Apart from people in cold region communities and a small – although steadily growing – scientific community, the general public knows very little about permafrost properties, its dynamics in response to climate change, and the research going on in the field. Our outreach-related project aims at ‘Fostering permafrost research to the ends of the Earth’, making permafrost science accessible to children, youth, their parents, and teachers via a series of cartoons.
Cartoons are excellent ways to communicate messages in today’s media landscape: they are graphic, funny and direct, and can be rapidly shared via social media. Our project targets the general public, focusing on young students who have to choose career paths at the high school or college levels. By introducing them to permafrost research activities, particularly fieldwork, our ‘Frozen Ground Cartoons’ will enhance the dissemination of permafrost knowledge and broaden the international community of permafrost ‘lovers’.
This project started as a targeted ‘Action Group’ funded by the International Permafrost Association (IPA), and since then other partners have been involved. The printing and distributing step is funded by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).