The IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 9 No. 8 (1 August 2009)

The IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 9 No. 8 (1 August 2009)
This 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 web page updates
2.      IUGG officers met the ICSU Executive Director
3.      News from the International Council for Science (ICSU)
4.      News from the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE)
5.      Report on the International Conference “Electronic Geophysical Year: State of the Art and Results”
6.      Honors and Awards
7.      IAG Scientific Assembly
8.      IUGG-related meetings occurring during August - October 2009
1. IUGG web page updates
The IUGG web page has been updated and redesigned to include more information and links. Please visit The IUGG Secretariat thanks Dmitry Krupsky, IUGG web-master, for the new design and timely updates of the IUGG web page, which is an important part of the Union’s outreach and communication activity.
2. IUGG officers met the ICSU Executive Director
IUGG President Tom Beer (on his trip to MOCA-2009) and IUGG Secretary General Alik Ismail-Zadeh met the Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU) Deliang Chen in the ICSU Headquarters in Paris on 17 July 2009. IUGG expressed its satisfaction that the new management of the ICSU Secretariat intends to become more transparent and streamlined. The IUGG President also expressed the desire of the Union to be more involved in ICSU programs, especially those related to Earth systems. Other topics of discussion included the role of Scientific Unions in ICSU programmes and committees, ICSU and IUGG Grant Programmes, ICSU Regional Offices, and the involvement of young scientists in ICSU activities.
PHOTO (see attached PDF file)
Meeting in the ICSU Headquarters in Paris:
Tom Beer (left), Deliang Chen, and Alik Ismail-Zadeh (right)
3. News from the International Council for Science (ICSU)
Earth System Research Priorities and Visioning Process
What are the next-generation science questions in Earth system research? In the context of mounting concern and greater public and private willingness to take action against global environmental change, what should Earth system research focus on over the next decade? The Earth System Visioning process is designed to find answers by first collecting the broad spectrum of different views across disciplines and parts of the world and then focusing these down through a peer review process into a set of major international research priorities. The first step is to identify the breadth of perspectives on the critical themes in Earth system research.
The International Council for Science (ICSU) is spearheading a consultation process in cooperation with the International Social Science Council (ISSC) to engage the scientific community to explore options and propose implementation steps for a holistic strategy on Earth system research. This research strategy will both encourage scientific innovation and address policy needs. ICSU and ISSC represent the international non-governmental natural and social science community. The outcomes of the consultation process should have a major influence on Earth system research for the next decade and beyond. It will thus have significant implications for all stakeholders with an interest in conducting, supporting, or using science in this field. For this reason, the process is designed to engage all groups in multiple ways. The web consultation (from 15 July to 15 August 2009) at is the first such engagement.
The consultation process is founded on the philosophy that form should follow function. It first focuses on the urgent scientific questions, and then considers the institutional context, including the connections to relevant bodies (e.g., stakeholders, research initiatives, conventions, and assessment processes) in order to shape an approach that will best engage the Earth system research community on the identified needs. The final step will examine how to make the transition from the current approach to the needed approach. Throughout the three steps, broad consultation is emphasized, as is the participation of all stakeholders including the co-sponsors of global environmental change programmes, other organizations that contribute to Earth system research, scientists from all nations, and early career scientists who will increasingly lead us into the future of Earth system research.
The reviews on the World Climate Research Programme
and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
are available.
ICSU Scientific Unions meeting to be held in Paris (France) in 2010
The next meeting of representatives of the ICSU Scientific Unions will be held in Paris, 7-8 April 2010. The agenda will be organised by the Union-affiliated members of the ICSU Executive Board (EB) including Uri Shamir (an EB member representing the ICSU GeoUnions cluster) in consultation with Union Members and with support from the ICSU Secretariat.
4. News from the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE)
Science Programme
Work on a set of state-of-the-art scientific books, to be published by Springer Verlag as an IYPE legacy, is in progress. The first two issues, on Deep Earth and on Natural Hazards, will be available by end of this year. Publication commitments from nine out of ten theme editors have been received. Negotiations are still in hand with respect to a volume on Soils.
Outreach Programme
The Outreach Programme Committee has a new Chair, Phillip Manning (University of Manchester, UK) who has been active in publicising Earth phenomena to the general public, in particular on TV. Phil Manning succeeds Ted Nield, one of the Founding Fathers of the IYPE, who has served the IYPE from the start. The second edition of Planet Earth, the official book of the IYPE, was published and displayed at several major meetings around the globe. A third edition is being compiled and is due for publication in December of this year. PlanetEarthRadio, an initiative by the USA National Committee for IYPE, completed the series of 10 radio programmes by adding the Earth & Health and Soils themes. The total number of impressions created through this network has been 120 million and the number of headline impressions from the homepage was 2,379,116. Plans for IYPE video displays on big screens in major cities (PlanetEarthTV, or PETV) had to be modified due to an unreliable media partner. A first video was displayed at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna in April 2009. The first real PETV performance is now scheduled for Hungary (IAGA Scientific Assembly) in August. PETV is meant to transmit the IYPE message to the public at large in short video messages including contributions by National Committees and some advertisements making this eventually a profitable operation for the IYPE.
More information on the IYPE activity can be found at
Received from the IYPE Secretariat
5. Report on the International Conference “Electronic Geophysical Year: State of the Art and Results”
The international conference “Electronic Geophysical Year: State of the Art and Results” was held from 3 to 6 June 2009 in Pereslavl-Zalessky, Russia. The conference was organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Committee for IUGG and was co-sponsored by IUGG, the Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and ICSU-CODATA. Reports on the results achieved during the eGY, the International Polar Year (IPY), the International Heliophysical Year (IHY), the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), and the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) were presented at the conference. Other conference topics were GIS and artificial intelligence methods in geoscience; problems of geoinformatics in seismology and geoecology, GRID systems, the transition of World Data Centers and FAGS into the World Data System as well as geomagnetic observations, virtual observatories, global changes, climate and weather of the solar-terrestrial system. The scientific program of the Conference attracted a great deal of interest from the scientific community. About 150 attendees from Russia, Austria, Germany, USA, Iran, Slovakia, Ukraine and France held over 120 presentations at six scientific sessions.
Special attention was paid to the development and program realization of an integrated intellectual geoinformation environment for Earth sciences data; the integration of existing resources and the creation of new geoinformation resources on geosciences comprising an integrated GIS; the application of modern technologies of artificial intelligence to the analysis of vast quantities of time series of observations; and the development of databases and scientific knowledge. At the final session on 6 June 2009, the conference participants endorsed the “Tsukuba Declaration”, adopted at the “IGY+50” meeting in Tsukuba (Japan) on 13 November 2008 and aimed at enhancing cooperation between scientists of the world, national academies of science, governments and inter-governmental organizations fostering an exchange of scientific data expanding the sphere of knowledge related to geosciences.
More information on the Conference can be found at
Received from Alexei Gvishiani, President of the Russian National Committee for IUGG
6. Honors and Awards
Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe (Princeton University, USA) was awarded the 2009 AGU William Bowie Medal for outstanding original research contributions across a uniquely broad range of topics spanning hydrology, meteorology and ecology and for his relentless, unselfish and remarkably influential promotion of cooperation in the geophysical sciences. The medal is the highest honour of AGU established in 1939 in honour of William Bowie (IUGG President, 1933-1936) for his “spirit of helpfulness and friendliness in unselfish cooperative research.” Rodriguez-Iturbe has served IUGG in several capacities: First Vice President of IAHS, Vice President of the IAHS International Commission on Water Resources Systems, Chairman of the IAHS Working Group on Scale Problems in Hydrology, and Associate Editor of the IAHS Journal of Hydrological Sciences.
Barbara ROMANOWICZ (University of California at Berkeley, USA) was awarded the 2009 AGU Inge Lehmann Medal for her work covering the full span of seismological studies from the crust to the inner core but her transformational contributions come from her investigations of attenuation in the Earth in particular, its lateral variations. Romanowicz is a member of the Advisory Committee of the IUGG Union Commission on the Study of the Earth’s Deep Interior (SEDI).
7. IAG Scientific Assembly
The International Association of Geodesy (IAG) invites geodesists and geophysicists to Buenos Aires (Argentina) from 31 August and 4 September 2009 to attend the Scientific Assembly “Geodesy for Planet Earth” ( Eight multi-session scientific symposia will be held on various topics of geodesy including reference frame, gravity, geodynamics, and positioning. Geodetic studies in Latin America will be presented at a special symposium. Results of the IAG Programme GGOS and reports from IAG services will be also discussed at the assembly. All sessions, workshops, lectures, and poster sessions of the Scientific Assembly will be carried out in the conference center of the Intercontinental Hotel. The assembly offers pre and post meeting programs. Do not miss this important international geodetic event!
8. IUGG-related meetings occurring during August – October 2009
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 according to their disciplines.
-         August 2-15, IAU, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, XXVII General Assembly.
-         August 11-15, AOGS, Singapore, Annual General Meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society.
-         August 17-28, IASPEI, IAVCEI, ICTP, Trieste, Italy, Advanced Workshop on Evaluating, Monitoring and Communicating Volcanic and Seismic Hazards in East Africa.
-         August 19-23, IUGG, IASPEI, SEDI, Suzdal, Russia, International Workshop “Geodynamical Phenomena”.
-         August 23-30, IAGA, Sopron, Hungary, 11th Scientific Assembly; Web: .
-         August 24-28, SEG/EAGE/ULG, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, 11th International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society
-     August 24-28, WCRP/IGBP/ICSU, Melbourne, Australia, Joint Conference of the Sixth International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle and the Second Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (iLEAPS) Science Conference
-         August 25-27, IAG, Katuaq, Nuuk, Greenland, International Workshop “Changes of the Greenland Cryosphere”
-         August 31 - September 4, IAG, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Scientific Assembly.
-         August 31 - September 4, WMO, Geneva, Switzerland, World Climate Conference.
-         September 1-5, IAHS, Ohrid, Macedonia, WMHE2009, 11th International Symposium on Water Management and Hydraulic Engineering.
-         September 6-12, IAHS, Hyderabad, India, 8th IAHS Scientific Assembly & 37th IAH Congress. Web:
-         September 7-11, IAG, Laq Plata, Argentina, 9th International School on the Determination and Use of the Geoid.
-         September 13-18, SAGA/SEG/EAGE, Swaziland, South Africa, 2009 South African Geophysical Association (SAGA) Biennial Technical Meeting and Exhibition.
-         September 14-19, IAG, Metsovo, Greece, SLR Tracking of GNSS Constellations - 50 Years of Satellite Geodesy and Geodynamics.
-         September 21-24, IAHS, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2nd Intl Conf BIOHYDROLOGY 2009: A changing climate for biology and soil hydrology interactions
-         September 21-25, IAG, Venice, Italy, OceanObs’09 – Ocean information for society: sustaining the benefits, realizing the potential.
-         September 23-26, IAHS, Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, Sustainability of the Karst Environment - Dinaric Karst and other Karst Regions
-         September 27 - October 4, IAVCEI, Morelia, Michoacán, México, Monogenetic volcanism in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and elsewhere.
-         September 28 – October 10, IASPEI, IUGG GeoRisk Commission, ICTP, Trieste, Italy, Advanced School on Non-linear Dynamics and Earthquake Prediction.
-         October 8-13, IUGG events in Melbourne, Australia (Bureau, EC, and Science Program Committee business meetings and a Scientific Day in CSIRO to celebrate 90th anniversary of IUGG)
-         October 14-16, IAG, Padua, Italy, 2nd International Colloquium “Scientific and Fundamental Aspects of the Galileo Programme” (COSPAR Colloquium).
-         October 19-21, IAG, Warsaw, Poland, IERS Workshop on EOP Combination and Prediction.
-         October 21-25, IAHS, Wuhan, China, ModelCARE 2009
End of IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 9 Number 8 (1 August 2009)
A.T. Ismail-Zadeh, Secretary General []
E-mail:    Fax: +49 721 71173.
Note: Contributions to IUGG E-Journal are welcome from members of the IUGG family. Please send your contributions to Alik Ismail-Zadeh by e-mail (insert in Subject line: contribution to E-Journal). The contributions will be reviewed and may be shortened by the Editor.
Ms. Simone Oswald
IUGG Assistant Secretary General
IUGG Secretariat:
Geophysical Institute
University of Karlsruhe
Hertzstr. 16
76187 Karlsruhe, GERMANY
Phone: +49-721-6084494
Fax: +49-721-71173