"Fostering permafrost research to the ends of the Earth"
The International Permafrost Association, founded in 1983, has as its objectives to foster the dissemination of knowledge concerning permafrost and to promote cooperation among persons and national or international organizations engaged in scientific investigation and engineering work on permafrost. Membership is through adhering national or multinational organizations or as individuals in countries where no Adhering Body exists. The IPA is governed by its officers and a Council consisting of representatives from 26 Adhering Bodies having interests in some aspect of theoretical, basic and applied frozen ground research, including permafrost, seasonal frost, artificial freezing and periglacial phenomena. Committees, Working Groups, and Task Forces organize and coordinate research activities and special projects.
The IPA became an Affiliated Organization of the International Union of Geological Sciences in July 1989. The Association’s primary responsibilities are convening International Permafrost Conferences, undertaking special projects such as preparing databases, maps, bibliographies, and glossaries, and coordinating international field programs and networks. Conferences were held in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, 1963; Yakutsk, Siberia, 1973; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1978; Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, 1983; Trondheim, Norway, 1988; Beijing, China, 1993; Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, 1998, Zurich, Switzerland, 2003; Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, 2008; Salekhard, Russia, 2012; and Potsdam, Germany, 2016. Field excursions are an integral part of each Conference, and are organized by the host country.