The former Glacier Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SAS) has been restructured. The scope of the new Glaciological Commission includes all naturally existing ice, in particular glaciers, snow and permafrost. According to this extension, several new members joined the commission. There is a delegate for glaciers (Martin Hoelzle) and one for permafrost (Daniel Vonder Mühll), who act as national correspondents for the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and the IPA, respectively. A Swiss permafrost monitoring network is being established. It will be maintained by the Glaciological Commission like the already existing glacier monitoring network. Besides SAS and the universities, the Swiss Alpine Club supports the development of the concept for the permafrost network.
The annual meeting of the Swiss Geomorphological Society took place in July at the Academia Engadinaisa in Samedan (Upper Engadin) with about 60 participants. Several of the 15 talks and 14 posters were related to the topic permafrost. On the one-day excursion, several themes such as geology, glacier stages, and permafrost investigations were presented. A guided walking trail devoted to the topic of climate change has been developed.
In August 1997, 50 participants in the M4 field trip of the International Geomorphology Conference started in Zurich, spent three days in the Swiss Alps, then continued to Italy (more details are given on page 24)
A booklet with 20 extended abstracts from the meeting of the Coordinating Group on Permafrost, held in April 1996, has been published. It includes an article about the permafrost map of Switzerland by Felix Keller. It shows that approximately 5% of the Swiss area is underlain by permafrost. Interested colleagues can order the booklet from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Daniel Vonder Mühll (email@example.com) http://www.vaw.ethz.ch