At least five New Zealanders attended the NICOP in Alaska, a highlight being the presentation of the fi rst TransAntarctic Mountain region soil and permafrost maps as a contribution to ANTPAS (the Antarctic Permafrost and Soil Group) (Balks et al., Bockheim et al., McLeod et al., in the NICOP proceedings).

New Zealand has two Ph.D. students leading and commencing Antarctic soil and permafrost related fi eld projects this summer. T. O‘Neill, from the University of Waikato is investigating impacts of human activities on Antarctic soils and permafrost and will be travelling to the Ross Sea Region, with M. Balks. F. Shanhun, from Lincoln University, will be studying carbonates in the soils with P. Almond, S. Smith and J. Bockheim.

Two researchers at Canterbury University, S. Allen and I. Owens, have been undertaking permafrost research in the Southern Alps, in collaboration with C. Huggel of Switzerland. They are investigating the distribution of mountain permafrost, a relatively unresearched area in New Zealand.

M. Balks was invited to give the prestigious „Norm Taylor Memorial Lecture“ at the joint New Zealand and Australian Soil Science Society‘s conference in December this year. She will be highlighting the Antarctic and Arctic permafrost work in her lecture entitled „Footprints at the ends of the Earth; impacts and management of human activities on frozen soils“. This will be an opportunity to raise the profile of frozen ground research to the wider Australasian soils community.

Megan Balks (