International Permafrost Association (IPA) secretariat opened at UNIS
Top image, from left: UNIS director Harald Ellingsen, permafrost team members Graham Gilbert, Ole Humlum, Sarah Strand (IPA Executive Director), Brendan O’Neill, and Hanne Christiansen (IPA President).
The International Permafrost Association (IPA) and The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) are pleased to announce that the IPA Secretariat will be officially located and hosted at UNIS from 1 December 2016 until 2020.
1 December 2016
Text and photo: Inger Lise Næss
The IPA Secretariat was previously hosted at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany. Professor Hanne Christiansen, Arctic Geology Department Leader at UNIS, became President of the IPA in June this year. Sarah Strand assumes full duties as the Executive Director of the IPA 1 December 2016, though she has been working for the IPA Secretariat at UNIS during the past five months. Her part-time position as Executive Director will be complemented by a PhD position at UNIS from May 2017, focused on permafrost thermal dynamics.
The IPA, founded in 1983, fosters dissemination of knowledge concerning permafrost and promotes cooperation among people and organizations engaged in scientific investigation and engineering pertaining to permafrost. The IPA is run by its Executive Committee and Council consisting of representatives from the 26 Adhering Bodies, which are country members of the IPA. The IPA convenes both regional and international permafrost conferences, and produces permafrost resources such as databases, maps, and glossaries through Standing Committees and Action Groups.
The IPA Secretariat’s new location in the Svalbard Science Centre, directly in a permafrost environment, has been made financially possible by the Norwegian Research Council and UNIS.