The Inaugural Canadian & Cold Regions Rail Research Conference
Apr 26, 2021
The Canadian Rail Research Laboratory is hosting the Canadian & Cold Regions Rail Research Conference on November 9-10, 2021!

Professionals and researchers involved with railway engineering are invited to participate in the Canadian & Cold Regions Rail Research Conference. Conference participants will have opportunities to present ideas, learn of new developments and technologies, make professional contacts and discuss issues related to railway engineering in Canada and cold regions. The program will include sessions by practitioners and experts on Climate Change, Innovation in Railway Engineering, Cold Regions Engineering, Human Factors and more.

Prospective authors are invited to submit short abstracts (prepared in English) limited to 300 words including a short title and the names of all the authors and their affiliations (see template below). Abstracts must be submitted to Dr. Parisa Haji Abdulrazagh ( by April 26, 2021.

Please indicate whether you will intend to submit a full paper (8-10 pages) or a short paper (4 pages with few images). Graduate students are expected to submit full papers.

Authors will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis. All authors will receive confirmation no later than May 15, 2021. Full and short papers are due September 15, 2021. More details will be available in the coming weeks on
CPA 2020 Virtual AGM
Nov 2, 2020
Passing of Alan Taylor
Aug 12, 2020
The CPA is saddened to announce the passing of Alan Taylor on July 30th after a long battle with cancer. Al had a long science career in both the Ottawa and Sidney B.C. He started his career accepting a science position in 1976 with the Earth Physics Branch of Energy Mines and Resources. The Earth Physics Branch eventually became part of the Geological Survey of Canada and Al became a valued member of the Permafrost Section in the Terrain Sciences Division. Al's training was in physics but he worked as a geoscientist and became a registered professional engineer late in his career. His speciality was the study of geothermics as applied to many aspects of permafrost science. In his early career working with Al Judge, Margo Burgess, Vic Allen and Anne Wilkinson he contributed to pioneering work establishing the distribution and geothermal conditions of permafrost in the high Arctic. This group established new techniques to measure ground temperatures in abandoned exploration wells and determined for the first time the geothermal and geophysical properties of permafrost throughout the Canadian Arctic. Their remarkable research established that more than 750m of permafrost occurs beneath areas of the Beaufort Sea while other areas of the high Arctic that were long covered by glacial ice had much thinner permafrost occurrences.

Al recognised that a unique record of environmental change could be interpreted by analyzing and modeling in situ ground temperatures. He published many papers reviewing the response of permafrost to past sea level change, ice cover and studying the effects of ground water flow. Al took early retirement from the GSC in 1995 and moved with his wife Fran and son Alex to Sidney. He played critical roles in the GSC's gas hydrate research program contributing substantially to complex field programs in 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2008. He continued to advance his modeling studies, examining the stability of offshore and onshore permafrost gas hydrates.

Al was an excellent scientist and colleague, who was always optimistic, generous, kind and thoughtful. He encouraged many young students and stood out as a role model for many. In addition to his science career, Al had many other interests that he shared with his dear wife Fran (as well as son Alex and daughter in law Mary). They enjoyed many times together in the outdoors, cycling, canoeing and skiing. Of all of these pursuits, cycling was perhaps Al's special passion... be it a trip down the Galloping Goose trail to Victoria or following along the Rhine. Al and Fran's retirement cycling trips often had a specific natural history, cultural interest or historical destination in mind.
Introducing the New Jobs Page
Feb 26, 2020
A great resource to find many of the current academic and professional opportunities in cold regions and permafrost science.
Upcoming Talk on Climate Change, Geotechnical Engineering, and Geohazard Assessments in Cold Regions
Feb 26, 2020
We would like to draw your attention to an upcoming talk by CPA President Lukas Arenson in a seminar by the Engineers and Geoscientists of BC. The seminar takes place on May 21st, 2020 in Vancouver, BC. For more information on registration and event details:
ICOP 2020 Cancellation
Feb 25, 2020
Due the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, the 12th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP 2020), scheduled for 22-26 June in Lanzhou, China was cancelled. The International Permafrost Association and the local organizing committee are evaluating the situation and we will let you know as new announcement become available. Considering the circumstance, this decision is completely understandable, and we wish our colleagues in China all the best and that a solution can be found very soon.
W. Garfield Weston Lifetime Achievement Award
Dec 10, 2019
Congratulations to Wayne Pollard, McGill University! Wayne received the W. Garfield Weston Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2019 ArcticNet Meeting in Halifax. Wayne is a lifetime member of the CPA and is a member of the board. His research in extreme northern landscapes may help NASA and the Canadian Space Agency identify water on colder planets such as Mars.
CPA and CGS Joint Membership
Nov 28, 2019
The CGS is pleased to announce that we can offer a discounted membership for a CPA-CGS combo. For regular members the combined registration fee is $300 and for students it is $55. Since the two associations are using different registration systems, please register or renew your membership first with the CGS ( There you will be asked to pay the full amount for the combined membership but will be provided with a special code that you can use on the CPA registration site ( so that you do not have to pay anything more.
IPA Opportunities and Activities
Oct 23, 2019
We would like to draw your attention to a few current IPA opportunities and activities:

The 12th International Conference on Permafrost -- ICOP 2020 -- is a little over a half-year away. The final abstract submission deadline is 15 January 2020; this timeline is now reflected on the conference website. We strongly encourage everyone to consider participating in and presenting research at this premier permafrost event. Please visit the conference website for the information you need to plan your conference attendance and trip to Lanzhou, China, including planned scientific sessions, field trip details, and visa information. Early career attendees can apply to have their registration fee covered by the IPA.

The IPA looks forward to the 1st Southern Hemisphere Conference on Permafrost -- SouthCOP -- to be held in Queenstown, New Zealand 4-14 December 2019. Abstract submission and field trip registration has closed, but regular conference registration is still possible. Please visit for more information.

The IPA currently has an open call for new Action Groups. Action Groups are meant to fund targeted groups working towards the production of well-defined, permafrost-related products. Action Groups are funded up to 2500€ per year, for one or two years (maximum of 5000€ over the life of an Action Group). The current annual application cycle closes 1 November. You can read more and download the application form here:

We hope you participate in one or more of these IPA activities!
Sudden passing of Dr. Hugh M. French
May 14, 2019
The CPA is saddened to announce the sudden passing on May 11, 2019 in Victoria, B.C. of Dr. Hugh M. French, former Dean of the Faculty of Science and Professor Emeritus in the departments of Geography, Environment and Geomatics and of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa.

Hugh is internationally recognized as a specialist on periglacial processes and permafrost science. In a career at the University of Ottawa that started with his first visit to the Arctic in 1967 and spanned 36 years, plus a further 16 years post-retirement, he wrote or co-wrote more than 160 publications covering topics such as ground ice formation and distribution, slope processes, natural and anthropogenic thermokarst, and frozen ground engineering.

He was one of the most widely travelled geocryologists, publishing studies carried out in the Canadian High Arctic and Subarctic, the Tibet Plateau, Antarctica, and parts of Europe and the USA which experienced periglacial conditions during the Quaternary. His many accomplishments included founding the journal Permafrost and Periglacial Processes which he edited for 16 years, and writing four editions of his textbook The Periglacial Environment over nearly 30 years, the last of which was published in 2017.

Hugh also played important roles in the International Permafrost Association helping found it in 1983 and subsequently as Vice-President (1993-1998) and President (1998-2003). He received the Roger J.E. Brown Award of the Canadian Geotechnical Society for outstanding contributions to permafrost science and engineering, the Award for Scholarly Distinction in Geography from the Canadian Association of Geographers and the International Permafrost Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Hugh was a lifetime member of the CPA and a great supporter of its goals. The Hugh M. French Award for outstanding contributions to permafrost science and/or periglacial geomorphology, which had already been named in his honour, will be awarded for the first time at the Eighth Canadian Permafrost Conference in Québec in August 2019.
CSA PLUS 4011.1 Technical Guide posted for Public Review
May 15, 2019
The draft for CSA PLUS 4011.1 Technical Guide: “Infrastructure in Permafrost: A Guideline For Climate Change Adaptation.” was posted for Public Review. The intent of this document is to provide stakeholders with information on the potential impacts of climate change on infrastructure in Canada’s permafrost regions. Your feedback on this draft review is of great importance. Review is open until June 18, 2019

The link to the Public Review site is available via the following link:
Winners of the CPA and CNC-IPA Student Bursaries!
May 6, 2019
The Canadian Permafrost Association (CPA) and the Canadian National Committee for the International Permafrost Association (CNC-IPA) jointly funded up to 20 bursaries to encourage participation by students in the 18th International Conference on Cold Regions Engineering / 8th Canadian Permafrost Conference in Québec City from August 18-22, 2019.

The awards are competitive with ranking based on the quality and originality of the abstract and the contribution of the student to it. Applications will be judged by a committee with members drawn from the CPA, CNC-IPA and PYRN North America.

Winners of the bursaries are as follows:

Simon Dumais (Université Laval) - Declined due to other funding
Élise Devoie (University of Waterloo)
Mary Kerr (Laurentian University)
Xiangbing Kong (Université Laval)
Cameron Ross (Royal Military College of Canada)
Jean Holloway (University of Ottawa)
Earl Marvin De Guzman (University of Manitoba)
Greg Gambino (University of Toronto)
Jennifer Humphries (Carleton University)
Marilyne Parent (Université Laval)
Erfan Abedian Amiri (University of Waterloo)
Sohail Akhtar (Concordia University)
Canadian Permafrost Association Award Winners!
May 5, 2019
Professor Michel Allard, Laval University will be awarded the Hugh M. French Award at the 8th Canadian Permafrost Conference in Quebec City in August. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to permafrost science and/or periglacial geomorphology over a career.

Dr. Chris Burn, Carleton University, will give the first lecture as part of the Mackay Lectures at the 8th Canadian Permafrost Conference in Quebec City in August. This lecture is named in honour of Canada’s pre-eminent permafrost expert, the late Professor J. Ross Mackay