The IUGG Electronic Journal

Volume 3 No. 8 (August 1, 2003)

This short, informal newsletter is intended to keep IUGG Member National Committees informed about the activities of the IUGG Associations, and actions of the IUGG Secretariat. Past issues are posted on the IUGG Web site. Please forward this message to those who will benefit from the information. Your comments are welcome.


  1. Summary of the 23rd IUGG General Assembly
  2. In Memoriam - Naoshi Fukushima
  3. IAPSO's Eugene C. LaFond Medal for 2003
  4. ICSU Grants Awarded to 4 IUGG Co-sponsored Proposals for 2004
  5. IUGG-related meetings occurring during August - October 2003

1. Summary of the 23rd IUGG General Assembly

The 23rd IUGG General Assembly is now history. It was particularly successful owing to the careful work of the Local Organizing Committee (Dr. S. Uyeda, Chair and Dr. K. Suyehiro, Secretary-General) and the Scientific Programme Committee (Dr. A. Nishida, Chair). 4151 persons from 74 countries attended the Sapporo Assembly. There were 178 accompanying persons who praised the Accompanying Persons Programme as the best they have ever experienced. The amount of money raised for travel assistance from all sources (50 M Japanese yen from the LOC, $70,000 from the IUGG budget, and additional funds provided by the Associations) exceeded $630,000, which is the most ever raised for a General Assembly. 440 individuals claimed travel assistance grants. 182 Symposia were convened, including 12 Union Symposia and 59 inter-Associations Symposia. The four Union Lectures, each followed by a Union Symposium, were well-attended and have set a high standard for excellence for future General Assemblies. A monograph based on all of the Symposia under the Union theme "State of the Planet: Frontiers and Challenges," is in preparation (Dr. R.S.J. Sparks, co-ordinator).

In addition to the usual scientific symposia, the Local Organizing Committee arranged an Outreach Program consisting of 34 special events such as public lectures, panel discussions, and presentations to and by school children. These took place not only at the Assembly venue, but also in Sapporo City and towns spread throughout Hokkaido. Masaru Kono, outgoing President of IUGG, commended the program by saying " In the times when there are so many difficult problems of world-wide scale which are crucial to human society (global warming, natural hazards, water crisis, just to name a few), it is very important that the academic society can talk to the public directly. The Outreach program in Sapporo showed one way of opening up such communication."

An extraordinary memory of the General Assembly was that the Emperor and Empress of Japan accepted the invitation of the LOC to participate in the Welcome Ceremony. Everyone appreciated their warm presence and sincere interest in the work of IUGG. The Comptes Rendus of the General Assembly will include the speeches at the Welcome Ceremony, the minutes of the Council Meetings, and the revised IUGG Statutes and By-Laws. Changes in the Statutes and By-law included provisions whereby the duties and size of the Finance Committee are reduced and Associate members are now permitted to listen to the Council meetings. When it is completed, copies will be sent to all participants and it will be posted on the IUGG Web site.

The outcome of the IUGG elections was announced in a special issue of the E-Journal that was broadcast on July 16, 2003 (Volume 3 No. 7b). This issue is posted on the IUGG web site (

2. In Memoriam - Naoshi Fukushima

Professor Naoshi Fukushima (Japan), Secretary-General of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) from 1975-1983, passed away on 25 June 2003, at the age of 78. He led a productive scientific career that included an elegant formulation of the ground effect of a vertically-flowing magnetic field-aligned current often called Fukushima's theorem. He was awarded the Waldo E. Smith Medal of AGU in 1990, and was the co-convenor of the Union History Symposium at the Sapporo General Assembly.

3. IAPSO's Eugene C. LaFond Medal for 2003

Margarita V. Chikina, P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has been awarded the Eugene C. LaFond Medal for 2003. The International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO) presents this award at each IUGG General Assembly for the best paper on oceanography presented by a scientist from a developing country. The paper, "Influence of Mesoscale Circulations on the Coastal Benthic Communities in the Black Sea," was presented in the Symposium "Marginal and Semi-Enclosed Seas and their Exchange with the Open Ocean" at the IUGG General Assembly in Sapporo, Japan.

4. ICSU Grants Awarded to 4 IUGG Co-sponsored Proposals for 2004

The International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) was awarded $100,000 for their proposal "African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)". IUGG was a co-applicant of this initiative. Part of the grant has been earmarked to support a Workshop on "Capacity Building in the Mathematical Sciences." This Workshop will be held at the newly refurbished AIMS building in Muizenburg, South Africa, 13-16 April 2004. IUTAM hopes that all of the Supporting Applicants and Institutions will be represented at the Workshop.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was awarded $100,000 to pursue a study of Comet/Asteroid Impacts on Human Society. Dr. V. Gusiakov, representing the IUGG GeoRisk and Tsunami Commissions, helped to write the proposal. A workshop will be convened, and a report written that will establish what is known, and what are the major unresolved questions regarding how comet/asteroid impacts may influence society in the near future.

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) was awarded $100,000 for their initiative "Dark Nature - Rapid Natural Change and Human Responses." Dr. Alik T. Ismail-Zadeh, representing the IUGG GeoRisk Commission, participated in writing this initiative. The proposal seeks to examine the human responses to specific rapid natural changes across a range of environments, and to consolidate the knowledge gained for use by scientists, policy-makers, and public at large. This project will particularly benefit the developing world, where it has been shown that natural catastrophes have the most severe impact.

The ICSU Scientific Committee on the Lithosphere (SCL) International Lithosphere Program (ILP) was awarded $43,976 for their proposal to "Scan a Selected Set of World Wide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN) Film Chips." IUGG/IASPEI co-sponsored this initiative, which will convert analogue seismograms for 96 significant earthquakes recorded between 1961 and 1974 so that they can be analyzed by modern techniques.

5. IUGG-related meetings occurring during August - October 2003

A calendar of meetings of interest to IUGG disciplines (especially those organized by IUGG Associations) is posted on the IUGG Web Site []. Specific information about these meetings can be found there. Individual Associations also list more meetings on their web sites appropriate to their disciplines.

  • August 10 -16 ICA, Durban, South Africa, 21st International Cartographic Conference
  • August 18 - 21 China Geophysical Society, Beijing, China, 6th China International Geo-electromagnetic Workshop POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 2003
  • August 20 - 22 IAG, Kunming, China, 4th International Symposium on Mobile Mapping Technology
  • August 24 - 29 IAHS/EUG, Monte Veritá, Ascona, Switzerland, Hydrofractals '03 - International Conference on Fractals in Hydrosciences
  • August 31 - September 6 SEDI, Caramulo, Portugal, Workshop on Mathematical Aspects of Natural Dynamos
  • September 1 - 5 IAHR, Barcelona, Spain, 3rd IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics
  • September 1 - 5 IAUC/IAMAS, Lodz, Poland, 5th International Conference on Urban Climate (ICUC-5)
  • September 6 - 11 SEDI, Acquafredda di Maratea, Italy, EuroConference on Multi-Disciplinary Studies of the Mantle and Core
  • September 10 - 12 IAHS, Davos, Switzerland, 3rd International Conference on Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Prediction and Assessment
  • September 15 - 18 IAGA, Prague,Czech Republic, 3rd IAGA Workshop on Solar Forcing of the Middle Atmosphere
  • September 15 - 19 IAH, Prague, Czech Republic, International Conference on Groundwater in Fractured Rocks
  • September 15 - 19 IGBP/WCRP, Hamburg , Germany, International Conference on Earth System Modelling
  • September 17 - 20 IAVCEI, Milos Island, Greece, South Aegean Active Volcanic Arc: Present Knowledge And Future Perspectives
  • September 29 - October 11 IASPEI, Trieste, Italy, 7th Workshop on Non-linear Dynamics and Earthquake Prediction
  • October 6 - 10 URSI/COSPAR, Grahamstown, South Africa, International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) Workshop
  • October 8 -10 IGBP/GWSP, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA, Global Water System Project (GWSP) Open Science Project
  • October 8 - 12 IASPEI, Novosibirsk, Russia, International Conference on Mathematical Geophysics
  • October 14 - 16 IASPEI, Tanta, Egypt, 3rd International Symposium on Geophysics

End of IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 3 Number 8 (August 1, 2003)
J. A. Joselyn, Secretary General  [ ], fax:  1 303 497 3645.