The UK Adhering Body has undertaken a number of activities in the field of conference organisation and participation through which to progress its permafrost interests. In part, these activities are incorporated within the reports of the IPA Working Groups on Permafrost Data and Periglacial Environments. A conference on cold climate geomorphology was organised at the University of Wales, Cardiff in September 1989 jointly with the British Geomorphological Research Group. This included some 33 papers covering glaciological and hydrological topics as well as geomorphology as such. More recently a contribution has been made to the significant national conference on Geomorphology and Global Warming held at the Royal Geographical Society, London, in May 1990.
Of great importance to the permafrost community of the UK, and indirectly of other countries also, has been the production and distribution by the UK Natural Environment Research Council of a major report on British Arctic Science Policy. This document lists and prioritises the themes considcrcd to represent major arctic research requirements for the future and represents a significant focussing of British activities in northern latitudes. Its recommendations and their implications were discussed at a conference titled "Britain in the Arctic: Current and Future Research Opporiunities" held at the Scott Polar Research Institute in April 1990.
The conference was intcrdisciplinary and included reference to permafrost concerns. It was, for example, addressed by Jerry Brown (IPA Editorial Committee) on North American arctic research status. The keynote of the conference was an announcement by the Natural Environment Research Council of its provisional funding priorities for arctic science. A residential research base has been established by NERC at Ny-Alesund (Svalbard), a special topic funding opportunity in tundra ecology has been announced, and suggestions for future special topics have been made, including sea ice studies, surging glaciers and ice sheet modelling.