PermaIntern is short for ‘Designing and developing permafrost internships in the Arctic’, and this Danish UArctic funded network project started operating across the Nordic countries in autumn 2022. More than 50 conference participants had registered for this evening workshop, which took place Monday 19 June in Puigcerdà, Spain.

Workshop TN Permafrost 2023
Workshop participants discussing.

The workshop had presentations on the present version of the PermaIntern service by project leader Ylva Sjöberg, Copenhagen University. The main aim is to provide working life experiences within permafrost to all students, that like to have this as part of their higher education – this way getting more candidates educated with permafrost knowledge.

Kumari Karunaratne, the President of the Canadian Permafrost Association presented how internships in permafrost science and engineering is functioning in Canada. Iver Martens, UiT the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, Norway discussed the development of internships in geoscience in Norway and abroad. Iver is leading the work with internships and alumni in the Norwegian Center for Excellent Education called iEarth (Center for Integrated Earth Science Education). Finally, Soňa Tomaškovicová, from the Danish Technical University, presented the existing internship education built into their bachelor programme for engineers with hosts across the Nordic countries.

Ylva Sjöberg Workshop 2023
Ylva Sjöberg presenting at the workshop and Iver Martens in the background.

The workshop participants generally liked the idea about developing the PermaIntern service, which will be available for all interested students. It was clear that with the different ways of doing and wanting internships to take place, the PermaIntern service must be very flexible. This so that as many students, supervisors and hosts as possible can make use of this service. 

The PermaIntern UArctic project is coordinated by a Steering Committee, led by PermaIntern leader Ylva Sjöberg, Copenhagen University, who is also Chair of the TNP; Britta Sannel, Stockholm University and UArctic Chair in Permafrost Physical Processes Hanne H. Christiansen, The University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS. The Steering Committee ran the workshop at EUCOP.