The NSERC PermafrostNet Annual General Meeting 2023

NSERC PermafrostNet was pleased to invite the permafrost community to our fifth network Annual General Meeting (AGM) (previous AGM details available here). The 2023 NSERC PermafrostNet AGM was held between Monday 20th and Wednesday 22nd of November in Victoria, at British Columbia’s first carbon neutral hotel, the Inn at Laurel Point.

The meeting focused on the progress of the network projects, the synthesis of theme findings, and future activities, while providing students and post-doctoral fellows opportunities to share their work, interact with other members of the network, and learn about knowledge mobilization and careers.

Keynote Talk

Speaker: John J. Clague, Emeritus Professor, Simon Fraser University
Loss of the Cryosphere in the Mountains of Western Canada

Atmospheric warming on a global scale is inducing physical and biotic changes in Earth’s high mountains that are likely unprecedented in the Holocene. In this presentation, I review changes in the presently glacierized mountains of Western Canada, which include a rapid and large reduction in glacier ice and permafrost, a related increase in landslides, river re-routing and other hydrological changes, and changing aquatic ecosystems. Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise and likely will do so for at least the next decade, if not longer. Mountains will continue to warm, probably reaching temperatures many degrees higher than present by the end of this century. As a result, the rate of physical and biotic changes is very likely to dramatically increase in the common decades, transforming high mountain environments.

John Clague is an Emeritus Professor at Simon Fraser University. He was educated at Occidental College (BA), the University of California Berkeley (MA), and the University of British Columbia (PhD). Clague worked as a Research Scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada from 1975 until 1998. In 1998 he accepted a faculty position in Department of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Clague is a Quaternary geologist with research specializations in glacial geology, geomorphology, natural hazards, and climate change. Clague is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, former President of the Geological Association of Canada, and Past-President of the International Union for Quaternary Research and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC). He received an Honorary PhD from the University of Waterloo in 2017 and in 2020 was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Although ‘retired’, Clague is currently Editor in Chief of the journal Natural Hazards.

Meeting details

When was it?

The NSERC PermafrostNet Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held between Monday 20th and Wednesday 22nd November 2023 in Victoria, BC.

Where was it?

The meeting was held at the Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, BC and the keynote talk was held at the Royal BC Museum. The Inn at Laurel Point is British Columbia’s first carbon neutral hotel. The hotel has been carbon neutral since 2009 and became Biosphere Sustainable Certified in 2023. The hotel is aligned with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their Project 2030 plan which is centered around zero waste practices, renewable energy generation and making the most of precious water resources, and was the first-ever hotel in North America to join The Climate Pledge and initiative.

Who was the AGM for?

All NSERC PermafrostNet members, collaborators, affiliates and partner organizations were invited to participate.

What sort of sessions and activities were there?

The event featured research presentations, interactive activities, poster presentations and breakout sessions to promote networking and group discussions between members of the Canadian permafrost community.

Who organized the event?

The event is hosted by NSERC PermafrostNet.

AGM co-chairs

Bernhard Rabus

Emma Street

Poster Session Coordinator

Pia Blake

Career Session Coordinator

Jenna Snelgrove

Who can I contact?

If you have any questions, please email Tristan MacLean (Director of Operations) at


A meeting schedule summary is provided below.

Monday 20 November
9:00WelcomeBernhard Rabus and Emma Street, 2023 AGM co-chairsLIVE STREAM
9:15Keynote presentations. Chair – Alex Chiasson
Teddi Herring (Theme 1) Key Outcomes of the Canadian Permafrost Electrical Resistivity Survey (CPERS) Database Project.
Zakieh Mohammadi (Theme 1) Permafrost Geotechnical Data: Thaw Consolidation Test Results and Their Application in Settlement Estimation.
Emma Street (Theme 2) Exploring Traditional Knowledge of Permafrost in the Gwich’in Settlement Area and Inuvialuit Settlement Region.
Presentations and Q+A.

10:00Coffee break
10:30Theme updates. Theme leaders Presentations and Q+A.
13:30Community and partner needs.Collaborators, partners and other stakeholdersPresentations.
14:30Coffee Break
14:45Community and partner needs (part 2).Collaborators, partners and other stakeholdersPresentations and breakout group discussions.
16:00Poster session with refreshments and snacks. [Terrace Ballroom]Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows
16:00Parallel side meeting. Hydrological indicators of permafrost change. [Spirit room]By invitationDiscussion
18:00End of day
Tuesday 21 November
9:00WelcomeStephan Gruber (Scientific Director) and Janet King (Board Chair)LIVE STREAM
9:15Keynote presentations. Chair – Tabatha Rahman
Omid Asghari (Theme 1) Permafrost Index Properties and development of the Ground Ice Potential database of PermafrostNet.
Hannah Macdonell (Theme 3) Guiding model selection for effective adaptation decision making: A statistical ranking framework.
Galina Jonat (Theme 3) Generating climate forcing data for simulations of future permafrost thaw.
Presentations with Q+A.

10:00Coffee break
10:30Project summaries and other project outputs.
Theme leaders, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows Workshop. Experiential training on writing project summaries, and discussion on improving project outputs.
13:30Network synthesis products.Chair - Bernhard Rabus Theme LeadersPresentations and breakout group discussions.
14:45Coffee Break
15:15Network events.Network membersBreakout group discussions on planning for ICOP, Northern workshops and capstone events.
17:00Network challenges.Chair - Marten Geertsema Theme LeadersPanel discussion
18:30Keynote talk and evening reception. [Royal BC Museum]John J. Clague, Emeritus Professor, SFUPresentation and reception.
Wednesday 22 November
9:00WelcomeBernhard Rabus and Emma Street, 2023 AGM co-chairsLIVE STREAM
9:15Keynote presentations. Chair - Rose Lefebvre.
Allison Plourde (Theme 2) InSAR time series analysis of seasonal active layer dynamics in low-land permafrost terrain.
Andrew Clark (Theme 4) Advancing Arctic coastal erosion measurement and monitoring through UAV-SfM and object-based image analysis.
Rae Landriau (Theme 5) Tbc.
Presentations with Q+A.

10:00Coffee break
Parallel sessions.
10:30Careers fair (Post-doctoral fellows and graduate students) [Spirit rooms]Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and partner organizations
Graduate student presentations on internships
Marc-Andre Brideau of BGC Engineering - Permafrost and Cryosphere Projects in Consulting.
Jenna Snelgrove - Careers in Teaching Environmental Science in the Classroom and Beyond?
Richard Myers of University of Victoria - Unlock Career Success Using ChatGPT.
Presentations and networking.
10:30Permafrost monitoring
and Canada’s Changing Climate Report 2025 [Rogers room]
Nathan Gillett. (ECCC)
Co-investigators and stakeholders
Roundtables and discussion.
Parallel sessions.
13:30Board of Directors meeting. [Rogers room]Board of DirectorsMeeting
13:30Side meeting - Northern Engagement Workshop planning [Spirit rooms]Request participationMeeting
14:45Coffee Break
15:15Board of Directors meeting. [Rogers room]Board of DirectorsMeeting
15:15Side meeting - Northern Engagement Workshop planning [Spirit rooms]Request participationMeeting