GEOG 001 - Advanced Permafrost Engineering Applied to Transportation Infrastructure

This is an advanced, graduate level course on permafrost engineering applied to transportation infrastructure. The course will include a description of permafrost environment and dynamics. Principles and methods for site investigation, design and management of roads, airstrips, railways, and other linear structures built in permafrost environments will also be included in the course. Finally, the course will include two field visits on sites where interesting permafrost and engineering features can be observed.

This course is part of the FROZEN CANOES project funded by the INTPART program of the Norwegian Research Council and the Centre for Internationalization of University Studies in Norway. If you would like more information, please see course outline.


The course is primarily intended for graduate students at the master level in Engineering and Earth Sciences as well as for PhDs and professionals.



The full course gives 3 Canadian credits equivalent to 7.5 European Transfer credits.

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding of the context and the challenges of building linear infrastructures on permafrost
  • Knowledge of the basic principles leading to effective site investigation, design and management of linear structures built on permafrost
  • Understanding of and ability to apply the principles of risk analysis to the development of linear infrastructure in permafrost contexts
  • Ability to analyze a complex situation and propose solutions to stabilize structures in unstable permafrost conditions

Online module

An online learning module on thermal modeling must be completed after the intensive course in Whitehorse from September 5 to 25, 2022. This module introduces students to the basic concepts of finite element methods, the use of the software and model benchmark problems to illustrate the validation process. Typical cases of calculation of thermal regime in soils and pavements by using Temp-W are presented to illustrate the capability of the software. Two thermal modelling assignments will be given at the end of the intensive course and must be handed out on September 25. GeoStudio will provide temporary licenses of TEMP/W to all students.


Guy Doré: Retired chair professor from the Department of Civil and Water Engineering, Université Laval, Canada

Christopher Burn: Professor at the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, Canada

Fabrice Calmels: Research Chair, Permafrost and Geoscience, Yukon University


***The assignments and final exam are optional for participants in the professional development course (Geog 001)

  • 3 science papers and 3 engineering papers to review and synthesize before the course (10%)
  • A 10-page essay on permafrost and engineering problems along the Alaska Highway to be submitted 2 weeks after the course (20 %)
  • 2 Thermal modelling assignments (10%) (Completed online between September 5-25, 2022)

Comprehensive Final Exam

The course evaluation will be based on the understanding of the principles and methods described during the course. A final exam will be given on the last day of the course to assess the understanding on course content and achievements (60%). Students will be allowed to use notes and course material during the final exam.

***The assignments and final exam are optional for participants in the professional development course (Geog 001)


Academic applicants must register to the course by sending the following documents to the course coordinator (

  1. A letter of motivation explaining the reasons why you want to follow the course
  2. A curriculum vitae

The deadline to apply is August 1 2022 for academic applicants

Mobility stipends

 Professional applicants must register for the intensive course at Yukon University by phone at 867 668 8710 ext. 2

Fee for professionals that want to follow the full course is 2415$.

The deadline to apply is August 15 2022 for professional applicants

***Participants are responsible to book their own accommodation in Whitehorse.


Academic and professional applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the North Yukon Permafrost Conference held in Dawson City, Yukon from August 21-26, 2022. Conference registration fees will be covered by the FROZEN CANOES program for all the academic applicants selected. 

To register, visit the Canadian Permafrost Association webpage:


If you have additional questions, please contact the course coordinator

Astrid Schetselaar:

GEOG 001
This course has no upcoming sessions scheduled