To encourage young scientists and engineers to pursue careers in permafrost and permafrost-related fields by involving them fully in the organization its activities.
  8. To encourage the activities of permafrost researchers within individual adhering bodies or geographical groupings.”

AL: Toni will send it out for approval again to EC. If we agree on that, we will send it out to our adhering body and certain induvial how they feel prior the meeting in June 2016.

4. Issue of Breath/Identity of IPA

Increasing engineering content?
Issue of Involving engineering in the past.
Sharon Smith and Toni met with the president of the Canadian geotechnical society and the president of the cold regions division of the Canadian geotechnical society. They would like to increase their ties not directly via IPA, but through CNC IPA. They would like to set up a MoU through CNC IPA to sponsor two engineering students to ICOP and RCOP.
Scientists and engineering work on different time schedule.
Policy, decision, impact end is under represented, but they would like to know more about it.
Engineering geologist is closer to us.
Biologist became converts and did not overran us.
We have to get those people to our meetings. So that they learn, that there is lots to be learned.
HC: Identity. Permafrost in a classical way has to be taken care by IPA and challenge is to accommodate other scientific people to our meetings and to involve them.
We have not dealt with geomorphology yet. Periglacial environment. Hugues French, why is periglacial overlooked in IPA? How do we deal with it and do we want to have biologist within the IPA?
LS: stick to traditional focus and in cooperate new development like biogeochemical, technology is a need.
VR: keep core of knowledge and be the reference for everyone who wants to have the knowledge. We have to be the first group who they should approach when they have questions. Biologist should go to the knowledge of permafrost. NGE is good example. They use our base knowledge and convert their science to the arctic.
AL: IGU, international geographical union.
Action Groups bring us more projects, so we changed from 10 years long working groups. That’s how we lost the periglacial. That reflects if there is interest.
Permafrost interests were brought by action groups to the IPA, not directly be chosen by IPA. Not much visible support of periglacial support.
AL: Permafrost and forest fire as a cooperation between Russia, Canada, Alaska.
Action groups: Glossary might become one. PRP report is missing. That might help orient interest of Permafrost.
LS: Objectives of the IPA. Do the action groups reflect it in a proper way?
Strategic Plan: add evaluation of Action group is an important element to keep the objectives of the IPA in focus.
How many action groups?
HC: Core should be permafrost and with the others we should have relationships.
VR: We have to preserve the core objects!
Identity of IPA: Image Toni White Board

IPA Permafrost Science and Engineer
Periglacial Geomorphology/IAG

  • Biogeochemical/Carbon
  • Societal Impact
  • Soils
  • Hydrology
  • Planets
  • Mountain Permafrost
  • Hazards
  • Ocean Science
  • Quaternary
  • Climate/CliC
  • Glaciers/IACS
  • Ecology
  • (Remote Sensing (Technical))

Concept should be part of the mission/strategy/identity diagram.

5. Primary role of producing conferences

HC: We should have more conferences now with the increased number of interst on permafrost and in permafrost science.
EUCOP because there was a need to bring people together, that’s why a lot of networks were established (PACES21) because they needed to be called European to get funding from the European Union. European community is very small in comparison to the rest of the world and that’s why we needed to come together and establish EUCOP. It is nice that more non-European want to come, but they should not have to come. Increase from Svalbard to Evora. Would wish there are more RCOP´s to strengthen community e.g. in Asia, America, southern hemisphere. RCOP every year. EC should coordinate that to focus on that region and topic. EC needs to be empowered more.EC should take leadership, guide and invite people to do this e.g. to make new Asian RCOP.
Economy: we would get more money from registration fees of conferences. Then it becomes less important what country dues are and does not count on how big are the individual nations.
We should get individual membership fees function better!
IPA became European centric due to action groups.
Not one North American or Russian is leading the action groups, reflects who is more active.
Danger to have RCOPS in Asia, America, Europe in same year. We need a coordination by EC.
There is nothing to stop any group to organize a conference, but for the name of IPA RCOP it has to go through the IPA. The council will meet at RCOP and you have to pay part of your fees to IPA.
LS: EC should set a guideline/criteria which allow to select in a better to select RCOPS. What is important recording to the guideline? We want easy logistical locations?
8000€/year from conferences  is 1/3 of our annual income.
Council gives recommendation and final decision made by EC?
AL: USPA: EC recommends to council.
Proportional voting as last time: 9 for japan and 13 for France.
2017/2019 Japan?
RCOP:2022 Europe or Northamerica, could be everywhere.
ICOP: 2024 Northamerica?
We need to increase the number of conferences.
EC makes a recommendation to Council!
HC: Do we have enough capacity for every year? Yes 4th Canadian Conference on Permafrost is between Evora and Potsdam and it had lots of participation. That would allow to get permafrost on the map e.g. Asia, southern hemisphere. We are missing RCOPS! We should aim for having more conferences.
LS: Council is not representative for the entire community. For the icop it is weighted vote that the big four have 8 votes and e.g. Poland has one. Potsdam was proportional voting. Not for RCOP. Constitution was never changed.
HC: RCOP should be every year, every four year once around the globe, e.g. engineering focused conference.
HJ: engineering focused conference, between Russia and china every year, up to 250 participants and outside of china and Russia, this year in Novosibirsk.
EC will give recommendation to the council on where the RCOP should be based on the principals geographical criteria, diversity, no close approcamitry to RCOP/ICOP. Selection of RCOP advised on the EC without pushing the voting issue and just leave it as an advice from the EC.
LS: Criteria for  selecting conferences without giving them priorities to keep flexibility in decision and giving recommendation recording to these criteria’s to the council for RCOP for next 10 years.
HJ: Permafrost engineering conference on RCOP.
AL: has to be science and engineering, not only engineering.
HJ: would like to have IPA support as an international support and 10% would go to IPA.
VR: change name to show that both science and engineering on that conference.
HJ: IPA should provide to set criteria to support combined science and engineer conference for RCOP.
Keeping pool of countries having interest.
Toni already said, that they could have a conference 2017/2019, VR: they are difficult to contact, zero response for GTN-P.

EC develop guidelines for permafrost conferences, let EC be more proactive and stimulating to people think.
IPA will sponsor activities, but to be designated as an RCOP they should involve both science and engineering, it should be developed on geographic principals and sequences and voting is not proportional, but based on EC recommendations.
If there is more suggestion than one for an RCOP, they come to the EC, make a presentation to the EC and not to the Council. EC than makes a recommendation to Council for a single place and says that’s where we would like to have the RCOP and we are asking for your approval. We cut council out of this particular decision making as opposed to the ICOP and then proportional voting does not matter because it was done by the EC.

Letter to Japan: EC would really like to have a Meeting in Japan in 2017.

HC: Lets do that on a yearly basis and EC has part of our strategy should say: this is what we would like to see happening. And ask countries directly to hold a meeting! Make people more aware of it rather they have to suggest

We will sponsor activities as requested, be more proactive with RCOPs. Council will meet every second year.
We will not propose to council.
We would like to have a yearly conference as an RCOP.
2019: ask NZ Megan Balks, first RCOP in southern hemisphere.
Letter to USPA, extract of minutes after approve, send it to them and answer them.
No changes in voting, but now change from bottom up, leadership.
If we agree in advance, there will be no competing candidates.
Finances will become less problematic if we have more income due to conferences, 10% fee.

6. Secretariat

Karina will come back 24 February part time; 50 % until January 2018.
HC: needs a secretary as a president. There was no interest to have the secretary somewhere. So said to Norwegians, if they want that Norway is leading IPA, than they have to support the secretary. They agreed. Director of Research Council: Norwegian research council and UNIS, need someone at UNIS from June 2016 onwards, need KS for transition (January 2018).
25-30% position, try 50% position, apply additional for 1-2 face to face meetings on Svalbard, plus travel money for HC, 10.000$  Toni used, probably more necessary.
Executive Director (running the Secretariat, not member of the EC) cannot be a PhD student, because it has to be representative to CliC and other, necessary to make it more visible, should be a full time job, but we do not have anyone paying a full position, PhD student will run the secretary, US, Permafrost, Fullbright student.
HC would train this person as representative to a certain level, start as secretariat and KS would help in the transition.
EC approved, that HC will ask Norwegian research council and UNIS to support funding IPA secretariat to support IPA president from 2016-2020.

7. Nomination Committee

  • Julian Murton (UK, Chair)                  
  • Thomas Krzewinski (USA)                   
  • Anna Kurchatova (Russia)                  
  • Tingjun Zhang (China)                         
  • Jonas Akerman (Sweden) 

Write to NC to give them instruction.

  1. Suggest that they should recommend a number of people the number of seats or should there be actual a selection.
  2. Some position should be for two year, better turnover on EC in order to promote better continuity.
  3. Do we give them instruction on breath of experience, particular interest?

HC: 3. Core is the most important thing, so we need to have people from the core on the EC.
VR: 2. New person for two years would be too short, should be two two year positions.
EC suggest to have two two year positions in particular for people who stay on the EC.
LS: we should have more candidates than slots.
AL: not proportional voting. It is one adhering body one vote. Icop is the only proportional vote.
Adhering bodies can nominate up to two people, they do not have to be their own people.
EC can adopt someone like Dimitry Sergeev if a nation is missing; official number of slots is 5 people.
Life time achievement award possibilities, just give it two one person every two years: Wilfried Eberling, Hans Hubbern, Hugh French, Jerry Brown.
HJ: talk with people about possible engineer funding.
Conference proceedings: you do not have to do it. In control of the local organizing conference.
New strategic plan for the next EC, council has to vote on it in June 2016, 4 year plan.
Must have a draft in Fairbanks and distributed it shortly after to decide on in June 2016.
Ours will be holding the coarse and today’s decision.
Toni and Hanne will work on a new draft on strategic plan before 14 March 2016, everyone is welcome of the EC to contribute.

8. Letter to adhering body

LS: ICOP, IPA flyer, Letter, strengthen link to council and member.
Mention ICOP in the first sentence.
Adhering bodies that represents either an association in the council, no council member according to constitution they are adhering/country representatives.
Country is council member and individuals are representatives, they are adhering bodies.
2010 survey (Hugues report), this is something we should do every 4 years, we should not ask for a list of member, but we would like to know how many people are approximately involved, activity level, increase/decreasing?
It has to go physical, but should be filled out online, on ipa webpage online survey, should be send via letter and online.
Print new ipa flyer with france colored blue.
Exclude questions to online survey on website.
This should go into report of activities for 2016. This would show activity and give more exposure.
In the letter it has to be included why we are doing that (Strategic planning process, backward and forward looking) and that would feed into our new strategic plan and to evaluate our ongoing strategy which ends in 2016. Could be presented to council to show them that they should take leadership as well.

Action Item 8:
Distribute IPA flyers to meeting
Put events on website
Make it visible on IPA website, that EC is going to ASSW

Toni has to send letter: HJ and Ma Wei need a letter two month in advance from IPA that they have to go as IPA EC

23 Nov Monday 5pm
19 Jan Tue 5pm

Action Item 11,12 done

9. Evaluation for travel grant for young researcher to ICOP

  • 24000€ for young researchers to register at ICOP
  • PhD students should be preferred, 2 points
  • Master student 1 point
  • PostDoc 0 points
  • Engineer and science should not be divided
  • Undergraduate 0 points
  • Funding to come to the conference, not to the workshop
  • Have to be first author
  • Membership 0/1, nothing on activity, only PYRN or IPA member eligible
  • Should be judged on abstract, not on motivation

10. Glossary

  • Action Item: Toni will contact Hugh French for have a draft in 2016

11. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes Report

  • Extension 12th October:
  • GTN-P meeting
  • 4th Canadian Conference/GeoQuebec
  • ICOP abstracts deadline 1Dec
  • Short report from Lothar, send it to Steffi by the end of the week
  • 2nd October all articles together to Toni
  • YR paper Fritz et al 2015

12. Permafrost Research Priorities

  • Hugues deadline?
  • YR paper: They have overtaken the grown up. That’s  what we should refer in the PPP report, that’s what we provide to the rest of the world

13. Finances

  • Check adhering body fees of countries
  • China is missing, double check
  • Some individual fees
  • Steffi´s payment
  • Almost 100.000€- 24.000€ for ICOP-4000€ Steffi-Action Groups 9500 €?
  • Jens Strauß will get only 50 % of the money he asked for traveling to AGU with Action Group money

A. Action Groups

  • Check who did not spend their money
  • Hugues: PRP? Do they need money?
  • HJ: Did China spend any money? Not this year planed, maybe next year?
  • We have to get to people to ask them, that of the 10.000€ just 3000 have been spent, if they do not spend it, we could use it to others. We have to invent new mechanisms
  • Ensuring activity and to use their funds in a certain amount of time, otherwise they have to apply new and compete with other projects
  • HC: 2-3 action groups can be fund
  • We have to be seen more; action groups have to be shown more
  • Should we increase the budget?
  • 23 November we have to decide on new action groups and should decide on how many?
  • Argentina: Member dues difficult to collect among his members, fees come from a larger organizations, countries are different organized for their fees
  • Associate membership if they do not pay anymore and would have no vote on the council

B. EC travel budget

  • Toni’s amount is not really included because it in comes and goes out
  • 1500€ not spend
  • Money not spent for EC member or vice president
  • Karina did not travel; we will pay for Steffi’s flight ticket (700 €)
  • No budget yet for GTN-P yet in IPA budget
  • recommendation to Nomination Committee, that they should look after who they nominate for the EC, that they can at least partially fund their own travel costs
  • EC should have at least one annual face to face meeting on Svalbard, Hanne will add it in her budget for research council
  • Dima should buy flight ticket asap (1500 € available) reimbursement in 2015

14. Frozen Ground

  • PCN
  • Action Groups
  • PRP
  • GTN-P
  • GeoQuebec
  • ICOP-Anne Morgenstern
  • IASC Fellow (Toyama, Fairbanks, what is their role?)
  • Pushino conference October 2015-Dimitry
  • PAGE21 Hanne, Hugues
  • Outstanding committee on outreach (summer schools, PYRN awards, Kenj)
  • President report Toni
  • Engineering development on permafrost in china (highlighted country report), high speed train on seasonal frozen ground
  • New journal –EC has approved to encourage new journal on regional level, HJ
  • Frozen Ground:
  • Photo EC Meeting and all presidents together

15. Journal affiliated to the IPA

Mail 27 May sponsor on Journal and cold regions.
PPP is only journal so far.
IPA logo, inside: Journal affiliated to the IPA, do not own PPP, they do not pay us, and they sponsor a PPP award and talk on each of the ICOP.
Reminder to PPP talk and should get in contact with LOC in Potsdam and Julian for talk and award ceremony.
Not disadvantages for IPA to allow more than one journal affiliated to IPA.
It covers cold and arid regions, not solely permafrost; Hugh French is on their board.
Not yet cite index.
We do not want to get paid by the journal, but sponsor speaker at conference or event.
HJ: would like to have more people reviewing permafrost papers, two Americans hired to do the English review.
LS: IAG has several journals on geomorphology, so yes IPA can do this as well, chance of improving our outreach and get more influence and kind of sponsoring, IAG has Wiley journals as well as PPP, so we should ask how they deal with several journals and copyright.
HC: IPA cannot ensure the quality of the paper, this is within the topic of the paper what we would like to see developed.
HJ: we can sponsor speaker on ICOP, ideal to be a speaker related to the topic of the journal, also can pay 2000-3000€ for action groups.
AL: unlikely for next ICOP, but for RCOP.
Does not has to go council, let Julian know that other journal is using affiliation.
Formal response to Journal to use logo with following words, journal affiliated to IPA” same as PPP.
Outcomes: develop those through time.
Check with PPP: copyright report at the same time in another journal.
GTN-P Vlad not anymore president, now Dmitry Streletskiy, HJ is on advisory committee.
HC: nice that EC is not anymore responsible for it, still IPA dependent, more interaction between national correspondence and adhering body.

16. Relationship to other organizations

  • IUGS, IASC, SCAR, CliC strong relation and representative.
  • Do we have MoU with CliC? Is it on website? Vlad did it at AGU?
  • GCOS ongoing relationship, do not have MoU, receive money in Geneva.
  • GTN-P part of GCOS, WMO related to that, UNEP number 1 or 2, report made by Hugues with Kevin Schäfer, just one person, number 2 due to published reports
  • IPCC, not a direct relationship, is for individual scientist, but not to associations, take it of because we do not have a relationship
  • IACS, no MoU, not particular desire from other side for MoU
  • Gaphaz, interest groups, one of the older working groups, MoU?
  • Strategy: What do we do with these interest groups?
  • Future of interest groups should be part of our strategy. We have to identify that
  • IACS, number 2, it is a watching brief, we do not direct relationships
  • APECS 2, we do not respond to them
  • PYRN 1, part of us
  • Agreement with Apecs and PYRN?
  • AMAP? They produce reports, they make SWIPA and other regional reports
  • AMAP and Scientific arm of the arctic council produce SWIPA
  • This form should go to all new EC member
  • TOPC-Janette-GTN-P related, number 2
  • CEON- what do they do? Vlad representative in Helsinki, sustaining arctic, arctic council, IASC, number 3, indirect relationship
  • IGS- number 2, indirect relationship
  • International Assciation of Geomorpholigists- we had a working group together with them, indirect relationship
  • IAG- had collaboration on periglacial group, had a MoU with Lothar, can be improved, common session/ interest group
  • EGU- should go on: cryosphere devision and geomorphology devision, geohazard devision , permafrost session, should be higher, should be cosponsored by IPA, encourage session conveners to cosponsor by IPA
  • UArctic should go up, main education goes through it, number 1-2
  • UNEP-number 2
  • SWIPA: HL coastal processes involved

Strategy has to be on face to face meeting, business can be on teleconference.
Vlad can serve for another two years.
Annual report to two organisations.

17. Next EC meeting

The date of the next EC teleconference meeting will be on 23 November 2015 and 19 January 2016. Next face to face meeting will be on 14 March 2016 in Fairbanks.

December 13, 2014, Ottawa, Canada

EC members in attendance: Antoni G. Lewkowicz (AGL), Hugues Lantuit (HL), Ma Wei (MW), Huijun Jin (HJ), via video conference: Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Lothar Schrott (LS), Dmitry Sergeev (DS), Karina Schollaen (KS).

1. Opening

1.1 Welcome and Practical Information

AGL welcomed everybody and officially opened the meeting.

1.2 Approval of minutes of last EC meetings and review of Action Items

The EC approved the Minutes of the last two EC meetings (October 15, November 26) (ANNEX 1a, 1b, 2).

2. Short issues

2.1 IPA Sponsorship for PAST GATEWAYS conference 2015

The EC decided to be in favour to provide in-kind support through the IPA Secretariat for the PAST Gateways conference.
HL suggested to establish a connection between the former IPA Action Group of Jef Vandenberghe (Permafrost extension during the Last Glacial Maximum in the northern hemisphere and derived mean annual temperatures, 2011-2014) and the conference.

Action item 1: KS will send an email to Jef Vandenberghe asking him if he likesto attend the PAST GATEWAYS conference 2015 to present the outcome of his IPA Action Group.

A decision on possible financial support is postponed.

2.2 Update Frozen Ground Bulletin

AGL and KS gave a short update on the contributions for the Frozen Ground bulletin. The deadline for contributions will be January 15. The newsletter should be published in January 2015.

2.3 Update ICOP Planning

KS and HL gave a brief update. Up to now there are the following field trips planned: Svalvard, South Norway, Central Yakutia, Poland, Alps region.
The registration process for the field trips will be separated from the registration process for the conference. There will be a call for “Expression of interest”.
The registration for field trips is planned to be open 15 March 2016. Lutz Schirrmeister is responsible for the field trips and excursion planning.
The EC mentioned that the final registration for field trips in March 2016 is quite late. There should be a tentative indication before. The EC suggested to have the registration for field trips on the same date as the deadline for abstracts, that means 15 December 2015. Lutz Schirrmeister should talk to the organisers of the field trips regarding the deposits they would need for the organisation of the field trips and the appropriate timing for that.
The LOC decided to avoid printing the extended abstracts. The extended abstracts will be available on USB sticks. Further there will be a conference app, where the extended abstracts are available. Most of the EC is in favour to have only a digital version as long as the version is available for everybody.  Perhaps, there will be an option to pay for a printed version.
The strategy will be to give regular updates through newsletters. There will be no additional circulars. People can register for the newsletter from now on, directly on the ICOP website. KS will send a major mail to the permafrost network announcing that the website is online and that one can register for the newsletter to get all relevant thematic updates.
Regarding the proceedings the LOC will not be responsible. They will not handle it nor print it. VR will talk to the USPA at AGU regarding their opinion for the proceedings.
The transaction process is set up and Chris Burn will be responsible. There will be a special volume for PPP. AGL noted that Chris Burn do not want to have a repetition of 2012. It will be different from the paper published in 2012. He wants to have 2 authors per contribution. Chris Burn will be at the dinner tonight and AGL will update the EC afterwards.

Action item 2: KS will give the feedback of the EC to the LOC of ICOP, especially regarding the timing for the registration for field trips.
Action item 3: AGL will update the EC regarding the ICOP transaction process, led by Chris Burn after the dinner at Toni’s house.
Action item 4: VR will update the EC after the USPA meeting at AGU regarding the proceedings.

Decision 1: The EC is in favour of having no printed version of the extended abstract book.

2.4 Canadian Permafrost Conference

AGL gave a short update on the Canadian Permafrost Conference to be held in September 20-23, 2015 in Québec City, Canada. A Mackay Symposium is planned as one-day meeting, organised by AGL and Chris Burn. 16 to 20 peoples will be invited to give a talk in this special permafrost session. The Mackay symposium papers will be published in a special PPP issue. There will be other general permafrost sessions, organised by Michel Allard.
HJ came up with the idea to move the GTN-P meeting, planned to take place in China in autumn 2015, to take place associated with the Canadian Permafrost Conference in Québec City. The EC support the idea and suggest to have a GTN-P session at the conference.
The EC discussed the Canadian Permafrost Conference as a possible venue for a face-to-face EC meeting. This would mean one good-sized meeting for the fall 2015 which would bring GTN-P delegates to Québec City as well as others who are contributing to the Mackay symposium and the general permafrost science and engineering sessions, and the IPA EC too.
The abstract deadline will be January 15, 2015. Those who submit an abstract have to write an extended abstract/ paper (6 pages) (deadline mid of May 2015).

Decision 2: The EC decided that if the GTN-P meeting could be held in conjunction with the Canadian Permafrost Conference, the best place for the next in-person EC meeting will be in Québec City in September 2015 during the conference.

The following EC member could participate in the meeting personally: AGL, HC, DS, MW/HJ, LS. HL and KS will probably not be able to attend personally, however will try to get connected online. VR answer is pending.

Action item 5: AGL will talk to Sharon Smith at the dinner tonight and will update the EC regarding capacities to organise the GTN-P session.
Action item 6: AGL will talk to VR as soon as possible and ask for his opinion regarding the GTN-P meeting and EC meeting to be held in Québec City in September 2015. A decision should be felt in the next few days.
Action item 7: The EC should fix the dates, both for the GTN-P and the IPA EC meeting, as soon as possible.

There will be a permafrost meeting in Russia planned for June 2015. The only information DS as so far is that there will be a major topic with the title “variability of permafrost”. The EC asked DS to provide more detailed information.

Action item 8: DS will inform the EC regarding the planned permafrost meeting in Russia in June 2015.

3. IPA core projects

3.1 Permafrost Research Priorities

HL gave a short update on the Permafrost Research Priorities project. He had a presentation in the ICARP III session at Arctic Change 2014. The plan is to start the voting in January 2015 and to have the Core Group meeting in March 2015.
The Core Group decided to lowered the criteria’s for the questions, otherwise ¾ of the questions would be discarded. At the moment HL is working on putting the questions together that is a crucial step in the process to be consistent.

3.2 Permafrost Maps

HC and DS gave an update on the “Permafrost Maps” strategy plan. DS prepared a document (ANNEX 3), proposing the following:

Initiation of several Russian teams to prepare four kinds of products:

  1. Collection of new geocryological facts (location of permafrost zones’ borders, actual ground temperature, active layer trends, etc.)
  2. Collection of small-scale special permafrost, geodynamics, climate, cryolithological maps.
  3. GIS layer with metadata on the large-scale local permafrost maps.
  4. GIS layer with metadata on the results of modeling efforts.

DS propose to invite Sergey Marchenko to the action group as he has a lot of experiences to combine national approaches in the common product (Asian Mountain Permafrost Map activity).
HC reported that she had not talked to Stephan Gruber since the last EC meeting, however the idea of DS is similar to what Stephan Gruber suggested to do, in a more concrete way.
HL mentioned that the permafrost map issue is an important core product of the IPA and should be move forward as soon as possible. He suggested to have a communication strategy, e.g. similar to the PRP process, where the partners are involved.
The EC came to the conclusion to have a strategy plan in between the next 2 months. Then a workshop should be organised with the persons who will work on the new map. The goal would be to have an updated permafrost map until ICOP 2016. In parallel the EC encourage Stephan Gruber to move on with his ideas, that would be more on a long-term perspective that might take up to 5 years.

Action item 9: HC will get in contact with Stephan Gruber in the upcoming weeks and will update the EC in January. HC will present Stephan Gruber the suggestions of DS.
Action item 10: DS will talk to the three different Russian institutes, suggested in his document, and will try to get an answer in the next 4 weeks.
Action item 11: DS and HC will draft a master plan (3-4 pages) for the next EC meeting, including concrete ideas, goals, vision, timeline, communication strategy.

3.3 Strengthening links to national representatives

LS and KS gave a brief update and presented a first strategy document on the benefits of IPA membership (ANNEX 4). LS reported on the benefits of becoming an IPA member, for individual and country members.
LS and KS will create a flyer as a tool to attract new members. The flyer should be as short as possible and as long as necessary.
HL gave some suggestions for the Country membership issue:

  • 1-2 pager: What is our relationship with the national members? How do we want to professionalize our relationship with them?
  • Provide tools to national committees to contact its national individual members: e.g. to group people into national mailing lists à professionalize adhering bodies
  • Benefits of being an IPA Country member:
    • Adhering bodies are involved in the strategical activities of the IPA à they have a voice
    • link to international initiatives, the IPA is the link to the UN system for Permafrost à IPA as ideal bridge towards international organisations
    • the IPA is one of the oldest organisations in the field of “permafrost” à we do not have competition in that area à the IPA should become the obvious organisation for permafrost

AGL stressed out that IPA should create a bridge between being a PYRN member and becoming an IPA member. When do members should become an IPA member and drop off from being a PYRN member? What are the benefits of becoming an IPA member when I am already a PYRN member?! (define some criterias).
AGL had a meeting with 3 PYRN EC members at the Arctic Change Conference. The 3 central goals of PYRN are: Social and networking, Professional training and development, Outreach and education.

Action item 12: KS will define criterias together with the PYRN EC regarding the bridge of transferring the membership from PYRN to the IPA.

Different membership fees:

  • Idea: 10 € for PYRN students, 15 € for students, 25 € for senior scientists/ normal members
  • Membership for several years (5-10yrs)(example British Society for Geomorphology)
  • Long-life membership? If yes – how much (e.g. 1000$ at USPA)

Comments on the IPA membership map:

  • IPA membership map should be at the front page of the IPA website.
  • What about International Zones? as e.g. Svalbard or Antarctica
  • Name of the map: IPA Activities

Possible new country members: Chile, Georgia, South Africa

Summary: LS and KS will work on a flyer including some benefits of becoming an individual member as well as a country member. The flyer should not be overloaded with technical details. Further, LS and KS will draft a 1-2 pages document for country members pointing out the importance of having national committees in the IPA.

Action item 13: LS and KS will work on a draft for a flyer.

3.4 Glossary

AGL reported that Hugh French will be interested in updating the Glossary.

3.5 Links with external organizations

KS has reviewed the existing MoUs and external relations. AGL and KS presented a list of all the important organisations (ANNEX 5).
What resources should the IPA allocate to maintain the relation with these organisations? What do the IPA allocate with these categories? How should we behaviour as an organisation in relation to those groups? E.g. sending an IPA EC member to their meetings.
HC added that the sponsoring relationship should be also included.

Action item 14: AGL and KS will work out a strategical plan on how the IPA should behave towards their partners and external relations.

3.6 Research Coordination Network on the Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon (RCN)

HL suggested to have a short agreement between the Permafrost Carbon Network and the IPA explaining their relationship. We should be able to articulate the partnership. In practical that would mean e.g. to have the IPA logo on the Permafrost Carbon Network website.
VR is the responsible person of the IPA EC as he is a member of the Steering Committee of the Permafrost Carbon Network that is a NSF-funded synthesis project.

Action item 15: AGL and KS will add the important projects to the list.

3.7 GTN-P database

HL reported that Boris Biskaborn is working on the Metadata paper. In relation to the press release the University of Ottawa will be include beside the Alfred Wegener Institute.

4. Strategic discussion

4.1 Request to become a member of the ASSW International Coordination Group

To become a member of the ASSW International Coordination Group the IPA EC should hold IPA business meetings (e.g. IPA EC meeting) around the ASSW.
The EC agreed that they couldn’t hold their EC meetings per se at ASSWs.

Decision 3: The EC will not become a member of the ASSW International Coordination Group.

Action item 16: AGL and KS will draft a letter to Volker Rachold from IASC explaining that the IPA is not able to become a member of the ASSW International Coordination Group.

4.2 IPA Budget – Discussion on fixed annual budget for PYRN and Standing Committees; How many Action Groups can we support 2015?

AGL and KS presented the current IPA finances (ANNEX 6).
HL reminded that the IPA is not a legal organisation and mentioned that the EC should think about on a long-term perspective to get the IPA as a foundation.

Decision 4: The EC decided that the next call for Action Groups will not before October 2015.
Decision 5: The EC decided to support PYRN with 1500€ per year for the next two years (2015, 2016) after the EC accept their strategical plan for the upcoming years. The EC wants to have a report of year 2015 in order to give them the same amount in year 2016.

The decision of a fixed funding for GTN-P and the E&O committee is postponed to a future date.

4.3 Voting structure for RCOPs

Toni received an email from Jerry Brown. Former IPA EC members (Jerry Brown and Fritz Nelson) suggest changes to the IPA Constitution concerning the voting structure for RCOPs. They propose proportional voting for both ICOPs and RCOPs.
The EC discussed that issue and represent very different opinions. They agreed that the EC should collect detailed arguments for pros/cons before being able to fell a decision/common opinion.
The EC should think about the options of having more RCOPs, the definition and format of RCOPs.

Action item 16: AGL and KS will write a letter to the Council asking them for their opinion.

4.4 Follow up on discussions from former face-to-face EC meetings

A. IPA sponsorship from commercial organizations

The topic is postponed to a future date.

B. New IPA website

Arctic Portal drafted an agreement that establishes a contractual framework for web portal design and development for the IPA website under the Arctic Portal.
The development of the new IPA website started. Karina will update the EC regularly.

C. Package for upcoming secretariat position

The topic is postponed to a future date.

5. Miscellaneous

5.1 Idea: Permafrost Outreach Prize (POP)

HL had the idea to put forward a prize to honor outreach activities about permafrost put forward by groups or individuals. It could be given every two years at permafrost conferences. It could be monetary or a free registration to the conference. The goal would be to honor projects not inidividuals directly (after the model of the Arctic Inspiration Prize). He talked about that idea with Kenji who gave the following answer:.

  1. Most of the outreach activities are on duty when it funded projects today. so many big NSF projects doing outreach (maybe Europe too?) doesn’t matter motivated or not. It will possible good activities but also using much money for this. so why we have to give free registration to the conference to them? small outreach activity projects need support instead.
  2. Many of the outreach person working only for outreach in US and Canada at least 24/7. these person or projects has more time and money to do this as good job. as results these are wonderful job. We should give award still?
  3. As you remember, at the begging of our committee members selection, we did choose the person who has more motivated and active for permafrost education and outreach. So our members are still very active and good. But we have to ignore our members or projects for our POP selection process. if we include them, it seems going to closed circle every year…

HJ brought up the idea of given a prize for the best permafrost paper published in a year. (Best Permafrost Paper Prize).
LS argued that it would be difficult to evaluate for the best paper.

Action item 17: HJ will work on a stronger formulated suggestion for the idea of having a Best Permafrost Paper Prize.

5.2 Special session to honour Ross Mackay at ICOP 2016

A Ross Mackay session at ICOP 2016 is not mandatory. If the EC wants to have a Ross Mackay session somebody of the EC, probably AGL, will submit a session proposal within the normal submission process.

6. Next EC meeting

The next EC meeting will take place end of January to mid of February. KS will send around a doodle poll.

Adjournment at 13:45 pm (UTC-5)

June 19, 2014, Évora, Portugal

EC members in attendance: Antoni G. Lewkowicz (AGL), Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Lothar Schrott (LS), Dmitry Sergeev (DS), Hugues Lantuit (HL), Huijun Jin (HJ), Karina Schollaen (KS).
Excused: Ma Wei (MW)

1. Opening

1.1 Welcome and Practical Information

The President opened the meeting and noted that this meeting was a follow-up discussion on the 24th Council Meeting that took place 2 days ago.

1.2 Follow up with IASC

AGL reported on the discussion he had with Volker Rachold, the General Secretary of IASC. He explained that Volker Rachold wants the IPA to become a member of the International Planning Group of IASC.
HL explained that the International Planning Group is standing with organisations. The planning group is transcending all the meetings. He said that being part of the planning group implies organising business meetings at the Arctic Science Summit Weeks.
AGL answered that he discussed possible business meetings at ASSW´s with Volker Rachold and reported that a business meeting at the ASSW 2016 in Fairbanks might be possible, but not a meeting at ASSW 2015 in Japan. The EC should plan to have a last EC meeting before ICOP 2016 at ASSW 2016 in Fairbanks.
The EC agreed that IASC is one of the most important partners for the IPA and they should increase the cooperation/networking.

Decision 1: The EC agreed to become a member of the IASC International Planning Group. The EC will organise a business meeting for the ASSW 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska that will also be used as a last EC face-to-face meeting before ICOP 2016 in Potsdam.

Action item 1: AGL will write to IASC asking to become a member of the IASC International Planning Group.

A. ASSW 2015

HL submitted a permafrost session for the ASSW meeting in Japan. HL suggested advertising the meeting through permalist, cryolist and the IPA media sites. The permafrost session should include around 6 oral presentations.
VR, HL and Annett Bartsch will be at the meeting as members of the working groups and can give talks at the permafrost session. AGL said that he will try to participate in the meeting.
HC suggested encouraging Japanese and Chinese colleagues to join the meeting and give a talk at the permafrost session.

B. Joint IPA-SCAR-IASC meeting in 2018 in Europe

AGL reported that Volker Rachold suggested a possible joint meeting of IPA, SCAR and IASC in 2018. AGL pointed out that the RCOP in France will take place in 2018 and suggested that the joint IPA-SCAR-IASC meeting could run back-to-back with RCOP 2018. They agreed that it should be either back-to-back with the RCOP or separated by some significant amount of time.
SCAR and IASC will discuss the date and location for that meeting at the SCAR meetings end of August in Auckland. KS will be participating at the SCAR Delegates´ Meeting.

Decision 2: The EC is in favour of having a joint IPA-SCAR-IASC meeting 2018 in Europe. Members prefer that the meeting runs back-to-back with the RCOP in France.

3. Follow up with IACS

AGL reported that IACS wants to have better links with the IPA. Charles Fierz, the President of IACS joined the IPA Council meeting in Évora. AGL asked the EC members for their opinions.
HL noted that IPA has a MoU with organisations interested in the cryosphere (e.g. with APECS, IACS and CliC) and he suggested creating a direct MoU between IPA and IACS.
HC noted that this is something that the IPA has looked into previously. She suggested continuing as it is right now.
The EC decided to do nothing at the moment.

Action item 2: AGL will write a positive email to Charles Fierz thanking him that he joined the Council meeting and inviting him to participate in upcoming IPA meetings.
Action item 3: KS will review the MoUs of the IPA.
Action item 4: The EC should review which organisations are important for the IPA and create a list.

4. Increasing IPA membership fees/ weighting of votes

AGL raised the question where the IPA wants to go with the potential increase of membership fees and the weighting of voting in terms of strategy?
LS suggested separating both issues. Raising the fees should be related to arguments other than the weighting of votes. He reported that IAG has a similar structure as the IPA. The membership fees are not related to the weighting of votes.
HL said that the EC should find a proactive way to include it in the future agenda for the next Council meeting. He reported that at IASC the country members have all one vote. He argued that it is not necessarily the recipe for success to weight the votes. He suggested to increase the unit fee to 500€ which is not too much compared to other organisations. That means that bigger countries will instantly lose voting weight, but they are free to increase their fees.
HC noted that the IPA will get additional income (10% of the conference fees) in the future if there will be more RCOPs than in a 4-year rotation.

Decision 3: The EC is in favour of raising the unit fees to 500€ based on a justification of the increase in the cost of living. This should also be linked to the secretarial support. It should be a package including the strengthening of the national committees.

Action item 5: The EC will create a package for Council including the raise of membership unit fee to 500€.

5. Transactions

AGL reported that Chris Burn is preparing the transactions of the IPA for 2016. The goal is to focus on subjects that were not covered in 2012. He has started to talk to various people to ask if they are willing to write a review paper. It is in the interest of PPP to publish those papers. The criteria are that authors from at least two different countries will write each paper.

6. Sponsorship from organizations

VR brought up the topic of sponsorship from other organisations (commercial organisations, companies) to raise the IPA income. The question is if the IPA wants to have that and wants to create a new type of membership for those sponsoring organizations.
HL mentioned that we should think about the format and how to engage the sponsorship to the IPA. The best format would be to have an institutional sponsorship. Further, the IPA should carefully think about which sort of company we would like to have as sponsors.
A possible gain for the sponsoring company could be that they could put a title on their website, e.g. “IPA corporate member”. Further gains could be proceedings, special issues, or gifts.
HC noted that the companies want to sponsor an active programme or research topic. That is happening at the moment in Norway.

Decision 4:  The sponsorship from commercial organizations requires a considerable amount of discussion and reflection. The EC will start to think about an appropriate format for commercial sponsorship. The earliest that a proposal will be made to Council is 2016.

Action item 6: The EC will start to reflect on the options of IPA sponsorship from commercial organizations.

7. Permafrost map

AGL talked with Stephan Gruber and reported that he does not intend to produce a permafrost map. He wants to assess criteria for producing a new version of the permafrost map.
The EC agreed that Stephan Gruber is doing the right thing with assessing users requirements. This was also done for GTN-P and was very useful. The problem is the management. Without a focussed management it will take several years to produce a new version of the permafrost map.
HL pointed out that the permafrost map is one of the most important core products.

Decision 5:  The EC wants to have a permafrost map product by 2016. The EC decided to open another Action Group led by 1-2 EC members. The EC decided that HC and DS should be responsible for moving forward the product of an updated IPA permafrost map.

Action item 7: HC will talk to Stephan Gruber to get some feedback and to assess a strategy with him for finishing the Action Group in an appropriate timeframe.
Action item 8: HC and DS should think about creating a new Action Group to produce a new permafrost map.

8. Next EC face-to-face meeting

The next EC face-to-face meeting will be at the Arctic Change Conference in Ottawa in December 2014.

Action item 9: HL will check for an appropriate date for the meeting at Arctic Change 2014. The preferred time would be before the Arctic Change meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 pm.

April 27, 2014, Vienna, Austria

EC members in attendance: Antoni G. Lewkowicz (AL), Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Lothar Schrott (LS), Dmitry Sergeev (DS), Hugues Lantuit (HL), Ma Wei (MW), Huijun Jin (HJ), Karina Schollaen (KS).

1. Opening

1.1 Welcome and Practical Information

President AL officially opened the meeting. AL thanked LS for organizing the logistics and KS for preparing the materials for the meeting.
The regular business items (1-9) will be discussed in the morning session, followed by the strategic questions (item 10).
AL made the general comment that it is important to have the face-to-face meetings on a regular basis, at least annually. The next face-to-face meeting will be at EUCOP4 in June. The EC has to think about when and where the following EC meeting will take place.

1.2 Acceptance of the Agenda

AL presented the agenda and asked the EC Members for potential additions. The EC Members proposed no additions and AL declared the agenda approved.

1.3 Approval of minutes of last EC meeting (10-03-2014) and review of Action Items

The EC reviewed the Action items from the last EC meeting: Action item 1 (Frozen Ground 37): The Frozen Ground bulletin is in preparation and will be finalized in the upcoming weeks. Action item 2 (EUCOP4): AL noted that the program schedule for the EUCOP4 has been clarified. However, AL will talk to Gonçalo again to double check regarding the awards. Action item 3 to 6 are completed or in progress. Action item 7 (GTN-P secretariat): VR reported that Jeannette Nötzli has not been formally named as the GTN-P Secretariat, however she is informally involved.
HL suggested having an item regarding GTN-P on the agenda as there are different topics to discuss (GTN-P database, GTN-P meetings 2014, 2015). A new point “6.3 GNT-P” was added.
The EC reviewed the minutes from the last EC meeting: HC suggested deleting the last paragraph of 5a) ICARP III. “HC suggested that the EC should have an open discussion at EUCOP4 during the Town Hall meeting.”

Action item 1: KS will finalize the Frozen Ground bulletin in the upcoming weeks.
Action item 2: AL will talk to Gonçalo again to double check regarding the awards.

2. Financial statement

2.1 Past budget from 2012-2013

KS summarized the IPA financial situation. KS reported that the Salary of the IPA Secretariat is now included in the annual financial report. The Salary of the IPA Secretariat is not additional costs, as it is an inkind contribution from the Alfred Wegener Institute.
HL mentioned that the EC decided that the yearly saving of funds for ICOP support should be 6.000€ per year (see TICOP support) and not only 4.000€. The total saving of funds for the ICOP2016 should be 24.000€. AL noted that the IPA is in a good financial position.

Action item 3: KS will check the ICOP funds for the preceding periods (2008-2012) and, if needed, increase the yearly ICOP2016 funds from 4,000€ to 6,000€.
Action item 4: KS should recheck if China paid the country fees for 2012. If not they will arrange the payment.

2.2 Draft budget for 2014-17 onwards

KS presented the budget plan for 2014 to 2017. AL noted that the left over for Action groups support is between 10.000 to 12.000€ a year. The salary of the IPA secretariat will be paid by the AWI until 15th of November 2016.

A. Topic: Amount of financial reserve / Secretariat support / country membership fees

AL raised the question of how much the IPA should hold in a reserve. This should be justifiable to the IPA council members. The EC should have a continuously plan for the IPA Secretariat support after November 2016, when the AWI support ends. The IPA needs to have a significant reserve that helps with the running of the IPA secretariat for a while after November 2016. The budget plan for 2014-2017 shows that with the current reserve of 70.000€ the IPA secretariat could run for one more year without external support.
LS mentioned that the IPA has 3 different kinds of incomes: country fees, RCOP and ICOP. The EC should have a mid-term plan after the external support of the IPA secretary by AWI ceases. One idea would be to have a reserve for the IPA secretariat to survive for a year without getting support from an external institution. However, LS would not suggest having the internal funding of the secretariat longer than a year. From his experience international organisation that do not have a fulltime secretary suffer a lot in terms of professionalism. Therefore it is extremely important that the IPA continues to get external support for the IPA secretary. LS suggested increasing the country fees if it doesn’t work to get external financial support for the secretary to compensate the financial situation.
HC also suggests increasing the country membership fees. However it should stay on a voluntary basis. The ambition of the EC should be to make the IPA activities so attractive that the countries want to increase their membership fees. Then the IPA can increase the support for Action groups.
HC noted that the financial report should include the contribution made by the IPA EC members, e.g. travel costs for annual IPA EC meetings. HL thinks that the budget plan is clearly structured and adding the contribution made by the IPA EC members would overload the financial report. Also, the travel costs of the Council members should be added in the report.
HC noted that the IPA secretariat is a 50% position at the moment (50% IPA secretariat, 50% ICOP management). The president’s package should contain some kind of responsibility for at least a 50% position to run the IPA secretariat. Today there is a strong need for connection between the president and the secretariat. Therefore HC suggests having the president and secretariat together as a strategic ambition for the IPA.

HL followed up on what HC said and agreed that the vision should be to get an external secretariat support, not to build a buffer fund for running the secretariat. HL noted some issues regarding the buffer fund for a potential secretariat:

  • The IPA is not a legal identity. There are modules for setting up a buffer fund. For example, setting up a foundation. A foundation would be based in one country.
  • Before increasing the country membership fees the IPA have to professionalize the way fees are paid by the individual countries by strengthening national committees (which was part of the IPA strategy plan from 2010). Good examples are Canada, China, Russia or Germany where the membership fees are linked to the national institution paying the fees for all scientific unions. The IPA should professionalize the link to those institutions through the national committees.

VR asked HL what the role of the IPA EC could be in this matter and how the EC could impact the different countries. The strategy could be:

  • The IPA EC should talk to the national representatives and ask them to identify the national institution that is paying fees for scientific unions in their country.
  • Talk to IASC and check for overlapping countries.
  • Once the national representatives have identified the structure/contact person, the IPA Secretariat or President should formulate a letter. (Content: We are a scientific organization, affiliated with XXX and this organization should pay the fees.)

LS suggests running different scenarios of having secretarial support and without and to show this to the council members. If the IPA has no secretarial support they cannot support more action groups and other activities.
Different budget scenarios for Council meeting at EUCOP4:

  • External support to run the secretariat after Nov 2016
    • Increase membership fees
    • Increase AG support
  • No secretarial support after Nov 2016
  • No secretarial support after Nov 2016, increase membership fees
  • No secretarial support after Nov 2016, increase membership fees and AG support

Key message: if we increase the membership fees and have secretarial support we have more money for activities!!!

Decision 1: The EC has the common opinion that the vision should be to get external secretariat support and not to build a buffer fund for running the secretariat.
Decision 2: The EC should strengthen the national committees that were part of the IPA strategy plan from 2010. As part of this plan the EC wants to professionalize and increase the payment of country membership fees. The ambition of the EC should be to make the IPA activities so attractive that the countries want to increase their membership fees voluntarily. Preferably the membership fees should be paid by national institutions (e.g. in Germany the DFG, in Canada the NRC).

Action item 5: AL should decide on whether the contribution made by the EC members should be included in the financial report or not.
Action item 6: KS will draft different budget scenarios (see above) regarding the IPA secretariat position that will be presented to the Council members at the 24th Council meeting. KS will prepare the budget plan until 2020.
Action item 7: AL and KS will draft a strategy plan on how the IPA can strengthen its national committees (see Strategy plan 2010, survey 2011). As part of this plan AL and KS will ask the national representatives to identify the national institutions that are paying fees for scientific unions in their country. KS will talk to IASC and check for overlapping countries/contact persons and send this information to the national representatives.

B. Topic: Upcoming Secretariat and President at one place

The important strategic question raised by AL: Is it an advantage to have the secretariat and president together?
AL noted that it is ideal to have the president and the secretariat together at one place. However, this can´t be the defining question. AL noted that he gets 10.000€ travel support per year from his institute for being the IPA President.
HL noted that most of the Council members at IPA are researchers and they are not able to mobilize the funds for the IPA secretariat support. Therefore the link to the scientific institutions in the countries is important to be able to ask for funding. The call for IPA secretariat support needs to look attractive for the Council members.
HC mentioned that the EC should investigate if there are some places in the world that want to fund the secretariat for example for 10 years. The EC thought about which countries would be able to fund the IPA secretariat and which could not:
Possibly no: USA, Canada (GFC), Finland, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Netherland, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania
Maybe yes: Canada (Canadian Polar Commission), China, Austria, South Korea, France, Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK

The EC collected ideas for a package on what they want for the IPA secretariat from the country willing to provide this position:

  • Fulltime position (50% position might be ok however ask for fulltime)
  • Position for at least 4 years Preferably longer
  • Travel support to fulfill the function
  • Administrative support for finances

General requirements for the IPA secretariat position will be a PhD degree. HL suggests taking the secretariat description of IASC as an example.
HC noted that this would be a one year process. One year before the new president starts the IPA should know where the secretariat could potentially be located.

Action item 8: AL and KS will check and draft a package on what the EC wants for the upcoming secretariat position. This package should be presented at the 24th Council meeting for approval and ideas on hosting it.

2.3 Specific questions

  • Should we increase Action Group support?
  • How many ACs?
  • How much funding can we allocate?
  • What is the appropriate level for our reserve?
  • Which kind of activities haven’t we funded yet and we could now start to fund?

The EC decided to postpone the answering of these questions to the IPA strategic plan discussion.

Action item 9: KS will prepare a historical overview of the money spent for Action groups (start of AG, amount of money spent on it, type of AG) for the 24th Council meeting (Agenda 2.5.1).

3. Business raised by the President

3.1 Announcement of Senior Vice-President

AL asked the two Vice-Presidents (VR and HC) if they made a decision on who of the two would be willing to be the next President for 2016 to 2020. VR and HC discussed which country would have the better chances to get funding for the secretariat position. This would be Norway. As a joint decision VR and HC propose HC to become the new President in 2016.
AL asked VR and HC to leave the room.
The EC decided unanimously that HC will be the next president in 2016 and now become the Senior Vice-President of the IPA. AL will inform the Council of his decision during the 24th Council meeting at EUCOP4.
HC noted that it will be very useful for the IPA to get VR involved at a high-level and therefore she supports that VR stays as a Vice-President in the EC. AL agreed with that statement.

3.2 IPA Lifetime Achievement Award

AL explained that there is no final recommendation from the committee yet. The decision will be made in the upcoming days.
Answer Committee (01.05.2014): Fritz Nelson reported that he is pleased to announce that the Nomination and Awards Committee’s vote has yielded a clear-cut decision on the IPA Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014. The majority vote is for Cheng Guodong.

Action item 10: KS will prepare the trophy for the IPA Lifetime Achievement Award. AL will ask Cheng Guodong if he will attend the EUCOP4 and if not if he could prepare a short video recording (5 mins).

4. Recent and future international conferences and regional conferences

4.1 EUCOP4

A. EC meeting

The EC will have a closed EC meeting on the 17th of June at 16:00h to 19:00h (tentative time). Afterwards there will be a Council reception.

Action item 11: KS will arrange the logistics for the EC meeting on the 17th of June at 16:00h to 19:00h.

B. Council reception at EUCOP4

Decision 3: The EC agreed to sponsor the Council reception (upper limit 2.000€). AL will give a short motivational speech pointing out the important topics that will be presented/discussed during the Council meeting the next day. The Council members will receive an individualized invitation (+1 accompanying person).

Action item 12: KS will prepare a separate invitation letter to the Council members for the Council reception. KS will arrange the logistics for the Council reception.

AL noted that the Council reception would be the ideal place to distribute IPA give aways. (e.g. pins or hats).

4.2 ICOP 2016

A. Council reception at ICOP2016

Decision 4: The EC give a tentative approval to support and to organise a Council reception (upper limit 2.000€). The EC will make a final decision after the Council reception at EUCOP4.

B. Banquet at ICOP2016

Decision 5: The LOC will be responsible for organising and paying for the banquet.

4.3 RCOP (Strategy)

AL reported that the IPA received a tentative proposal from Japan (email from Mamoru Ishikawa, Hokkaido University) and France for the next RCOP 2018.
HL mentioned that the RCOP voting is a non-weighted election that should be clarified by the secretariat before.

Decision 6: The voting for the RCOP 2018 will be after the lunch break of the first Council meeting.

Action item 13: KS will prepare the voting for the RCOP 2018.


5.1 Approval of the agenda for the 24th IPA Council meeting at EUCOP4

KS asked if the whole IPA Council meeting is public. The EC affirmed that all IPA members could attend the meeting as an observer.
HC suggests that AL should start at year 2010 with the Strategic plan.

The EC discussed some changes on the agenda:

  • Acceptance of the Agenda as point 1.3
  • New point: draft budget 2016-2020 as point 2.2.1
  • New point: Review of Standing Committee and target Activities
  • Point: ”Cooperation with the International Glaciological Society (proposed from Poland – Rajmund Przybylak)”
    • 2.4.1 E&O
    • 2.4.2 GTN-P
    • 2.4.3 Permafrost Research Priorities
  • review of Action Groups each 5 minutes
  • point 2.5 “observers” instead of “associate members”
  • point 2.5.2 ”important announcement from Country members” instead of “short reports from Country members”
  • point 2.5.3 short reports from PYRN
  • point 2.6 “Business raised by IPA Partners” instead of “Business raised by IPA Partnership”
  • point 2.6.3 IACS should be the last point as IPA has no MoU with them
  • add “voting for RCOP 2018 will be after the lunch break”

Decision 7: The EC decided to avoid a second Council meeting during the EUCOP4 if possible. If a second Council meeting is needed it could be at the end of the ICARPIII Town Hall meeting.

Action item 14: KS will send an email to the IPA members through permalist saying that the Council meeting is open for everybody to attend as an observer.
Action item 15: KS will send an email to the Action Group leaders to inform them that they are invited to give a short report on the development of their activities.
Action item 16: KS will contact Country members and ask if they want to contribute something to the Council meeting (under point: important announcement of Country members).

A. Possible interactions between the International Glaciological Society and IPA (proposed from Poland – Rajmund Przybylak)

The IPA Executive Committee has the following general recommendation:
We recommend talking to Charles Fierz at the EUCOP4, who will represent IASC at the meeting in order to determine potential possibilities of cooperation on scientific issues in the common fields of interest.
Before setting up an agreement with another organization there should be a clearer vision/working plan of what you are aiming to do. The goal should be a multiple partnership between IASC, IGS and IPA, coordinated by the leaders of the GAPHAZ working groups.
We suggest applying for Action Group funding (next deadline: 15th of October 2014).

Action item 17: AL/KS will write a letter to Wojciech Dobinski or Raimund Przybylak to clarify.

5.2 IPA Give aways at EUCOP4 

AL noted that the IPA has no publicity gifts to distribute to the members. The EC discussed which give aways will be appropriate regarding the following points: raise attention to the IPA, costs, for which audience.
Ideas from the EC: cups, caps, pins, bottles, t-shirts, pens or stickers.
HL suggests having give aways for a broad audience and gifts for a selected audience (e.g. Council members). HL noted that from experience it is difficult to sell give aways.

Decision 8: The EC decided that the ambition is not to sell IPA gifts.  The EC has two goals: 1. Recognition to people that are, or were, involved in the organisation and plays/played a significant role (limited number, approx. 50 people à EC members, Council members, AG leaders, etc.). 2. Publicity for the IPA (extended number). Also, the EC decided to have no special give aways for the 30th anniversary.

Action item 18: KS will check the prices for give aways (caps, t-shirts and pins) for the selected audience (approx. 50 people) and circulate a list among the EC members. The goal is to distribute those gifts during the Council reception/meeting.


6.1 ICARP III: Permafrost Research Priorities (PRP)

HL gave an overview regarding the latest development of the Permafrost Research Priorities process:
The Core Group had two conference calls until now. The Core Group decided having a writing team meeting in January 2015 hosted by Ted Schuur. They have an ongoing discussion regarding the evaluation/voting process if it will be a one- or two-phase process. The decision will be made when the questions are collected depending on the input of questions. There will be a two phase mailing process with a first mail warning the scientist that a questionnaire is coming soon and a second mail when the survey starts. The output should be up to two papers, a short paper (3-4 pages) in Nature Comments for example and a longer academic paper, describing the entire process including all the meta statistics. For more details see the background document (an updated version will be circulated soon). Bill Sutherland offered to help in the PRP process.

Process at a glance:

  • First stage: Gathering questions
  • Second stage: Merging/ Categorizing the questions
  • Third stage: Ranking/Voting on the questions (by given a grade)

The timeline is the following:

  • May 2014: Finalize the questionnaire
  • End of May 2014: Launch the questionnaire à online for 6 weeks
  • Until Autumn 2014: Merging of the questions by the Core Group
  • Autumn 2014: Ranking process (online) on merged questions

A. EC comments to the online questionnaire

Part 1:

  • “…up to three research…” à “three” should be emphasized
  • geographical focus: Antarctic Permafrost should be added

Part 2:

  • adding the questions:
    • Are you regularly participating on permafrost related conferences?

General comments:
How to avoid that people are submitting multiple questionnaires?
The EC started a discussion and raised a few concerns regarding the PRP process. In summary the EC wants to be involved in the evaluation process (second and third stage) of the questionnaire. The Core Group should cooperate with the IPA EC in the evaluation process (ranging of the questions). They raised concerns regarding the democracy voting process. The suggestion is to integrate an expert opinion versus the “public” opinion. The IPA EC should become involved when it comes to an official statement what becomes a permafrost research priority. Practically this could be achieved with a workshop where the core group is coming together with the IPA EC discussing the first outcome of the questionnaire.
The EC suggests to generate an expert group that define an own list of permafrost priorities and compare the results with those from the democracy voting process.

Decision 9: The Executive Committee of the IPA decided to establish an expert group beside the PRP Core Group. This expert group will be involved in the voting and evaluation process of the survey. The list of Permafrost research priorities voted by the entire community as well as the list of Permafrost research priorities voted by the expert group should be part of the output products (papers).

HL noted that he would not be responsible to define an expert group.

Action item 19: The EC can make comments on the design of the questionnaire until 20th of May.
Action item 20: HL will talk to the PRP Core Group and give them an update regarding the suggestions/decisions made by the IPA EC. 
Action item 21: The EC should think about how to constitute a group of permafrost experts for the PRP process.
During the IPA Strategy plan discussion the EC mentioned that it would be good idea to harvest the mail-addresses of the scientist publishing permafrost related papers to have the possibility to invite them getting an IPA member.
Action item 22: KS and HL will add a section on the questionnaire asking to save the mail-addresses.

6.2 Evaluation of New Action Groups

The IPA Secretariat received 7 Action Group proposals. AG5 and AG6 were refused (see explanation below).
AL asked HL and HJ to leave the room.

A. AG1: Permafrost and Culture (PaC): Integrating environmental, geo‐, and social sciences to assess permafrost dynamics and indigenous land use

Contact: Mathias Ulrich and Otto Habeck.
Decision: The AG will be supported with 4000€.
2000€ for 2014, 2000€ for 2015
Explanation: The Action Group proposed is a truly interdisciplinary contribution and of high international linkage. The IPA will fund the AG but only for 4,000€ as the specific budget is missing for the last 1,000€. 2,000€ will be funded for the year 2014 and 2,000€ for the year 2015. The Executive Committee of the IPA strongly recommends involving Kenji Yoshikawa as a leader of the standing committee. The IPA encourages you to involve more international groups.

B. AG2: IPA Action Group Remote Sensing

Contact: Claude Duguay, Guido Grosse, Annett Bartsch
Comment: The IPA supported the CliC-ESA-DUE Permafrost Workshop at ESA ESRIN, Frascati in February 2014 with 2500€. That was not in the framework of an Action Group.
Decision: The application will be supported with 2500€ for the DUE Permafrost workshop but not as an Action Group.
2500€ in year 2014
Explanation: The IPA supported the CliC-ESA-DUE Permafrost Workshop with 2500€. The IPA encourages you to write a more specific proposal with a specific plan and to resubmit for future Action Group funding at the next call.

C. AG3: Permafrost Research Priorities: A Roadmap for the Future

Contact: Hugues Lantuit
Decision: The application will be supported as an Action Group by 2500€ conditional on the decisions made at that EC meeting.
2500€ in year 2015
Explanation: The Executive Committee of the IPA decided to establish an expert group beside the PRP Core Group. This expert group will be involved in the voting and evaluation process of the survey. The list of Permafrost research priorities voted by the entire community as well as the list of Permafrost research priorities voted by the expert group should be part of the output products (papers). The Action Group will be funded by 2,500€.

D. AG4: Assessment Of Increased Methane Emission from Thawing Permafrost and Leakage from Arctic Hydrate using Satellite, Airborne and Surface‐based Measurements

Contact: Xiaozhen (Shawn) Xiong
Decision: The application will be refused.
Explanation: The main reason for not funding your proposal was that the proposed work is not coherent with the definition and purpose of an IPA Action Group. The IPA would encourage you to develop a more specific proposal along the guidelines for Action Group support and resubmit a proposal at the next call that will be 15th of October 2014. However, as the proposed research is of high relevance and would definitely be worthwhile undertaking, the IPA would like to offer support for specific meetings.

E. AG5: Global Soil Moisture Content JAXA‐Algorithm Retrievals Processed For Easy Use In Permafrost Education, Engineering, Research and Science (GSM‐PEERS)

Contact: Reginald R. Muskett
Decision: The application will be refused.
Explanation: The IPA could not fund your application on the grounds that your application did not answer some of the basic requirements set for Action Groups: “The individuals making up the Action Group should stem from at least three different IPA member countries.“ Furthermore the IPA does not support personal salaries. In the eventuality of a future re-application (next call: 15th of October 2014), the Executive Committee of the IPA encourages the applicants to seek partnership with other countries, to ensure that the goals of an IPA Action Group are aligned with the initiatives it supports internationally.

F. AG6: High-alpine rock wall permafrost degradation and slope instability in response to global change (Vignemale North Face, Pyrenees)

Contact: Ibai Rico
Decision: The application will be refused.
Explanation: The main reason for not funding your proposal was that the proposed work is not coherent with the definition and purpose of an IPA Action Group. Action Groups are meant to focus on a specific action or project and be restricted in time, and should fulfil strategic organizational goals. In the case of your application we find it to be more a description of a research program, which, unfortunately, the IPA is unable to support. However, as the proposed research is of high relevance and would definitely be worthwhile undertaking, we encourage you to proceed with the idea and hope that you can obtain the necessary funding from sources which are designed to fund field research.

G. AG7: Last Permafrost Maximum and Minimum (LPMM) in Eurasia

Contact: Huijun Jin
Decision: The application will be supported as an Action Group with 5000€.
2500€ in year 2015, 2500€ in year 2016
Explanation: The Action Group proposed is a very important contribution towards one of the most widely used IPA products, the permafrost map. The outcome of this Action Group supposes to develop a regional Palaeo-map of Permafrost in Eurasia. The IPA support is conditional on the contribution of the product (map of permafrost distribution during the period of maximum permafrost extent in the northern hemisphere around 17-20 years ago, as a shape file) from the former Action Group “Permafrost extension during the Last Glacial Maximum in the northern hemisphere and derived mean annual temperatures” led by Jef Vandenberghe. The Action Group will be funded by 2,500€ in the year 2015 and 2,500€ in the year 2016.

 Action item 23: KS will send a response letter to the Action Group leaders.

6.3 GTN-P

VR reported that Jeannette Nötzli has not been formally named as the GTN-P Secretariat. However, she is informally involved.
HL explained that the GTN-P database is in progress and the goal is to have the database ready for the EUCOP4. HL is applying for German funding for a full position for Boris Biskaborn to take over the management of the GTN-P database.
The EC discussed possible plans for a next GTN-P meeting in 2015 in China. China would be willing to provide the meeting funding but not the travel funding.
The EC had a detailed look at the new GTN-P database website. AL made the comment that the IPA should be more visible on the website.

Action item 24: KS will make the IPA more visible on the new GTN-P database website. Every time the IPA is mentioned there should be a link to the IPA website.
Action item 25: KS will coordinate the logistics regarding the GTN-P meeting taking place at EUCOP4.

7. IPA structure

7.1 Structure of Activities – Interest groups/ Working groups, etc.

This point was left over to item 10.

8. New IPA website structure

8.1 Discussion of new website structure

Decision 10: The EC decided that the website structure should be saved in an archive. The EC decided that the IPA should have a concrete contract with Arctic Portal.

Action item 26: KS and HL will work on a list of suggested changes and circulate it to the IPA EC. They will provide the old structure and show what it could look like in the new structure. A detailed description should be prepared for Arctic Portal.

9. Miscellaneous

9.1 Funding PYRN Awards at EUCOP4

Decision 11: The EC decided to fund the PYRN awards at EUCOP4.

Action item 27: KS will inform the PYRN president that the IPA will fund the PYRN awards at EUCOP4.

9.2 Request IPA endorsement and travel support for Education and Outreach workshop

Decision 12: The EC decided to endorse the Education and Outreach workshop held in Hannover 2015. The EC needs more details for travel funding.

Action item 28: KS will inform Inga May that the IPA is willing to endorse the Education and Outreach workshop. However, the EC needs more details for travel funding.

10. IPA strategic plan

The goal of the EC is to develop an updated strategic plan for the Council meeting in Évora. Topics for discussion:

A. Review the 2010 structural changes made and how well they work (Not having Working Groups, which were replaced by Interest Groups, but how well did they work since then?, How well did/do Project groups work ?)
B. Review the 2010 structural changes made and how well they work (Not having Working Groups, which were replaced by Interest Groups, but how well did they work since then?, How well did/do Project groups work ?) 

These topics were discussed at point 2. Financial Statement.

C. Priorities/Goals/ Actions:

  • What should the actions be for the next 4 years? What are our priorities?
  • What are our goals?
  • Strengthening the periglacial community
  • Initiate a series of “white papers” (EC members involved)

D. The core products of the IPA are:

  • Organizing permafrost related conferences (RCOP, ICOP)
  • Supporting/publishing white papers
  • Permafrost map
  • Glossary
  • Targeted activities (GTN-P, Action Groups, etc.)

Action item 29: AL will talk to Stephan Gruber regarding the progress of the Permafrost map.

LS suggested splitting our goals into different categories from the strategy and scientific perspective.
HC noted that one major goal should be to ensure that the IPA accommodates all people who are involved in permafrost science. The IPA should figure out all areas related to permafrost research.
The EC discussed how to strength the periglacial community within the IPA.
AL mentioned that the monthly alert of permafrost related papers chosen by the IPA EC would have a positive impact as a service and on the membership in the association.
HL noted that the IPA should focus on their expertise (see core products above). One important issue is to update the Permafrost map and the Glossary. He suggested that one EC member could be responsible for the Glossary.
HC noted that the IPA should target to reach a broad community, to get the “big stars” to the IPA conferences giving keynote lectures.
LS mentioned using the Permafrost conferences as an active vehicle to show state of the art research and to bring in new sessions. LS reported on a conference in Oxford where external observers were asked to evaluate the conference. Keynote speakers could do this.

E. Which activities are of minor importance for the IPA and could be dropped?

  • Interest groups

Decision 13: The EC suggests withdrawing support for interest groups, as there was no activity in the last 2 years. The Council should vote on it.

Action item 30: During the Council meeting at EUCOP4 AL should mention the suggestion of the EC withdrawing support for interest groups as there was no activity in the last 2 years.

The Council should vote on it. If the Council agree on this, the EC should change the wording in the constitution.

F. Brainstorming for the Strategic presentation at EUCOP4:

Updating the Council on:

  • Historical presentation of 1) what happened 2010 , 2)what happened since then, 3) which necessary steps have to be taken now and 4) which changes we suggest for 2016 which we don´t manage to do now.
  • This is where we are
  • This is what we achieved
  • This is what we haven´t done
  • This is what we think should be changed à basically everything from the strategy plan from 2010 that the IPA has not done since then
  • This is what we hope to finish before 2016 when the IPA Council meets again

G. IPA information strategy

Our webpage (we should carefully review this and discuss if this has all the things we would like to find on this, or not, and what else should be included), potentially we should also review IPA on Facebook and other social media.
AL noted that we don´t have a media strategy up to now. The IPA does not have a press release when there is an important paper on permafrost.

H. Media strategy

  • Strengthening the national committees à national adhering bodies representatives should give a note to the IPA secretariat if there are new hot papers in permafrost science
  • Press release system; needs to be released through institutions that are coupled to the alerts of the scientific press release networks (scopus, web of science, etc.)

LS noted that the Geomorphology journal has a new icon, “editor’s choice”, on their webpage that is a recommendation of the editors.

Decision 14: The EC decided that they would like to use PermaList as a way to alert IPA members to new papers published in the field of permafrost/periglacial, and also to have a single key paper from the past listed for those who are new to the domain. They will probably issue a new list every 2-4 weeks.

Action item 31: AL will talk to Oliver W. Frauenfeld and check for monthly permafrost alerts by the USPA.
Action item 32: HC and AL are willing to be in charge of presenting the newest permafrost papers (every month). Every two weeks AL, as the IPA president, will present a list with the “hottest” permafrost papers and highlight one benchmark paper. HC may support him.
Action item 33: KS will work on a new icon on the IPA webpage for the press release system (“Hot papers on a cold subject”, “latest publications in permafrost science”). 

I. Internal functioning of the IPA

Strengthening of national committees

IPA EC vision:

The EC should provide a basic framework for the national representatives.
The key questions are: Where do we want to go? What do we want to have in 3-4 years from now?

  • Establishing national committees in every country
  • Strengthening the communication component within the countries
    • Instrument: national mailing lists (When people register they will be categorized in a mailing list automatically in the country. Every country automatically has all the IPA members of the country in one mailing list.)
  • Professionalize the  payment of the country membership fees
    • Identifying the national institutions paying fees for scientific unions in their country.

Action item 34: AL should include the topic “Strengthening of national committees” in his speech at EUCOP4. KS will prepare 1-2 slices showing the vision of the IPA EC. KS will check the answers from the survey 2011.
Action item 35: HL will circulate the summary of the 2011 survey and merge a brief summary for AL and KS.
Action item 36: The EC (DS for Russia, AL for Canada and VR for the US) should ask for explanatary feedback from the countries having well organised national committees such as Russia, Canada or the US.

  • Division of tasks in the Executive Committee
  • Non-democratic presidential elections
  • Financial transparency

Decision 15: The EC is in favour of having the budget online for financial transparency.

Action item 37: AL will ask the Council at EUCOP4 if they agree with having the IPA budget online on the IPA website for financial transparency.

11. Next EC meeting

The next EC meeting will be a Skype call on Tuesday 20th of May at 18:00h (UTC+2h).
The EC will meet in Évora on Tuesday 17th of June from 16:00 to 19:00h (UTC+1h).

October 7, 2013, Online

EC members in attendance: Antoni Lewkowicz (AGL), Hanne Christiansen (HHC), Hugues Lantuit (HL), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Ma Wei (MW), Dmitry Sergeev (DS) [intermittently]

Excused: Lothar Schrott

1. Approval of Agenda

2. IPA Activities

A. Secretariat

Karina Schollän hiring in process by AWI for position from November 1, 2013 to October 31, 2016.  Initially will be part-time. AGL had sent thank you letters to Karine Lochter for approving the position and to Hans for his ongoing help with it during the summer.

B. Action Group October deadline

Action Group deadline was announced at RCN group. However, decision taken to have the next competition in April 2014.  New Executive Director will have to follow up on where the current action groups are and what is a sustainable number of Action Groups. The IPA’s balance is currently about 75K Euros with 24K Euros promised for ICOP 2016 in Potsdam.
Three young researchers went to the Abisko workshop with IPA funding.
Action: HL to check that e-mails to IPA’s address are forwarded to him.
Action: HL to announce no call for Action Groups at present and the next call in April 2014.


Lack of IPA secretarial support has hindered progress on meeting report, but GTN-P still advancing well although data-base is going slower than expected. Country representatives asked to submit material directly to Jean-Pierre.
Dani Vondermüll has asked if GTN-P would like half-time support from Switzerland. EC agrees that this would be a good move especially as GTN-G is already in Switzerland. PAGE21 also has a half-time position and may be able to help.
Action: VR to explore possibilities with Dani in Skype call.

D. IPA Mapping Action Group

AGL met with Stephan Gruber and explained the concerns of the EC. A list of potential names for members recommended by the EC was subsequently sent: Alexander Brenning, Dmitry Drozdov, Bernd Etzelmuller, Sergey S. Marchenko, Tingjun Zhang, Antoni Lewkowicz (Ex-Officio).
A budget of 2500 Euros was approved by the EC to be used as Stephan sees fit, including for secretarial support.  If further support is required, he could ask for it. The most important aspect is for him to move forward so that a plan can be presented at EUCOP.
Action: AGL to contact Stephan and pass on these messages.

E. IPA 30th Anniversary

EC agreed it is not possible to celebrate the anniversary in 2013 but could be held over to EUCOP.
The 30th Anniversary should be announced in a celebratory fashion at the Opening Ceremony.
Opportunity to do organize an event about the future of the IPA at EUCOP, such as a Town Hall or a Panel. Should indicate how the IPA will build upon the strategic plan from 2010.  Should involve PYRN and could overlap with ICARP III and Young Researcher’s Workshop being planned.
Jerry Brown could be asked to help organize event.
Action: ask Jerry to help and communicate with Gonçalo to pass on the needs for the planned session.

F. ICARP III (inserted into the agenda at this point; report from HL)

Goal of ICARP process is to identify science priorities and to transmit them to policy-makers. For IPA, these should be based based on SWIPA, UNEP report, etc.
HL represented the IPA at the September meeting.  HL is supposed to organize ICARP consultation in collaboration with IASC WG and CLIC.
Need to develop a Core Group that is broadly based and not just the equivalent of the IPA EC, so that input comes from other science areas. The Core Group could include members of the IASC WG, such as Warwick Vincent.  VR could also play a role.
Potential venues for community input could be at AGU, EGU, etc. There will be a Town Hall at EUCOP for ICARP on Tuesday evening. This and other meetings are mostly for information and the development of a white paper.
Draft report is meant to be available for discussion in Japan in 2015. The final report may be published, perhaps in PPP or even Science.
Action: HL to continue with development of the Core Group and activities related to white paper development.

G. Frozen Ground and Country Reports

When Karina starts, she should ask the country representative to provide the Country Report.
Other content for Frozen Ground is to be provided by various members of the EC.
It is probable that Karina will need some help with editing the written English.
Action: members of the EC to write text for Frozen Ground (no deadline stated).

H. Nomination and Awards Committee/IPA Lifetime Achievement Award

Fritz Nelson is supposed to organize the next award in time for EUCOP.
Goncalo Vieira and Julian Murton should be reminded about the delayed PPP award to Chris Burn.
Action: AGL to remind Gonçalo and Julian.
Action: HL to contact Fritz Nelson to check on progress.

I. PPP IPA Report

The next report should focus on the large projects that are taking place in permafrost science.
Action: AGL to check on deadline for PPP report with Julian and to ask whether IPA can have a second set of pages in the following issue.
Action: HHC to take the lead on writing regarding the large projects.
Action: Subsequent issue on ICARP to be drafted by HL.

J. Update on IPA Education and Outreach committee

The Committee is very active with Kenji Yoshikawa chairing.
An application was made to the University of the Arctic for a thematic network on permafrost and this was approved.  The existence of a thematic network makes it possible to apply for funds inside one’s country: HHC has done this for an undergraduate course.
Kenji has also authored a lay-person’s book on permafrost for all the communities in Alaska. He is currently undertaking outreach in Russia and will spend the winter in Yakutsk.
There are plans for a tour of the Arctic looking at permafrost using a Danish boat and organized by Bo Elberling.

3. EUCOP 2014

The conference organization appears to be progressing well. Abstract deadline is December 15, 2013.  Full registration on web-site opened on October 17 (after EC meeting).
There will be a large young researcher workshop organized by PYRN and APECS with funding from CLIC, ADAPT and PAGE21 starting one day before the conference.
Some concerns were expressed regarding finances.
Action: AGL to verify with Gonçalo that finances are solid.

4. ICOP2016

Planning is progressing well. The venue in Potsdam has been selected. The First Circular will be sent out in May 2014. Hans Hubberten is chairing the scientific committee with VR and Gonçalo Vieira as vice-chairs. Other members have not yet been confirmed but the plan is to reach out to all communities (mountain permafrost, Antarctic, etc.). The committee will provide oversight and advice on the scientific program, but session chairs will be responsible for the papers presented in their sessions. Excursions associated with the ICOP will be co-ordinated with members from other countries (e.g. Austria, Switzerland, etc.).
Logo competition has been won but winner not yet announced.
Action: HL to ensure that a meeting is scheduled between the IPA EC and the ICOP2016 Organizing Committee in Evora at EUCOP IV.

5. External Links

A. uArctic and new Thematic Network on Permafrost


IPA appears to have disappeared as a member of SAON. Jerry Brown has asked why. Unknown.
Action: AGL to e-mail Volker Rachold asking for IPA to be back as part of SAON.

C. Polar Space Task Group

WMO-level committee. IPA has been asked to provide a representative. HL wrote to Mark Drinkwater recommending Annett Bartsch.
Action: AGL to send a letter to Mark Drinkwater confirming Annett Bartsch as IPA’s representative, preferably on October 7.

D. CryoNet

WMO related proposal meant to be a network of super-sites, largely developed by Barry Goodison.
HL has been named to o-ordinate permafrost observatories but no real funding for the concept to move forward.


Recent meeting was very productive.
Partnerships with ADAPT, GRENE-TEA and NGEE.
In general, need to make sure that IPA sets the agenda.



H. Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments Arctic (NGEE-Arctic) (See above)

I. COPEC – Korean microbiology

6. Future conferences, activities and representation

A. AGU, San Francisco December 9-13, 2013

No special sessions on permafrost but several related sessions. RCN is meeting before the AGU and the USPA will meet too, possibly also NGEE-Arctic.

B. ArcticNet Meeting, Halifax, 9-13 December, 2013

HL will be present.  AGL will probably also attend to meet new IPA Executive Director (Karina).

C. THAW Workshop, Québec, 12-15 March, 2014

Focussed meeting supported by CLIC and others. IPA should be visible.
Action: HL to contact Warwick Vincent to offer to pay for some part of the meeting, such as an ice-breaker reception.

D. ASSW and AOS-2, Helsinki, April 5-11, 2014

ASSW judged to be the more important meeting.  IPA should be part of the international planning group for ASSW.
Action: HL? to be involved due to ICARP. GTN-P also to play a role?

E. EGU, Vienna, April 27-May 2, 2014

See below

7. Next face-to-face meeting (EGU 2014?) and future agenda items

Action: The next face-to-face meeting will take place at EGU in Vienna. This will include updating our long-term strategy for the IPA (not discussed since Nov 2012 Hamburg meeting).
Action: Next skype meeting will be November 11 at noon Eastern time.

November 13, 2012, Hamburg, Germany

EC members in attendance: Antoni Lewkowicz (AL), Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Hui Jun Jin (HJ, represents Ma Wei), Hugues Lantuit (AL), Lothar Schrott (LS), Dimitry Sergeev (DS), Inga May (IM).

1. Agenda

AL asked the minutes of the last meetings (skype call on the 22.09.2012) to be approved.

  • Everybody agreed.

AL asked the Agenda of the today’s meeting to be approved.

  • Everybody agreed.

2. Action Groups

IM explained that she received two reports from existing Action Groups and that there are three applications for new Action Groups plus a proposal of Stephan Gruber to create a new permafrost map that should be discussed today.
IM informed the EC that she received a report of the Action Group of Jef Vandeberghe (Permafrost extension during the Last Glacial Maximum in the northern hemisphere and derived mean annual temperatures), just before TICOP and that this report is available on the website.
She also got a report from Gustaf Hugelius about his Action Group on ‘New assessment of the deep permafrost organic carbon pool using the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database’, which is not online, yet.
HC wanted to know if there are general rules what should be written in the Action Group reports.
IM explained that there are no guidelines at the moment, but that she asked Gustaf Hugelius to summarize the activities and to give an overview of the budget.
Based on this statement a discussion started, what the IPA EC expects in the final Action Group reports.
HC suggested that the activities of the Action Group need to be clearly indicated and that also a budget has to be mentioned.
LS suggested providing some questions that need to be addressed in the report.

  • Everybody agreed on this method.

2.1 Existing Action Groups

A. New assessment of the deep permafrost organic carbon pool using the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (Gustaf Hugelius)

The recently received report was screened and everybody had a look at it.
IM explained that the report is not online, yet, but that she already refunded the expenses for the described workshop.
AL asked to send a reminder to Gustaf Hugeius that the IPA logo needs to be visible on the outcomes and /or the IPA has to be mentioned in the published results. He also wanted to know if Gustaf Hugelius is asking for another year of funding.
IM answered that this is not the case so far.
HC wanted to know, if in the initial application he asked for one or two years.
This could not really be clarified.
HL however mentioned that we should let him know, that the IPA will endorse further activities of the Carbon Pools in Permafrost Regions (CAPP), if Gustaf Hugelius wishes to continue his work.
After the discussion about the report of Gustaf Hugelius a general wish of the IPA EC for an official way to approve the reports was expressed.
HC suggested the following procedure for the future: The Executive Director prepares a report of the status of the recent and submitted Action Group’s (the applications). The applications have to be approved by the EC. Also the final report has to be approved by the EC. If approved, the report should go on the website and the Action Group can apply for another year of funding (max 2 years).
In addition she mentioned that it would be desirable, in order to decide for new Action Groups as well as for the extension of existing ones, to prepare some kind of a status report of existing Action Groups and new applications, as well as the recent IPA budget.
IM raised the issue that it should be defined how the Action Groups can use the outcomes for publications, as generally the outcomes shall be open access and there is no written document, yet, which makes it clear.

  • It was decided to slightly change the application form: It should be mentioned that ideally the outcomes are accessible for everybody, and that the IPA logo either has to be visible on the outcomes or the IPA has to be mentioned in the acknowledgments.

IM raised the question if two deadlines/ year (one end of April and one end of October) for the application should be kept.
AL answered that he would like to stay with the two deadlines.
HL mentioned that this could mean that there will be 8 Action Groups in parallel, and that this might not always be sustainable.
HC stated that the IPA wants to have their members more active, and that two deadlines per year would make it easier for them to apply and implement their ideas.
LS suggested keeping the two deadlines, but that the IPA can always newly decide, based on its current budget, how many Action Groups will be supported.
AL asked if declined Action Groups would automatically be reconsidered in the next application round.
HL brought up the case of Kenji Yoshikawa’s Action Group proposal about ‘Permafrost map and Thermal State of Permafrost for Tropical Mountaint’ which was declined last year, but which is, after his opinion, much better than most of the applications the IPA received this year.
AL answered that the reason not to fund the Action Group, was not because there was no money.
VR added that in the case of the suggested Action Group from Korea this was the case, but that the IPA EC liked the idea of Kenji Yoshikawa.

  • It was decided to keep 2 deadlines, and to rather deny some of the applications if not enough money is available to fund all. The not funded but good AG proposals will be encouraged to propose their AG again.

B. IPA-IASC-SCAR workshop on the Global Terrestrial Network on Permafrost user requirements definition (Hanne Christiansen)

IM said that there is still no final report from the GTN-P workshop.
HC mentioned that HL prepared a first draft already in May, but that she has not have the time to work on it, yet.
AL asked if HL can say something about the funding that was spent.
HL explained that the funding was spent for the workshop and that additional money from IASC was used.
AL answered that the IPA EC will accept this verbal report, but that HL should still prepare a report including the budget.

  • HL will prepare a report of the GTN-P workshop in November 2011 until end of November 2012.

2.2 New Action Group Applications

A. Quantification and mapping of the soil organic carbon (SOC) pool of the Lena River Delta) Sebastian Zubrzycki (University of Hamburg)

AL asked the EC if there are any comments on the application.
HC mentioned the fact that is looks more like a research program (costs for lab work and library) and that she is not in favor of supporting this AG.
VR shared her opinion and made a comparison to the application of Korea from last year.
Also AL meant it looks more like a case study research and that this is not really what the IPA wants to support with the Action Groups.
DS agreed to the fact that it is very specific.
HJ did not have any further comments on it.
HL stated that the IPA has to be careful by declining all the Action Groups and he made a comparison with IASC: They are obviously not funding many proposals what also has a negative impact on the activities. Hence he recommended to carefully think about what the IPA should write back to Sebsatian Zubrzycki and he suggested pretending that the idea of the proposal itself is good, but that the IPA is not funding research projects.
AL summarized that the IPA will not fund this Action Group, because it is too narrow and more like a research program.
HC suggested asking Sebastian Zubrzycki to turn it into a real international project and she added that he completely skipped the part of the connection to the IPA Interest Groups. Additional she made clear that it is important to educate young researchers like Sebastian Zubrzycki how and where to apply adequately. Hence she supported the idea of HL to not only sending him back an email without any information about to explain ‘why’ the proposal has been declined.

  • Everybody agreed that the application is not really what the IPA wants to support.

Organization of the International Workshop on the Global Terrestrial Network on Permafrost (Vladimir Romanosky).
VR had to leave the room.
AL asked about comments to the application.
HC stated that the budget is not clear for her.
IM explained that the budget lists all possibly required funding, such as travel costs for the GTN-P EC members, representatives from IASC, National Correspondents, other observers and invited persons. At this point only the number and travel costs of the GTN-P EC and the observers can be estimated, and this would be up to 14 000 Euros. For the logistic support 2 500 Euros were assessed for the venue and additional 1 000 Euros for further expenses. In total this amounts to 17 500 Euros, plus the travel costs of the unknown amount of persons (IASC, the NCs and additional people). 2 500 Euros are expected from the IPA Action Group support.
HC asked why the venue would cost 2 500 Euros, and if it will not be possible to use the rooms and facilities of the WMO.
IM explained that this would of course be the ideally case, but this cannot be taken as a certainty and hence some funding for the venue need to be considered in the budget.
HC explained to the IPA EC the recent status of GTN-P after the workshop in 2011, and made clear that such workshop as proposed, is required to proceed with the recent progress in GTN-P: There is an operational submission system for GTN-P data running very soon, but the National Correspondents who will submit the data need to be trained and informed about the system.

  • Everybody agreed to support the meeting/ workshop

VR came back in the room and gave some more information about potential additional funding for the workshop. He mentioned that probably about 50 000 Euros will be required to get everybody involved to Geneva, and that he is currently working on a proposal to WRCP/ CliC to support the workshop as well.

B. Outreach for permafrost environment and engineering under a warming climate in China/Central and High Asia (AG-OPEECHA) (Hui Jun Jin)

HJ had to leave the room.
IM explained the idea of the AG: There is a lot of permafrost research going on in China, and their membership fee as an Adhering Body of the IPA is the third highest one. Unfortunately their individual memberships are very few, and the international involvement of Chinese permafrost researchers is very low as well. Hence the idea was to (i) promote permafrost, the IPA and PYRN in China by giving presentation about it at several universities and (ii) to organize a workshop about education and outreach of permafrost in China and ideally including other Asian countries.
HC noticed that there is no budget indicated in the application form.
IM explained that this is because the initiative will be conducted anyways, no matter if there is support from the IPA or not. But she also agreed that it would still be helpful to have the budget.
AL expressed that he thinks it is an excellent idea to get China better involved and he made again clear, that within this proposal there are two ideas: raising the awareness in permafrost research and getting people who are already involved in permafrost research more involved in the international efforts.
HL stated that getting the Chinese permafrost community better involved should be task of the IPA Chinese representative and should not be (additionally) supported by an IPA Action Group. However he thinks that some kind of a ‘promotion tour’ in China can beneficial for the IPA and permafrost research in China, but this would not necessarily be an Action Group.
Additionally he mentioned that the proposed workshop is not international enough to be supported by the IPA as an Action Group and he mentioned that the last years proposal of Kenji Yoshikawa was much more targeted.
VR agreed that the proposal is maybe not a real Action Group, but that the idea in general is good, and should be supported in some ways.
DS stated that after his opinion it is possible to have this as an Action Group, if the internationality would be better expressed.
HC appealed to remember what the target of the application is: To raise awareness for the third pole, and that this is something the IPA wanted to do since a long time.
HL replied that if there will be a workshop organized, the organizers can still go to the IPA and ask for endorsement and even funding. But as long as the focus is on China only, it cannot be supported as an Action Group.
LS agreed to HL’s first comment, that it is the task of the representative to get the permafrost community more involved. He suggested reformalizing the application and making it into an Action Group.
HL mentioned that the application is very unclear to him, and that there are actually many different things in there that needs to be much more targeted.
AL added again that also the international dimension is missing.
HC argued that the IPA is not funding national initiatives but regionals.
AL made clear that this is just and issue about the definition of an IPA Action Group, and that at this stage the proposal does not fall under the umbrella of such. However workshop or meetings with such objective shall be held and the organizers can approach the IPA and ask for financial support.

  • Everybody agreed that this is something the IPA should be support, but not necessarily through an AG.
  • It was decided to partially support IM’s tour in China, and to encourage China to ask for financial support again, if they are planning a workshop.
  • It was also agreed that this is more than a single Action Group.
  • It was agreed that it could be rewritten into a proposal for a workshop with more Asian countries involved.

HJ came back.
AL briefly explained to him what was discussed during his absence. He made clear that the EC is willing to partially support the travel of IM, but that in this form the proposal does not really fulfill all the requirements to become an IPA Action Group. Therefore it would need to be better established and involve more Asian countries. He expressed the wish to rewrite the proposal to make it more international and also mentioned that he will travel to China next week and could discuss further details with Ma Wei.

C. Permafrost Map (Stephan Gruber)

IM explained that she just received the ‘proposal’ this morning, and that it is more a short description of the proposed Action Group, than a full application.
AL raised the issue that the schedule is for 5 years, which seems to be a long time. After his opinion it would be nice to have it finished in 4 years for the next ICOP. On the other hand he also sees that this is a project that would need some time.
VR added that in terms of what it is, it is great and it will not be simple to organize it international and he mentioned how complicated such task will be.
HC highlighted the overlap with GTN-P and suggested to invite Stephan Gruber to the workshop in May. She also mentioned that this map will also be a very important outreach product of GTN-P.  Additionally she noticed the missing budget in the proposal, which would be crucial to know.
LS stated that for him the proposal at hand simply looks to ambitious and that he would like to change the title into ‘towards a permafrost map’. Furthermore he mentioned the link to GTN-P.
HL considered two things: The IPA map will remain an IPA product and should take this thing very seriously – not only as an Action Group, hence it would need a very solid and robust framework. He supported the idea of LS that the Action Group itself would be more to create the framework for the production of such map. He also made clear that the EC needs to tackle it very fast: The map is going to be the flagship product of the IPA, and the EC has to provide fast and clear what they would like to have. Such indication has to be defined soon, before it goes away and somebody else publishes a new map.
HJ also added that the proposal as it is, seems to be very ambitious.
AL made clear that it is not the question about creating a paper map, but more a digital map that also can be printed if wished.
HL expressed again the urgency to act fast.
DS said that after his opinion it is impossible to achieve the goals of the proposal.
HC agreed on HL’s comments that it is very important to react fast, as the current permafrost map is taking as reality by most of the people, and it is simply not correct.
LS added that this project is more than just an Action Group and that the IPA clearly defined in its resolutions from TICOP to produce a new permafrost map.
HL suggested having the Action Group as something like a first phase, however he would like to have a more detailed and clearer proposal.
AL asked if an Action Group could lead to a broader task force, because in such case the product of the Action Group could be the framework for the creation of the map. He also made clear, that in contrast to GTN-P the map would be solely a product of the IPA.

  • It was agreed that the AG would be something like a first phase of the ‘map production’ to create a framework how the map shall be produced. The map production itself would be a task force – a long-term project.
  • It was agreed that the IPA will inform Stephan Gruber that the IPA will support him.

HL added that the IPA should be ready to fund it on a steady basis on 2 500 Euros, and highlighted again the importance of this project for the IPA.
AL further more suggested meeting with Stephan Gruber at AGU. AL, VR and IM are going to be there, too. This will be a good opportunity to get more information about the intension of Stephan Gruber concerning the map, as well as to let him know, what the IPA EC thinks about it.

  • It was decided to find key players that should be involved in the project. These people should act as a managing group.

A discussion about potential member of the group started.
HC said that it should include modelers but certainly also persons who are dealing with real data.
HL mentioned that the people that are chosen right now would be more people who are managing the group and not necessarily those who are already producing something.
HC added that it is also depending on what kind of a map the IPA is aiming for and that there is a need to have some people to be responsible for certain areas.
LS agreed that people from both fields, models and people from the field, are required.
AL asked if it is desired to have strict regional representation, or better people who have the expertise of spatial distribution.
HL suggested starting with a small group of people like a steering committee.
LS suggested Alexander Branning from the University of Waterloo to be in the ‘team’. He has a GIS and permafrost background.
AL mentioned the fact that there are two groups in Russia and that hence there is a need to have some people from Russia. He added that there is probably more going on in terms of permafrost observation than the IPA knows.
VR suggested Dmitry Drozdov as he is working with GIS. He added that other people will be probably work in a very traditional way on some kind of a *.pdf map.
HC countered that her experience with Dmitry Drozdov is negative as he never replies on emails.
VR agreed, but mentioned that there is nobody else.
HC added that Russia has the best permafrost map in the world.
AL commented on LS’s suggestion and mentioned that Alexander Branning is Canadian, but that he has the expertise of Europe and the Southern Hemisphere, too. Hence he supports his nomination.
HL asked about the involvement of China.
HJ suggested Tingjun Zhang (from NSIDC) who was involved in the last permafrost map.
AL proposed Bernd Etzelmuller.
HC commented on AL’s suggestion and mentioned a meeting next week for a Nordic permafrost map in which Bernd Etzelmüller also is involved.
VR highlighted there is no Canadian in in the group.
HC suggested Chris Burgh.
HL mentioned Daniel Fortier.
AL was not convinced about the two suggestions and proposed that he could start as an Ex-Officio in the group and cover the Canadian Part.

  • The following names where listed:
  • Alexander Branning (Waterloo, GIS and permafrost background)
  • Dmitry Drozdov (?)
  • Bernd Etzelmuller
  • Sergey S. Marchenko
  • Tingjun Zhang (NSIDC)
  • Antoni Lewkowicz (Ex-Officio)

It was decided the AL will contact the listed persons to start the process and not Stephan.
HJ informed the EC that China just started a new very big project to create a permafrost map of the 20th century.  This could maybe be a good contribution. (It is a global 15 years project and the first step will be the mapping of the permafrost).

3. Membership Iceland

IM explained that Iceland is not paying its membership fees since several years.
HL said that he talked to Halldor Johansson from Arctic Portal. Obviously there is interest in paying the membership fee. However HL would prefer if another national organization like the Icelandic research council would be involved, too.

  • It was decided that the IPA Secretariat writes an email to Halldor Johansson asking him again, if they are willing to pay and suggesting to also approach the Research Council.
  • If there is no answer until 31 of December 2012, the issue would have to raise at Council.

HC informed the EC that she will be present at the Nordic meeting and she will look for other possibilities, too.

4. Meetings and Other Activities

4.1 IAG August 2013 in Paris

IM informed the EC that the deadline for abstract submissions is in January 2013. She also updated everybody on her recent dialogue with Francois Costard: He contacted her several times to ask her who will represent the IPA at the conference, and co-convene the session on permafrost, respectively. She explained that at the moment she is now the official co-convener but that she informed Francois Costard, that the IPA might assign somebody else.
LS told the EC that he will attend the meeting in any case, and that he is willing to be the co-convener.

  • Everybody agreed that LS will represent the IPA at the conference.

In the context of IAG LS also brought up the MoU with IAG and handed out a preliminary document.

  • Everybody shall go through it until end of December
  • If everybody agrees it can be signed in Paris at IAG

4.2. ASSW April 2013 in Krakow

HL explained that the ASSW 2013 will take place the week after EGU (early April) and at least AL and HL are going. He mentioned the importance of the meeting and that the IPA is supposed to held a business meetings at this conference.

5. Secretariat

AL informed the EC that IM will leave the Secretariat at the beginning of February 2013, and that additionally there is still no news about the funding of the position beyond June 2013.
Hence there are several questions that need to be addressed: How is the IPA EC handling the ‘transition phase’ until June 2013 and what to do if AWI is not funding the position beyond June 2013. For the first question there are two possibilities: IM volunteered to continue with the daily work until the end of June, if there is a possibility to pay her on a side job basis, or AWI can advertise the position for the remaining 5 months.
HL explained that Hans Hubberten will talk to the AWI directory in early December about the further funding of the position.
HC wanted to know which further options the IPA has to fund the position.
AL added that there is no plan at the moment and that he has no hope to get funding from Canada.

Lunch Break 13:15 – 14:25

6. IPI

VR explained that this is mainly to keep momentum of IPY and that is uses the information that was collected during it.
IM informed the EC that she contacted Vladimir Ryabinin to let him know the general interest of the IPA. In return he invited her to the town hall meeting at AGU in December 2012, which AL and IM will attend.

7. PPT for IPA

IM explained that she had the idea to create a powerpoint presentation for the IPA (just a few slights) that is available / downloadable at the website, so that others could use it for presentations etc.

  • Everybody liked the idea, and IM will prepare such slights.

8. IPA Poster for AGU

IM screened the IPA poster that she prepared for the AGU conference and asked everybody to comment on it.
There were few comments about the layout from HJ and LS.
HL mentioned some typos.
LS wished to include the resolutions on the poster.

  • IM and AL decided to go together trough the poster again and work on it.


HL informed everybody that he talked to Goncalo Vieira and got the information that there will be a call for sessions.
AL added that there will be some general sessions, too. Furthermore he mentioned that Goncalo might not be in Portugal for the meeting.

10. IASC medal

HL explained that there is a yearly call for nominations and that Jerry is nominated by the IPA already since the last years. He made clear that this nomination gets automatically renewed every year and that there is hence no need on behalf of the IPA to act.
VR added that there will be also a nomination from the USA for Jerry.
HC confirmed this, as she got an email from Larry Hinzmann in which this was mentioned.
HL added that it might be useful to have a support letter from China to support Jerry’s nomination.

  • It was decided that HJ should write a support letter to support Jerry’s nomination.

11. UNEP Report

VR explained that the report is finished now and in print. He said that it looks much better than the first version. He also made clear that this report is not made for scientists, but for stakeholders etc.
HL briefly talked about all the discussion that was going on: Obviously many people from Zurich were against the report and reacted very harsh on it, but none of them ever suggested how to improve it. After his opinion it is better to have a report than none, although it is not perfect.

  • Everybody agreed

12. PPP Report

AL asked if the next contribution to PPP will be the GTN-P report? He clarified that the last one was about TICOP and that maybe the next one should cover not only one topic, but several smaller things the IPA addressed during the last months.

  • It was decided that the next IPA report will include different little projects and talk about different topics. Hence it will be more like a status report. And will include contributions from different people.
  • IM and AL will ask different people (AL has a list of topics).

14. GCW/ CryoNet.

IM will attend the CryoNet meeting next week (20 – 22.11) and Barry Goodison asked her to provide some input from the IPA/ permafrost community.
AL explained that in April 2012 a final report of the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) meeting was published. It was held in 2011 in Geneve and Hand Hubberten attended the meeting. The report has over 100 pages.
HL suggested to present something about GTN-P and to make clear that the permafrost community already established an observation system.
IM wanted to know what she should answer in terms of the super sites she was asked for and the information about the different boreholes GTN-P is managing.
AL answered to let them know, that GTN-P include many different test sites, and that all the metadata information will soon be available online.
IM also asked what she should prepare in terms of the strategy of GTN-P.
VR said that there is the implementation and strategy plan of GTN-P, which is almost finished and includes all important information. As soon as the document is completed it will be circulated.

  • It was agreed that IM will present GTN-P and make clear, that the permafrost community already has an observation network. And that the IPA is happy to contribute and share the expertise to the new network, but that for permafrost nothing new shall be invented.

14. Arctic Observing Summit

HL explained that the person in charge for the Arctic Observing Summit in early 2013 is Craig Lee. And he suggested to talk to Hajo (?) to get more information.
AL summarized that there is now the ASSW in April 2013 and then the Arctic Observing Summit and he suggested to simply ignore it.
VR argued that at the moment there is nobody from terrestrial permafrost in the group and that the IPA should just made them aware about what is going on and maybe try to get somebody involved in the process.

  • VR he will try to contact them during AGU.

AL also suggested a meeting during AGU with them.

15. Next Meeting

AL suggested a skype meeting during AGU

  • It was decided to have it on the 4th of December
  • The next face to face meeting will be on the 5th May just before the GTN-P workshop in Geneva.

Coffee break 16:00

16. Cost Action

HC explained that PermaNet was not renewed and that hence the alpine permafrost group started to work on a COST Action. They decided to make it bigger and to include other European countries as well. The whole application is, at the moment very short and the first decision will be end of November. After this first step a full and much bigger proposal has to be written. At this stage support from the IPA is probably required.

17. IPA Strategy meeting in March 2010

AL showed some slights from 2010 that HL put together which includes some questions, reviewed by Barry Goodison that he wanted to discuss with the EC. The slights have been prepared for a meeting in 2010 to discuss the new IPA strategy. They also include several questions that needed to be tackled at this time.
He suggested to look at the plan/ questions again to see what IPA actually have achieved since then.
HC added that it would be very healthy for the new EC to address these not solved problems/ questions early enough in the period of the new EC.
AL suggested that everybody should go through the questions until the meeting in May and that also others/ externals shall have a look at them. Then they can be addressed at the May meeting again.

  • Everybody agreed on this idea.

Still some questions/ points already have been addressed:

  • GTN-P is working now.
  • Data Management. This is basically GTN-P. But it still remains an open question: What would be a reasonable way to attract. Institutional support to Data management? 
  • Outreach and Eduction. There is a Standing Committee now. Mainly Kenji Yoshikawa is active, but there were meetings and things are moving.
  • IPA Structure. This really changed.
  • Legal Status. IPA has no legal status and the name is not registered. It seems to be complicated and the organization needs to be ‘hosted’ by a country.
  • It was decided looking at how this problem can be solved. E.g. have the treasurer based in Canada.
  • It was decided to talk to the people from USPA during AGU, how they are doing it.
  • Look into the possibility to have an international permafrost foundation
  • Income. The question came up how the IPA can diversify the sources of income?
  • Individual members should receive a reminder to pay their membership fees.

18. Fiscal Notes/ Additional Funding for IPA

This discussion was based on comments/ ideas that Michael Lilly sent to the EC after TICOP.
AL first mentioned that the secretary salary has to be included in the total budget (this should also include travel expenses for the Executive Director).
HL brought up the idea to post the budget in the website (open police).
VR argued that putting it on the website and including travel expenses from the EC members could be critical as he also uses project money for it.
AL stated that the countries should know that the organization is much more than just what they pay as there membership fees.

  • It was agreed to first have the ‘real’ revised budget internal which maybe could be made public later

HC asked for a history of sponsoring.
HL explained that this was mainly advertisements in frozen ground but that this was more expensive to print them than the IPA received from the adds. Now that there is the unprinted version, it might be more beneficial, but therefore a real strategy would be required how to include the adds. It also has to be decided which organizations etc. will be allowed to advertise in frozen ground. Such thoughts have to include potential problems with having e.g. oil companies as sponsors.
AL suggested that only organizations with are in line with the IPA mission will be allowed as sponsors.

It was discussed if the Council would have to be asked first, as it is the government power, but AL mentioned that it already allowed to have adds, and there is no need to ask it again.

  • It was decided to provide the possibility to register as a cooperate member.  These members will be mentioned (or their logo) on the IPA website, but they also would have to pay more than a regular member.-> All cooperate members would have to be approved by the IPA EC.
  • It was also decided to have a closer look on the USPA website, as there are many good ideas how to get additional money.
  • It was decided that there will be a group of three people (external) who are preparing some input related to the funding topic for the next meeting in May, including five or six key questions. They will circulate these questions before the meeting to the IPA EC

June 24, 2011, Online

EC members in attendance: Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten (HH), Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Ma Wei (MW), Huijun Jin (HJ), Dmitriy Drozdov (DD), Hugues Lantuit (HL).

1. GTN-P (HC)

A. Process and Workshop

HC and HL reported on the latest progress related to GTN-P, in particular on the organization of the workshop in November 2011. HL mentioned that IASC already promised to fund the workshop with 5000 €, but that there were strings attached to the funding. IASC wants to comment on the list of attendees and wants to fund young scientists to attend. HL recommended including the PYRN EC in the list of attendees to match IASC’s requirements.
HC mentioned that HL sent the Action Group application to the entire EC and that the workshop organizers now needed an answer. The EC unanimously accepted the application and decided to fund it.
HL reported that another application was sent to the German Science Foundation, with the hope to receive substantial additional funding.
The next step will be to invite the attendees. For this, HC and HL have created a preliminary list for which they wish to have the EC’s comments. They also reminded the EC that this list should take into account the official representation of GTN-P in each country (through GCOS and GTOS). VR mentioned that the official representatives were not necessarily the ones actively coordinating GTN-P activities and that the key active partners should be invited also. HL briefly enumerated the names on the list and asked for comments. VR recommended adding some key Russian individuals on that list, such as Overman and someone from Yakutsk. The EC also thought that someone involved in the Permafrost Carbon Project should attend (Peter Kuhry or Gustaf Hugelius). The EC asked that HL circulate the list of attendees.

2. Permafrost Carbon Project

VR reported on the meeting that was held in Seattle beginning of June. The meeting was principally funded by the NSF, withs some funds from CliC (15K). VR reported on the formation of several working groups in this project, on carbon pools, carbon quality, thermokarst and degradation, CO2 vs. CH4 and modelling. He mentioned the names of the indivudals chosen to chair these WGs (G. Hugelius; G. Grosse, D. McGuire). VR explained that these groups are supposed to self organize, and meant to produce a short explanatory document over the next months that will then be distributed widely. The whole group will get together during the next AGU meeting. The activities will consist of review papers, and then to do some work plan for new products.
VR thinks that the IPA can help with that in suggesting people for these WGs and ask them to report to the IPA. VR thinks that CliC will continue the support of this activity, probably through the modelling WG. He thinks that the IPA could play a key role in supporting the Thermokarst/degradation WG.
HL mentioned the wish of the SCAR/IASC Bipag to create a new activity on carbon and permafrost. He also mentioned that he talked with V. Rachold from IASC and that the result was that all organisations (IPA, IASC, CliC and SCAR) should join forces to support such an initiative. The EC agreed that this was the way to go and that HL and Volker Rachold should contact CliC, Pep Canadell and Ted Schuur to discuss the possibility to embed the existing plan in an international framework.

3. UNEP Report

HL and VR reported on the rapid development of the UNEP report that was initiated by Ron Witt (UNEP) after the format of the “Global Facts on Ice and Snow”, but focusing solely on permafrost. The report is led by Kevin Schaefer and the writing core group includes VR, HL and Isabelle Roer. HL had a long discussion with Ron Witt, during which the two agreed that the foreword could be jointly written by Achim Steiner (Ex. Secretary of UNEP) and HH. The report will be an outreach product that UNEP would like to show in Durban (COP17 conference). Most of the authors will not travel to Durban. HL mentioned that he could travel there if it was needed. The report will strongly build on existing documents (e.g. SWIPA)

4. TICOP 2012 (HH)

DD reported that the second circular could not be sent on time because there were issues with the Salekhard governor office in finalizing the signature of the conference hosting there. He promised that the second circular would be sent the week after this meeting. HL informed DD that he was in the field the week after, and that he could probably not send the circular. VR agreed to send the circular using Permalist.
HH reported that him and Ken Hinkel agreed that they would wait until the end of the month of June before deciding if there would be an extension for the paper title submission.
DD explained to the group that Russian articles were currently being sent to the organizing committee and they were processed now. They will be translated and sent to the American editors.
HL asked what DD intended to do with the funds the IPA had put on the side for TICOP.
DD answered that the contribution of the IPA will not be needed but that he needed to confirm this with Sergey Turenko. HC reminded the group that the EC should decide on the use of the money and that traditionally it has been used for supporting young scientists or  council members.
HJ mentioned that he anticipated few papers from China, mostly because of the lack of information from the organizers. He also mentioned that the Chinese participants always have issues with the visa and that the local organizers should be proactive in organizing it early enough.

5. Strategy implementation (HH)

HL reported that Jef Vandenberghe answered to the email sent to him and accepted the status of Action Group.

6. Nomination and Awards Committee

HH reported that the committee is now formed (i.e that Martin Hoelzle accepted the invitation) and that a letter was sent to Fritz Nelson to inform him and encourage him to start with the tasks assigned to the committee.

7. PPP (AL)

HL sent an outline to the EC. The EC members thought that there were already a lot of topics in the outline and thought that it would be more appropriate to discuss the contents in August (next EC meeting) when AL is available.

8. IPY 2012

VR was asked by HL to give a keynote talk in the permafrost session of the IPY 2012 and expressed the wish to get the opinion of the EC on this opportunity. The EC welcomed this and encouraged VR to submit an abstract on TSP.

9. IACS Meeting

The IPA was invited to attend the meeting of IACS in June 2011 in Melbourne. VR mentioned that Larry Hinzman might be attending the meeting. HH mentioned that Inga May would also be there. The EC asked HL to contact Larry Hinzman and ask him if he would be willing to attend, and to contact Inga May if he can not.

10. Next meeting

The EC expressed the wish to have a meeting in August but also thought that September could be ok. VR mentioned that he would be in September in Bremerhaven and could use this opportunity.

11. Other items

HJ mentioned that China was launching a new journal on the cryosphere (title??) and he expressed the wish to have the IPA as official sponsor. The EC requested additional information before committing any sponsorship and the input of AL, as AL is directly responsible for the link between the IPA and PPP.

October 20, 2010, Online

EC members in attendance: Hans Hubberten (HH), Antoni Lewkowicz (AL), Hanne Christiansen (HC), Vladimir Romanovsky (VR), Ma Wei (MW) (intermittently), Dmitriy Drozdov (DD) (intermittently), Hugues Lantuit (Secretariat, HL).

1. Strategy Plan implementation

  • Membership
  • Groups
  • National committees and national reports

HL gives a summary of the actions implemented since the Strategy plan was presented to Council in June 2010. HL indicates that the new constitution was approved with the necessary quorum in August and integrates most of the changes approved by council in June 2010.
HL indicates that the individual membership is currently being put into place online on the IPA website with a registration price of 20 € for members, 10 € for PYRN members and the possibility to register for free. AL suggests to add a category “voluntary additional contribution”, which is approved by the EC. HL mentions that the system will soon be operational.
HL reports on the new layout for Frozen Ground, that has been prepared by the Secretariat. HC suggests to add “www.” in front of the web address on the frontpage, which is accepted by the EC. The EC endorses the new layout of Frozen Ground. The EC requests however that HL sends as soon as possible the tentative outline for the new Frozen Ground to be released beginning of January 2010.
HL indicates that since the new layout was prepared by the Secretariat, the 3000 € originally budgeted for it are now available. HL reports that following the recommendations from Council in June 2010, the country reports will be published online. HL indicates that these reports should be put in a searchable interface (reports per year or per country) and be publishable online automatically in a pdf version which format is as close as possible from the old Frozen Ground. HL indicates that this is a challenging technical issue and asks the EC if part of the 3000 € freed up could be used to fund the Arctic Portal to take care of the issue. The EC accepts.
HL mentions that several emails to be sent to national committees, the community at large and working group leaders are ready to be sent but that he recommends waiting for the online system to be ready. These emails request national committees to tell their national community to register on the website, and to report on the process that leads to the elaboration of national committees. HL also mentions that support is being offered by the Secretariat to contact the national agency responsible for paying the now increased fee.


  • Update
  • Proceedings
  • Next steps

DD reports that there is no progress because of logistical obstacles. The rector of Tyumen University seems to believe that the conference does not need to be organized a year and a half in advance. Melnikov and DD are scheduled to meet the week after to discuss with the rector and to make him understand that the preparation needs to be accelerated.
DD indicates that the university is used to short term planning and does not understand the need to plan it at this stage.
DD thinks that the work should be started by mid-November. HH expresses his great concerns that such a late preparation will be detrimental to the participation of foreigners.
HC thinks that we should make a decision to actually act upon the local organizers and get results, since the same promises have been made since a year and a half without progress.
The EC decides to send an official letter to Melnikov to express its concerns and with the request to act on specific points before the meeting at the AGU. The EC will write this letter as an ultimatum, which will threaten to move the conference in December to another location if these points are not solved. HL will circulate the email to be sent to Melnikov to the entire EC.

3. Events

A. ASSW 2012 / IPY 2012

The EC approves HH’s initiative to organize an EC meeting at the IPY 2012 / ASSW 2012 meeting in Montreal. HL indicates that he already registered the interest of the IPA for a meeting room. HC emphasizes the prominence of the IPY 2012 meeting and the need for the IPA to elaborate a plan for IPA actions/session/presentations at the meeting. HH and AL agree with this and HH suggests for the EC members to come back with suggestions for the next EC meeting.
AL asks HL what happened with the nominations to committees. HL answers that the IPY 2012 conference has actually changed its plan and that the committee that was planned will not be operational in this form and that the IPA nominations have probably gone into oblivion. HL is in contact with Jenny Baeseman and Volker Rachold to make sure IPA is involved if such nominations are opened again.

B. CanCOP (report)

AL reports on CanCOP and the fairly large attendance of the meeting in which AL was invited to give an addres as senior vice-president. He mentions the large involvement of younger researchers and engineers. AL mentions that an unofficial outcome of this conference will be a possible bid of the Canadian IPA committee to organize either the next regional conference in 2014 or the next international conference in 2016. The conference would provisionally be held in Whitehorse.
HC remins the EC that the EUCOP IV will be held in 2014 in Portugal but thinks that there could be two regional conferences the same year.
AL suggests having a call to host the regional and international conferences. HH approves of the idea and asks HL to ensure that this is included in the presidential report in Frozen Ground.

C. INQUA (session endorsement)

HL mentions the request from Nancy Doubleday and Dario Trombotto to get sponsorship of IPA for their session. HL sugget to offer this sponsorship to Guido Grosse and Britta Sannel who also organize a session there. The EC agrees and asks HL to contact the two groups.

D. IGU Conference

HL mentions the organization of the IGU conference in summer 2012 and emphasizes the large number of conferences in spring/summer 2012 and the need to focus. The EC recommends contacting the leaders of the periglacial WG to ask them what they could plan for the IGU conference.

E. IGC 2012

HL mentions the occurrence of the IGC 2012 in August 2012. He reminds the EC of the importance of this conference, given that IPA is an affiliate of the IUGS, but also mentions an intiative of IASC to organize a theme jointly with IPA, which should offset the organization workload. The EC approves of the latter initiative and recommends contacting Meghan Balks about the possibility to hold a presentation.


HC reports on the fact that one of the sponsors of EUCOP III has not yet delivered the funds and that it makes it difficult to pay back the IPA for the 5% of the registration fees. She mentions that the UNIS could take over the responsibility but that it still looks likely that the sponsors will deliver the funds. The EC decides to wait for the sponsor to send the funds and not to request UNIS’ involvement.

4. IASC Medal

HL reports on the possibility to nominate Jerry Brown for the IASC medal. The EC approves of the idea but also mentions the fact that it might not go twice in a row to an American. On the other hand, the EC also thinks that it might be strategic to put in the application once to get it the next year. The EC asks HL to contact Volker Rachold to assess whether this nomination would be appropriate in terms of timing.

5. GTN-P Task force

  • Update
  • Next steps

HC reports on the process that led to the meeting in June 2010 in Longyearbyen and reports on the progrees, including on the creation of a strategy and implementation plan for GTN-P as well as an application for a workshop to be held in June 2011-

6. Kyrgyzstan

HL reports on the candidature from the Kyrgyz permafrost community. The EC welcomes this application and approves the principle to run it through Council before the end of the year to get membership in 2011 for Kyrgyzstan.

7. PPP reports

AL mentions that the next PPP report is due very soon. The EC aggress on having it about EUCOP III and tasks HC to compile it.
The next report should be about the changes linked to the new strategy and the next one on GTN-P.

October 18, 2009, Ottawa, Canada

EC members in attendance: Hans-W. Hubberten (President), Hanne H. Christiansen (Vice-President), Antoni G. Lewkowicz (Vice-President), Vladimir E. Romanovsky, Dmitry S. Drozdov (On internet video-conference only for item 1). The IPA Secretariat was represented by Hugues Lantuit. Additionally Philip Bonnaventure was invited to attend the meeting for item nb. 15. The meeting took place in room 509, Arts Building, University of Ottawa.

1. 2012 ICOP

Dmitry Drozdov provided an update on the latest efforts of the local organizers, which focused on finding a firm to handle the electronic part of the conference, including abstract and paper handling, registration and accommodation management. The Executive Committee reaffirmed its commitment to have the management of all conference items handled in Russia and asked Dmitry Drozdov to provide an update on progress by the end of the year as well as a report for the Council Meeting of June 2010.

2. Review 2009 and 2010 Budgets

The Executive Committee reviewed the budgets for 2009 and 2010 and accepted both of the concepts presented by the secretariat. 6000 $ were again put on the side for TICOP, while support for Working group activities was increased.
The Executive Committee decided to ask the secretariat to prepare invoices in euros for Euro-based contries for the 2010 country member fees in order to limit the amount to be written off by exchange fees. The Executive Committee also expressed the intention to propose for the council meeting in Svalbard to use the Euro as the official currency of the IPA in the future with the perspective to use the euro for the 2011 budget. The Executive Committee referred to the gains to be obtained by using the currency used by the majority of members and to similar decisions made by international organisations such as IASC or ICSU. The Council will be informed in due time of the implications of the change of the official currency.
The Executive Committee also recommended to survey the council members about a potential increase of the fees, acknowledging the fact that the fees had not increased since more than fifteen years. The Executive Committee expressed the need to increase the operational reach of IPA and its need for funds to support its activities. The Executive Committee tasked the secretariat to establish a consultation plan to seek the opinion of council members about a general increase of the fees, with the objective to address this issue during the June 2010 Council Meeting.

3. Status of Frozen Ground 33

The secretariat reported on the editing process of FG 33 and thanked the council members for providing a prompt contribution. The Executive Committee also recommended to submit to the council a vote on the future format of Frozen Ground in June 2010. The Executive Committee asked the secretariat to request the establishment of an ISSN number for Frozen Ground

4. News from Council members

The secretariat reported on the latest contributions of member countries as well as the potential changes to IPA Membership linked to the adhesion of new members and/or the loss of member status of other ones. The Executive Committee asked the secretariat to contact potential new members by June 2010 and to inform inactive members in due time of their rights and duties in light of the upcoming June 2010 Council Meeting.

5. Review of working parties reports and statuses

The Executive Committee discussed the unequal level of activity among working groups and the need for them to focus on their assignments. The Executive Committee also emphasized the need to review the activity of these working groups in June 2010 and to use the review of the working groups published in 2008 to provide some context to that review. The Executive Committee also expressed the need to include more PYRN members in the working group activities and recommended to address the latter issue at the council meeting in June 2010.

6. IPA Activities

A. SCDIC and Data Management

The Executive Committee expressed the need to have a data management system ready and operational at the time of the release of the IPY Snapshot. To do so, the Executive Committee recommended setting deadlines for the SCDIC to come up with a clear timeline and implementation strategy that would run until June 2010.

B. New Permafrost Map

The Executive Committee expressed the wish to see a new permafrost map arising at the time of the TICOP in 2012. The Executive Committee recommended splitting the task into two main items: the update of the Russian map of permafrost and the update of the rest of the world, for instance using the Alaska map published in 2008. The Executive Committee charged Dmitry Drozdov to coordinate this effort and to gather the individuals needed to lead it.

7. Secretariat

The secretariat will be reinforced by the presence of an administrative assistant paid by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, that will help with compiling Frozen Ground and handling the accounting.

8. Web presence and web communication tools

The secretariat reported on the creation of the new IPA website as well as the Permalist mailing list. The website has seen its frequentation multiplied by ten after the move and the mailing list already includes close to 180 registrants.

9. IPA lifetime award

The Executive Committee expressed the wish to establish an “IPA Lifetime Achievement Award” that would be granted every two years at international or regional permafrost conferences. . The Executive Committee indicated that the award should not be given posthumously and that the Council should be contacted as soon as possible for approval to allow it to be awarded at the EUCOP III.
The Executive Committee recommended asking PYRN to come up with an idea for the trophy.

10. IUCP

The Executive Committee expressed the need to maintain the ICUP course catalogue as a legacy of the IPY. A discussion with University of the Arctic and other related institutions that could help in supporting this effort was recommended by the Executive Committee.


The Executive Committee was informed of the latest developments of the EUCOP III that have been made available to the community in the first circular. The Executive Committee acknowledged the dates at which the council meeting are scheduled and stressed the need to get all council members to attend.

12. International Activities

A. ICSU Grants (MicroPerm)

The Executive Committee accepted the request by the Working group on Planetary permafrost and astrobiology to apply to the ICSU grant programme to set up a MircoPerm programme sponsored by the IPA.

B. COP15

The Executive Committee recommended sending promotional material about the IPA to the COP15 venue in Copenhagen.

C. ASSW 2011

The Executive Committee acknowledges the nomination of Hanne Christiansen to the Scientific Organizing Committee of the Arctic Science Summit Week 2011.

December 14, 2008, San Francisco, USA

EC members in attendance: Hans-W. Hubberten, Antoni Lewkowicz, Vladimir Romanovsky, Dmitry Drozdov, Hanne Christiansen (on telephone in the morning). Huijun Jin represented Wei Ma. The IPA Secretariat was represented by Hugues Lantuit. Additionally, Anna Kurchatova and Jerry Brown were invited to attend the meeting which took place at the San Francisco Crowne Plaza Hotel between 9 AM and 5 PM. President Hans-W. Hubberten chaired the meeting. Marcia Phillips was present on the phone for the discussion on TICOP. Larry Hinzman, Doug Kane, Tom Tom Krzewinski and Fritz Nelson were invited to present NICOP and USPA reports/activities at the end of the meeting.


  • AL: Antoni Lewkowicz
  • DD: Dmitry Drozdov
  • DK: Doug Kane
  • HC: Hanne Chistiansen
  • HH: Hans-W. Hubberten
  • HJ: Huijun Jin
  • HL: Hugues Lantuit
  • JB: Jerry Brown
  • LH : Larry Hinzman
  • MP : Marcia Phillips
  • VR: Vladimir Romanovsky
  • EC: Executive Committee
  • FG: Frozen Ground
  • IAC: International Advisory Committee
  • ICOP: International Conference on Permafrost
  • NICOP: Ninth International Conference on Permafrost
  • PYRN: Permafrost Young Researchers Network
  • TICOP: Tenth International Conference on Permafrost
  • WP: Working Parries

1. Old Business

A. Review summaries of December 2007 (San Francisco), June 2008 and July 2008 (Fairbanks).

The summaries were considered to be acceptable by the EC.

B. Review 2008 and 2009 Budgets (income and planned expenditures).

The 2008 budget didn’t include support to WP because of NICOP.
The good financial status of IPA and the outstanding positive balance could provide a reason to increase expenses.
In the past 5000$ was reserved for NICOP per year, and FG costs could be higher. Therefore, it was considered that this budget could be optimistic.
It was noted that future budgets are also conditional on the future of FG.
The next ICOP and representing the IPA should be the main objectives of the IPA in the future. IPA needs to be the reference for permafrost in international venues.
The main suggestions to fulfil these objectives were:

  • To prepare a reserve of 6000$ a year (for TICOP)
  • To offer support for IPA representation.

Decision: Set aside 6000$ for TICOP fund.
It was highlighted that FG costs might be hindering this decision but it was agreed for the year 2008 and to be revisited in 2009 Dec. meeting. Other decisions follow:
Decision: The EC increase the EC member travel support to 3500$, but funds will not be allocated to EC members per se.
Decision: The account should be transferred from UNIS to the AWI Potsdam (secretariat) beginning of January.
Decision: Budget (with modifications) approved.
Decision: Revised budget will be circulated after the meeting.

C. Review PYRN activities

The PYRN activities were presented by H. Lantuit. HL emphasized the successes of PYRN (> 600 members) and the change of leadership. Philip Bonnaventure (University of Ottawa) is the new PYRN chair. A workshop is to be organized in the spring in Pushchino (Russia). The EC agreed to endorse this activity. TL was designated as the PYRN contact on the EC.

2. New Business

A. Status of Frozen Ground 32 including advertisement revenue

HL reports that an estimation of the costs has been sought. The 7000$ estimate seems to be a reasonable estimation of costs and would include shipment. Not all the contents have been submitted yet.
Decision: EC report in FG will be circulated to the entire EC.

B. Discussion on Frozen Ground’s future format and distribution and relation to PPP-IPA reports

FG is by far the most important expense in the budget. The EC was asked to discuss the viability of a printed version of FG.
A web product might diminish the impact of FG, because people might not go to the web to look at it.
The cryosphere community thinks that permafrost community is well organized. One of the reasons is that it produces Frozen Ground. From outside, it is a symbol of its activities. It was suggested that the IPA could go from producing it every year to every two years. The EC has the twice yearly PPP report that it could use to provide interim reports.
In 1999 it was coming out twice a year. It became impossible and it became an annual issue. Every second year would make it easier but was not felt to be a good idea by the EC.
An alternative may be to establish a list of individual members.
HJ noted that several organisations are printing only fliers announcing the product on the website. To cut down the costs but the contents would remain similar. Another way to support FG is to have subscriptions to FG. This suggestion was not supported by the EC.
All in all, it was felt that FG was important to keep involvement of small countries, and to archive our activities. The main question is the format.
It could be a solution to ask readers to pay for it in the future and to find innovative ways to present this subscription (IPA individual membership?).
AL confirmed that the PPP-IPA reports can be put on the web. He will discuss with Wiley to see if those can be directly put on the IPA webspace or as links to the Wiley website.
Decision: AL will contact Wiley to establish release rights of IPA-PPP reports.
Decision: The IPA will produce Frozen Ground this year as a printed version and discuss the future of FG again.
Decision: FG will continue to have country reports.
The number of copies printed was also discussed. A smaller number of copies should be sent to the adhering bodies or their demands should be reassessed.
Decision: The secretariat should send an email to Council members with requests for an updated number of FG copies requested.
The next IPA reports in PPP were discussed and suggestions for submissions were formulated. AL reminds the EC that PPP is “a journal affiliated with the IPA”. In return Wiley lecture + contributions in PPP.
Decision: Next PPP contribution is due in March –Peter Kuhry will be asked to write something on carbon. HC will ask him to do it. Absolute deadline first week of March.
Decision: June 2010 will be the time for an IPY report.
Decision: December 2009 (submission September) is opened for suggestions. Probably for PYRN, including IUCP and maybe Svalbard field school. HL will contact PYRN to ask for feedback.

C. Review of working parties reports and statuses

In the original report from the WP, the objectives established at NICOP were too broad. An updated version with comments from K. Flaate, R. Barry and E. Koster was made available to the EC and compiled by JB. The objectives were still found to be too broad and not attainable. The EC acknowledges that it is difficult to provide incentives within the IPA’s limited budget.
The isotope WG has provided a detailed outline for a PPP special issue, which is planned for 2011.
Decision: HL and HH should make sure that H. Meyer reviews info to be published in FG about Isotope WG.
The Permafrost and climate WG is co-chaired by F. Nelson and O. Anisimov but JB is concerned that modelling and mapping subgroup might not be very active. This subgroup is a new group but it is not clear what will be achieved.
VR: This group must have some targets, which could be a project for 2012: e.g. the revision of permafrost map of northern Eurasia. That would include China and Mongolia. It would be great to have a new map for the meeting in Russia (TICOP). DD: This idea exists, but it is a tedious challenge and implies the necessity to buy data from private companies. VR mentions that it is understandable that new map is very difficult, but a refined map could be done. It would not be a funded project, but updated with available data.
Decision: Someone should look at these reports before publication for Frozen Ground. To be decided during next skype call.

Task Forces:
The taskforce on remote sensing has been very active over the past months and should be acknowledged and approved.
AL moves the motion that the taskforce is approved and HC seconds it.
The EC encourages warmly the activities of the taskforce.
Decision: Taskforce on remote sensing is approved with G. Grosse at its head. The secretariat should inform G. Grosse of the decision.

SCDIC report
JB has played a crucial role in compiling this report, relying in large part on the planned outcomes of the four approved IPY projects (TSP, ANTPAS, CAPP, ACCOnet).
Each country should be encouraged to nominate a person responsible for the sites.
Decision: The secretariat should inform the SCDIC chair and the countries that they should nominate a person.
JB reported on the IPY snapshot which should include 2007-2009 data for boreholes and active layer. It is hoped that each of the member countries will commit to this project.  Everything would be completed in 2010, at least for reporting. CAPS 3 will be ready for 2012. The snapshot is the first step towards this.
Decision: The EC should send a letter to the GCOS and GTOS to ask for feedback and reaffirm our involvement.


SWIPA (Snow Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic) is a project of the Arctic Council which is meant as a follow-up to ACIA. HC is involved in the permafrost part of this project and will report to the EC on its progress.

E. IPY Oslo symposium 2010

One session on IPA IPY activities and one session on coastal processes have been submitted. HH and HC are in contact with the organisers and will follow up on these sessions.

F. IPY celebration

HC will officially represent the IPA at the IPY celebration. HL will also be present.

G. Duties of EXCOM members

Duties of EC members were discussed in detail by the EC and assigned to EC members. They are available in Appendix A.

H. Web presence and web communication tools

HL introduced a concept developed by the secretariat in collaboration with the Arctic Portal. The Arctic Portal is based in Iceland and hosts several major Arctic science institutions. The Arctic Portal would create a website, including database infrastructure and design for the IPA. The website would be based in Iceland and be editable by the IPA community as a typical Content Management System based on Joomla.
DD emphasised that it should serve as an archive for former IPA activities. HL answered that it should be a strength of the new structure.
HL mentioned that the website should be transferable at any time to another server.
Decision: The EC endorses the transfer of the website and the transfer of the web address. It empowers the secretariat to handle the transition under the supervision of AL.
Decision: The EC should draft a letter thanking O. Humlum for his work handling the website.

I. Regional conference(s): Norway, Canada

HC reported that the Norwegian Research Council has funded the application to run the conference on Svalbard, which should facilitate the organization. The issue remains to find sponsorship: an attempt to connect to the Nordic Council of minister is underway.
The EC (HC) should inform the Norwegian IPY Oslo organizers about the sequencing of the two conferences.
Decision: HC informs IPY Oslo organizers of the progress and dates of EUCOP.
Decision: EUCOP strategy to be discussed on next Skype call, including setting up a group to prepare an application to the Nordic Council.
AL indicates that the Canadian conference 2010 will produce preprints, not proceedings. B. Moorman is the co-chair for permafrost.
The dates of the conference will be put in FG.

3. 2012 ICOP: Russia progress

The EC discussed the planning of the 2012 ICOP, which is planned to take place in Tyumen, Russia. It was emphasized that the planning structure should be put in place over the next six months. D. Hayley (Canada) has agreed to serve on the IAC. A presentation was given by DD presenting the infrastructure in Tyumen which has been renovated or newly created over the past few years offering very nice venues.

A. Trip to Tyumen:

DD advises that a group is set up in Moscow, which will organise the transfer of participants to Hotels and then brings them to one or several charter airplanes to Tyumen. Buses or taxis will be organized in Moscow to transfer people to the airport from which the charter flight is departing. There are also four regular flights per day to Tyumen from all airports in Moscow. It is also possible to travel from Novossibirsk and other places in Russia to avoid long flights.

  • How many people are expected?
  • DD answers that this is actually his question to EC and one he hopes to get an answer from the IAC.

B. Field trips

It seems difficult to plan trips already due to financial uncertainties. Yakutia trip would be expensive. However, JB and VR highlight that it is important to announce trip ideas in advance to attract people. The maximum length of field trips should be a week. The first step should therefore be to think of ideas for trips. Five different trips would be good.

  • Two fairly large auditoriums. The EC asked how many sessions could be run simultaneously. DD answered that five sessions could be run simultaneously. JB notes that it will probably be a challenge to accommodate the number of attendees in these rooms. The organizers mention potential additional rooms to be opened in 2010.
  • Set-up of an international editorial group.

The Russian and Chinese participants might have to be handled separately, due to language issues. An international editorial group might replace the co-editors as they were envisioned at NICOP. A non-Russian editor could also be added.

  • Decision: There should be an editorial international group: 3 Russians and 2 internationals

C. Website and editing

The processing could be done electronically, including by Russian participants. The EC approves. The website was paid for at NICOP and done professionally. A program for review was included in the budget. Technically DD advises it should be possible to complete also the editing process and printing in Russia.
For the review, JB recommends to submit first paper in Russian (for Russian participants), for instance to RAS. Then RAS could decide who can submit. People that get refused by RAS could still get their papers translated and then submitting to the central editorial committee. The process could be similar in China.

  • Decision about processing/editing of abstracts: DD will report to V. Melnikov. The EC will brainstorm to solutions on handling the editing.

D. Sessions

  • The EC decides that the decision on session names isn’t needed at the moment.
  • Decision: Isabelle Roer designated as IAC PYRN member

4. Status of Secretariat

Decision: The person hired to run the secretariat should be called secretariat and not secretary.

5. International Activities

A. CAPP Workshop

  • A 6000$ support was requested for this workshop.
  • This effort is related to a CliC initiative (Permafrost and Carbon) that will be lead by V. Kattsov.
  • Decision: Due to financial constraints, a 1000$ amount is awarded to the workshop.

B. Review agreements (IGU, CLiC, SCAR IASC)


  • CliC is being asked to focus on specific issues by WCRP.
  • CliC wants to be active in SAON and is launching Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW). Permafrost would be active as “Permafrost Watch” says VR.
  • Decision: The agreement between IPA and CliC should be renegotiated and focus on specific issues

IGU-IPA agreement review CCRE chair

  • JB indicates that the president of the IPA president is responsible for the agreement but that Nori Matsuoka should act as contact.

C. New agreements


  • Decision: The EC agrees on signing an MoU with IASC and SCAR. The Draft will be circulated before January 20th.


  • Decision : The EC empowers HL to represent the IPA on the SAON IG


  • Decision : Goncalo Vieira to be nominated by EC for PantOS (pending his acceptation)


  • Decision: EC to push J. Murton to organize a session

6. NICOP report

DK and LH presented a detailed report on NICOP which was made available to the EC. Tom Krzewinski reported on ASCE plans.

Appendix A

EXCOM Duties

  1. Working groups (Divide responsabilities)
    • Ensure objectives are met in a timely manner
    • Report to EXCOM on WG progress
    • Initiates conference calls when needed to
  1. Contact to adhering bodies (HH+ secretariat)
    • Ensures adhering bodies are regularly informed and involved in IPA activities
    • Ensures changes to adhering bodies leadership are timely and correctly processed
  1. SCDIC (HC)
    • Acts as liaison with SCDIC and reports to EXCOM
    • Facilitates work of SCIDC and snapshot by seeking international and/or financial support
    • Ensure data is communicated to GTOS and GCOS (primarily GTNP’s responsibilities)
  1. International advisory group to ICOP (IAC) (VR, DD)
    • Acts as liaison between excom and IAC, ex-officio on IAC
    • Ensures objectives of IAC are met in a timely manner
    • Ensures ICOP organization is aligned with IPA’s international reputation of excellence
  1. Finances oversight (HH)
    • Acts as a liaison and oversight to secretariat in managing IPA funds
    • Provides comments on financial updates from the secretary
    • Seeks potential sources of funding in coordination with secretariat to support IPA activities (all)
  1. Web presence and online editorial content (AL + secretariat)
    • Gets acquainted with CMS system
    • Supervises editorial content on the website
  1. PR (secretariat+all)
    • Keeps record of and supervises PR activities
    • Tasked with assessing current PR activities and initiation of new ones
  1. Protocols (Secretariat+AL)
    • Supervises editing of minutes, protocols in cooperation with secretariat.
  1. Frozen Ground (HH +adhering bodies+secretariat)
    • Supervises Frozen Ground in cooperation with secretariat
  1. PPP-IPA contribution (HC)
  1. International partnerships (President + ad-Hoc, eg. CliC)
    • Keeps track of existing international agreements
    • Supervises initiation of new agreements

December 10, 2007, San Francisco, USA

Farbrot, H. & Brown, J. (eds.)

EC members in attendance: Jerry Brown, Charles Harris, Don Hayley, Hans-W. Hubberten (for about one hour by telephone) and Ma Wei. The IPA Secretariat was represented by Hanne Christiansen (by telephone for the first one and a half hours) and Herman Farbrot. Additionally Huijun Jin, Antoni Lewkowicz and Vladimir Romanovsky were invited to attend the meeting which took place at the San Francisco Crowne Plaza Hotel between 9 AM and 3 PM. President Jerry Brown chaired the meeting. Vice President Georgy Perlshtein, Russia, was unfortunately unable to attend.

1. Budget

The IPA Secretariat presented the balance of the IPA account, including payment status of the member countries, and the IPA 2007-2008 budget (revised version attached). Seven countries have yet not paid their annual dues for 2007. The NICOP reserve is 16,515$US for support of stipends to the conference in Fairbanks 2008. 12,500$US of these are from the IPA-reserves, while the remaining 4015$US are transferred from the EUCOP 2005 to NICOP. Considering the uncertainties in the budget, particularly with unknown costs of Frozen Ground 31, Don Hayley suggested that part of the reserve should be held back in the IPA account. There was agreement of supporting the stipends initially with 10000$US, and as the budget is better known in early 2008, consider second payment of 5000$US then. Brown anticipates that additional NICOP revenues would be returned to the IPA from the US organizers in late 2008 from pro-rated registration fees (as much as 5000$US; 10$US per participants for estimated 500 registrants). This amount should be included in the 2008 income estimate. The stipends would be used to offset costs in Fairbanks (meal tickets, dormitory accommodations, and a token registration fee of100$US per stipend allocated to US account) and not for travel. There would be no direct cash payment to individuals. The U.S. Organizers are attempting to allocate a total of 50,000$US (including the 15,000$US from the IPA) for stipends. A prerequisite for young researchers will be membership in PYRN. A three-person committee was recommended to oversee the application process (see attached application): one IPA person (Charles Harris), PYRN (Oliver Frauenfeld, secretary USPA, and US PYRN representative) and a University of Alaska person). Hanne Christiansen suggested requesting the country members to pay their 2008 fees early to provide a cash balance for NICOP expenses. Jerry Brown suggested to exclude the Working Group travel support  (3500$US) for 2008, and rather redesignate  the item as “International Travel support” to be used if needed, in limited amounts for NICOP participants from developing countries, or for Council members. Hanne Christiansen noted that the annual fees level should be reviewed at the June Council meeting.

2. The IPA Secretariat from 2009

Hanne Christiansen informed that there is a need to find a new home for the IPA Secretariat from January 2009 since the support from the Norwegian Research Council then comes to an end. Jerry Brown asked Hanne Christiansen if it would be possible to extend the IPA Secretariat at UNIS, within the planned EUCOP-meeting in Svalbard 2010. Christiansen could not guarantee this, as the funding situation is still unknown. Brown asked Hans-W. Hubberten if it would be possible to locate the IPA Secretariat at AWI Potsdam. Hubberten replied that the institute possibly could provide support for the IPA Secretariat, including PYRN, particularly if he remains as a member of the new Executive Committee (2008-2012). However, Hubberten needs to discuss this with the new AWI director. There was a consensus to encourage AWI Potsdam as the site for the next IPA secretariat. Brown, Hubberten and Christiansen will try to meet in Copenhagen on January 22 to continue this and related discussions.

3. Executive Committee Nominations

Charles Harris presented an overview of the Report of the Nominations Committee for the Executive Committee election in 2008. The EC is to decide on the final slate, which will then be submitted to Council members in January 2008. The following have been nominated by Council representatives: Vladimir Romanovsky (United States), Hans Hubberten (Germany), Antoni  Lewkowicz (Canada), Hanne H. Christiansen (Norway), Michael Davies (New Zealand), Wei Ma (China), Dmitriy S. Drozdov (Russia) and Satoshi Akagawa (Japan). Of these Davies and Akagawa are considered as engineers.
Since Michael Davies has not confirmed that he would like this position, the EC considered him too busy with his new job in Aukland, and his nomination was dropped.
Don Hayley noted that Satoshi Akagawa is primarily a laboratory-based researcher. Jerry Brown noted that Russia strongly supports Akagawa, however, Akagawa has not been active within the IPA, and it is not clear if he is supported by others in Japan. The EC engineering representative should be involved in representing IPA internationally and with the IPA working groups. Based on this also Satoshi Akagawas nomination was dropped by the EC. Charles Harris will contact Akagawa and Davies, and Brown and Vladimir Romanovsky will contact Melnikov and explain the background of the Akagawa decision. 
Don Hayley pointed out the need for an engineer with practicing construction experience. Several candidates were discussed, but none were acceptable particularly because of the tradition to have only one member from each country in the EC. Don Hayley suggested that the country “rule” should be excluded since there are no obvious engineer alternatives. It was agreed that the new EC would consider the selection of an engineer, when it meets in Fairbanks. It can appoint a new engineer member. Relations with the IPA Engineering WG, and the newly proposed IAEG Commission on Engineering Permafrost then also need to be considered.
The final, EC approved nomination of a six-member slate will be circulated by the IPA Secretariat in January.

4. Working Group Reports

The review group (Barry, Koster, and Flaate) was asked to evaluate the WGs based on the following criteria:

  1. Have the WGs responded adequately to the survey?
  2. Are activities and projects identified in advance and was there pre-planning?
  3. What are the prospects for useful activities and output (2008-2012)?
  4. Is there an active international organization for liaison?
  5. Are membership and co-chairs of a WG geographically representative?
  6. Do WGs overlap and are objectives and goals appropriate?

Several members of the EC reviewed the reports. Comments are appended to the evaluation. Final WG reports for the period 2003 -2008 will be published in the NICOP abstract and program volume. Brown will edit reports.

5. Antarctic Permafrost and Periglacial Environments (Joint IPA and SCAR): Jim Bockheim and Mauro Guglielmin

  1. Yes, good concise report;
  2. The subsequent annual reports clearly show planning and progress;
  3. The prospects are fairly good, but for how many years remains unclear;
  4. International liaison appears adequate;
  5. US, Europe and Russia are represented, but no one from China;
  6. Overlap with WG 7 in general concerning periglacial studies is evident, but whether this is also the case in individual projects is unknown.

EC comments: This WG is both regional and thematic. There is a need for a Southern Circular map of permafrost conditions. The WG1 is a fairly active, but sometimes “forgotten” group. The WG1 is productive and should continue as a joint SCAR-IPA activity.

6. Coastal and Offshore Permafrost: Paul Overduin and Nikolai N. Romanovskii

  1. Yes, (may be too many details);
  2. Yes and no. Planning partly made elsewhere?
  3. Good, (too extensive?) (better description in annual report);
  4. Yes;
  5. No membership list;
  6. No overlap, appropriate goals (too many?).

EC comments: other organizations are becoming involved without recognition of IPA leadership. Additional activities under ACD should continue. A pre-NICOP workshop focused on US-Canadian region is under discussion.  Some refocusing of activities may be desirable.

7. Cryosol: (Joint IPA-ISSS) S.V. Gorachkin and E-M. Pfeiffer

  1. Yes, good documentation;
  2. Yes. well developed;
  3. Both IPY and 2009-10 activities set out;
  4. Strong international links;
  5. Broad membership; Russia well represented, Not China;
  6. No overlap ; goals appropriate.

EC comments: Active and productive; Galina Mazhitova is new ISSS committee chair.

4. Glacier and Permafrost Hazards in High Mountains (Joint IPA and Commission for the Cryospheric Sciences): Andreas Kääb (Chair), Bernd Etzelmüller (IPA Vice-chair) Jeffrey S. Kargel (CCS Vice-chair), John Reynolds (CCS Vice-chair)

  1. Yes, excellent response;
  2. Yes;
  3. Very good, concrete objectives and activities (too many?);
  4. Several;
  5. Representative group, however only one (?) Russian name and no (?) Chinese;
  6. No overlap, appropriate objectives, good documentation on web page.

EC comments: Joint WG with IUGG-IACS. It is a nice group, but rather a one-person show. Bernd Etzelmüller and Andreas Kääb are at the same institution. Need to broaden representation in Europe? The WG is important for media and public. Would be good to develop methodology for hazard assessment. IPA and IACS (formerly CCS) need long-term cooperative agreement.

5. Isotopes and geochemistry of permafrost: H. Meyer and R. Sletten

  1. Yes, well documented;
  2. Yes;
  3. Some case for continuation but no activities provided;
  4. No international  liaison;
  5. Geographically representative and participation by Russia, but not China;
  6. No.

EC comments: WG has not been very active and may be best to discontinue or revert to Task Force to prepare a synthesis of recent advances on dating ground ice.

6. Mapping and Modelling of Mountain Permafrost: S Drozdov, S. S. Marchenko and R. S. Odegard.

  1. Yes, good documentation;
  2. Yes, well developed;
  3. Continue mapping, but plans not developed;
  4. No; hard to see who to link with;
  5. Geographically representative and participation by both Russia and China;
  6. No overlap and goals appropriate. One of few to mention data products.

EC comments: Is emphasis on mapping or modelling of mountain permafrost. Needs new faces and perspectives with stronger European involvement. The WG could be renamed to include and GIS (?), and Bernd Etzelmüller could become involved again? Invite Stephan Gruber. Needs coordination with WG 8 modelling.

7. Periglacial Landforms, Processes, and Climate: Ole Humlum and Norikazu Matsuoka 

  1. Not very specific report;
  2. Yes, to some extent, e.g. the multi-authored field manual on periglacial field techniques appeared;
  3. Not specific enough;
  4. Whether the liaisons with IGU and IAG have been fruitful or significant remains unclear;
  5. Primarily European representation, other continents are lacking;
  6. Possibly overlap with WG 1, although the geographical focus appears to be very different.

EC comments: This WG lacks focus, and has not had meetings on its own, rather following others. WG needs new ideas. The IGU Commission on Cold Regions Environments has not convened a technical meeting either other than oral session in Lanzhou (not represented at INQUA). The CCRE should meet with the WG at NICOP.

8. Permafrost and Climate: Oleg A. Anisimov and Frederick E. Nelson

  1. Yes, good concise report;
  2. The subsequent annual reports clearly show planning and much progress;
  3. Very good prospects;
  4. Liaisons are excellent;
  5. List is incomplete, representation mainly USA; Russian and Chinese representation could be better;
  6. Possibly some overlap with WG 1 concerning Antarctic permafrost.

EC comments:  Subgroups on monitoring and modeling are main contributors to IPY.Need more integration with WG 6.This is a strong group, and is important for IPPC, ACIA, AMAP, and ICARP. However, individuals, not WG, have been involved. Needs some new blood, not new name. Needs to be connected to CLiC. Post IPY monitoring needs a home here or in stand alone WG.

9. Permafrost Astrobiology: David Gilichinsky and Christopher P. McKay

  1. Response, but incomplete;
  2. Somewhat;
  3. Some depending on Russian Antarctic  expeditions  and US./Russia space programs; 
  4. No active international  organization for liaison, but unclear with  whom;
  5. Co-chairs   geographically representative; no membership list;
  6. No WG overlap; goals appropriate?

EC comments: Small group with an interesting topic. The WG needs more focus outside of Mars and contact with others in the permafrost community.

10. Permafrost Engineering: Arne Instanes and Ted S. Vinson

  1. Yes, some comments;
  2. Yes, some comments;
  3. Good, if plans and activities are updated;
  4. Yes, ISSMFE, IAEG should be added (?);
  5. Russian, no Chinese;
  6. No overlap, with some additions-appropriate objectives.

EC comments: ThisWG needs new personnel and leadership. The focus is too broad, needs to be narrowed. Focus more on pipelines? The new name “Permafrost Geotechnology” was suggested, possibly co-chaired by Lukas Arenson and/or Sara Springman? Need for knowledge of permafrost engineering connected to climate change. This group would be joint with IUGS International Association of Engineering Geologists. Need to decide at NICOP. Several active Russian are involved (Dmitri Sergueev, Moscow and Anastansia Tseeva, Yalutsk). Needs Chinese involvement.

11. PYRN activities

Jerry Brown noted that PYRN is active and is a lead organization within IPY young researchers. Hugues Lantuit is at the end of his PhD, so there will probably be new leadership in the near future. PYRN has launched the PYRN-TSP (Thermal State of Permafrost) project including proposals about borehole monitoring.

12. Frozen Ground

The forthcoming issue of Frozen Ground (FG) no.31 will not include working group reports. FG 31 will contain up to eight ads, altogether at least 1500$US. Shipping of FG costs are by far the greatest expenditure on the IPA budget. Hanne Christiansen noted again the financial benefit to publish future issues of FG only on the IPA website. This will be an issue for the next Executive Committee. The current issue of FG is placed on the IPA web as soon as it is available in final camera form.

This issue of FG will very likely be setup and printed in Norway or in Germany in January 2008, and distributed from there. The EC requested that the IPA Secretariat via AWI looks into ways to ship FG; both Canada and US should receive strongly packed boxes by air to encourage early registration for NICOP, as a NICOP flyer will then be included.

13. 2012 NICOP Russian invitation

The invitation for the 10th International Conference on Permafrost in Tyumen, Russia, was reviewed. Don Hayley noted the potential problems with modern, centralized conference facilities for concurrent sessions. The host should be asked about facilities, communications, etc. Huijun Jin raised concerns about problem with obtaining visas for Russia. Chinese scientists have previously missed Russian conferences due to visas being issues a day or two in advance of departures, and plane tickets cannot be reserved without a visa. Further, the visa period is very limited, so extending the travel period for meetings or field trips is difficult.

14. EUCOP 2010 in Svalbard

The IPA has received a request for approval to arrange the Third European Conference on Permafrost, EUCOP, in Svalbard 2010, as a Regional Conference on Permafrost. This conference will potentially follow the large international post IPY conference too be held in Oslo in June. Don Hayley noted that there is a possible regional conference in Canada in September 2010. Hayley suggests approving the EUCOP as an official Regional Conference on Permafrost, but also not ignoring the Canadian conference, if it will happen. Hanne Christiansen appreciated the positive response from the EC, and hoped this would also improve the possibilities for receiving support from the Norwegian Research Council. CliC have also offered some administrative support.

15. Planning of Fairbanks IPA meetings

The agenda items for the Fairbanks meetings need to be submitted by members six months in advance. Members need to receive a request for agenda items at this time (early January) along with the Nominations. Brown suggested the afternoon session of the first Council meeting (Saturday 28 June) to be devoted to reports from all 10 WGs, and discussion of future activities. Approximately 3 hours are allocated of the Sunday 29 June morning, before the opening ceremony, for members of WG to meet and discuss future plans. The second Council meeting on Tuesday 2 July will approve activities (note that the July 2 Council meeting unavoidably overlaps with local field trips).

16. Future CliC cooperation

The MOU between CliC and IPA needs to be reviewed.

Hans-W. Hubberten thinks the IPA can cooperate with CliC, and is in general optimistic with CliC. However, they have a different way of planning. Charles Harris has a good impression of CliC. Vladimir Romanosky has concerns and is the newly appointed member of CliC SCC. Jerry Brown noted that CliC has not asked IPA to assist with permafrost activities, and parts of the organization (i.e. CliC Asia) are mainly related to glaciology. Brown noted further that CliC Asia is important for contact with Mongolia, Japan and Kazakhstan. Antoni Lewkowicz raised the more general concern in how the IPA should involve with other international organizations. According to Lewkowicz the IPA is approaching other organizations, but rarely the other way around. Permafrost is obviously important within cryosphere, but is mainly neglected within CliC. Following the EC meeting Brown and Romanovsky met with Vicky Lytle and Tony Worby, and discussed in detail future CliC – IPA cooperation and the current MOU.

17. IGC and SCAR- IASC meetings in July and August 2008

Jerry Brown is organizing the Symposium “Permafrost on a Warming Planet” at the International Geological Congress in August 2008 in Oslo, Norway and noted that the IPA should be represented. Hans-W. Hubberten will go to the SCAR meeting in St. Petersburg, but is uncertain about the IGC Symposium. Volker Rachold and/or Paul Overduin might attend to represent coastal permafrost. Peter Kuhry may present the carbon work. Mauro Guglielmin wants to go to the July SCAR_IASC meeting, but has difficulties with financing. Jerry Brown noted that Guglielmin should be supported for the St. Petersburg meeting since it is important that someone from the Antarctic WG attend.

18. IPY data flow

Vladimir Romanovsky and Jerry Brown raised the concerns of the flow of permafrost-related information within the International Polar Year (IPY). Especially the concerns of the flow of data from China to the IPY were mentioned. Romanovksy noted that he has a post doc working on data from Russia, Alaska, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Data from China could be included. Brown recommended to formally assign the responsibility for the data flow to the Standing Committee for Data, Information and Communications (SCDIC) with oversight by the new Executive Committee. There will be a SCDIC editorial in Frozen Ground 31 with recommendations on this important issue as well. Hopefully at the NICOP IPY forum we can get updated on the national data plans and coordinate these led by the SCDIC.

List of attachments handed out:

  • EC Meeting Agenda
  • EC Meeting Minutes December 2006
  • EC Meeting Minutes June 2007
  • Nominating Committee report for new Executive Committee
  • Working Group review reports (original and shortened for the EC meeting)
  • IPA member balance
  • IPA balance
  • IPA 2007-2008 budget
  • EUCOP 2010 Svalbard application letter
  • 10th ICOP 2012 Tyumen application letter
  • NICOP Stipend form

December 11 & 13, 2006, San Francisco, USA

Christiansen, H.H., Brown, J. & Harris, C. (eds.)

EC members in attendance: Jerry Brown, Charles Harris, Hans-W. Hubberten, Don Hayley (only 11 Dec.). The IPA Secretariat was represented by Hanne Christiansen. Additionally, Antoni Lewkowicz and Roger Barry attended the 11 Dec. meeting. On both days the EC meetings took place at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel and lasted respectively 3 hours and 2 hours. President Jerry Brown chaired both meetings.

1. Budget

The IPA Secretariat presented the balance of the IPA account, including payment status of the member countries. Two countries have not paid their annual dues for more than 3 years. (According to the Constitution I cannot see anything about them losing their voting rights, but please Angelique can you also check this in the Constitution, thanks.
Angélique: By Laws 1 (i) and Constitution art. 9: only Adhering bodies in good standing  are voting. Jerry repeated that at the 16th council meting in Potsdam. I quote:
Brown explained that “Adhering Bodies in ‘good standing’ in the Constitution (Article 9) and Bylaws (Article 1) refers to countries who are not in arrears of the annual fee payment for more than two years.”
The balance allows saving approximately $7500US from 2006 into the NICOP 2008 funds. Additionally Hans Hubberten will like to donate around 3000 Euros from the EUCOP 2005 surplus to travel support for young scientist to NICOP 2008. These funds will be transferred to the IPA account for inclusion in the NICOP 2008 funds. Hans Hubberten also suggested donating another 3000 Euros also from the EUCOP 2005 surplus to travel support for young scientists to the next EUCOP. These funds will be transferred to the University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, account, as it is hoped that the next EUCOP will take place in Svalbard in 2010. Finally Hans Hubberten will donate the rest of the EUCOP 2005 surplus to a German Polar Travel grant for German scientists to travel to NICOP???. Most likely the travel support will be distributed as $500US grants to applying young scientists. Guidelines to who can obtain this partial conference support will be given in the IPA biannual report in Permafrost and Periglacial Processes and the PYRN newsletter.
Don Hayley suggested that there would also be a surplus from NICOP to the IPA something in the order of $20US per participating person, and that this would also be the case for any regional conference. Brown confirmed that this is being considered by the NICOP organizers.
Angélique: Hanne, note this decision from the 17th council meeting in Potsdam. I quote:
Davies proposed as a motion that: “Conferences organizers should take a percentage of the registration fees from all participants as a contribution to the IPA; this fee should follow a regressive rate, from ICOP to smaller conferences; it would be decided by negotiation between the organizers and the IPA and would not apply to student registration fees. Vonder Mühll seconded this motion; it was approved by 17 votes in favour.”
Hanne Christiansen noted that the IPA Secretariat funds from the Norwegian Research Council cover the period until the end of 2008, and that the new EC to be elected at NICOP will be responsible for reviewing the Secretariat and its location after 2008.

2. Frozen Ground

Hanne Christiansen gave an overview of the content and production plan for the coming issue 30 of Frozen Ground (FG). This issue is edited mainly by Angélique Prick, and will be printed early in January in Belgium and distributed from there. FG costs more than half of the annual due income, and the Secretariat suggested to consider simply publishing FG as a pdf file on the IPA website still having the same edition procedure as now. This would significantly reduce the costs of FG to close to zero costs. Also a continuously updated FG also only printed on the IPA website was suggested, with nice possibilities for a more continuous update on news. The EC, however, likes to keep the printed production of FG for the next two years until the new EC takes over. One reason for the large cost is that FG contains many detailed, long country reports. Therefore the EC discussed a policy that from the next FG issue, the national reports will be allocated space proportional to the amount of IPA annual contribution, allowing the longest reports from the members paying the largest dues. The Secretariat will inform the members when calling for reports for FG 31 in May 2007 about the maximum word length from the different due categories. If a member delivers a too long report, it will be reduced according to the limit given. Longer, unedited reports can be posted directly on the web. It was also decided that FG in the next two years will report on progress of International Polar Year, IPY activities concerning research, outreach, and education

3. Recent meetings in 2006 

Jerry Brown informed about the Asian Permafrost Conference, which occurred in summer 2006 in China. It was excellently organized. 50 % of the participants were engineers. 30 participants alone from the US attended.
Brown attended the IUGG Commission on Cryospheric Sciences in Geneva. Major topics included preparations for the July 2007 Perugia IUGG congress. Jerry Brown also informed about the International Conference on Arctic Research Planning, ICARP meeting in Potsdam in November. Permafrost is still a theme, and included in several chapters, but there is no individual project on permafrost.

4. IPY Implementation plan

Jerry Brown informed about the work that started at the Arctic Science Summit Week, ASSW in Potsdam in March, with the coordination of the four IPY coordination/cluster projects on permafrost:
Project 50: Permafrost Observatory Project: A Contribution to the Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) – Jerry Brown and Hanne Christiansen.
Project 33: Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Permafrost, Periglacial and Soil Environments (ANTPAS) – James Bockheim and Mauro Guglielmin.
Project 90: Arctic Circumpolar Coastal Observatory Network (ACCO-Net) – Paul Overduin and Nicole Couture.
Project 373: Carbon Pools in Permafrost Regions (CAPP) – Peter Kuhry and Eva-Maria Pfeiffer.

A representative from all the four projects met in Groningen, Netherlands, following the 6th Arctic Coastal Dynamics, and discussed the coordination of the four projects. We have now a first version of an IPY-IPA Permafrost Implementation Programme, with the theme Role and Response of Permafrost Environments to a Warming Planet: State and Fate of Permafrost.
The coordinators of the four projects will work on updating this plan before and during IPY. The plan contains sections on the national funding status within the four projects.
On the official start of the IPY (March 1, 2007) the IPA will issue a statement from the Secretariat on the IPA webpage for the official opening in Paris. The content will focus on the State and Fate of Permafrost theme, an introduction of the four IPY permafrost coordination projects, some information on numbers of participants and permafrost projects involved, and especially the number ofpost-docs and other young researchers. The statement will also be distributed via national adhering bodies. PYRN has agreed to input to the draft.

5. International University Courses on Permafrost, IUCP  

Hanne Christiansen informed about the progress of the work that the IPA Secretariat have coordinated since November 2005, on the collection of internationally available university level courses on permafrost science and engineering. This IUCP service was presented in the AGU IPY education session later the same day. IUCP now contains 129 existing and new courses, in 17 countries, mainly at the master level and mainly theoretical courses. The service was launched 11 Dec on the IPA website in the section on IPY. It contains a searchable database of all the courses.
Jerry Brown have assisted the Russians in developing their own website for promoting two new permafrost courses to be run this coming summer in Russia. These courses will be open for paying foreign students. Price $2000-5000US.

6. Working Group review

The activity of the working groups (WGs) were reviewed. Some are active, but some are not. Some of the activities of the WGs are included in the IPY projects. It was discussed if all the WGs have well-defined deliverables. Before the next Council meeting at NICOP in 2008, the EC established an Evaluation Committee to review the work of the WGs over the last circle ?? circle ? mandate?. For this committee the following were nominated: Roger Barry, Chair (US), Kaare Flaate (Norway) and Eduard Koster (Netherlands). The evaluation committee will be asked to review the terms of references and time perspective of the WGs, shall the maximum 10 years limit be kept, and ask for new ideas for new WGs.

7. Executive Committee election 2008

Preparation for the election of a new Executive Committee (EC) by the Council in 2008 were started. According to the Constitution the EC appoints a Nominating Committee of an appropriate number from the Council one year before an ICOP. The Nominating Committee will screen the candidates nominated by the Adhering Bodies and put forward an appropriate number for elections by Council. The Nominating Committee submits to the Secretariat the names of candidates six (check??? Yes correct: By Laws # 2) months before a Conference. The EC has decided that the Nominating Committee shall consist of one representative from Canada, China, Russia and USA, and be chaired by Charles Harris. The Secretariat will request these four members to nominate their representative on this Committee no later than 1 March. Nomination Committee members’ names will subsequently be circulated to the Council, and the process of nominations can begin.

8. Constitution changes

The work on the Constitution changes that was started the Council meetings in Potsdam, is now finished and the Constitution will be printed and inserted into FG 30. Several changes included the following key ones: regional conferences, regional groups, Associate Members and Individual members. This means that the Council today will include both Adhering Bodies (each represented by up to two persons at Council with one vote) and Associate Members (each represented by one person at Council without a vote).

9. Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN)

The PYRN network was started in the autumn of 2005 by Ph.D. student Hugues Lantuit at AWI, Germany. He is today the coordinator of this very active network, with now over 250 members in 30 countries. An annual IPA-PYRN award has been initiated and was first presented at the Asian Conference on Permafrost. PYRN is planning to have a kick-off conference at Abisko Research Station in northern Sweden in February 2007. They have applied for financial support from several sources for travel support for the national PYRN coordinators to attend the meeting. The EC agreed to provide up to $1000 for partial support to this important PYRN event. 


The U.S. National Committee for NICOP met on Sunday 10 Dec. An open meeting was held that included a number of IPA representatives. Ideas were exchanged on paper reviews, organization of sessions and field trips. A second bulletin ??? is planned for early 2007. Representatives of the IUGS (Moores) and the 33rd International Geological Congress (A. Solheim) attended and reported on the International Year of Planet Earth and plans for the August 2008 IGC in Norway.

11. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes (PPP)

Antoni Lewkowicz, Editor of the journal PPP informed the EC about the arrangements whereby IPA can write two, four-pages reports in PPP (issue 2 and 4). The EC noted that Charles Harris is Associate Editor. The first of these reports has just been printed in PPP 17 and contains general information on the IPA and IPY activities and conferences in 2006 and beyond. It was prepared by Jerry Brown and Hanne Christiansen. Plans for the June 2007 issue focus on IUCP and PYRN activities. This will be written by Hanne Christiansen, Angélique Prick and Hugues Lantuit. The December 2007 will contain an update and initial results of IPY activities with a focus on State and Fate of Permafrost.

12. 2007 EC meeting

The EC plans to formally meet during AGU on Monday 10 December 2007 in San Francisco, USA, to review the nomination process and the venue for the 2012 conference. Some members will attend and meet at the Salekhard International Conference Cryogenic Resources of Polar Regions (17-20 June), which will focus also on IPY (J. Brown, H.-W. Hubberten and G. Perlshtein).

13. Meetings 2007

There are many meetings planned for 2007 including ASSW in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA, in March; Iberian Conference, Portugal, in June; IUGG in Perugia,  Italy, in July, INQUA in Cairns, Australia, in August (see calendar in Frozen Ground and the IPA web site)