The NSERC PermafrostNet & Canadian Permafrost Association Joint Virtual Annual General Meeting 2021

NSERC PermafrostNet was pleased to invite the permafrost community to our third network Annual General Meeting (AGM) and second virtual AGM (see past program for 2020 Annual General Meeting). The 2021 AGM was held in partnership with the Canadian Permafrost Association (CPA).

The three-day meeting consisted of keynote presentations and technical sessions focused on recent developments in permafrost science and engineering research in Canada, mentoring and career development sessions for early career researchers, a business meeting for CPA members and an awards ceremony.

When was it?

The NSERC PermafrostNet and CPA Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place from Monday 15 17 November 2021. The meeting agenda is available below. Times are in Eastern Time (UTC-5).

Who was the Joint AGM for?

All NSERC PermafrostNet and CPA members and affiliates were invited to participate in this joint virtual AGM. Please note that some sessions were restricted to members of CPA. To join the CPA, please visit the CPA website for more details

If you are not a CPA member you were welcome to attend the sessions on day 2 and 3 (16 and 17 November) at no cost.

What sort of sessions and activities did the AGM have?

The meeting consisted of keynote presentations, technical sessions, mentoring and career development sessions, the CPA business meeting, an awards ceremony and a closing session.

NSERC PermafrostNet and CPA provided a varied and stimulating program of research presentations, interactive activities, and breakout sessions to promote networking and group discussions between members of the Canadian permafrost community.

Where was it?

All sessions were held by videoconference using Zoom and in SpatialChat. Visit the Zoom website to download the app and find help on getting started with Zoom.

To ensure a safe and secure space during the meeting, all attendees must register beforehand to receive meeting details and access the event. Participation was managed with Zoom tools, such as a waiting room, and moderators. To help all participants during the meeting we have developed a Zoom etiquette guide, so that everyone finds the meeting useful and comfortable. We also use breakout rooms to provide networking opportunities and to ensure meetings run smoothly.

Calling in by phone?

If you call in by phone, please provide your name and phone number to so we can recognize you in the Zoom meeting.

Who organized this event?

The event was hosted by NSERC PermafrostNet and the Canadian Permafrost Association (CPA). This partnership aims to amplify the impact of Canadian permafrost research in Canada.

Who can I contact?

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at

  • Networking and socializing sessions The Zoom meeting was open for 30 minutes before each morning’s welcoming session to encourage socializing, meeting colleagues, and making new friends!
  • We also used SpatialChat and ‘icebreaker‘ slides to enhance the online networking experience.

Icebreaker slides were shared with the attendees during breaks and are available via the link below.

Poster award

NSERC PermafrostNet was pleased to invite attendees to vote for their favourite poster presentation.


Congratulations to Alexandre Chaisson who was voted best poster presenter of the NSERC PermafrostNet & Canadian Permafrost Association Joint Virtual Annual General Meeting 2021 for his poster – Initial investigations of degrading peat plateaus in the central Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories.

Zoom support session

A drop-in session was scheduled prior to the meeting to answer any technical queries and to ensure attendees are comfortable with the features of the platform. If you have any technical concerns please get in touch so we can see how we can help you.


Please note that all times are listed in Eastern Time (UTC -5)

The Northern and Indigenous Engagement session was held on Wednesday (14:30 Eastern Time) replacing the Mentoring session that was held on Tuesday instead.

Monday 15 November
11:00Zoom opens
11:30WelcomeLukas Arenson
11:40Keynote 1
Richard Boudreault and Pooneh Maghoul - Planetary PermafrostKeynote
12:15Session 1
Theme: Data Synthesis
Chair: Peter Morse
Ali Fatolahzadeh Gheysari - An AI-based data-driven framework for forecasting long-term ground surface temperatures
Andres Felipe Perez Murcia - Deep Learning For Tracking Of Northern Infrastructure Affected By Permafrost Degradation Using Satellite Imagery
Elise Devoie - Synthesizing Measured Soil Freezing Characteristic Curves
Yifeng Wang - Field investigations in support of peatland permafrost inventorying activities in coastal Labrador
Four presentations of 10-minutes and a 20-minute question period at the end.
13:30Session 2
Theme: Big data
Chair: Lukas Arenson
Mishelle Wehbe - Multi-method approach to inventorying rock glaciers and features of interest in Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta, Canada
Peter Morse - Permafrost mapping and geotechnical data synthesis, Grays Bay - Yellowknife Corridor
Derek Cronmiller - The Yukon Permafrost Database
Teddi Herring - Developing a Canadian database of electrical resistivity tomography surveys of permafrost
Four presentations of 10-minutes and a 20-minute question period at the end.
14:35CPABusiness Meeting
Tuesday 16 November
11:00Zoom opens
11:30WelcomeKumari Karunaratne and Stephan Gruber
11:40Keynote 2
Discussion on 2022 CPA Meeting in Dawson, YukonKeynote
12:15Session 3
Theme: New research
Chair: Jen Humphries
Trevor Anderson - Long-term (2000-2017) response of lake-bottom temperatures and talik configuration to changes in climate at two adjacent tundra lakes, western Arctic coast, Canada
Yifeng Wang - Thermal modelling of post-fire permafrost change under a warming coastal subarctic climate, eastern Canada
Alejandro Alvarez - Characterization of Permafrost Cores from the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Corridor
Steve Kokelj - Permafrost capacity development in the Northwest Territories
Four presentations of 10-minutes and a 20-minute question period at the end.
13:25Session 4
Theme: Applied research
Chair: Cedelle Pereira
Emma Stockton - 1 year of road surface temperatures along the Dempster-ITH corridor
Pat Jardine - Investigating Snowpack Compaction as a Method of Preserving Permafrost beside Highway Embankments
Samuel Gagnon - Air-convection-reflective sheds: a mitigation technique that stopped degradation and promoted permafrost recovery under the Alaska Highway, south-western Yukon, Canada
Lukas Arenson - Thermal Performance of Diavik’s A21 Dike after 4 Years
Four presentations of 10-minutes and a 20-minute question period at the end.
14:25 Break
14:30Mentoring sessionHelp Me, Help You - Using the knowledge of the group: What advice do you seek? What support can you offer?Discussion and networking
15:30Poster sessionVirtual poster sessionSpatialChat
16:30NetworkingVirtual networkingSpatialChat
Wednesday 17 November
11:00Zoom opens
11:30WelcomeTeddi Herring
11:40Keynote 3Stephan Gruber and network theme leads News from the Network: who we are and what we are working onKeynote
12:15Policy sessionTransforming Permafrost Knowledge into Policies
Dipika Deol - Swiss Reinsurance, Canadian Branch
Thomas Homer-Dixon - Cascade Institute
Susan B Vanek - Binghamton University
Chris Gruben - Inuvialuit Land Administration
Moderator: Jeff Kinder
Moderated Panel
13:20Strategy sessionStephan Gruber and Janet King
How do we want permafrost research to evolve in Canada?
Information and discussion
14:30Engagement sessionMarianne Falardeau-Côté, Allyson Menzies and Gwyneth Anne MacMillan - Northern and Indigenous EngagementPresentation and discussion
15:45Joint closingLukas Arenson and Ryley Beddoe
Ceremony and awards
16:30End of AGM

Thanks to our partner the Canadian Permafrost Association.