CALM Workshops


CALM’s priorities and protocols are developed through consensus among program participants. The primary vehicles used in this process are meetings at conferences, and especially through periodic workshops.


The first CALM Workshop, sponsored by the U.S. National Science  Foundation’s Arctic System Science Program, was held in November 2002 at the University of Delaware’s Virden Center in Lewes. The Workshop brought together 33 participants from six countries for intensive work of discussions, presentations, data exchange, and planning. A series of extended abstracts resulting from the workshop appears in a supplementary volume of the Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Permafrost (Haeberli and Brandova et al, 2003). Two collections of papers with origins in the workshop have been published (Nelson, 2004a, b).


The workshop in Delaware provided an opportunity to discuss sampling  protocols, instrumentation, and analytic methods. Consensus was reached on several important issues. These were communicated as The CALM Workshop Resolution (Nelson et al., 2003b), which contains the following recommendations:


• Continue CALM observations and improve the thematic representativeness of the network;


• To improve linkages with other networks and international programs, such as WCRP (CliC), IGBP, and the Circumarctic Environmental Observatories Network (CEON);


• To better understand active-layer dynamics through observation of borehole temperatures, subsidence, snow cover, soil properties,  topography, and vegetation;


• To ensure continued operation, maintenance, and enhancement of CALM and borehole temperature databases (GTN-P) and websites;


• To provide input for improvement of permafrost-climate model development, model result comparison, and verification;


• To develop strategies for remote sensing-based methods of monitoring geocryological parameters over extensive areas, consistent with international multi-scale observation schemes.

The second CALM workshop was convened at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in June 2008, in conjunction with the Ninth International Conference on Permafrost. Forty-five participants from nine countries attended the workshop, which focused on monitoring, experimental activities, and data management for the sites for which workshop participants are responsible. The workshop resulted in The Second CALM Workshop Resolution, consisting of the following recommendations: 


• To continue CALM observations at representative cold-regions sites and continue network expansion with strategic emphasis on placement along environmental gradients and co-location with sites in TSP borehole network;


• To expand the range of environmental parameters measured at CALM sites, which are concerned with active layer dynamics (not just active-layer thickness).


• Create a well integrated, pole-to-pole CALM network. Incorporate the existing CALM-S network into the larger CALM structure, and integrate management of CALM networks and observation programs in the Northern (CALM-N) and Southern (CALM-S) hemispheres;


• To adapt and expand the CALM protocol to accommodate needs in specific environments;


• Pursue spatial integration and scaling with the end goal of creating detailed and accurate representations of ALT and related parameters at circumpolar scale.


• Improve linkages with other networks and international program, such as CliC, AON, SAON, and CEON;


  Develop detailed site descriptions and metadata for all sites in the CALM network, including cryolithological and cryostratigraphic characterization;


• Develop and execute critical field experiments designed to enhance the accuracy and amount of information derived from CALM sites;


• Extend measurements of vertical movement (heave and subsidence) to all CALM sites with ice-rich substrates.


• Continue development and refinement of data management and archiving activities and strategies.


The Third CALM Workshop is scheduled for June 2016 in Potsdam, Germany, in conjunction with the IPA International Conference on Permafrost.



Literature Cited


Haeberli W, Brandová D (eds, 2003.) Eights International Conference on Permafrost: Extended Abstracts on Current Research and Newly Available Information. Glaciology and Geomorphodynamics Group, Geography Department, University of Zurich: Zurich, Switzerland.


Nelson, F.E., (ed., 2004a). Special Issue: Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) Workshop. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 15(2): 99-188.


Nelson, F.E. (ed., 2004b). Eurasian Contributions to the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) Workshop. Polar Geography 28(4): 253-340.