United States Permafrost Association

President
Anna Liljedahl
President Elect
Dmitry Streletskiy
Past President
Thomas Douglas
Secretary
Molly McGraw
Treasurer
Gerald Frost
Board Members
Mark Demitroff
John Thornley
IPA Representative
Fritz Nelson
Thomas Krzewinski
PYRN Representative:
Daniel Vecellio

US Permafrost Association
PO Box 750141
Fairbanks, AK
99775-0141
Ph: 302-831-0852
Fax 302-831-6654


Frozen Ground
Frozen Ground 2017



USPA-PYRN Educational Fund (UPEF)

The USPA-PYRN Educational Fund (UPEF) was established to promote cooperative efforts between the USPA and the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN). The purpose of the UPEF fund is to promote education on science and engineering issues related to permafrost. A focus of these activities is the promotion of students entering into fields of interest related to permafrost. The committee shall provide input and recommendations reflecting the views of USPA and PYRN members on the management and applications of the Educational Fund to the USPA BoD.The UPEF committee includes the PYRN representative of the USPA Board of Directors (BoD), an additional member of the USPA BoD, and one or two PYRN member(s) that is (are) neither a PYRN Executive Committee member nor a USPA BoD member.

The UPEF Fund provides support for the professional development of the next generation of permafrost researchers. Each year, UPEF provides merit-based opportunities for travel grants to AGU and other scientific conferences. UPEF also supports travel to International Conferences on Permafrost. Scroll below to learn more about most past grant recipients.


2018 EUCOP Travel Grant Winners

Clayton Queen, Masters student, Michigan State University

QueenFunding from the United States Permafrost Association was a major factor in allowing me to attend the European Conference on Permafrost. I have spent the past couple of years as a master's student at Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences.

My research is focused on alpine periglacial landforms known as cryoplanation terraces (CTs). Best developed across Beringia, CTs are thought to form through localized weathering processes associated with late-lying bodies of snow. These processes erode ridgecrests and hillsides in such a way that they create large terraces and give the impression of giant staircases ascending ridgecrests and mountainsides. Until recently, research on this landform has been limited to descriptive studies, with few field-based process-oriented investigations. My project focuses on detailed mapping and geomorphometric studies of these features. The experience at EUCOP was highly valuable for my academic and professional development. Being able to present my research to colleagues with similar interests allowed me to receive some excellent feedback and establish new ideas that will lead to further research.

Rebecca Frei, undergraduate, Brigham Young University

FreiI am an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University studying ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry. I presented on the propagation of dissolved organic matter through headwater catchments in Arctic Alaska in response to permafrost degradation. EUCOP was my first large scientific conference, and it was also my first time giving an oral presentation to a scientific audience. At times the conference was overwhelming, but I was very impressed by the kindness and generosity of the community. Being in Chamonix was the proverbial cherry on top and I loved learning from local experts about the changes in the mountains and valley in response to permafrost degradation. I also participated in the PYRN workshop which was really nice to be surrounded by other young researchers. Thanks to the USPA travel grant, I was able to have the funds to make this experience possible. As a result, I feel much more connected to the permafrost community and inspired to continue learning and researching about this precious ecosystem.

 

Matvey Debolskiy, Doctoral Student, University of Alaska-Fairbanks

DebolskiyI am Matvey Debolskiy. Ph.D. student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. I study permafrost and permafrost hydrology in Alaska. I presented my recent work on permafrost modeling of Seward Peninsula, Alaska the EUCOP. The overall experience was great, I have received valuable feedback on my research and made some new connections with the researchers in the same field. The USPA grant helped me to actually get there to this conference which I highly appreciate.

 

 


2017 USPA-PYRN AGU Travel Grant Awards

Emily Bristol - St. Olaf College

Emily BristolThis year at AGU, I presented a poster from research I completed with the Polaris Project, a group of students and scientists studying climate change in the arctic. Field work was completed in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, a region underlain by warm permafrost that is vulnerable to thaw induced by climate change and recent wildfires. Using data collected in the field and a water incubation experiment, I explored the differences in DOC composition in burned and unburned watersheds, and compared the bioavailability and photoreactivity of DOC in water collected at different landscape positions. Using UV-vis absorbance data, my project suggests that DOC has lower molecular weight and aromaticity in burned watersheds, that DOC in unburned watersheds is more photochemically reactive, and that photochemical reactivity decreases along flow paths. Lastly, DOC losses were greatest when water samples were exposed to UV radiation followed by a bacterial inoculum, suggesting that light primes DOC for microbial respiration. Being able to attend AGU this year was a wonderful opportunity to discuss my research with other scientists, reconnect with colleagues, and learn about other research happening in the field. I focused on attending poster and oral sessions related to permafrost and biogeochemical processes in northern latitudes. Not only was I learning about new methods and interesting research findings, I was able to network with other students and scientists. Being at AGU was an extremely valuable experience to help me grow as a scientist and prepare for a research career. A huge thanks to the USPA for making my travel to New Orleans possible!


Shawn Pedron - University of California - Irvine

Shawn PedronMy research:
Our current understanding of sources and ages of Arctic CO2 emissions is largely based on radiocarbon (14C) measurements during the summer2, which are typically collected over short periods (i.e. several hours). However, research by our team3,4 reported the importance of winter emissions in CO2 processes and budgets, causing the Arctic community to recognize the role of winter in C fluxes5.

The ages and sources of winter emissions are totally unresolved today and may provide insight as to how permafrost thaw may be leading to a much stronger interaction between the ancient and modern C cycles, in large part because winter is the dominant season in the Arctic, lasting in some cases for 3/4 of the calendar year. There is also evidence that pulsed CO2 emissions (freeze-thaw cycles, rain events) contribute to emissions of ancient C2.
In this research, we present first steps toward adopting a quasi-continuous passive 14CO2 sampler for deployment in Arctic tundra, with the goal of quantifying major uncertainties in year-round ecosystem C emissions

My AGU experience:
My AGU experience was a mixed bag. I was waiting on some preliminary data until the weekend before the conference, so I was actually finishing my poster during AGU, which was quite stressful. Once that was complete, I thoroughly enjoyed the conference, as well as the location. I appreciated that permafrost sessions were often collocated with soil biogeochemistry sessions, enabling me to view sessions from many relevant new and established areas of research. The poster sessions were also well-organized, and the AGU conference app made planning simple. I had a great time at the USPA Annual Meeting, where I met some members and saw some familiar faces as well, and was treated to food and drinks. New Orleans was a fun location, with live music, unique culture, and old architecture everywhere, and many opportunities for sight-seeing. Thank you for the opportunity to attend provided by the USPA Travel Grant award!


Neil Foley - University of California - Santa Cruz

Neil FoleyI'm tremendously thankful to USPA for awarding me a travel grant for the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting. This meeting was an important one for me. I'm beginning to to look for post-doctoral positions, am in the midst of an interdisciplinary project that requires meeting with many collaborators, and chaired a new session on the phase transitions of water in polar deserts (my poster and a few others investigated permafrost in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica). All of these things went well, and the rest of the meeting was useful as always. My funding is drying up as I finish my PhD; this travel grant eased to burden of attending the meeting greatly and is helping me finish on time and well position for future research in permafrost. I hope maybe I'll see some abstracts from USPA members next year when I chair my session again!


Laura Jardine - Oklahoma City University

Laura JardineI am an undergraduate studying biology at Oklahoma City University. Through the Polaris Project, I had the opportunity to develop a project focused on how wildfires impact permafrost thaw and nitrogen availability in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska this summer. Our field site was situated near unburned areas as well as two- and 45-year-old burn scars. I found that fire results in larger pools of bioavailable nitrogen through increased mineralization both immediately and decades following fire. The long-term increase is not seen in non-permafrost fire-affected ecosystems and can likely be attributed to fire-induced permafrost degradation. Being able to share this research at AGU with the help of the USPA's student travel grant was both exciting and productive. Through my conversations during my poster session, I generated many ideas for improving my analyses and interpretation of my results. Additionally, having the opportunity to attend so many interesting sessions about the vulnerability of arctic ecosystems and permafrost was both thought-provoking and energizing as a young researcher. I'm so thankful to have attended AGU this year, and I'm especially grateful for the USPA's financial assistance that helped get me there!


Nate Lindsey - University of California - Berkeley

Nate LindseyMy research aims to observe and explain interesting and important physical processes on Earth. In 2016, alongside colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, we artificially thawed a zone of permafrost in Fairbanks, Alaska. The goal of this fieldscale experiment was to understand the geophysical signals of the permafrost thaw process. A key piece of this experiment was the deployment of a new type of distributed fiber-optic sensor technology that enabled data recording of seismic waves, temperature, and strain at over 5000 positions across the space of a football field, a small portion of which was artificially warmed. At the 2017 Fall Meeting of the AGU, I had the opportunity to share observations from this experiment with two very different scientific communities -- members of the Seismology and Cryosphere Sections. This unique forum was a rich and memorable experience. I would like to thank the US Permafrost Association for the sponsorship of my student travel grant.




Andrew Slater Memorial Award Winner

Heidi Rodenhizer - Northern Arizona University

Heidi Rodenhizer I am working on tracking subsidence at a permafrost warming experiment in Healy, AK and am interested in whether it is possible to track active layer thickness (the depth to permafrost at the end of summer) using various remotely sensed products. This year at AGU, I was able to present a poster quantifying the impact of permafrost warming on subsidence. Because of very fast subsidence at our warming site, we have been underestimating changes in active layer thickness, which means we have been underestimating permafrost thaw. I was able to meet a lot of scientists working on similar permafrost issues and get feedback to help with my future research.


2015 USPA-PYRN AGU Travel Grant Awards

Kelsey Nyland

Kelsey Nyland
Michigan State University

Presentation Title: Spatial Analysis of Cryoplanation Landforms in Beringian Uplands, Alaska, USA

Dr. Santosh Panda
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title: Forecast of Permafrost Distribution, Temperature and Active Layer Thickness for Arctic National Parks of Alaska through 2100

Santosh Panda
Megan Behnke

Megan Behnke
St. Olaf College

Presentation Title: Photooxidation and Microbial Processing of Ancient and Modern Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Kolyma River, Siberia.

Neal Pastick
University of Minnesota

Presentation Title: Towards a better understanding of the sensitivity of permafrost and soil carbon to climate and disturbance

Neal Pastick
Andrew Balser

Dr. Andrew Balser
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Presentation Title: Drivers and Estimates of Terrain Suitability for Active Layer Detachment Slides and Retrogressive Thaw

Clayton Elder
University of California Irvine

Presentation Title: Holocene-Age Methane and Carbon Dioxide Dominate Northern Alaska Thaw Lake Emissions

Clayton Elder
Elchin Jafarov

Dr. Elchin Jafarov
University of Colorado Boulder

Presentation Title: Temperature Increase due to the Permafrost Carbon Feedback

Elaine Pegararo
Northern Arizona University

Presentation Title: Priming-induced changes in permafrost soil organic matter decomposition

Elaine Pegararo

 

2015 Early Career Grant Winners

Alison Hoyt

Alison Hoyt - Ph.D. Candidate in Hydrology, Department of Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Field Research: Understanding CH4 production and transport in permafrost peatlands.

Field Location: Igarka, Krasnoyark Krai, Russia; P.I. Melnikov Permafrost Institute

Matvey Debolskiy - Ph.D. Candidate in Geophysics, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Presentation Title: Assessing the role of glacier and permafrost on hydrology using water balance modeling

Conference: IGU regional conference, Aug. 17-21 2015, Moscow, Russia

Matvey Debolskiy
Clayton Elder

Clayton Elder - Ph.D. Candidate in Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine

Field Research: Understanding the fractional contribution of old, decaying organic carbon to whole-lake methane and carbon dioxide emissions.

Field Location: Thermokarst Lakes near Fairbanks, AK

 

Clayton Elder - Ph.D. Candidate in Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine
Field Research: Understanding the fractional contribution of old, decaying organic carbon to whole-lake methane and carbon dioxide emissions.
Field Location: Thermokarst Lakes near Fairbanks, AK

2014 American Geophysical Union Travel Grant Winners

deleon

Kristine de Leon, University of Arizona

Presentation Title:
The Impact of Climate Change on Microbial Communities and Carbon Cycling in High Arctic Permafrost Soil from Spitsbergen, Northern Norway

Dr. Sandra Holden, University of California, Irvine

Presentation Title:
Shrub Expansion in Arctic Alaska Alters the Sources (14C) and Magnitudes of Ecosystem Respiration in the Continuous Permafrost Zone
Holden
Moira Hough
Moira Hough, University of Arizona

Presentation Title:
Can Plant Community Turnover Mitigate Permafrost Thaw Feedbacks to the Climate System?

Dr. Aram Kalhori, San Diego State University

Presentation Title:
Heterogeneity of CH4 and Net CO2 Fluxes Using Nested Chamber, Tower, Aircraft, Remote Sensing, and Modeling Approaches in Arctic Alaska (Dr. Kalhori, co-author)

Kalhori
Mauritz
Dr. Marguerite Mauritz, University of Florida

Presentation Title:
Ecosystem Carbon Dynamics in Response to Five Winters of Experimental Soil Warming and Permafrost Degradation
Seth Spawn, Woods Hole Research Center

Presentation Title:
Ebullition of CO2 and CH4 from and Upland Stream Network in Northeast Siberia
Spawn
Trubl
Gary Trubl, University of Arizona

Presentation Title:
Exploring Viral Mediated Carbon Cycling in Thawing Permafrost Microbial Communities

2014 Early Career Grant Winners
San Francisco, USA

Jennifer Frederick
Dr. Jennifer Frederick - Post-doc, Geohydrology
Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV

Presentation Title:
Effect of submarine groundwater discharge on relict Arctic submarine permafrost

European Conference on Permafrost
Évora, Portugal
June 2014

Louise Farquharson - Ph.D. Candidate
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title:
Understanding coastal dynamics along a permafrost affected coastline in northwestern Alaska, USA

European Conference on Permafrost
Évora, Portugal
June 2014

Louise Fraquharson
Virginie Moreaux

Dr. Virginie Moreaux - Post-doc, Biology
San Diego State University

Field Research:
Impacts of near-surface permafrost evolution on carbon fluxes along a latitudinal gradient.

Barrow, Atqasuk, and Ivotuk, Alaska
Summer 2014

2013 American Geophysical Union Travel Grant Winners
San Francisco, USA

Mark Demitroff

Mark Demitroff
University of Delaware

Presentation Title:
Pleistocene wind-action and periglacial phenomena in sandy terrain, New Jersey Pine Barrens

Jessica Ernakovich
Colorado State University

Presentation Title:
The temperature sensitivity of microbial respiration after permafrost thaw under oxic and anoxic conditions

Jessica Ernakovich
Louise Farquharson

Louise Farquharson
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title:
Spatial distribution of thermokarst landforms across Arctic Alaska

Santonu Goswami
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Presentation Title:
Spectral characterization of disturbance gradients inpermafrost landscapes using ground-based remote sensing and satellite imagery: Initial results from the central Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Santonu Goswami
Sarah Ludwig

Sarah Ludwig
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title:
Fire Effects on Microbial Dynamics and C, N, and P Cycling in Larch Forests of the Siberian Arctic

Caitlin Rushlow
Idaho State University

Presentation Title:
Arctic hillslope hydrologic response to changing water storage conditions

Caitlin Rushlow

Elizabeth Webb

Elizabeth Webb
University of Florida

Presentation Title:
Wintertime ecosystem respiration shifts tundra from carbon sink to carbon source at tundra warming experiment


2012 American Geophysical Union Travel Grant Winners
San Francisco, USA

AGUAmanda Barker
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title:
Influence of Permafrost Active Layer Dynamics on Trace Metals in Two Small Alaskan Arctic Rivers

Katherine Barnhart
University of Colorado

Presentation Title:
Relationship between environmental conditions and rates of coastal erosion in Arctic Alaska


Jessica ErnakovichJessica Ernakovich
Colorado State University

Presentation Titles:

1) Responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change (Invited)

2) The relationship between species and functional diversity for permafrost and active layer Arctic microorganisms: implications for decomposition in response to warming (Invited)

 


Carmel JohnsonCarmel Johnston
Montana State University

Presentation Title:
Methane Emission through Diffusion and Ebullition in Thaw Wetlands in Interior Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

Erica LambErica Lamb
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title:
An initial assessment of suspended sediment transport on rivers in interior Arctic Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

Hanna Lee
National Center for Atmospheric Research

Presentation Titles:

1) Modeling excess ice and thermokarst in the Community Land Model

2) Temperature sensitivity of CO2, CH4, CO, and H2 release during photodegradation of organic material (Invited)

Hanna Lee


Christina SchaelChristina Schaedel
University of Florida

Presentation Title:

Pan-arctic permafrost C quality and vulnerability over time: A synthesis of long-term incubation studies (Invited)


 

Eva Stephani
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title:

Cryofacies evidences of a Yedoma (?) development during the last glacial maximum in Yukon (Canada) along the current Alaska border


TICOP - Tenth International Conference on Permafrost
Salekhard, Russia
June 2012

Ben AbbottBen Abbott
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title:
An integrated assessment of the influences of upland thermo-erosional features on landscape structure and function in the foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska

 


 

 

 

Gerald FrostGerald "J.J." Frost
University of Virginia

Presentation Title:
Linkages between patterned ground, alder shrubland development, and active layer temperature in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic


 

Burke Minsley
U. S. Geological Survey

Presentation Title:
Airborne electromagnetic mapping of the 3-D distribution of permafrost in the Yukon Basin, Alaska


Kelsey Nyland

Kelsey Nyland
George Washington University

Presentation Title:
Effect of vegetation on soil-surface temperatures in northern Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santosh PandaSantosh Panda
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Presentation Title:
Application of electromagnetic (EM) resistivity data for near-surface permafrost mapping in a pilot study area, Interior Alaska

Dmitry Streletskiy
George Washington University

Presentation Title:
Infrastructure and a changing climate in the Russian Arctic: a geographic impact assessment

Xiaozhen Xiong
National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

Presentation Title:
Atmospheric methane in the high northern hemisphere and its relationship to permafrost

TICOP Group Picture

PEEP Travel Grant Winners

TICOP - Tenth International Conference on Permafrost
Salekhard, Russia
June 2012

Demi MixonDemi Mixon
Texas A & M

Presentation Title:
Characteristics of active-layer temperature profiles related to Arctic transportation management on the North Slope, Alaska

 

 

Kerri LathropKerri Lathrop
Tanana village school, Tanana, Alaska

Presentation Title:
Teaching science in rural Alaska