permafrost institute logoThe Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia celebrates its 50th anniversary (1960-2010). On November 25 and 26, 2010, the anniversary will be celebrated in Yakutsk with a ceremony including a series of lectures, films and a concert. More information on the institute can be found on its website:

Founded in 1960, the Permafrost Institute, a member institution of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, is dedicated to basic and applied investigations in two broad areas: permafrost evolution in relation to natural and anthropogenic factors; and thermal and mechanical interactions between engineering structures and permafrost.

Among its major research accomplishments are the discovery of the Yakutian artesian subpermafrost basin; the quantitative estimation of permafrost-related factors in coastal erosion in East Siberia; the comprehensive research programs in support of the Baikal-Amur and Amur-Yakutsk railroads, and diamond, gold, uranium and tin mining projects; and the development of design and construction methods for permafrost regions, including pile foundations with ventilated air space, piles with installed cooling units, cast-in-situ piles, shallow foundation designs, burial of pipelines, underground storages, dam seepage and stability control, and ground cooling systems.

The Permafrost Institute consists of 8 research divisions in Yakutsk and 5 regional departments in Chernyshevsky (western Yakutia), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Igarka (Krasnoyarsk Province), Magadan (north-eastern Russia), and Moscow.

From its foundation in 1960 to 1987, the Institute was headed by Academician Pavel I. Melnikov (1908–1994), one of the pioneers of geocryological science and the first president of the International Permafrost Association (1983–1988). From 1988 to 2003 the Institute was run by Dr. Rostislav M. Kamensky (1936–2008). From 2004, the Institute's director is Dr. Rudolf V. Zhang.