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IPA Executive Committee Report 2009

This year was a transition year for the International Permafrost Association (IPA), after the hugely successful Ninth International Conference on Permafrost, held in 2008 and before the Third European Conference on Permafrost to be held in 2010. The IPA used the time at hand to over-haul some of its internet presence, prepare for the deadlines related to the release of the outcomes of the International Polar Year (IPY), and initiate some new projects and programs that should help to sustain its visibility and relevance for the years to come.
Through a generous partnership with the Arctic Portal (www.arcticportal.org), based in Iceland, the IPA created a brand new website (www.ipa-permafrost.org) that has helped to multiply by ten the number of visits to its pages. The website, based on a modern content management system is capable of handling not only the tasks performed by the former system, but also to dynamically generate content and to provide additional features such as image galleries, video and audio podcasts. In addition, the IPA now provides to the users of this website a mailing list (Permalist) specifically geared at permafrost science and engineering. This mailing list will form the main instrument of communication between the IPA and the members of the community at large.
The IPA also decided to establish a new award, the “IPA Lifetime Achievement Award” to acknowledge the lifetime contribution of individuals for outstanding permafrost science and engineering research. and/or for exceptional contributions to the international permafrost research community. Existing IPA awards were largely focused on young researchers and the IPA felt the need to recognize the contribution of many individuals involved in its activities as well as in permafrost research since its inception in 1983. This award will be made every two years at international and regional permafrost conferences
2009 was also a year of planning for the 2010 International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference. This conference will highlight the results of the International Polar Year as a whole and of the IPA in a specifically designed session chaired by Jerry Brown, former president of the IPA. The IPA has worked hard and will continue to do so to ensure a prominent presence at this conference and confirm the great expectations raised during the IPY. The main outcomes planned to be released in Oslo are the IPA-IPY snapshot which will feature the data results of the IPA-IPY projects (TSP, CAPP, ACCOnet and ANTPAS) as well as the release of a special issue in Permafrost and Periglacial Processes describing the scientific results of these projects. The IPA and the University of Ottawa organized a meeting in October 2009 in Ottawa to plan the release of these products in June 2010.
The IPA has also been busy preparing the next regional and international conferences. The organizers of the Third European Conference on Permafrost, which will be held in Longyearbyen, Svalbard in June 2010 opened the registration process in October for a conference that will surely be of considerable interest to the permafrost community given its range of scientific sessions and unique location. The IPA will hold its council during the conference and plans on introducing several new initiatives that will hopefully set up the organization to tackle the scientific issues arising from the IPY. In parallel, the IPA is planning the next International Conference on Permafrost, that will held in summer 2012 in Tyumen, Russia. The Russian organizers have made some great efforts in securing the venues and infrastructure needed to organize a top level conference in a location prone to insightful field trips. This conference will see the IPA release several products updating its current map and data products.
On the international front, the IPA and its executive committee have been busy working on existing linkages with several other international organizations as well as initiating some new ones with some strategic partners. The IPA decided to enter into a tri-lateral agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research (SCAR). This formalization of the relationship between the three organizations came as a logical follow-up to the growing number of activities shared by the three organizations. Throughout the past years and in particular during the IPY, the IPA contributed to the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) initiative, itself coordinated by IASC, and provided several contributions to the Snow Water Ice and Permafrost (SWIPA) upcoming assessment of the Arctic Council, also coordinated by IASC. The IPA is now envisioning to contribute in a similar manner to the pan-Antarctic observing effort of SCAR. The IPA also strengthened its partnership with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) through its involvement in the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) project, the upcoming Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) and most importantly through its involvement in the high profile WMO Executive Committee Panel of Experts on. Polar Observations, Research and Services (EC-PORS). The IPA is now working hard on integrating the process linked to the involvement in these many organizations in order to streamline the reporting and data management workload associated with it.

IPA Executive Committee Report 2008

This year was highlighted by the occurrence of the Ninth International Conference on Permafrost (NICOP) and the continuation of the IPA participation in the International Polar Year (IPY). The IPA Council, the Executive Committee and Working Parties met during the NICOP. The following pages of Frozen Ground contain reports of these activities.

From June 29 to July 3, 2008 approximately 700 participants representing 31 countries convened at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) for the NICOP. NICOP marked the 25th anniversary of the formation of the International Permafrost Association and the Fourth ICOP (1983), both having taken place at the UAF. A special 40-page publication commemorating the 25th anniversary was prepared and distributed, and a limited number of CDs containing over 200 photographs of participants from past conferences were presented and distributed at a special anniversary lunch that was attended by 200 invited guests. The structure of the conference attempted to follow in the footsteps of previous conferences with a blend of activities from plenary and technical sessions to short courses (3), extended and local field trips (25 or more), workshops (5) and evening social activities. There were five plenary sessions (20 presentations), 40 concurrent oral sessions (approximately 200 presentations), and three, all-day poster sessions (306 posters formally scheduled) were presented over the five days. Publications included a two-volume set of 358 papers (2140 pages), an enclosed CD-ROM of the papers, and a volume of 184 extended abstracts and IPA reports (372 pages). A DVD containing papers of all nine proceedings was produced and distributed to all delegates. A special issue of the journal Permafrost and Periglacial Processes (PPP) was produced and distributed at NICOP. It contained eight summary papers, several of which were the topic of plenary reports.

Approximately 160 young investigators participated in the conference; of these, 77 received financial support for attendance at NICOP. The organising committees, editorial staff, and local workers are congratulated for organising this highly successful and informative conference.

The Council approved activities for nine working groups and several subgroups; two task forces and two standing committees. Working Groups (WG) were requested to undertake specific objectives and to have their progress reviewed at the next Council meeting in 2010. The Task Forces on remote sensing and subglacial permafrost are to assess the needs for future activities. The revised scope of the Engineering WG includes joint activities with the International Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment. Other international cooperation continues with the International Geographical Union (periglacial), the Climate and Cryosphere (CLiC), the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (mountain hazards), the International Union of Soil Science (Cryosol), and the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (soils and periglacial).

The Council approved membership of Portugal and Romania as new IPA members, and elected the new Executive Committee for the period 2008–2012 (see memberships on inside front cover). Eight resolutions were approved related to international activities and specifically to the International Polar Year  (IPY) activities (TSP, ANTPAS, ACCOnet and CAPP) and plans for the 2007-2010 permafrost snapshot under the coordination of the Standing Committee for Data Information and Communication. Other cooperative projects include the involvement of the IPA in global observing initiatives through GTN-P and CALM (contributions to GTOS and GCOS) and in developing the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON). The Council granted the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) permanent observer status on the Council. PYRN currently has 620 members in 43 countries.

The Council approved the invitation from the Russia to convene the 10th International Conference on Permafrost (TICOP) in Tyumen, West Siberia, in early summer 2012. The newly appointed IPA International Advisory Committee for ICOP will work closely with the Russian organizers. The Council approved the Third Regional European Conference (EUCOP III) to be held on Svalbard in June 2010 following the Oslo IPY Open Science Conference.

The Secretariat, which was hosted for ten years by Norway and Denmark under the leadership of Dr. Hanne Christiansen will now be hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany. The new Secretariat will be lead by Dr. Hugues Lantuit.

The next four years will be busy times for the IPA and its memberships, both for national representatives and individuals. The number of professional conferences and other activities continue to increase. We will rely on members of the Working Parties to represent the IPA, to participate in appropriate meetings, and to help plan ahead for the 2012 permafrost conference. The new Executive Committee will be looking ahead to develop mechanisms to make IPA an even more effective international organisation.

Finally, the new Executive Committee, on behalf of the IPA, extends its appreciation to those past members for their exceptional service over the years: President Jerry Brown, Vice Presidents Charles Harris and Georgy Perlshstein, and Members Don Hayley and Zhu Yuanlin.

IPA Executive Committee Report 2007

Norway celebrated its opening in Oslo and on Svalbard. Several IPA participants joined the Arctic Science Summit Week in Hanover, New Hampshire, in March. The annual Russian permafrost conference in Salekhard was an IPY event as were the Iberian conference in Guarda, Spain, and the Polish meeting in Svalbard. The four IPA coordinated IPY permafrost projects are underway. The PYRN has over 400 members in 35 countries, two field courses were held in Siberia this summer, the PYRN-TSP was launched, and a permafrost methods workshop was held for young researchers in St. Petersburg, Russia, in early December (see PYRN report for details).

A workshop on Antarctic permafrost, data and mapping was convened as part of the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in August. Members of the cold regions engineering community attended the ISCORD conference in Tampere, Finland, in September. In October, IPA participated in the Second CLiC Asian Cryosphere Conference in Lanzhou, China. In November, IPA was represented at the Stockholm workshop on Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON). Numerous other national and regional meetings included IPY permafrost sessions (AGU, EGU).

This issue of Frozen Ground does not include the annual reports from Committees and Working Groups (WG). An editorial on the importance of the IPY-IPA data legacy is presented herein. The WG will prepare five-year reports for the June 2008 Council review and their publication in the Ninth International Conference on Permafrost (NICOP) documents. During this past year, an evaluation of WG activities was conducted by a three person, ad hoc review group consisting of Roger Barry (chair), Eduard Koster and Kaare Flaate. The evaluation indicates most WG are active and productive. There was a consensus that most goals and objectives were too board and that future activities should be more focused. Also recommended was the need to re-establish an oversight process to insure progress and coordination. Liaison with other international organizations was well recognized and encouraged.

New initiatives this year were under taken with the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG) and the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA). These on-going and future activities will be reviewed  at the Council meetings during NICOP. New working group activities for 2008-2012 are welcome.

Members of the Executive Committee met in Salekhard in June and San Francisco in December. At the latter meeting we reviewed plans for NICOP with the U. S. organizers, discussed actions for the Council meetings in Fairbanks, and reviewed and prepared the slate of nominees for the election of a new Executive Committee. The Council will meet on June 28, 2008, in open session. Working Party co-chairs and members and representatives of international organizations are invited to join the Council meeting; the agenda will be posted on the IPA and NICOP webs. We note the departure of Dr. Angelique Prick from the IPA Secretariat where she performed in an outstanding manner since 2005; her presence will be greatly missed. Angelique’s’ replacement, is Dr. Herman Farbrot.

Planning for the NICOP is well advanced. Based on the approximate 600 abstracts that were submitted from 30 countries, over 400 papers are in final review for publication in the printed Proceedings. Additional extended abstracts will be published in NICOP documents. Daily plenary sessions will highlight recent advances in permafrost science and engineering. Planning for pre- and post-conference field trips is nearing completion (see the NICOP web for pre-conference registration). Several special events recognizing the 25th anniversary of IPA. are planned. The June IPY international science day events will take place during the NICOP period under the theme “Land and Life”. Permafrost will be well-represented by many NICOP and PRYN activities. Other events include an IPY Forum and several PYRN social and technical activities. We look forward to seeing many readers of Frozen Ground in Fairbanks.

In addition to NICOP, summer 2008 will be an extremely busy period for other conferences and field courses and research. The annual Russian geocryology conference in Pushchino in April and the Forum for Young Scientists in Yakutsk in August will honour the 100th anniversary of Academician P.I. Melnikov. The SCAR-IASC conference is in early July in St. Petersburg, Russia. In August, IPA representatives will participate in the International Geological Congress in Oslo and the International Geographical Congress in Tunis.

Finally, the Executive Committee notes with great sadness the passing of A.L. Washburn, a close colleague and world authority on geocryology.

IPA Executive Committee Report 2006

A major highlight of the year was the Asian Conference on Permafrost (ACOP) held in Lanzhou, China, with field excursions on and across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. A total of 262 participants from 17 countries including 100 non-Chinese attended the Conference. A pre-conference workshop on classification and mapping of Asian permafrost helped clarify approaches to distribution issues and the assessment of recent and predicted changes. Details are reported elsewhere, but suffice to say the combined conference, field excursions, and workshop provide new insights into research and engineering problems and opportunities in this region of Planet Earth. Three monetary awards were given to young researchers for best presentations.

Major activities throughout the year focused on planning the IPA involvement in the International Polar Year. As previously reported, IPA is providing the coordination for four approved cross-cutting activities that total more than 60 individual projects. A planning meeting to develop a coordinated implementation plan was held in Copenhagen in March. The draft plan, with its components for thermal state of permafrost, arctic coastal processes, carbon pools sequested in soils and permafrost, and Antarctic soils, permafrost and periglacial, is undergoing final revisions and depends in part on funding by national programmes for specific projects. Our outreach activities focus on a compilation of International University Courses on Permafrost (IUCP). To date, 124 courses within the science and engineering disciplines and organized for 2007 to 2009 in both hemispheres have been identified in 17 countries. Details are available on our webpag.

IPA and its working groups participated in a number of international conferences; The Arctic Science Summit Week in Copenhagen, the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, the annual Russian permafrost conference in Tyumen in southern Siberia, the SCAR Science Conference in Hobart, Australia, the World Congress of Soil Science in Philadelphia, PA, the IGU Regional Conference in Brisbane, Australia, the First Asia CliC Symposium in Yokohama, Japan, the International Conference on Cold Regions Engineering in Orono, Maine, the International Symposium on Cryospheric Indicators of Climate Change in Cambridge, England, and a planning workshop on the International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP II) in Potsdam. Members of the Antarctic, Cryosol, and Periglacial Working Groups convened sessions and met at the SCAR, Soil Science, and IGU conferences, respectively.

The IPA Council approved, by mail ballot, a number of changes to the Constitution. These include (1) changes in the nomination and election process for officers and (2) the frequency of international conferences to once every four years with approved regional conferences in the intervening period. These changes will start to be implemented for the 2008 Council meeting in Fairbanks.

Members of the Executive Committee met during the conference in Tyumen and approved a plan to review activities of the working groups prior to the 2008 Council meeting The EC met again at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco and reviewed planning for the NICOP with members of the international advisory and U.S. organizing committees.

The coming year promises to be even more busy with a number of international conferences including the annual Russian permafrost conference to be held in Salekhard, northwest Siberia in June (see Planning Calendar). Preparation for NICOP will be well underway with abstracts due starting in early summer and manuscripts of approved abstracts due in early Fall. A second NICOP circular will appear on websites and in the mail in early 2007. It will have details on abstract submission, and estimated costs of field trips.
Many permafrost colleagues attended the 90th birthday celebration for J. Ross Mackay at the University of British Columbia in February, It was a memorable event for Ross and his students and colleagues. Finally, we welcome as an interim member of the Executive Committee, Ma Wei, who replaces Zhu Yuanlin who recently resigned for personal reasons.

IPA Executive Committee Report 2005

A number of notable activities took place this past year. The Second European Conference on Permafrost was held in Potsdam and included meetings of the IPA Council and the Executive Committee. In addition to discussing future changes to the Constitution, the Council approved the new membership category of Associate Member. Portugal has become the first Associate Member, and congratulations to New Zealand for becoming a new Adhering Member.

Members of our international community participated in conferences including: the International Conference on Periglacial Geomorphology; the Arctic Science Summit Week; the First CliC Conference; three conferences in Russia (the International Pushchino Conference, the Third Russian Conference on Geocryology; the International Conference on Cryopedology); the Sixth International Conference on Geomorphology (IAG); the Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning, the Fifth International Conference on Gas Hydrates; and the annual AGU and EGU meetings.

Planning for the International Polar Year (2007-2008) resulted in acceptance by the IPY Joint Committee of three coordinated permafrost projects on thermal state, the Antarctic, and coastal. Representatives of many of these projects met in Copenhagen in November to develop plans for field activities, outreach, education and data management. Included were discussions of our new carbon project and participation in the International Year of Planet Earth. One IPY-IPA legacy will be to encourage the development of the next generation of permafrost researchers. The Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) is in its early development stage and it plans to encourage communications and collaborations among undergraduates and graduate students, post docs and other younger researchers and educators.

Plans for the first Asian Conference on Permafrost in Lanzhou, China, in August 2006 are well advanced. We encourage multi-disciplinary participation in the conference and field excursion. Although the abstract deadline is January 30, contact the organizers for the latest information and possible late participation (www.casnw.net/permafrost/home.html).

The coming year will be busy and critical to the future of the IPA. In addition to the conference in China, we plan to participate in other international conferences including the annual conference in Russia (Tyumen), the international soil congress, and the international cold regions specialty and glaciological conferences (see calendar for permafrost-related meetings). The IPA Council is considering changing the frequency of its international conference from every five to four years with at least one official regional conference during the interim period. The method of electing the Executive Committee is also under consideration as is the rotation of its officers (see summaries of Council meetings). Coordination and collaboration of activities with other international unions and societies are continuing, including those with IUGS, IGU, CliC, IPY and the recently formed IUGG Commission on Cryospheric Sciences.

As announced earlier the Research Council of Norway awarded a grant to UNIS that enabled the employment of a half-time position in the Secretariat. Angélique Prick occupies the position and is responsible for preparing Frozen Ground, among other duties. Hanne Christiansen continues her role of overall management of the Secretariat and is taking a lead in the IPY permafrost education and outreach activities with the University of the Arctic. The IUGS is supporting our initial efforts for planning the IPY and Planet Earth activities.

IPA Executive Committee Report 2004

The past year has been a busy one for the IPA. Major permafrost conferences were held in Tyumen , Russia , in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Tyumen Region, and in Lanzhou , China , on permafrost engineering. IPA participated in the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) and the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) meetings in Reykjavik, Iceland; the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Science Conference in Bremen, Germany; the 30th International Geographical Congress in Glasgow, Scotland; and the 32nd International Geological Congress in Florence, Italy, among other meetings, including the European Geosciences Union, American Geophysical Union, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Canadian Geotechnical Society. Members of the Executive Committee met in Moscow and Tyumen in May and again in December in San Francisco .

The IPA and the International Geographical Union renewed its Agreement of Cooperation during the Glasgow Congress. The agreement provides for cooperation with the new IGU Commission on Cold Region Environments and the exchange of IPA and Commission newsletters. As a result of the agreement IPA remains an affiliated member of the IGU. A new Memorandum of Understanding was developed and signed between IPA and the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) programme of the World Climate Research Programme. Both agreements are consistent with the 2003 IPA Council resolution to increase international cooperation. Several other cooperative activities are under discussion including those related to the Global Carbon Project (GCP), the newly designated IUGG Commission for the Cryospheric Sciences (CCS), and renewed cooperation with the International Quaternary Association (INQUA).

During the past year considerable effort was devoted to developing a project to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the International Polar Year. The project “Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP)” proposes to obtain a “snapshot” of permafrost temperatures throughout Planet Earth during the period 2007–2008. A planning proposal was submitted to our parent organisation, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). The TSP project compliments the existing Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P).

All ten Working Groups, five of which were newly designated in 2003, initiated activities for the 2003–2008 period. This year marked the culmination of planning for a joint SCAR-IPA activity in the Antarctic with the formation of a SCAR Expert Group (see Antarctic WG report for details).The new WG on Glacier and Permafrost Hazards in High Mountains, a joint activity with the International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI), organised an EGU session and planned future international activities. The Cryosol WG, a joint activity with the International Union of Soil Science, held several meetings and was responsible for publication this year of the 726-page book Cryosols: Permafrost-affected Soils. The Permafrost and Climate WG participated in a jointly organised CliC workshop in Fairbanks on Spatial Modelling. The PACE 21 Field Workshop took place in Svalbard . The Coastal and Offshore WG participated in the 5th International Workshop on Arctic Coastal Dynamics at McGill University ; ACD is a joint project with the International Arctic Science Committee and the IGBP LOICZ. Several cochairs of Working Parties participated in the ACIA Conference in Reykjavik .

The final report of the 8th ICOP was completed by the Swiss Organising Committee, and contains the conference report of the IPA International Advisory Committee. The three-member task force on proposed organizational changes submitted its report to the Executive Committee. Based on these findings the Executive Committee prepared recommendations to the Council for modifications in nominations, elections and membership categories. The Executive Committee prepared a draft Long Range Plan (2005–2013). The Council will meet in Potsdam in June 2005 to consider these recommendations and the Plan.

Planning for future IPA conferences is underway in the U.S, Germany , Russia , and China : Ninth International Conference on Permafrost (NICOP), Fairbanks , Alaska , in June 2008; the Second European Conference on Permafrost, Potsdam , in June 2005, the Fourth International Conference on Cryopedology, Arkhangelsk in August 2005, and the proposed Regional Permafrost Conference in Lanzhou , in September 2006. Representatives of IPA will participate in the CLiC Science Conference and ASSW in China in April 2005, in several permafrost conferences in Russia in 2005, in the Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP II) in Copenhagen, Denmark, in November 2005, in the 18th World Congress of Soil Science in Philadelphia, U.S.A., in July 2006, and in the XVII INQUA Congress in Australia in August 2007. The 33rd International Geological Congress will be held in Oslo , Norway , in August 2008 with excursions to the Arctic . IPA proposes to work closely with the IGC/IUGS organisers and to link NICOP and current projects to the IGC programme.

The IPA Secretariat, based at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), has received funding from the Norwegian Research Council to provide administrative support for IPA activities. We extend our appreciation to Ole Humlum, University of Olso , for designing and maintaining the new IPA web site. This issue of Frozen Ground starts with a series of short lead articles that presents current progress and prospects for selective future activities.

IPA Executive Committee Report 2004


IPA Executive Committee Report 2003

This year was dominated by final preparations for, and participation in, the 8th International Conference on Permafrost in Zurich , Switzerland , July 21–25, 2003 . The IPA Council, the Executive Committee and Working Parties met during the Conference. The following pages of Frozen Ground contain reports of these activities.

Approximately 300 representatives from 24 countries participated in the Conference. A total of 230 papers were published in a two-volume set, and an additional 97 extended abstracts were available for poster presentations. The final sessions of the conference included summaries by a group of rapporteurs. Pre- and post-Conference field trips took place in the Alps and in Svalbard. Reports of working parties were published in the 142-page extended abstract and pro­gramme volume. The organising committees, editorial staff, and local workers are congratulated for organ­ising this highly successful and informative conference. The new Interna­tional Advisory Committee provided constructive advice to the organisers. Available at the conference was the new CD version of CAPS 2.0: Circum­polar Active-Layer Permafrost System produced by and available from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (see p. 42).

The Council approved activities for 10 working groups; five working groups were renewed for a second, five-year terms, and the others are based on previous work of task forces and new initiatives for the Antarctic and astrobiology. The new, joint working group on glacier and permafrost hazards in high mountains is organised with the International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI). Other working groups are already jointly sponsored with the International Geographical Union (Periglacial) and the International Union of Soil Science (Cryosol). The new Antarctic WG is proposed as a joint activity with the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR). Individuals are urged to participate in the activities of the working groups (contact the co-chairs and see p. 17 for more details).

The Council approved membership of Iceland as its 24th member, and elected the new Executive Committee for the period 2003–2008 (see memberships on inside front cover). Two resolutions were approved related to planning and coordination of international activities, and permafrost responses to climate changes (p. 21). The Council approved the invitation from the University of Alaska to convene the 9th International Conference on Permafrost in Fairbanks, Alaska, in early summer 2008.

Interim permafrost meetings are planned for Tyumen, Russia, in May 2004 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Tyumen Region, the 2nd European Permafrost Conference, and a regional conference in China in 2006 and a field excursion to highlight the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railroad.

Other cooperative projects include the Arctic Coastal Dynamics Project with the International Arctic Science Committee (ISAC) and GTN-P and CALM with the World Meteorological Organisation, and a proposed initiative for the International Polar Year (IPY).

A three-person fact-finding task force was approved by the Council to conduct a survey of the current constitutional issues and concerns raised by Members, and to make inquiries as to how other national and international organisations deal with questions of voting, membership fees, rotation of offi­cers, and other organisational questions. Mem­bers are Brian Moorman (Chair, Canada), Eduard Koster (The Netherlands), and H.J. Walker (U.S.A.). The results of the survey will be considered as part of a long-term Stra­tegic Plan.

The next five years will be very busy times for the IPA and its memberships, both for national representatives and individuals. The number of professional conferences and other activities continue to increase. We will rely on members of the Working Parties to represent the IPA, to participate in appropriate meetings, and to help plan ahead for the 2008 permafrost conference. The Executive Committee will be looking ahead to develop mechanisms to make IPA an even more effective international organisation.

Finally, the new Executive Committee, on behalf of the IPA, extends its appreciation to those past members for their exceptional service over the years: President Hugh French, Vice Presidents Wilfried Haeberli and Felix Are, and Member Truls Mølmann.

IPA Executive Committee Report 2002

All members of the Executive and the Secretariat met in Arundel , U.K. , in early November. We reviewed the status of planning for the Zurich conference, the report of the Nominations Committee, the current and future budget requirements, the status of Working Parties, and discussed possible changes to the constitution and a variety of international activities. Several of these items are reported elsewhere in this issue of Frozen Ground.

Vice-President Wilfried Haeberli reported upon preparations for the 8th International Conference on Permafrost. Over 200 papers are expected to be published in the proceedings. The Final Circular will be distributed by the end of 2002, with on-line registration and details posted on the conference website. The Swiss Organizing Committee has developed a programme of travel assistance (see website). The newly formed International Advisory Committee, chaired by former Vice-President Kaare Flaate, has been providing guidance to the conference organizers.

Funding constraints continue to limit the activities of the Association. However, the EC is pleased to note that most Adhering Bodies are continuing to provide their annual contribution on a regular basis. Truls Mølman has been investigating new funding sources for support of the Secretariat. We agreed to provide travel expenses for those Council Members who require support for the Zurich conference, and to continue support for preparing and printing Frozen Ground.

The IPA Secretariat, under the direction of Hanne H. Christiansen, is in its new location at the University Courses on Svalbard , and continued to operate smoothly and efficiently throughout the year.

Formal requests to host the 9th ICOP in 2008 were received from the Chinese Academy of Sciences ( Lanzhou ) and the University of Fairbanks-Alaska. A decision will be made at the Council meeting in Zurich . Vice-President Zhu Yuanlin reported on the progress to complete the railroad across the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau by 2006-2007. Jerry Brown reported upon a number of Association projects including ACD, GGD and the CAPS CD, GTN-P, and CALM, and the status of Working Parties (see following reports for details). It is noted that permafrost is represented in two climate assessments: the IPCC and the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).

During the past year EC members and other IPA leaders have been engaged in discussions with several related international organizations concerning future activities. An informal joint Task Force was established to address common scientific interests between the IPA and the International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI). As a result of several IPA initiatives with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), IPA is now identified in two Antarctic activities: the Regional Sensitivity to Climate Change and the newly formed Permafrost Action Group. Our permafrost interests are included in the World Research Climate Programme on Climate and Cryosphere (CliC). Finally, Dr Peter Bobrowski, IUGS Vice-President, was designated as the official liaison between IPA and the International Union of Geological Sciences (see details in following reports).

We are looking forward to the conference and the Council meetings in Zurich and to learning of new advances in permafrost science and engineering. For those who cannot attend we will make a special effort to disseminate information on web sites and in the next issue of Frozen Ground.

The Executive Committee notes with great sadness the passing of two distinguished colleagues: Nikolai Grave ( Russia ) and Duwayne Anderson ( USA ).

IPA Executive Committee Report 2001

The past year has been one of the most active in the history of the International Permafrost Association. Committees, working groups and task forces organized and participated in workshops, symposia, conferences and field trips. Several international cooperative projects, monitoring programmes and climate assessment activities continued. The Executive Committee and the newly formed International Conference Advisory Committee met in Rome . Highlights of the year 2001 activities are summarized below. Details are presented in the following pages.

The First European Conference on Permafrost was convened in Rome in March with over 120 attendees from Europe , Russia , North and South Americ a , Japan , China and South Africa . Major emphasis of the conference was on initial results of the Permafrost and Climate Change in Europe (PACE) programme and mountain permafrost. The task forces on Permafrost Creep and Mapping and modelling organised several sessions. Special issues of Permafrost and Periglacial Processes and the Norwegian Journal of Geography published a series of conference papers. The working groups on the Southern Hemisphere and the Coastal and Offshore Permafrost organized special sessions.

The six members of the Executive Committee met in open session during the Rome conference and reviewed activities, budgets, plans for the 8th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP) in 2003, and appointed the nominating committee for the next election. The International Conference Advisory Committee held its first meeting with members of the organizing committee of the 8th ICOP. The first circular was distributed and over 400 abstracts were received.

Several members of Arctic Coastal Dynamics (ACD) Steering Group attended the Arctic Summit Week in April in Iqaluit , Canada . Plans for the ACD were presented there to the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The IASC approved funding for a second workshop that was held in Potsdam in November.

The Third International Conference on Cryopedology was held in Copenhagen in August and was coorganized by the Cryosol Working Group. Major themes of the conference were devoted to soil carbon stocks and fluxes and feedback mechanisms important in regional and global climate change. The new circumarctic soils map and soil database were displayed and demonstrated. During the Conference, Iceland indicated its intention to join IPA.

The first major international meeting of permafrost specialists took place in Mongolia in September 2001. Approximately 50 attendees from Mongolia and Argentina , China , Japan , Kazakhstan , North America , Norway , and Russia took part in the formal symposium and two days of local field trips. A small group visited permafrost regions of northcentral Mongolia . The Asian participants agreed to develop a revised permafrost map of Central Asia .

The Working Group on Periglacial Processes and Environments organized several sessions and a post conference field trip in association with the Fifth International Conference on Geomorphology held in Japan in August and September. The Southern Hemisphere Working Group met during the IGC conference. Members of the Working Group on Permafrost Engineering met at several national and international conferences in Pushchino and Moscow , Russia , and Canada . Members of several working groups are participating in the preparation of the infrastructure report for the first Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).

The Standing Committee on Data, Information and Communications began coordination for production of the second CD ROM on Circumpolar Active-layer Permafrost System (CAPS). Initial results and site documentation of the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) programme involving its 15 participating countries were prepared for publication in an issue of Polar Geography. The cochairs of the Working Group on Global Change and Climate completed work on the Arctic and Antarctic chapter of the Third Asessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Calendar year 2002 will focus on the preparations for the 8th International Conference on Permafrost, including the review of manuscripts and camera copy of accepted papers, preparing for the IPA Executive Committee and Council meetings, and continuing activities of working parties. Preparation of the CAPS CD will be continue.

The IPA Secretariat will move to its new location at the University Course on Svalbard , UNIS, starting in February 2002, but will still be run by Hanne H. Christiansen.

The Executive Committee extends its appreciation to the Institute of Geography , University of Copenhagen , Denmark for hosting the Secretariat since 1999. The Executive Committee notes, with deep regret, the passing of Arturo Corte, former Argentinean member of the Council and pioneer in periglacial research.

IPA Executive Committee Report 2000


IPA Executive Committee Report 1999

Since the Yellowknife conference there has been a change in the operational style of the Association, with an enlarged Executive Committee and a change from a Secretary General to an International Secretariat. An International Advisory Committee has also been appointed, and the financial situation of the Association has been assessed in the light of these administrative changes. The last 18 months has also seen activities by the Working Groups and Task Forces established in Yellowknife . These are reported upon elsewhere in this issue of Frozen Ground.

The new IPA Secretariat is now formally located in Denmark and is operated by Dr. Hanne H. Christiansen. The Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland and the Institute of Geography , University of Copenhagen , are jointly funding the Secretariat for the first year, and we are hopeful that this support will continue in the future. The Secretariat is housed in the Institute of Geography , University of Copenhagen .

The first meeting of the new Executive Committee took place in Copenhagen , Denmark , April 26-27, 1999 . It was agreed that the Secretary should be a member of the Standing Committee for Data, Information and Communication. The Secretary will also be responsible for the collection of reports and news, and, in association with the President, will oversee the editing and production of Frozen Ground. Because of its important role within the Association, the Executive Committee wishes to retain the style and format of previous issues as far as possible. However, budgetary constraints will limit Frozen Ground to publication only once a year. In 1999, publication was be partially supported by Danish sources.

The annual income of the Association is approximately $12000.00 ( US ). Nearly all adhering bodies are paying dues at their respective levels. It is anticipated that approximately 80% of annual revenues will be allocated each year. The funding of Working Groups, Task Forces and the Standing Committee will be for specific purposes, including covering communication. Support for the Secretariat, production of Frozen Ground and travel support for young scientists for the 2003 International Permafrost Conference are given high priority. Working Groups, Task Forces and the Standing Committees are requested to seek funding from international or regional funding sources in the first instance. In response to requests from various working parties, approximately $4000 was allocated in 1999.

Vice-President Wilfried Haeberli reported upon plans for the 2003 conference; a steering committee has been formulated with representatives from the Swiss Academy of Sciences, the Federal Institute for Technology (ETH), and the Swiss Coordinating group on Permafrost. An International Advisory Committee has been appointed to liaise with the Swiss Organizing Committee for the next international conference. Its role will be to provide a ‘corporate memory’, to ensure that there is continuity and uniformity to the international permafrost conferences.

Following information supplied by Jerry Brown, the Executive Committee approved plans for the development of an International Permafrost Monitoring Network Service (IPMNS) as part of the Global Terrestrial Network – Permafrost (GTNet-P). The aim is to develop a network of reporting sites in conjunction with the Global Climate Observatory System (GCOS). It was decided to hold an open Executive Committee meeting in 2001, either in association with the First European Permafrost Conference, in Rome , March 2001, or at the Fifth International Association of Geomorphology Conference, in Tokyo , August 2001. An IPA-sponsored visit to Mongolia is being considered in context with the IAG meeting, and collaborative links between China , Mongolia , Kazakstan and Russia are being encouraged. The next formal meeting of the IPA Council will take place in 2003 at the VIIIICOP in Switzerland .

Following the Executive meeting, President French met briefly with the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Henrik Jeppesen, the Head of the Department of Geography, Bjarne H. Jakobsen, and the Vice-Chair of the Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland, Hans Ammendrup, to thank them for their support for the establishment of the IPA Secretariat in Denmark. Members of the Executive Committee also met with the Danish national IPA contact, Sven Berthelsen, President of the Danish Society for Arctic Technology.

The Executive Committee records with great sadness the passing of several distinguished colleagues during the past year. These include G. Hank Johnston ( Canada ), Anders Rapp ( Sweden ), Alfred Jahn ( Poland ) and Troy L. Péwé ( USA ).

IPA Executive Committee Report 1998

Essentially all activities this year focused on preparation for and participation in the Seventh International Conference on Permafrost held in Yellowknife, Canada, 23–27 June 1998. The IPA Council, Executive Committee and Working Groups met during the Conference. As a cost saving measure, the June 1998 issue of Frozen Ground has been consolidated with the December issue. The following reports summarize many of the results of the Yellowknife meetings and activities of the Adhering Bodies for the past year or more.

Approximately 275 attendees from 25 countries participated in the Conference, the pre- and post- Conference field trips to the Mackenzie Valley, northern Quebec, and the BHP diamond mine, and local excursions. Twenty-three paper sessions and two poster sessions resulted in over 150 presentations. A total of 248 abstracts of published papers and posters were published in the program book and can be viewed on the IPA Web site. IPA Working Group and Secretary General reports covering the activities of the past 5 to 10 years were also published in the program book and appear on the site. The final proceedings volume published by Laval University contains 188 papers.

Several other publications were released during the Conference, including the 12-language glossary of permafrost and ground-ice terms and the CD-ROM on the Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS). CAPS contained the digital version of the IPA permafrost map (see inside back cover for map unit statistics). Meetings of par-ticipants in the Circumpolar Active-Layer Monitoring (CALM) and Permafrost and Climate in Europe (PACE) programs were convened during the Conference.

Major changes to the IPA Constitution were reviewed and approved, including expansion of the Executive Committee from four to six members. A new Executive Committee was elected (see inside front cover) and the position of Secretary General replaced with an international Secretariat. At least 65 individuals attended the Council and Executive Committee meetings.

Recognizing the importance of data and information activities, the existing Working Group was reestablished as a permanent Standing Committee. Two new Working Groups on Coastal and Offshore Permafrost and the Southern Hemisphere were established. Three Task Forces on rock glacier dynamics, mapping mountain permafrost, and isotope geochemistry were established for a period of 2–3 years to assess current status and plan future activities. Rules governing Working Groups and Task Forces were revised, with WGs no longer limited to eight members.

Two resolutions were passed concerning global monitoring of permafrost and the active layer and their relationship to other international programs, including WMO, WCRP, GCOS and SCAR. Organizations and programs were identified for liaison with IPA Committees, Working Groups and Task Forces.

IPA representatives plan to participate in three forthcoming international conferences: the 25th International Quaternary Association (INQUA) Congress in Durban, South Africa (August 1999); the 31st International Geological Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (August 2000); and the 3rd International Conference on Cryogenic Soils in Copenhagen, Denmark (August 2001). Our readers are encouraged to participate in these and other related international conferences. Several Working Groups and Task Forces have provisional plans for meetings, including Engineering in Svalbard (2000) and Mountain Permafrost in Mongolia (2001).

The new Executive Committee plans to meet early in 1999 to assist in the implementation of the new Secretariat and to discuss the future publication and distribution plans for Frozen Ground. We plan to issue some form of the news bulletin late in 1999; in the interim relevant information will appear periodically on the IPA Web site.

IPA Executive Committee Minutes 2003

20 July 2003 (11:00 a.m.to 1:15 p.m

The Executive Committee met at the Hotel Rigihof, Zurich. Members present were Vice Presi­dents Wilfried Haeberli and Felix Are, and Members Jerry Brown and Truls Mølmann; and Hanne Christiansen, International Secretariat. Unfortunately President Hugh French was delayed in London as a result of the airline strike. Both Hugh French and Zhu Yuanlin arrived later in the evening. The members present requested that Vice President Hae­berli chair the meeting. The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss agenda items for the 14th Council meeting. The agenda was approved as previously circulated (items 1–16).

1. Review of Minutes: The minutes of the last Executive Committee in Arundel, U.K., 2–3 November 2002, were reviewed and approved (summary in Frozen Ground 26, p. 4).

2. Financial Report: Christiansen reviewed income and expenses for the past four years. Expenditures for the last year exceeded estimates due to the added expenses in pro­ducing and distributing the 66-page issue off Frozen Ground 26 and for participation costs in the Zurich conference. If the balance of this year’s annual contributions are received, a small surplus will exist ($5000). It was agreed that Frozen Ground should be kept to pre-2002 size and costs, unless supplemental funds become available.

3. Status of 8th ICOP: Haeberli reviewed preparations for the conference. The Executive Committee noted the accomplishments and congratulated the organizing and publications committees for the printed publications, and the planned programme and social events. The organisers expressed disappointment in the lack of field trip participation.

4. Future Secretariat: This discussion was combined with Item 6. Christiansen indicated that she would step down as Secretariat by the end of 2003, but would complete financial accounts and 2004 membership requests. The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) is agreeable to maintain the Secretariat in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, but a new person would require salary. The present budget does not provide enough income for both current activities and a salaried Secretariat. Mølmann reviewed recent activities to raise additional funds in Norway, which to date have not been successful. With the increased visibility of the IPA in Norway and the ability to provide more information, the IPA web responsibilities could be undertaken in the Depart­ment of Geography, University of Oslo.

5. Review of Budget: The draft budget (2004 to 2008) was reviewed and is based on an estimated annual income and expenditure of $12,000 from members’ contributions.

6. Future Funding (see “Future Secretariat” Item 4).

7. Review of IPA Administrative Structure: The IPA organisation as it was presented at the Yellow­knife Conference was reviewed (Frozen Ground 22, p. 17). No major changes have occurred. It was recognised that the Secretariat is directly involved with Service Centres (IPA and other web sites, GGD, CAPS). The Council should note the linkage between the Secretariat and the Service Centres.

8. Report of the International Conference Advisory Committee: Johan Ludvig Sollid joined the meeting in the place of Committee Chair Kaare Flaate. A one-page draft IAC report was presented. Haeberli indicated that contacts with the Committee and its Chair were helpful and provided input for continuity between the conferences, but indicated that maintaining uniformity is not always necessary. Brown suggested a more detailed report be prepared and perhaps combined with the ICOP organisers’ final report. Both reports should be available by the end of the year. Mølmann raised the question of future membership for IAC. It was agreed that appointments wait until reports of both the IAC and the 8th ICOP are submitted, and the new 9th ICOP organising committee is identified. Some continuity in membership is desired. Recommendations from the post-Conference Yellowknife report should be reviewed and considered in these reports.

9. Status of Working Parties: The Committee reviewed the guidelines for the Working Parties and agreed they are still acceptable (Frozen Ground 22, p.13). The exception is with Task Forces that have a life of 2–3 years, but remained in place for the full five-year period. Brown then reviewed the status of the existing Working Groups, Task Forces and Committee. Complete reports for the prior four-year period appeared in Frozen Ground 26, and were reproduced for Conference attendees in the Extended Abstract volume. Several new Working Groups are expected to be proposed to the Council as well as expanding several Task Forces to WGs, including a joint IPA/ICSI WG on glacier and permafrost.

10. Review of Council agendas: The proposed agendas for both the 14th and 15th Council meetings were reviewed.

11. Constitutional Changes: This topic was deferred to the new Executive Committee and Council.

12. Status of ICSI Discussions: Haeberli reviewed the background on the International Council on Snow and Ice (Frozen Ground 26, pp. 56–57) and recent discussions. ICSI may become the Association for the Cryosphere within the IUGG structure. Presently it does not include engineering. The ICSI status will be resolved over the next six years. Haeberli is a permanent member of ICSI as the representative for the WGMS. The IPA is an important participant in these discus­sions. As noted, IPA is an affiliated member of the IUGS.

13. Other International Activities: Brown reported on a number of activities. IPA and the Scientific Council for Antarctic Research (SCAR) are considering a joint work­ing group on permafrost and peri­glacial processes. IPA should consider participation in the International Polar Year (2007/08) and IUGS Planet Earth (2006), and the new WCRP Climate and Cryosphere (CliC). The IPA Cryosol WG is a joint activity of the Inter­national Union of Soil Sciences.