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Meeting at the 20th World Congress

Minutes of the IUSS Cryosol working group activities at the 20th World Congress of Soil Science in Jeju, Korea, June 8-13, 2014

The Cryosol WG session at the 20th WCSS—"Cryosols on a Changing Planet: Properties, Processes, Regimes, and Functions"—attracted 18 abstracts included in the final program and split between the oral (5 reports) and poster (13 reports) sessions. Four oral reports and five posters were actually presented. Dmitry Konyushkov presented the keynote report "Hot Issues in Cryosol Research." Roman Desyatkin was awarded "The Best Poster Award" for his poster "Transformations of Cryolithozone Soil Cover under the Influence of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors." Though only four oral and six poster reports were actually delivered at the session, the representation of Cryosols at the congress was much wider: a number of Cryosol-related talks and posters were presented at other sessions. Sergey Goryachkin gave a presentation regarding progress on the development of the Cold Soils section of the Universal Soil Classification system.

The Cryosol WG business meeting was held on June 13. Present: Megan Balks ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), Dmitry Konyushkov ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), Umakant Mishra ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), Sergey Goryachkin ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) (for part of the meeting). The co-chairs of the group acknowledged the excellent co-chairmanship of the Cryosol session at the WCSS by Prof. Hee-Myong Ro, Korea ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and exchanged information on received responses to the previous letter on the Cryosols WG activities and future plans (Cryosol WG is 21) from Chien-Lu Ping, Jerry Brown, Thomas Scholten, and Scott Smith. All the information is accepted with gratitude.

Minutes of previous meeting in Poland in 2013 were read and confirmed.

Confirmation/election of co-chairs: Dmitry Konyushkov and Megan Balks agreed to continue as co-chairs for next two years, after which this should be reviewed at the IPA meeting in Potsdam.

Report from participants of current and proposed research activities:

Umakant Mishra joined the group. He is a geospatial modeller working on Alaska – C content of active layer and permafrost to 3 m depth. Umakant is modelling potential changes in carbon distribution between permafrost and active layer, predicting future carbon climate feedbacks, and working on environmental controls. His work is at the interface between observations and models with Alaskan and other permafrost workers.

Russia is continuing regular Antarctic work, with ongoing soil/permafrost CALM temperature data-logger monitoring being extended. The research of David Gilichinsky is likely to be continued with a recent research grant in microbiological work. A large environmental (restoration) programme is being continued in the Arctic and there is some possibility to get a new international Arctic research programme supported.

Awards. We discussed the possibility of setting up some awards to recognize cryosol researchers. These could include best paper, student, and contribution awards. It is supposed that a "subcommittee" on awards will be established. The particular persons and procedures are to be discussed. Umakant Mishra has volunteered to be a committee member. We ask Charles Tarnocai to be the chair. This line of activity might be tightly linked with the development of the Cryosol WG Website at http://ib.komisc.ru/add/cryosol_wg/ (managed by Dmitry Kaverin). Dmitry is happy to add materials to the website – please email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and do check out the website – your suggestions on how to make it more active, up-to-date, and more useful are highly welcomed. As for the Awards, it is suggested that the website should include a section with a list of current publications in the field of Cryosol research (titles with links, or abstracts, or full papers); presentations and reports may also be included. This might be a good source of well-sorted references for all people interested in Cryosols and an area, from which the best (best-cited, best-downloaded, or simply best and/or intriguing) papers (presentations, reports, posters) might be selected for nomination for the awards. May be, this will work?!

If the group members agree, and Dmitry Kaverin find possibilities to renovate the website, the corresponding materials are to be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for inclusion. We already have the initial contribution from Prof. Thomas Scholten, who has sent us recent titles of his papers and agreed to send corresponding pdf's. Thank You, Thomas!

History of cryosol research. The Cryosol WG has already got a 21-year-long history. The history of Cryosol, Cold Soil, Permafrost, Polar, Arctic and Antarctic research is much longer. It seems reasonable to make our own "Cold Soil Research/(ers) Heritage List" (a contest for a better title is welcomed!) and to begin gathering information (by country, years, area of research, etc...). First, just the names and "Who is Who" information, then more detailed essays, then comprehensive and illustrative studies. Finally, this might be a publication, or a good web source. Dmitry Konyushkov has volunteered to initiate this project. So, please, e-mail your comments/suggestions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . This is also related to the In Memoriam section that might be organized at the website. Unfortunately, we are not well informed on people who are not with us anymore, except for prominent leaders. A suggestion from Jerry Brown to commemorate cryopedologists who have passed away in the recent past is absolutely right. Please, send us the names (not to miss anyone) to be included in the In Memoriam section.

E-mail list and new membership. Dear CWG members and friends! The mail list we use is surely incomplete. Please, send us information (e-mail addresses) to be added to the list (fortunately!), or excluded from it. Not all the addresses work properly! We apologize for possible errors and for possible oversights. One of the inexcusable omissions is obvious. Somehow, John Kimble was not in our list. Pardon us, John. You contribution to the CWG life can hardly be overestimated!

On behalf of the group we congratulate John Kimble with his new title of an Honorary Member of the IUSS. We also hope that John will find time and motives to continue his fruitful association with the Cryosol Working Group.