The IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 13 No. 9 (1 September 2013)

The IUGG Electronic Journal

Volume 13 No. 9 (1 September 2013)

1. Report on the IACS-IAMAS Scientific Assembly
2. Report on the IAVCEI Scientific Assembly
3. Report on the IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI Scientific Assembly
4. News from the International Council for Science (ICSU)
5. Awards and Honors
6. IUGG-related meetings occurring during September – November

1. Report on the IACS-IAMAS Scientific Assembly

IACS and IAMAS held their joint scientific assembly DACA-13 (the Davos Atmosphere and
Cryosphere Assembly 2013, “Air, Ice & Process Interactions”) from 8 to 12 July 2013 in Davos,
Switzerland. The Opening Ceremony combined live music with short presentations and was
moderated by Hans Volkert (IAMAS Secretary General) in an entertaining fashion. The majority of
more than 950 participants from 52 countries on five continents were welcomed by Charles Fierz
and Andrew Mackintosh (IACS President-Elect and Secretary-General), Athena Coustenis (IAMAS
President) and Alik Ismail-Zadeh (IUGG Secretary-General). James Screen (UK) received the first
IAMAS Early Career Scientist Medal (ECSM). Werner Schmutz and Michael Lehning introduced
both scientific institutes of Davos (PMOD/WRC and SLF). Heini Wernli and Anja Schilling
recalled the planning of DACA-13 and introduced organizational details.

Scientifically, the assembly covered numerous fields of atmospheric and cryospheric sciences,
enriched by snow hydrology, oceanography, natural hazards, economy and risks, and the history of
science. These made up an attractive program consisting of 21 mostly joint Symposia featuring
several sessions each. More than 350 posters were on display for the whole week while dedicated
poster sessions facilitated deeper discussions with the presenters in attendance. Four distinguished
scientists delivered well-attended end-of-day keynote lectures, also open to the Davos public:
Thomas Stocker started with the topic “Climate change: Making the best use of scientific
information”; Valérie Masson-Delmotte lectured on “Water stable isotopes and climate in
Greenland, from present-day atmospheric monitoring to glacial-interglacial ice core records”,
Ronald B. Smith presented “Global aspects of orographic precipitation”; and Georg Kaser closed
the scientific part of the assembly talking about “The cryosphere after AR5: more knowledge but
also more uncertainty”. All abstracts can be downloaded from

The assembly was highly ranked by the attendees. The quality of both talks and posters was
generally considered as excellent, and the environment of Davos and its Congress Centre allowed
for easy exchanges between colleagues and experts from different fields. It was a great pleasure to
see many early career scientists attending the conference. Competition for the best student poster
was fierce, and at the end of DACA-13, six “poster distinctions” were awarded to Fabiano Monti,
Franziska Koch, Heather Archambault, Rianne H. Giesen, Saehee Lim, and Narendra Ojha. The
cash prices were sponsored by the Swiss Meteorological Society (SGM) and the Swiss Snow, Ice
and Permafrost Society (SIP).

In addition, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) organized a successful
workshop, which, for the first time, considered the needs of early career cryospheric scientists in the
Alpine area. Further social events included the Festa Cryospherica at the famous Schatzalp Hotel,
and the Conference Dinner with over 500 guests in the plenary hall, entertained by a group of
traditional musicians. Joyce Penner (IAMAS Vice President) and Andrew Mackintosh (IACS
Secretary General) read out together a resolution of thanks to the hosts. All guests warmly
applauded the joint organizing team and the considerable group of student helpers.

Since 2009, the Swiss National Organizing Committee (SNOC) chaired by Heini Wernli had
meticulously planned this event, strongly supported by the two local Davos institutes, the
Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos / World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC with
Local Organizing Committee chair Werner Schmutz) and the WSL Institute for Snow and
Avalanche Research (SLF with Scientific Program Committee chair Michael Lehning). Several
generous sponsors helped in staging this event: the Swiss Academy of Sciences, MeteoSwiss, the
Federal Office for the Environment, the Canton of Grisons as well as WMO (WCRP, WWRP) and
IUGG by awarding travel grants in addition to those provided by IAMAS and IACS.

Several commissions and committees of both Associations held business meetings during DACA-
13. The IAMAS Executive Committee discussed a resolution about aspects of ‘geo-engineering’
and adopted the bid for a triple-association assembly (IAGA-IAMAS-IAPSO) in Cape Town, South
Africa, in 2017. On the weekend after DACA-13, the IACS Bureau interacted with its
correspondents, SG and WG chairs, as well as with its partners and stakeholders in a quite
interesting open session; it then dealt with other Association matters during a closed session. At the
end of two days of intensive discussions, Charles Fierz took office as IACS President, while Ian
Allison continues to serve as Past President.
Received from Charles Fierz (IACS President) and Hans Volkert (IAMAS Secretary General)

2. Report on the IAVCEI Scientific Assembly
The IAVCEI 2013 Scientific Assembly was held from 20 to 24 July 2013 in Kagoshima, Japan. The
assembly recorded the largest number of participants among IAVCEI conferences. It was attended
by 1,069 scientists from 43 countries. The main theme of the conference was “Forecasting Volcanic
Activity: Reading and translating the messages of nature for society”. 1209 (oral: 651 and poster:
558) papers were presented in 37 scientific sessions grouped into four symposia: Symposium 1
(Magmatic processes), Symposium 2 (Monitoring, observation and modeling of volcanic
processes), Symposium 3 (Eruption processes and volcano evolution), and Symposium 4 (Volcanic
hazards, risk and environmental impact). Keynote lectures on “Adensite: their origin and the role in
the Earth evolution” and “Forecasting volcanic activity of Sakurajima” were delivered by
Yoshiyuki Tatsumi and Masato Iguchi (both Japan), respectively. The program and abstracts of the
assembly can be downloaded at:

The Opening Ceremony was held at the Houzan Hall on 20 July and was followed by the Awarding
Ceremony where the IAVCEI medals and new honorary members were presented. Shigeo Aramaki
(Japan) received the Kraft Medal, Barry Voight (USA) the Thorarinsson Medal, Antonio Costa
(Italy) and Fidel Costa (Singapore) the Wager Medal, Heather Wright (USA) the George Walker
Award. New IAVCEI Honorary members are Servando de la Cruz-Reyna (Mexico), Sergei Fedotov
(Russia), Grant Heiken (USA), and Izumi Yokoyama (Japan).

The scientific assembly was accompanied by two pre-conference and four post-conference field
trips to visit various active volcanoes in Japan and China. During the mid-conference field trips to
visit volcanoes in Kagoshima, participants were lucky to see the spectacular vulcanian explosions of
Sakurajima (see photo). Eight workshops and many business meetings of IAVCEI Commissions
and other groups were conducted in association with the conference.

The participants also enjoyed the Ice-Breaker, GALA-party, and the conference dinner, met old
friends / found new friends, and experienced the local culture and foods. The next major IAVCEI
meetings are COV8 (2014, Yogyakarta, Indonesia), XXVI IUGG General Assembly (2015, Prague,
Czech Republic), and IAVCEI Scientific Assembly (2017, Portland, USA). More information can
be found at the IAVCEI website:
Received from Joan Marti, IAVCEI Secretary General, and
Shinji Takarada (IAVCEI 2013 Steering Committee Member)

3. Report on the IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI Scientific Assembly

Three of IUGG’s constituent Associations, IAHS, IAPSO and IASPEI, met for a Joint Scientific
Assembly in Gothenburg, Sweden, from 22 to 26 July 2013. The theme of the Assembly,
“Knowledge for the Future”, was chosen in order to highlight the importance of improved
knowledge in hydrology, oceanography and seismology in addressing the challenges posed by
climate change and the risks of natural extreme events. The Assembly attracted 1087 participants
from 66 countries. The Assembly’s opening day was marked by a joint plenary session with a
lecture from each Association:
- James Mori (Japan), the plenary lecturer for IASPEI described the ambitious JFAST
expedition, which aimed to study the causes of the major earthquake that caused the 2011
tsunami. The expedition set new records, drilling over 800 m into the seafloor at a water
depth of 8000 m.
- Kathryn Kelly (USA), the plenary lecturer for IAPSO, focused on meridional heat transport
in the Atlantic Ocean, a key component of the global climate system. She combined
different data sources to review the heat budget and anomalies in the heat transport,
indicating a southern source for the anomalies.
- Kuniyoshi Takeuchi (Japan), the plenary lecturer for IAHS, emphasized the key role for
geosciences in a proactive approach to disaster risk reduction. He warned that disasters
occur when we ignore nature and the lessons of the past, leading to the take-home message
“there is no such thing as a natural disaster”.

The plenary lectures were followed by a formal Opening Ceremony. The participants of the
assembly were welcomed by David Turner (Chair, Local Organizing Committee), Elisabet Ahlberg
(Dean, University of Gothenburg), Leif Anderson (First Vice-President, Royal Swedish Academy
of Sciences), Alik Ismail-Zadeh (IUGG Secretary General), and Emmali Jansson (Deputy Mayor,
City of Gothenburg). The Opening Ceremony was followed by a reception hosted by the City of

Each Association offered a broad program of lectures and posters, with up to 11 parallel sessions at
any one time. The lecture program was organized into 48 Association symposia, together with nine
joint symposia focusing on areas such as land-ocean interactions, advanced applied statistics, and
tsunamis. This program was complemented by two afternoon poster sessions. Some highlights from
the Association’s programs:
- IASPEI’s Milne lecture on the History of British seismology was delivered by Roger
Musson (UK). The lecture was followed by a documentary movie about the life of John
Milne, the English scientist, who played a leading role in development of seismology as a
scientific discipline. Dr. Robin Adams was awarded the first IASPEI Medal, for sustaining
IASPEI goals and activities and for scientific merits.
- The highlight of the IAPSO program was the presentation of the 2013 Albert I Gold Medal,
commemorating the Prince of Monaco, Vice President of IUGG (1919-1922). The medal
was presented to Albert Gordon (USA), who then delivered the Albert I Memorial Lecture
describing his research on the Indonesian Throughflow, the link between the Pacific and
Indian Oceans.
- Deltas were a significant focus of the IAHS program, including a plenary lecture delivered
by Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (USA), where she described an international initiative to develop
and deliver the knowledge base for understanding and protecting these vulnerable coastal
systems. Several prizes and medals were awarded during the week.

Hubert Savenije (who was the IAHS President-elect for 2011-2013) assumed office of the IAHS
President for the term of 2013-2017. Participants of the IAHS Plenary thanked President Gordon
Young for his leadership during the presidential term of 2009-2013. More information on the
assembly can be found at:
Received from David Turner, Chair of the Local Organising Committee

4. News from the International Council for Science (ICSU)

ICSU supports the independence of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Following recent developments in Russia, including the proposed legislation that would threaten the
independence of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ICSU’s Committee on Freedom and
Responsibility in the Conduct of Science (CFRS) has expressed its support for an independent,
merit-based Russian Academy. Among many other sweeping changes, the proposed legislation
would see the Russian Academy merged with several smaller scientific institutions and abolish any
distinction between fully-fledged academicians and corresponding members. CFRS believes that
the free and responsible conduct of science requires the independence of scientific academies. It is
therefore deeply concerned about the proposed reforms, especially because these proposals appear
to have arisen without proper consultation with the scientific community.

Leiv K. Sydnes, the chair of CFRS, has expressed ICSU’s support for the Academy’s independence
in a letter sent to Vladimir Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The full letter at:
Source: ICSU web-site

5. Awards and Honors

John Labrecque (NASA Science Mission, USA), Vice Chair of the IUGG Union Commission on
Geophysical Risk and Sustainability, was awarded the 2013 Flinn Award of the American
Geophysical Union (AGU).

Jaime Urrutia-Fucugauchi (UNAM, Mexico), IUGG Liaison Officer to the ICSU ROLAC, was
awarded the 2013 AGU International Award.

Günter Blöschl (Vienna University of Technology, Austria), President of the IAHS ICWRS
Commission, was awarded the IAHS-UNESCO-WMO International Hydrology Prize.

Federico Lombardo and Elena Volpi (University Roma Tre, Italy) were awarded the IAHS Tison
award for young scientists.

6. IUGG-related meetings occurring during September – November

- 01-06, IAG, Potsdam, Germany, IAG Scientific Assembly. Web:
- 01-07, IASPEI, St. Petersburg, Russia, 8th International Symposium on Rockbursts and
Seismicity in Mines. Web:
- 02-07, IACS, Zermatt, Switzerland, Summer School on Mass Balance Measurements and
Analysis 2013. Web:
- 09-11, IAG, Nottingham, UK, 2nd Joint International symposium on Deformation
Monitoring (JISDM).
- 16-18, IAG/IAU, Paris, France, Journées 2013 Systèmes de Référence Spatio-Temporels.
- 16-20, IAHS, Perth, Australia, IAH International 40th Congress – Solving the Groundwater
Challenges of the 21st Century. Web:
- 17-20, IAG, St. Petersburg, Russia, Terrestrial Gravimetry: Static and Mobile Measurements
(TGSMM-2013). Web:

- 19-20, ITU/BIPM, Geneva, Switzerland, Workshop on the Future of the International Time

- 20-24, IUGG, Prague, Czech Rep., Bureau, Executive Committee, Finance Committee and
Science Program Committee meetings.
- 23-28, IACS, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, International Symposium “Physics, chemistry
and mechanics of snow”. Web:
- 25-28, IUGG, Göcek, Turkey & Rhodes, Greece, 26th International Tsunami Symposium.
- 30 September - 2 October, IAGA, IUGG, Kaluga, Russia, International Conference
"Geophysical Observatories, Multifunctional GIS and Data Mining”.


- 7-11, IAG, Loja, Ecuador, 11th International School of the Geoid Service: Heights and
Height Datum. Web:
- 14-17, IAG, Columbus, Ohio, USA, Asia-Pacific Space Geodynamics Symposium.

- 17-19, IAHS, EGU, Kos, Greece, Facets of Uncertainty - 5th EGU Leonardo Conference,
Hydrofractals'13, Statistical Hydrology – Stahy'13. Web:
- 21-23, IAG/IAGA/IASPEI, Panama City, Panama, School on Reference Systems, Crustal
Deformation and Ionosphere Modelling. Web:
- 22-25, IAG, Istanbul, Turkey, International Symposium on Global Navigation Satellite
Systems 2013. Web:
- 24-26, IAG, Panama City, Panama, SIRGAS Meeting 2013.


- 11-15, IAG, Fujiyoshida, Japan, 18th International Workshop on Laser Ranging.

- 12-15, IRDR, Sanya, China, Scientific Committee and IRDR-China meetings.
- 16-18, GeoUnions, Antalya, Turkey, Joint Board Meeting of the ICSU GeoUnions.
- 18-20, IUGG/WMO, Geneva, Switzerland, 2nd IUGG-WMO workshop on ash dispersal
forecast and civil aviation.
- 27-29, IAHS, Kathmandu, Nepal, International Conference on Climate Change, Water and
Disaster in Mountainous Areas.


End of IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 13 Number 8 (1 August 2013)
Editor: Alik Ismail-Zadeh, Secretary General (
Associate Editor: Franz Kuglitsch, Executive Secretary (
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