The IUGG Electronic Journal

Volume 5 No. 10 (October 1, 2005)

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. IUGG Executive Committee Meeting Report
  2. Call for Invitations to Host the 2011 IUGG General Assembly
  3. Disaster Management of Rare Events
  4. Meeting of the International Year Programs, Rome, 6-7 September 2005
  5. IAPSO Honors and Awards
  6. IUGG-related meetings occurring during October – December 2005

1. IUGG Executive Committee Meeting Report

From 9-11 September 2005, the IUGG Executive Committee (EC) met in Perugia, Italy, the site of the 2007 IUGG General Assembly. The Local Organizing Committee, chaired by Prof. Lucio Ubertini, excelled in their efforts to host a most successful meeting of the EC and also a follow-on meeting of the 2007 General Assembly Scientific Programme Committee, chaired by Prof. Paola Rizzoli. The EC meeting was preceded by a meeting of the IUGG Bureau. Prof. Michael Hamlin, Chair of the IUGG Finance Committee, attended the Bureau and EC meetings during discussions of financial matters. Quite a number of decisions were made and actions assigned during these 3 separate meetings. A few of the decisions from the EC meeting are reported below. Others will be included in future issues of the E-Journal.

The EC agreed unanimously to support the petition of the Union Commission on Cryospheric Sciences to become an Association. The matter will be proposed to the 2007 IUGG Council in Perugia for a final vote.

The EC reaffirmed their decision made at the 2004 meeting in Boulder to establish a committee to impartially review and evaluate all bids that may be received to host the 2011 General Assembly. That decision was modified to clarify that all proposals received will be presented to the Council for their selection.

The EC reaffirmed their support of the concept of an IUGG project on GeoSciences in Africa, and decided to suspend the call for interdisciplinary initiatives in developing countries (IUGG Budget line 18.1) for the next two years in order to accumulate a fund of $50K to be used to enable initial activity and especially to leverage fund-raising from external sources.

2. Call for Invitations to Host the 2011 IUGG General Assembly

Invitations to host the 2011 General Assembly are now being accepted and must be received by January 2006. The guidelines for proposals are posted on the recently updated IUGG website, or can be received directly from the IUGG Secretariat [ ]. To find the guidelines on the web site [ ], click on the general heading of General Assemblies. The IUGG Council, at their 2007 meeting in Perugia, will make the final selection among the invitations that may be received.

3. Disaster Management of Rare Events

The human and environmental disasters caused by the earthquake/tsunami of December 2004 and the recent coastal flooding caused by Atlantic and Gulf Coast hurricanes have brought into sharp focus the vulnerability of our urban populations, both in developed and developing countries, to extreme natural events. The members of the IUGG Union Commission on Geophysical Risk and Sustainability, chaired by Alik Ismail-Zadeh, and the leaders of our IUGG Associations are engaged in discussions concerning the various issues involved in a natural disaster such as accurate assessments of the risks from various phenomena including volcanoes and landslides (hazard maps), costly but economically feasible engineering solutions, and general public education and preparedness. Of course, these discussions must be held within the context of societal realities. As scientists, we can contribute our understanding of both long and short-term geophysical/geographical risks as political leaders balance how to sustain and protect their citizens not only from earthquakes and floods, but also from the ravages of drought and poverty.

Article contributed by Charles Barton, President of IAGA and Chair of eGY.

4. Meeting of the International Year Programs, Rome, 6-7 September 2005

Leaders of the International Polar Year, the International Year of Planet Earth, the International Heliophysical Year, and the Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY) met at the Villa Celimontana (IGU’s "Home of Geography") to explore areas for collaboration. The four programs view themselves as mutually supportive, and expressed a strong desire for cooperation and continuing dialog. This is set out in a formal agreement – the "Celimontana Declaration". Two particular areas were identified for cooperation: Data and Information Systems, and Education and Public Outreach. The scientific bodies represented at the meeting included the International Geographical Union (IGU), IUGG, the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), IUGG Union Commission on Cryospheric Sciences (UCCS), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the ICSU Panel on World Data Centers, ICSU Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), and the Geological Society of London.

5. IAPSO Honors and Awards

The International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans(IAPSO) is pleased to announce that the 2005 Eugene LaFond Medal for Oceanography in a Developing Country has been awarded to Maria del Carmen Grados of the Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE), Callao, Peru. In an oral and a poster presentation at the Joint IAG/IAPSO/IABO Assembly in Cairns, Australia, she presented an end-to-end program of research and monitoring to address the physical environment, fishery impacts, and fishery management in the oceans off Peru. The presentation covered the observing system, climatological data analysis, interpretation of interannual variability in the oceans and the fishery impacts. An outcome of this work is a clear change in the impact of El Niño on regional fisheries. Both the 1972 and 1997 El Niño events had a large impact, but the improved observation and management system meant that recovery occurred in about two years as opposed to 15 years.

The 2005 Prince Albert I Medal was awarded to Prof. Dr. Friedrich Schott, Kiel University at the 2005 IAG/IAPSO/IABO Joint Assembly in Cairns, Australia. The Medal citation commended Prof. Schott for his unique and brilliant combination of major observational programs and dynamical insight that has unraveled the basic physics and the variability of many key regions of the World's oceans. In particular, his descriptions of the circulation of the Indian Ocean and the subtropical Atlantic, along with their western boundary currents, have provided the foundation for further large-scale international programs on the role of the ocean in climate. Prof. Schott has also been a leader in observing and understanding the key processes of deep convection in the Labrador, Greenland, and Mediterranean Seas. Prof. Schott is known for his discovery, with Hank Stommel, of the "beta spiral," a fundamental feature of ocean currents, has made major contributions to our understanding of higher frequency phenomena such as internal tides.

Prof. Schott has been a tireless contributor and leader in international programs such as the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and the Climate Variability and Predictability Study (CLIVAR), and in spearheading Germany's major contributions to these programs.

6. IUGG-Related Meetings Occurring during October – December 2005

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

October 2 - October 8, 2005
IASPEI; Santiago, Chile; Scientific Assembly

October 3 - October 5, 2005
IAG/FIG/ISPRS; Vienna, Austria; 7th Conference on Optical 3-D Measurement Techniques

October 3 - October 15, 2005
IASPEI/ICTP; Miramare-Trieste, Italy; 8th Workshop on Non-linear Dynamics and Earthquake Prediction

October 9 - October 12, 2005
IUGG/BGS; Bucharest, Romania; 4th Congress of the Balkan Geophysical Society

October 9 - October 13, 2005
IHDP; Bonn, Germany; 6th Open Meeting of the Global Environmental Change Research Community

October 15 - October 21, 2005
IAVCEI; Tenerife, Spain; Workshop on Caldera Volcanism: Analysis, Modeling and Response

October 17 - October 22, 2005
ICSU; Shanghai, China; 27th General Assembly

October 23 - October 28, 2005
IAHS; Shanghai, China; 7th International Symposium on Land Subsidence

October 23 - October 28, 2005
IAG/BGI/ICET; Lanzarote, Canaries Archipelago; Summer School on Micro-gravimetric methods: static and dynamic aspects

October 23 - October 29, 2005
URSI; New Delhi, India; URSI General Assembly

October 23 - October 29, 2005
URSI; New Delhi, India; URSI General Assembly

October 30 - November 1, 2005
IAHS; Nanjing, China; International Symposium on Methodology in Hydrology

October 31 - November 3, 2005
ASOVIG & LUZ; Maracaibo, Venezuela; 2nd International Congress in Geodesy and Cartography; 1st Iberoamerican Symposium on Recent Earth Crust Movements

November 1 - November 3, 2005
IASPEI; Lisbon, Portugal; International Conference on the 250th Anniversary of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake

November 3 - November 4, 2005
EMSEV; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; EMSEV 2005 Workshop

November 10 - November 12, 2005
UNESCO/ICSU; Budapest, Hungary; World Science Forum

November 10 - November 14, 2005
IAGA; Chengdu, China; Seventh China International Geo-Electromagnetic Workshop

November 16 - November 20, 2005
IAVCEI; Tagaytay City, Philippines; Chapman Conference on the Effects of Basement, Structure, and Statigraphic Heritages on Volcano Behavior

November 20 - November 25, 2005
UN/ESA; Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates; Workshop on Basic Space Science with special emphasis on the IHY

November 22 - November 24, 2005
IAHS; Montpellier, France; International Seminar in the UNESCO-IHP-FRIEND program: Climatic and Anthropogenic Impacts on the Variability of Water Resources

November 25 - November 27, 2005
IASPEI; Tanta, Egypt; 4th International Symposium on Geophysics

December 5 - December 9, 2005
AGU; San Francisco, California, USA; Fall Meeting

December 7 - December 9, 2005
Indian Geophysical Union; Bhopal, India; 42nd Convention on Earth System Processes related to Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions

End of IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 5 Number 10 (October 1, 2005)
J. A. Joselyn, Secretary General  [ ], fax:  1 303 497 3645.