For most people, permafrost is a distant phenomenon that seems to have little to do with their own lives, making it hard for them to relate to. With the help of the resources provided by the Ralf Dahrendorf Prize, we will overcome that distance by showing interested members of the general public the broad landmasses that are home to permafrost soils, and the tremendous quantities of carbon they store. To do so, we will use a temporary exhibit format and workshops where people have the chance to see, hear, touch and smell permafrost, thanks to original archaeological artefacts from the Ice Age and hands-on permafrost experimentation boxes. More over visitors can use a 3D visor to immerse themselves in a virtual permafrost world. Lastly, ‘before-and-after’ lenticular images, together with video and audio recordings from expeditions to the Arctic, will help illustrate the thawing of the permafrost, and the fieldwork involved in investigating it.
In May 2019, the ERC PETA-CARB Project was honored with the Ralf-Dahrendorf Prize awarded by the Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Supported by the award, the new project “Permafrost Change” started in January 2020 led by Dr. Josefine Lenz. The aim of the outreach project is to communicate permafrost and changes by a warmer climate to the public.