For many years Polish scientists have been conducting interdisciplinary research on geosystems in Arctic and Antarctica.

Poland operates two polar stations open all year, the Polish Polar Station, Hornsund, Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago and the Polish Antarctic Station H. Arctowski, King George Island, South Shetlands, West Antarctica. In winter 2001/2002 the Kaffi oyra station, Spitsbergen, of the Nicholas Copernicus University, Torun, was also open. Research also takes place in few other bases on the west coast of Spitsbergen only open during the polar summer.

During the year 2002 research expeditions to Spitsbergen were undertaken by the Maria Curie Sklodowska University, Lublin, the Nicholas Copernicus University, Torun, the University of Silesia, Sosnowiec and the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan. The research focused on continuing programmes begun within the last years on the operation of periglacial geoecosystems under the infl uence of climate and human impacts. Research results were published in the volume of Polish Polar Studies entitled ´The operating and monitoring of geoecosystems of polar areas´ issued at the XXVIII International Polar Symposium, in Poznan in March 2002. In the same volume the basic rules of the international CALM programme, in which Poland takes part (Site P1) at Calypsostranda, Spitsbergen, were presented. The new multi- disciplinary programme of the Committee on Polar Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences was presented to the participants of the XXV Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, in Warsaw, September 2002. This programme called ‘Arctic and Antarctic research programme of Poland’ is planned to be realised in 2002-2010. Research concerning permafrost, active layer and periglacial processes are included in this programme.

Kazimierz Pêkala (