Thematic Network on Permafrost


The primary goal is to establish, sustain and strengthen a network of university institutions that give permafrost research based education. This network will promote research, education collaboration and joint projects in the area of permafrost, its impact on environment and adaptation to climate change.


Ongoing activities

PermaIntern online platform (under development)
The TN on Permafrost is currently working to design and develop a Permafrost Internship service called PermaIntern, with funding from the Danish Ministry of Education through UArctic. Our aim is for PermaIntern to be available to interested students, universities, and internship hosts, covering the full variety of permafrost working life activities from university research to engineering company work. The service will be flexible to fit internships at all levels of university education, and with varying timing, length, and course structures. During 2022-2024 we will develop the service with the Nordic region as a pilot area, while the final service and online platform will be launched in the summer of 2024. 

The TN on Permafrost collaborates closely with the Standing Committee on Education and Outreach of the International Permafrost Association, the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN), and the Association for Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).

Past activities

Network meetings:

  • Sixth European Conference on Permafrost, Puigcerdà, Spain, June 20th 2023. Joint meeting with the International Permafrost Association Education and outreach committee.
  • 1st Southern Hemisphere Conference on Permafrost -- SouthCOP --  in Queenstown, New Zealand 4-14 December 2019. Joint meeting with the International Permafrost Association Education and outreach committee
  • Belmont Forum: Arctic Research Center of Hokkaido University, Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University, University of Alaska Fairbanks,Carbon Budget of Ecosystems, Cities and Villages on Permafrost (COPERA Project) final stakeholder meeting Yakutsk Russia, September 24, 2019 
  • COPERA project final meeting Sapporo, Japan Oct 6, 2019  
    Thermal state of permafrost in Eastern Siberia: Kenji Yoshikawa  
    Collaborative Research Action for COPERA: Atsuko Sugimoto

Panels and workshops:

  • Workshop on Internships in Permafrost at the Sixth European Conference on Permafrost, Puigcerdà, Spain, June 19th 2023.
  • PermaIntern Kick-Off Workshop, Copenhagen, Denmark, November 8-9 2022.
  • NORTHERN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (Northern Forum): Network Cooperation in the University of the Arctic, September 24, 2019  
    Thematic networks are interdisciplinary associations of scientists and specialists for joint research work and/or development of online educational programs. Thematic networks form the natural basis for the development of education and scientific research, providing them with an optimal structure for the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge throughout the North. Each network is international and includes representatives from the main Arctic regions – Russia, Northern Europe and North America. To date, more than 50 thematic networks have been created in various areas, for example, on permafrost, local and regional development in the North, Arctic Lingua, and industrial development in the Arctic. Co-organizers: Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University, Panel for thematic Network on Permafrost Kenji Yoshikawa  

Seminars and summer courses:

  • COLD Lands Seminar (September 23-27) Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University 
    The international interdisciplinary seminar COLD LANDS, attended by the leading Russian and international experts onthe Arctic and the North, has been held by NEFU Northern Studies Dept since 2008. Total over 20 sessions of the seminar were held, attendedby the leading researchers from research centers and universities in Russia, Canada, Finland, Norway, the USA and other countries.
  • AG-218 International Bachelor Permafrost Summer Field School (10ECTS) the University Centre in Svalbard June-July 2019
  • RJE3 Program Summer School, Hokkaido University, Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University August 2019
  • Nitobe Colleage Summer Course Hokkaido University, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Educational activities

Our network involved installing permafrost temperature monitoring systems over 450 public schools across Alaska (USA), Canada, Russia, Norway, Greenland, Mongolia, China and Japan. Installation consisted of a small borehole (approximately 2 inches in diameter) drilled near the school. The borehole was lined with plastic pipe, and thermistor temperature sensors were installed. Both K-K12 teachers and students participated in the drilling and instrument installation process and project personnel visited classrooms to discuss permafrost science and engineering at each site. The data loggers are designed to operate automatically and are able to store data for long periods. The teachers and students made periodic measurements of snow thickness above the measurement site and helped with downloading the data. Project personnel used the data in subsequent classroom activities. Also the resulting permafrost temperature data will make important contributions to studies related to long-term permafrost conditions in various areas; this data could help provide relevant information regarding potential climate warming.

Also for college level, the Thematic Network on Permafrost offered an international permafrost summer field school in Svalbard (UNIS) in 2014, 2015, Yakutsk (NEFU) in 2016 and Fairbanks (UAF) in 2017.

Other Information

Collaborating partners

International Permafrost Association (IPA) Standing Committee on Education and Outreach

Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN)

Association for Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)

Data book

Permafrost in Our Time (in English) Mainly focused on Arctic communities in North America
Мерзлота в наше время (Permafrost in Our Time in Russian) Mainly focused on Arctic communities in Siberia

Permafrost comics and outreach materials

Frozen-Ground Cartoons (in 9 languages!)/Permafrost on all Channels