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Management of cold environments

General data

Course ID: 1900-MCE-OG Erasmus code / ISCED: 07.9 / (0539) Physical sciences, not elsewhere classified
Course title: Management of cold environments Name in Polish: Management of cold environments
Department: Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies
Course groups: Courses in foreign languages
General university courses
General university courses and those outside UW
General university courses at Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies
ECTS credit allocation (and other scores): 3.00 OR 6.00 (depends on study program)
view allocation of credits
Language: English
Type of course:

general courses


(in Polish) w sali

Short description: (in Polish)

The lecture content includes information about permafrost occurrence, structure and functioning; thermokarst processes; engineering problems and solutions used in permafrost regions; industrial expansion circum-polar regions; functioning of glaciers and glacial hazards (glacial surges, avalanches, outbursts); polar bases and scientific programmes; indigenous people of the Arctic, pollution of the Arctic.

The lecture refers to knowledge in fields of: spatial managing, glaciology, geomorphology, geoecology, hydrology, climatology, ethnography and building engineering.

Full description: (in Polish)

Following issues will be addressed during the lecture:

- Permafrost: distribution and types, methods of determining its thickness, thermal profiles, active layer, frost heave and thaw settlement, thermokarst processes; 3h

- Engineering solutions used in construction of houses, roads, rail-roads, air strips, pipelines on permafrost – examples from Siberia, Tibet, Alaska, Canada, Spitsbergen; 4h

- Industrial expansion in circum-polar regions; 1h

- Mountain glaciers and ice-caps: distribution, changing mass balance, history of glaciations, contemporary rate of deglaciation, glaciological threats: surges, ice avalanches, glacier outbursts (jökulhlaups); 6h

- High-mountain infrastructure (touristic, communication, industry); 2h

- Arctic Ocean sea-ice: rate of ice melting, territorial disputes over access to mineral deposits, industrial expansion in the Arctic – chances and threats; 4h

- Contemporary polar bases and scientific programmes – examples from Spitsbergen, Greenland and the Antarctic; 4h

- Indigenous people of the Arctic, ethnic groups, life in the north, political organisations, struggle for land ownership; 2 h

- Pollution of the polar areas – reasons and effects; 4h

Bibliography: (in Polish)

- Washburn, A.L. 1973. Periglacial processes and environments. Arnold. Londyn.

- Benn, D.I., Evans, D.J.A. 1998. Glaciers and Glaciation. Arnold, Londyn.

- Terence, A., Rogers, G., Rowley, G. 1978. The Circumpolar North. London, Great Britain: Methuen & Co Ltd.

- Geografia Powszechna, t. 1-5. Arktyka, Ameryka, Australia i Oceania, Ocean Światowy Red. tomu Alfred Jahn. 1967

- Polar Press Clips, National Science Foundation





Learning outcomes: (in Polish)

The outcomes of the subjects includes:


- permafrost: distribution and types, its structure and thermal pattern, thermokarst processes

- selected examples of infrastructure on in permafrost regions

- engineering problems (and mitigations) rising from freeze-thaw processes in the ground

- mountain glaciers structure and functioning

- glacial hazards (surges, ice avalanches, glacier outbursts)

- examples of high-mountain infrastructure (touristic, communication, industry)

- Arctic Ocean sea-ice issues (rate of ice melting, territorial disputes)

- examples of contemporary polar bases and scientific programmes

- settlement history and ethnography of the Arctic

- elementary knowledge of pollution issues


- locate permafrost regions on the map and assess permafrost thickness and character

- forecast permafrost reaction to climate warming

- foresee hazards to infrastructure resulting from freeze-thaw processes and assess methods of mitigation of construction failures

- foresee mountain glacial hazards

- find information about circum-polar regions


- to acknowledge specific conditions of managing cold regions (circum-polar and high-mountain)

- to acknowledge importance of climate warming for geographical environments of cold regions

Assessment methods and assessment criteria: (in Polish)

Written marked assessment in a form of an essay on one of the issues referred to during the lecture – 50%

Presence control – 50% (maximum absences: 5).

Classes in period "Winter semester 2017/18" (past)

Time span: 2017-10-01 - 2018-01-26
Choosen plan division:

see course schedule
Type of class: Lecture, 30 hours, 60 places more information
Coordinators: Maciej Dąbski
Group instructors: Maciej Dąbski
Students list: (inaccessible to you)
Examination: Grading

Classes in period "Winter semester 2018/19" (future)

Time span: 2018-10-01 - 2019-01-25
Choosen plan division:

see course schedule
Type of class: Lecture, 30 hours, 70 places more information
Coordinators: Maciej Dąbski
Group instructors: Maciej Dąbski
Students list: (inaccessible to you)
Examination: Grading
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