The IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 9 No. 5 (1 May 2009)

The IUGG Electronic Journal
Volume 9 No. 5 (1 May 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.
Cooperation between IUGG and the ICSU Regional Office for Africa
Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY) –Africa and the Digital Divide
IUGS Executive Committee Meeting
ICSU GeoUnions Past and Potential Collaboration with IGBP
Honors and Awards
In Memoriam
IUGG-related meetings occurring during May - July 2009

1. Cooperation between IUGG and the ICSU Regional Office for Africa
The IUGG Commission on Geophysical Risk and Sustainability (GRC) together with IASPEI, IAMAS and IAHS collaborate with the ICSU Regional Office for Africa (ROA) on two IUGG natural hazards projects: “Dust events and impacts in Africa” and “Enhancement of geohazards research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa”. To discuss the progress in the development of the projects, Kuni Takeuchi (Chair, GRC) and Gerd Tetzlaff (Secretary General, GRC) met Sospeter Muhongo (Director, ICSU ROA) and Abdourahamane Konare (co-leader of the project on dust events) in Leipzig (Germany) on 3 March at the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the University of Leipzig. A. Konare reported progress in coordinating contributions of African researchers to the topics of droughts and floods. Three river basins are of special interest to Africa: Nile, Volta, and Zambezi. K. Takeuchi pointed out that it is important to take up the ICSU Integrated Research on Disaster Reduction (IRDR) program clarifying the relation of the projects with respect to the IRDR objectives. The importance of capacity building, case studies, and cooperation with the partners outside of Africa had been emphasized. Three objectives of the projects are considered to be most important: (i) the assessment of climate change impact on disaster risk based on climate model outputs and hydrological model simulations; (ii) the statistical analysis of historical, meteorological, and hydrological extreme events; and (iii) case studies of large historical disaster events (including success, failure, and lessons learned). The team co-leaders of both projects agreed to meet in June 2009 in Pretoria and to hold a workshop on the topics of the projects.
Received from G. Tetzlaff (Secretary General, IUGG GRC)

2. Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY) –Africa and the Digital Divide
eGY-Africa ( is an initiative by African scientists and supporters to secure better Internet connectivity for scientists and educators in African Universities and similar institutions. The initiative was started by the IUGG Geoscience in Africa Program during the Electronic Geophysical Year, 2007-2008 ( It is a response to concerns about the growing isolation of African scientists as the conduct of science and education world-wide becomes Internet-dependent. eGY-Africa is being developed in partnership with ICSU’s Regional Office for Africa (ROA) and other bodies with related objectives. Unlike many projects in Africa that are directed at achieving a specific scientific outcome, eGY-Africa is truly a capacity-building exercise. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Secretary, Alem Mebrahtu (Ethiopia): or the
Co-chairs: Victor Chukwuma (Nigeria): and
Charles Barton (Australia):

Received from C. Barton (Co-Chair, eGY-Africa) and S. Muhongo (Director, ICSU ROA)

3. IUGS Executive Committee Meeting
The Executive Committee of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) met in Sydney, Australia, in January. In the tradition of collaboration among the ICSU GeoUnions, IUGG President Tom Beer was invited to attend the meeting during which matters of common interest to the two Unions were discussed. Among them were the discussion on the 2012 International Geological Congress to be held in Brisbane and the 2011 IUGG General Assembly in Melbourne, on the ICSU GeoUnions Consortium, and the International Lithosphere Program (IUGG-IUGS Commission on Lithosphere).

4. ICSU GeoUnions Past and Potential Collaboration with IGBP
The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) is an international scientific research program that studies the interactions between biological, chemical, and physical processes and how they impact with (and are impacted by) human systems ( The Programme is built on interdisciplinarity, international networking, and scientific integration. It addresses questions where an integrated, international approach is necessary. IGBP adds value to a large number of individual, national, and regional research projects through the integration of activities in order to achieve enhanced scientific understanding of the Earth System.
Recently, several ICSU GeoUnions have informally evaluated the past collaboration with IGBP and have drawn their vision on potential future collaboration.
For a considerable period, IUGG has been concerned about the lack of formal interaction between IGBP, which is a direct program of ICSU, and the ICSU Union members. Since the inception of IGBP we dutifully designated a liaison officer to IGBP, and in the early days all of the liaison officers were listed on the IGBP web site. During the past decade, IGBP’s interest has concentrated on National IGBP committees, and in 2007, IUGG abolished the IGBP liaison position because there was no designated role for this position.

IUGG would like to improve the communication and collaboration with IGBP especially because CACGP (one of the Commissions of IAMAS, which is an IUGG Association) and IGBP have been co-sponsors of the IGAC (International Global Atmospheric Chemistry) project since 1990. In addition, CACGP (Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution) is a co-sponsor of the SOLAS (Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study) project, which has four sponsors – IGBP, SCOR, CACGP, and WCRP. IUGG believes that one way to help would be for IGBP to sponsor more sessions that are relevant to IUGG issues at IUGG and appropriate Association Assemblies.

5. Honors and Awards
The 2009 EGU August Love Medal is awarded to Ulrich Christensen (IUGG-SEDI Advisory Committee Member) for his fundamental contributions to geodynamics through studies of sub-solidus and the mantles of other terrestrial planets and rotating convection and magneto-convection aimed at probing the planetary interiors throughout the solar system.
The 2009 EGU Petrus Perigrinus Medal is awarded to Eigil Friis-Christensen (IAGA President) for his fundamental contributions to our knowledge of the Earth's magnetic field from space and his innovative leadership in geomagnetism.
The 2009 EGU Arthur Holmes Medal is awarded to David Gubbins (IUGG-SEDI Advisory Committee Member) for his fundamental research on the origin of geomagnetic reversals and the thermo-mechanical behaviour of the Earth’s core.
The EGU honored former AGU Executive Director Fred Spilhaus (former Chair of IUGG Finance Committee) with a special certificate of appreciation for his exceptional support of European geoscientific societies and his fundamental contributions to the mutual cooperation between AGU and EGU and its predecessors for the benefit of science and humanity.
The 2009 EGU Hans Oeschger Medal is awarded to Thomas Stocker (IAPSO National Correspondent, Switzerland) for his important contributions to the understanding of the role of the oceans in past climate changes and for his involvement in ice core studies.
The 2009 EGU Sergey Soloviev Medal is awarded to Jochen Zschau (IASPEI - European Seismological Commission President) for his commitment and enthusiasm to bridge the gap between fundamental research related to the physics of natural hazards and the implementation of risk reduction technologies for the benefit of society.
The awards were presented at the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna (Austria), 19-24 April. Congratulations to all awardees!

6. In Memoriam
On 3 April 2009 Lubomir W. Baran passed away. Professor Baran was an accredited delegate of Poland to the IUGG Council. He contributed substantially to the modern geosciences and brought up a few generations of top scientists in that field. As a long-standing active member of IUGG and IAG, he strongly supported international and interdisciplinary cooperation in research. We will always remember him as an outstanding scientist, honourable man, and a true friend. He will be missed very much by many of his friends and collaborators.

Received from J. Krynski, Secretary of the Polish National Committee for IUGG

7. IUGG-related meetings occurring during May – July 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.
-         May 4-8, ISPRS, Stressa, Lago Maggiore, 33rd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRSE-33).
-         May 10-16, IUGG, Belgrade, Serbia, 5th Congress of the Balkan Geophysical Society.
-         May 12-13, IGBP, Risø, Denmark, Changes in Marine and Terrestrial Productivity under Climate Change - Impact and Feedback: DTU Climate Change Technologies.
-         May 16-21, JGU, Chiba City, Japan, Japan Geoscience Union Meeting.
-         May 24-27, AGU, Toronto, Canada, Joint Spring Meeting.
-         May 31 - June 4, CMOS, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 43rd Annual Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) Congress.
-         June 2-5, ISPRS, Hannover, Germany, Workshop on High-Resolution Earth Imaging for Geospatial Information.
-         June 3-6, IUGG, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Russia, International Conference Electronic Geophysical Year in Russia, State of the Art and First Results.
-         June 6-11, IACS, Obergurgl, Austria, Mechanisms of Quaternary Climate Change: Stability of Warm Phases in the Past and in the Future – ESF conference.
-         June 8–10, IACS, Tromsø, Norway, High Mountain Glaciers and Challenges Caused by Climate Change.
-         June 9-12, SCOPE, London, UK, 13th General Assembly.
-         June 10-12, CTBTO & IASPEI, Vienna, Austria, International Scientific Studies Conference.
-         June 21-24, CCEP, Toronto, Canada, 19th World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM).
-         June 22-26, Geochemical Society, European Association of Geochemistry, Davos, Switzerland, Goldschmidt 2009: Challenges to our Volatile Planet.
-         July 1-3, IAG/ISPRS, Vienna, Austria, 9th Conference on Optical 3-D Measurement Techniques.
-         July 6-10, IAG, Rome, Italy, 7th Hotine-Marussi SymposiumWeb.
-         July 8-11, IGBP, Corvallis, USA PAGES 3rd Open Science Meeting (Past Global Change).
-         July 19-29, IAMAS/IAPSO/IACS, Montreal, Canada, iaMas-iapsO-iaCs-Assembly-2009 (MOCA-09). Web: .