A tribute to David Gilichinsky and the Pushchino Conferences

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This presentation was made by Dr. Jerry Brown, Past President, International Permafrost Association, for International Conference "Earth Cryology: XXI Century".
Thank you very much Dr. J. Brown!
"David’s life and influence on others have been recognized in the many tributes from Russian colleagues and those colleagues from around the world. Starting in the late 1980s, David occupied a significant role in research between Russia and the international communities. Many of David’s activities are exemplified by cooperation with colleagues and programs from the United States. Therefore, this presentation is devoted to recognize some of David’s U.S. activities.


Dr. Jerry Brown,
Past President, International Permafrost Association

From David's U.S. Colleaques



Some of David’s earliest collaborations were with scientists in the Astrobioloy community including the 1990 expedition to the Kolyma region with Chris McKay, NASA Ames Research Center in the search of microbes found in ancient permafrost. Work from these and other samples were carried out in laboratories of NASA (Mckay), Michigan State University (Tjiede) and Florida State Univ. (Freidman). These studies also took place in the Antarctic including Beacon Valley with Ron Sletten, University of Washington.





David was an associate editor of the journal Astrobiology, and was very much appreciated by the editor Sherry Cady. His last visited to the US was the Gordon Conference in 2011 where he and U.S. Academician Jody Deming had many good discussions about frozen mircoorganisms.

Chris Mckay wrote this tribute to David in the journal Astrobiology
David was a leader in the study of cryosols and international cooperation and the first chair of the IPA Cryosols Working Group
11 The 1992 International Conference on Cryopedolgy was the U.S. introduction to the Pushchino campus of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and its Institute of Soil Science and Photosynthesis. The Institute’s Laboratory of Soil Cryology was headed by David from 1989 to 2012. The Conference was organized by David and the Laboratory and included a Joint Russian-American Seminar on Cryopedology and Global Change. The concept for the seminar began in Alaska in June 1991 while David and Stanislav Gubin were attending the Beringia Conference. Chien Lu Ping, received funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation to support travel of some of the eighteen U.S. participants for the seminar. Representatives from nine other countries attended the conference and also participated in the seminar. The resolutions provided the basis for establishing the Cryosols Working Groups within the ISSS and IPA
The seminar was divided into seven working groups and resulted in 38 summary papers
Two books were published from the conference and seminar
the Cryosols Working Group met at the 1995 Pushchino conference
David and his team were involved in international networks: CALM, TSP, ACD and data archiving. Roundtables were held at most Pushchino conferences
the Kolyma region was the focus for some 30 grid and boreholes
Here are a few the 30 monitoring sites in the Kolyma region. David would add sites each year and many of them are still activel
David attended the TSP/GTN-P workshop at UAF in 2000
David attended the CALM workshop in 2002 after missing his connection in Philadelphia and "hitch hiking” to Delaware with a police escort. Kolia has details
CALM workshop at NICOP 2008
26 David initiated the recovery of the historic soil temperature data from Russian meteorological stations. The analysis, archiving and multiple publications of these data by Oliver Frauenfeld and others at NSIDC contributed to the 2007 IPCC report.

The Pushchino Conferences and meetings of the RAS Scientific Council on Earth Cryology

A total of twelve conferences were held in Pushchino from 1992 to 2005. They provided unique opportunities for both Russian and Western scientists to meet and discuss advances in geocryology, cryopedology, astrobiology and many other related topic. David and the Scientific Council on Earth Cryology played an important organizational role in the conferences. The Council held its annual meetings at these conferences. At each Pushchino conference a book of abstracts and papers was available in English. Oral presentations were translated into English for foreign participants. "Roundtables” provided opportunities to plans and discuss progress on joint international programs with Russian colleagues the first conference (1992)
The first conference (1992)
1994 all Russian conference
1995 the first post 1992 conference "open” to foreign scientists
Each conference until 2005