The Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN, pyrn.arcticportal.org) is an international network fostering innovative collaboration, seeking to recruit, retain, and promote future generations of permafrost researchers. Established in 2005, in the framework of the 2nd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP II), PYRN is evolving and expanding its network, bringing together young and enthusiastic permafrost scientists from all around the world (Fig. 1) to exchange ideas and knowledge. We strongly benefit from our cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and our overarching organization, the International Permafrost Association (IPA), as well from partnerships with Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC) and Polar Educators International (PEI).
Currently about 1,200 members are involved in PYRN, including young researchers from natural and social science, engineering and humanities. By bringing together these different disciplines, PYRN fosters research on how the arctic, antarctic and mountain permafrost regions play a key role in the Earth’s system.
It has long been acknowledged that early career scientists need to be included in future polar activities since they develop, direct, and realize ideas; they frame upcoming projects, and find answers to the rising questions in our scientific frame. In the framework of large organizational activities, like the 4th International Polar Year in 2007-2008 or ICARPIII, we are able to give PYRN members a voice.
Over the past years, PYRN hosted workshops during regional and international permafrost conferences. It is increasingly present at such conferences with sessions and social network events. The latest activities have been arranged at the European Conference on Permafrost (EUCOP4) in Évora/Portugal. Here, a workshop for around 100 early career permafrost scientists from 20 countries was jointly organized by PYRN, APECS, PAGE21 (Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century), and ADAPT (Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition) - kindly sponsored by the IPA, CliC, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research. Besides break-out sessions of interest for young researchers developing their career in polar science, an activity in the form of a “World Café” was conducted to raise cutting edge research questions. Mentored by IASC and the IPA, the major goal of the activity was to elaborate on the future avenues of permafrost research from a young researchers' perspective. The outcome contributes directly to the IASC and IPA strategy through a “Permafrost Priority Sheet” for the ICARP III.
During the current election period 2014-2016, PYRN celebrates its 10th year of existence. A number of important events where PYRN actively participate in the form of workshops and presentations will take place, including the EGU, AGU, the Regional Conference on Geography (Moscow), and ICOP 2016 (Potsdam). New goals have been set up for means to develop the PYRN network, e.g. through innovative outreach projects and website amelioration and revival.
EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut