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Permafrost conference to attract 800 international scientists and engineers

Submitted by Jenn Wagaman
Phone: 907-474-5082

06/18/08

Photo caption below.
Photo by Allison Blanchard, UAF Marketing and Communications
IARC Larry Hinzman addresses the opening session of the Ninth International Conference on Permafrost in Davis Hall on the Fairbanks Campus.
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More than 800 scientists and engineers will convene on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus next week for the Ninth International Conference on Permafrost.

The meeting is slated for June 29 through July 3 and will draw researchers from around the globe. It coincides with the fourth International Polar Year. Fairbanks first hosted the conference in 1983 and this year's conference will celebrate the 25th anniversary of that gathering.

The conference will begin with two public workshops Saturday, June 28. Jennifer Harden and Mike Waldrop of the U.S. Geological Survey will teach a class in field methods for describing and sampling northern soils. Paul Perreault, a UAF Ph.D. candidate, will offer a workshop at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center about building permafrost foundations. Space is limited for both workshops and fees may apply. More information can be found online at www.nicop.org.

An opening ceremony at 11 a.m. June 29 at the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall will include speeches by Mead Treadwell, chairman of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, and a recorded message from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Larry Hartig, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, will provide the keynote address.

On Monday, June 30, at 4:45 p.m. the public is invited to a Wiley-Blackwell Permafrost and Periglacial Processes lecture by Andreas Kaab of the University of Oslo, Norway. The lecture, "A View From Afar: Mountain Permafrost Hazards and Remote Sensing" will be held in the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall.

In addition to 150 presentations on scientific papers, field trips to permafrost-affected sites and a program for K-12 teachers, the Permafrost Young Researchers Network will host its third annual research competition for students and young researchers during the conference. Two awards for the best oral science and engineering papers will be presented during the closing ceremony on July 3.

Since 1963, approximately 2,500 people from 36 countries have participated in the international permafrost conferences. Since 1983, the conferences have been held every five years.

CONTACT: Jenn Wagaman, UAF research outreach coordinator, at 907-474-5082 or via e-mail at jenn@alaska.edu.

ON THE WEB: www.nicop.org