Back to events


Analysing permafrost in the Hindu Kush Himalaya using open access tools


Hybrid – Kathmandu University and online

Date & Time

19 June 2022 to 24 June 2022


Miriam Jackson, Dibas Shrestha & Rijan Bhakta Kayastha


About the training

Permafrost remains poorly addressed in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region although it contributes significantly to catchment hydrology and hazards in the region. Building on previous training workshops on snow and glacier monitoring, this training will introduce permafrost – as the third pillar of the cryosphere.

The training will introduce participants to field monitoring and sensor technology and using the data obtained for modelling. Participants will also learn how to access and process freely-accessible data.


Training content

Participants will be introduced to the theory of permafrost and relevant data products used to estimate permafrost. They will also receive training on field monitoring and data analysis. While focusing on permafrost, we will also provide basic training on coding languages (python, R, GEE) and guide them on how to make codes traceable and reproducible via GitHub.

The training will follow a hybrid modality. Participants who are unable to travel to Kathmandu, Nepal will be able to participate online.



  • Theoretical understanding of permafrost modelling, data collection, and data analysis
  • Theoretical understanding of the climatic drivers of permafrost change
  • Introduce best practices in coding and sharing research insights
  • Foster networks and collaboration between researchers in the region


Expected participants

The training is aimed at organisations, students, and early career scientists working on cryosphere in the HKH region. We are seeking nominations from our partners institutions in the regional member countries (RMCs), and from Kathmandu University and Tribhuvan University, who are co-organising this training.

We are also inviting interested applicants through an open call.


Application process

Graduate students, government employees, and full-time early career scientists from research institutes in the following countries can apply: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, or Pakistan. Priority will be given to research scientists and students who are focusing on permafrost and snow studies.

Applicants will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis, considering they meet the required qualifications.

Nominated participants and those applying through the open call must have the following qualifications:

  • An interest in cryosphere science and a basic understanding of earth science or environmental science.
  • Previous basic knowledge of the R software or similar programming language (Python, Matlab)
  • Knowledge of at last one of the following areas: permafrost, glacier mass balance, glacier dynamics, snow cover analysis, GLOFS (glacier lake outburst floods), hydrology, remote sensing
  • Preferably at least an MSc in a relevant subject

We strongly encourage women to apply.

Interested candidates are requested to fill this form.


Important dates

26 May 2022: Application deadline

3 June 2022: Announcement of selected participants

Please note that only successful candidate will be notified.


Expected outcomes

The trainees are expected to use the acquired skills in this training for permafrost monitoring in the HKH region, and to develop their own monitoring programmes and/or understand the results and implications of such programmes.

This training responds to the 6th HKH Call to Action on regional data and information sharing and science and knowledge co-operation, which emphasises fostering co-operation and capacity building on data generation methodologies for consistent, disaggregated, timely, and quality data on a range of issues.


Planned follow-up

We will be following up with the participants for further support in permafrost monitoring and research in the region, through the CryoHub and other channels. The training will also work as a networking event and will contribute to building a network of permafrost researchers in the region. Participants will be asked to fill out a post-training survey that is critical to improving similar capacity building training in the future. Bi-annual follow up meeting may be arranged.



Time (NPT) Activity Speaker
9:30 – 9:50 Welcome remarks Rijan Kayastha, Coordinator, Himalayan Cryosphere, Climate and Disaster Research Center, Kathmandu University
9:50 – 10:10 Opening remarks Binod Dawadi, Associate Professor, Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Tribhuvan University
10:10 – 10:30 Opening remarks and overview of the cryosphere initiative Miriam Jackson, Programme Co-ordinator cryosphere initiative, ICIMOD
10:30 – 10:50 Introduction of participants All
10:50 – 11:25 Tea break and group photo
11:25 – 11:45 Participant orientation of training programme and resources Amrit Thapa, RS & Geoinformation Research Analyst, ICIMOD

Prashant Baral, Permafrost Consultant, ICIMOD

11:45 – 12:45 Basics in python Kundan Lal Shrestha, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University
12:45 – 13:45 Lunch break
13:45 – 14:45 Basics in R Abhijit Vaidya, Glaciological Research Consultant, ICIMOD
14:45 – 15:00 Tea break
15:00 – 16:00 Hazard assessments Holger Frey, University Zurich

Simon Allen, University Geneva

Time (NPT) Activity Speaker
09:00 – 09:30 GIT and data sharing Jakob Steiner, Glacier Hydrologist, ICIMOD
09:30 – 11:00 Permafrost science I – a general overview on concepts and models Prashant Baral, ICIMOD
11:00 – 11:15 Tea break
11:30 – 12:30 Permafrost science II – a general overview on concepts and models Prashant Baral, ICIMOD
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break
13:30 – 14:30 LST in Google Collab Amrit Thapa, ICIMOD
14:30 – 14:45 Tea break
14:45 – 17:00 Data preparation in Google Collab Amrit Thapa, ICIMOD

Prashant Baral, ICIMOD

Time (NPT) Activity Speaker
09:00 – 10:45 Data preparation in Google Collab Amrit Thapa, ICIMOD

Prashant Baral, ICIMOD



10:45 – 11:00 Tea break
11:00 – 12:30 Making PF maps in Google Collab II
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break
13:30 – 14:30 Making PF maps in Google Collab II
14:30 – 14:45 Tea break
14:45 – 15:45 Field Investigations in PF Tika Ram Gurung, Cryosphere Analyst, ICIMOD


15:45 – 17:00 Working with PF time series data

Time (NPT) Activity Speaker
09:00 – 09:30 Machine learning and permafrost Arnab Singh, Tribhuvan University
09:30 – 10:15 Field-based monitoring and energy balance-modelling of permafrost John Mohd Wani, Research Associate, Jawaharlal Nehru University
10:15 – 15:00 Case studies
15:00 – 16:00 Frost cracking and periglacial processes Daniel Draebing, University of Bayreuth

Time (NPT) Activity Speaker
09:00 – 12:30 Presentations on case studies
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break
13:30 – 14:00 Presentation:

Exploring collaborative platform, HKH CryoHub

Chimi Seldon, Knowledge Management and Communication Officer, ICIMOD
14:00 – 14:10 Certificate presentation Miriam Jackson, ICIMOD
14:10 – 14:20 Closing remarks from KU Rijan Kayastha, Kathmandu University
14:20 – 14:30 Closing remarks from TU Deepak Aryal, Department Head, Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Tribhuvan University

Resource persons

Amrit Thapa

RS & Geoinformation Research Analyst-Cryosphere Research

Martin Hoelzle

Abhijit Vaidya

Glaciological Research Associate


Jakob Friedrich Steiner

Glacier Hydrologist


Tika Ram Gurung

Cryosphere Analyst

Prashant Baral

Prashant Baral

Permafrost Research Consultant

John Mohd Wani

John Mohd Wani

Research Associate, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Daniel Draebing

Daniel Draebing

University of Bayreuth

Holger Frey

Holger Frey

University Zurich

Simon Allen

Simon Allen

University Geneva