The authority of IAPSO is vested in member countries and exercised collectively by their delegates while meeting during the General Assembly. The President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary General, Treasurer and Executive Board members are elected.
The Bureau of IAPSO consists of the President, (inmediate) Past President, the Secretary General and the Treasurer. Their duties are to conduct the affairs of IAPSO in accordance with the decisions of the foregoing meetings of the delegates, to prepare the Agenda for meetings of delegates, and to prepare the scientific program for Assemblies with the advice of the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is formed by the President, Past President, Vice Presidents, Secretary General, Treasurer, and Members at Large. They may establish and abolish IAPSO Commissions, Working Groups or Services to address particular scientific areas of oceanography, and may also approve and withdraw the participation of IAPSO in joint Commissions, Working Groups and Services with other Associations or Scientific Bodies.
Members and National Correspondents
Members of IAPSO are the Adhering Organizations of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). National Committees of IUGG, or equivalent organizations representing the adhering organizations, may appoint National Correspondents who normally serve as delegates to the IAPSO business meetings held in conjunction with IAPSO Assemblies. Alternate delegates may be appointed in the event that the listed correspondents are unable to attend.
Countries in which “independent activity in geodesy and geophysics has been developed” may establish an Adhering Organization/Body and seek membership in IUGG.
To promote the study of the oceans and the interactions that take place at its boundaries with the sea floor, coastal environment and atmosphere, through the use of physics, chemistry, mathematics and biogeochemisty.
IAPSO gives importance to involving scientists and students from developing countries in oceanographic activities.