We are a transdisciplinary and convergent research team led by geoscientists, engineers, and social scientists, working together to advance community prosperity and infrastructure resiliency in the circumpolar Arctic region.


Vladimir Romanovsky

Dr. Vladimir Romanovsky is a Professor in Geophysics at the Geophysical Institute and the Department of Geosciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks. His work involves internationally coordinated research on permafrost temperature changes in Alaska, Russia, Canada, Greenland, and Mongolia. He is also involved in numerical modeling of past, present and future permafrost dynamics and the remote sensing of permafrost and periglacial processes. Romanovky’s research expertise includes the scientific and practical aspects of environmental and engineering problems involving ice and permafrost.

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Dmitry Nicolsky

Dr. Dmitry Nicolsky is a Research Associate Professor at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He develops high-resolution numerical models of the permafrost dynamics at numerous locations in Alaska. His research focuses on examining the impact of the unfrozen water in frozen fine-grained earth on long-term thawing of permafrost, simulating the ground temperature dynamics in the active layer and permafrost, conducting data assimilation of temperature observations and parameterization of the thermal properties of soils, and developing high-resolution models for permafrost.

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Louise Farquharson

Dr. Louise Farquharson is a geomorphologist and Quaternary geologist who focuses on Arctic landscape change and permafrost affected coastal dynamics. Louise is a Research Assistant Professor in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute Permafrost Laboratory where, in addition to working on the PCE-RCN, she is involved with the NSF funded Permafrost Coastal Systems Network (PerCS-Net) project. Louise has published first-author peer reviewed papers in the journals Environmental Research Letters, Sedimentary Geology, and Geomorphology.

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Ming Xiao

The project PI, Dr. Ming Xiao, is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. Xiao’s research focuses on analyzing performances of the built environment and infrastructures under in-service conditions and extreme events. He has led collaborative and cross-disciplinary research projects to address civil engineering infrastructure systems’ challenges. He is currently leading two multi-institution convergent NSF Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) projects, one to create a permafrost coastal erosion – research coordination network (PCE-RCN), the other to study the infrastructure resiliency and its social impacts under degrading permafrost and coastal erosion.

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Xiong Zhang

Dr. Xiong Zhang is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He was an assistant and then associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for 10 years. He has been involved in about 20 research projects related to permafrost and frozen ground engineering for USDOT, Alaska DOT&PF, and TransCanada Gas pipeline. Zhang’s research expertise is laboratory testing, constitutive modelling of multiphase materials, and numerical simulation of climate–vegetation–soil–structure interaction.

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Chris McComb

Dr. Christopher McComb is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs at the Pennsylvania State University, where he leads the Human Systems Design Laboratory. McComb’s research focuses on the creation and validation of agent-based models for human systems. He also researches methodologies for data-driven design and decision-making, and developing decision support tools. He has constructed and validated agent-based models of organizational systems involving both concept generation and project delivery.

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Social Scientists

Anne Jensen

Dr. Anne Jensen is an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and serves as Archaeologists for the Iñupiat History Language and Culture Commission of the North Slope Borough. Jensen is a long-time resident of Utqiaġvik, Alaska. She has 37 years of experience in anthropology in Alaska, including ethnographic research, archaeological surveys and investigation of excavation sites. Her current research focuses on human adaptation in arctic and subarctic environments; climate change effects on tangible cultural heritage and other infrastructure, paleoeconomy and paleoenvironments; and traditional knowledge of Iñupiat peoples.


Lilian Allesa

Dr. Lilian Alessa is the University of Idaho President's Professor of Resilient Landscapes and is Co-Director of the University of Idaho Center for Resilient Communities. She works extensively with the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense. Her expertise is in social adaptation to environmental change through resilient design at landscape scales. She has authored over 100 publications and reports and has led the development of two federal climate resilience toolbox assessments: the Arctic Water Resources Vulnerability Index (AWRVI) and the Arctic Adaptation Exchange Portal (AAEP).

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