The Swiss Society on Snow, Ice and Permafrost was founded in June 2006. It is open to everybody interested in cryospheric research in Switzerland. The president, Martin Hoelzle (hoelzle@geo.unizh.ch), is happy to receive applications for membership. The Society will soon be part of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SAS), and closely work together with the SAS commission responsible for monitoring networks for snow, glaciers and permafrost.

The Institute for Biological Problems in the Cryolithozone, Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yakutsk, and the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (Dep. of Hydrology and Geo-Environmental Sciences) are investigating the carbon and water exchange of taiga and tundra ecosystems in eastern Siberia.

As part of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences project «Modelling pre-failure shear strain (solifluction) in freezing and thawing soil slopes» at Cardiff University, Charles Harris and Martina Luetschg have undertaken two series of scaled centrifuge modelling experiments designed to provide high-resolution calibration data for developing numerical modelling of solifluction processes.

Planning for the Ninth International Conference on Permafrost is well underway. The first Bulletin was prepared and mailed in early 2006 and posted on several web sites. The Local Organizing Committee at the University of Alaska began the initial logistic preparations. Field trip leaders met and revised the venues and schedules.