AVA - Arctic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning

When: May 2019 | Where: Arkhangelsk (Russia)
Contact: Gabriela Schaepman-Strub

Cross-Cutting Activities

Please visit the Cross-Cutting Activities page for more information on upcoming activities co-sponsored by the Terrestrial Working Group.


Permafrost Carbon Network

When: 9 December 2018 | Where: Washington (US)
Contact: Christina Schaedel

NeAT ‐ Network for Arthropods of the Tundra (2)

When: 9 - 11 October 2018 | Where: Rovaniemi (Finland) | More information
Contact: Toke Thomas Høye

NeAT ‐ Network for Arthropods of the Tundra (1)

When: 19 - 23 June 2018 | Where: Davos (Switzerland) | More information
Contact: Toke Thomas Høye


Polar Wildlife

When: 19 - 23 June 2018 | Where: Davos (Switzerland)
Contact: Thierry Boulinier

Wildlife species are of critical ecological and socio-economic and importance in Polar Regions, yet in the current context of global change they are experiencing increasing health challenges and the persistence of many species is uncertain. A better understanding of wildlife health status, including the diversity of pathogens and ecology of infectious and non-infectious diseases (e.g., toxins, immunity, and stress), is critical in order to anticipate, manage, and mitigate wildlife health issues at the poles. This workshop aimed to identify key scientific knowledge gaps in wildlife health and disease and to foster new research initiatives and collaborations at the interface between ecology and diseases in Polar Regions.

The importance of setting up carefully designed monitoring programs and of studies focusing on wild animal systems of particular relevance in the context of global change was identified. In this context, some particularities of polar host-parasite systems were outlined, such as the relatively simple species composition of their communities, their strong spatial structure and seasonality, and the fact that they are the subject of dramatic climate change effects. Issues linked to human health and human activities at the interface with wildlife were also identified as a future priority. It was decided to pursue interactions on these topics by the future organization of a workshop in 2020 and the writing up of a synthesis paper on the topic.



When: 11 - 15 December 2017 | Where: Québec (Canada) | More information
Contacts: João Canário, Warwick Vincent,

T-MOSAiC (Terrestrial – Multidisciplinary distributed Observatories for the Study of Arctic Climate) is the result of Working Group discussions at the IASC Arctic Science Summit Week in Prague (April 2017). T-MOSAiC aims to reinforce and extend the success of the IASC program MOSAiC by taking a land-based perspective on human systems, geosystems and ecosystems, and their responses to sea-ice, oceanographic and climate change in the Arctic Ocean.

The main goal of the workshop was to scope out a Science Plan and to begin the preparation of an Implementation Plan, to be discussed in its final form during the Davos IASC T-MOSAiC workshop in June 2018.  As discussed and planned at the Quebec City workshop, the secretariat for T-MOSAiC was opened  at the University of Lisbon in February 2018, with an associated  website.

The Frozen-Ground Cartoon

When: 11 December 2017 | Where: Québec (Canada) | Contacts: Frédéric Bouchard, Michael Fritz

How does a reindeer experience climate change? Can a turkey melt? And why is research in the Arctic better than holidays on the beach? Two artists and twelve scientists provide a completely new perspective on the Arctic.

The Frozen-Ground Cartoon is a series of brand-new comics about permafrost, funded by the International Permafrost Association (IPA) with additional support from IASC (Terrestrial and Cryosphere WGs). The project has so far produced 22 pages of comics through an iterative process of exchanging ideas between two artists and thirteen scientists. The comics are available for free download through the project web page The Frozen-Ground Cartoon, in English and Swedish, and printed copies have so far been handed out to school kids and general public in Europe and North America.

An Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA)

When: 30-31 March 2017 | Where: Prague (Czech Republic) | Contact: Skip Walker

An Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA) is needed to develop an effective Arctic terrestrial monitoring program and provide a standardized vegetation framework and data for an Arctic Vegetation Classification (AVC), land-cover mapping, ecological experiments, modeling, and biodiversity studies. Insufficient and non-standardized Arctic vegetation plot data are available to accomplish this task. The recently launched AVA and AVC aim to fill this knowledge gap.

The AVA and AVC would cover the entire Arctic tundra biome, the first for any of the world’s major biomes. This is achievable because the Arctic is the only biome that has its entire list of known vascular plants, mosses and lichens documented in up-to-date flora checklists developed by taxonomists within the CAFF Flora Group. Also the amount of vegetation plot data from the Arctic is still relatively modest compared to other biomes (approximately 31,000 plots). A large body of international experience and collaboration with database experts in other regions will also help to make the Arctic task feasible.

Circum-polar Arctic Flux Workshop

When: 6-9 February 2017 | Where: Hyytiala (Finland) | Contacts: Eugenie Euskirchen, Sandy Starkweather

Detailed observations of energetic, hydrological and chemical fluxes at the surface-atmosphere interface are necessary to understand and model coupling within the Arctic climate system. Global and regional models may represent Arctic state variables with relative accuracy, but it has been observed that they consistently fail to represent the observed magnitude and direction of energetic fluxes within the Arctic system. Some results of this failure are highly uncertain projections about the future state of the Arctic cryosphere and biosphere and high uncertainty about the fate of cryospheric carbon in the global atmosphere. To address these poorly constrained processes, coupling between the Arctic atmosphere, land surface and subsurface must be evaluated as an integrated system of energy, moisture and chemical exchange – each with unique observational challenges and process complexities in extreme Arctic environments.

Workshop Report


For previous activities, please visit the IASC News Archive or browse our online collection of yearbooks, the IASC Bulletin.