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.


1. Research cooperation

  • Joint research workshops/publications
  • Internship of master students, support for Master theses
  • Internship of PhD students and researchers at other partner UArctic universities

2. Knowledge sharing in education

  • Sharing existing courses
  • Collaboration/ sharing data archives

3. International workgroups

  • Collaboration with PYRN, APECS

4. Curriculum development

  • Development of new joint courses

5. Joint education programs

  • International Master/PhD programs on Permafrost
  • Exchange program: undergraduate and graduate school program
  • Summer school organization

Our network meetings:

  • International Permafrost Association Education and outreach committee 1st Southern Hemisphere Conference on Permafrost -- SouthCOP --  in Queenstown, New Zealand 4-14 December 2019
  • 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

Panel discussion:

  • 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
  • Joint research workshops/publications
  • Internship of master students, support for Master theses
  • Internship of PhD students and researchers at other partner UArctic universities
  • Sharing existing courses
  • Collaboration/ sharing data archives
  • Collaboration with PYRN, APECS
  • Exchange program: undergraduate and graduate school program
  • Summer school organization

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 and we are planning another in Western Greenland (hosted by Stockholm University) in 2018. We welcome students who are interested in obtaining an overall knowledge about permafrost. The course will offer insights into:

  • Permafrost history and its distribution globally.
  • Permafrost temperatures in various parts of the World – climatic and other controls.
  • Methods of permafrost observations, focusing on drilling, coring and instrumentation.
  • Permafrost databases and their use in permafrost analyses.
  • How does permafrost affect local community infrastructure and cultural life?
  • Interaction between carbon and water in permafrost landscapes.
  • How sensitive are permafrost landforms towards climate change?

Other Information

Follow us

Permafrost Outreach (English)
Permafrost Outreach (Russian)
Frost Tube Outreach Program (Japanese)

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