The International Permafrost Association (IPA) and the Climate and Cryosphere project (CliC) are seeking your input. We invite you to participate in a survey on ‘Permafrost Research Priorities’, which aims at identifying the top priorities in permafrost research. The process will span much of 2014 engaging the research community and will result in a short publication listing and putting into context research priorities. The document shall become the benchmark against which permafrost research should be gauged starting in 2015. The final document of priorities will be sent to national and international funding agencies, international organizations, policy makers, and others with interests in supporting permafrost research. It will form one of the outputs of the International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III).

We are interested in collecting forward-looking research questions (max. 3) from individuals with professional interests in understanding physical, biogeochemical, ecological, and social processes that affect permafrost areas in the Arctic, the Antarctic and in mountain regions.


The following link will guide you to the survey and detailed background information on the PRP process:

The survey will take ~10 minutes of your time. Guidelines for creating a good question are below:

  1. Need to be answerable through a realistic research design (which can rely on future technological developments),
  2. Need to have a factual answer that does not depend on value judgments,
  3. Need to address important gaps in knowledge and/or technology,
  4. Need to have a spatial and temporal scope that could reasonably be addressed by a research team or a consolidated research program,
  5. Should not be formulated as a general topic area (e.g. geomorphology, ecology)
  6. Should not be answerable with ‘it all depends’,
  7. Except if questioning a precise statement (‘does the Earth go round the sun?’), should not be answerable by yes or no (i.e. not ‘is X better for permafrost than Y’),
  8. If related to impact and interventions, should contain a subject, an intervention and a measurable outcome.

IPA, CliC and the PRP Core Group welcome and value your ideas!

The window for input will remain open until September 20, 2014.

After the deadline has passed, the PRP Core Group will work to group questions into various themes. Once that is complete, the next step in the process will involve voting by the community to help select the most important questions. If you entered your email when you submitted your questions, you will receive an invitation to help us rank the priorities. We hope you will continue to be engaged in this important process.

Please feel free to share this email and the link with any of your colleagues who you think may be interested. Questions can be directed to Karina Schollaen, Executive Director of the IPA ( or Jenny Baeseman, Director of CliC (

It’s only with the generous help of individuals like you that our overview of global permafrost research priorities can be successful.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 



Karina Schollaen and Jenny Baeseman,

on behalf of the Permafrost Research Priorities Core Group

Permafrost Research Priorities Core Group:

Hugues Lantuit (AWI, Germany, Chair)

Michel Allard (Université Laval, Canada)

Mauro Guglielmin (Insubria University, Italy)

Margareta Johansson (Lund University, Sweden)

Gleb Kraev (Centre for Forest Ecology and Productivity, Russian Federation)

Michael Krautblatter (Technical University of Munich, Germany)

Gerhard Krinner (LGGE Grenoble, France)

Edward A. G. Schuur (University of Florida, USA)

Ylva Sjöberg (Stockholm University, Sweden, CliC Fellow)

Jenny Baeseman (CliC, Ex-Officio)

Karina Schollaen (IPA, Ex-Officio)


Karina Schollaen

Executive Director - International Permafrost Association

Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Telegrafenberg A43 | 14473 Potsdam | Germany



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