No. 01 - 2007-10- : Executive Transition, SCOR and Montreal Assembly

No. 01 - 2007-10- : Executive Transition, SCOR and Montreal Assembly
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OPEN LETTER No. 1 October 2007
FROM:  Lawrence MYSAK, President of IAPSO


Executive Transition, SCOR and Montreal Assembly


Dear IAPSO colleague:

   As the new president of IAPSO, I am writing to inform you, as a National Correspondent (NC), of recent IAPSO activities and developments.  At the same time, the EC of IAPSO would like to (a) open the lines of communication with you, and (b) *hear of your ideas on how we can make IAPSO a more dynamic and relevant international organization for physical and chemical oceanography*.  I would like you to share this open letter with oceanic colleagues in your own country, in order to solicit their feedback and comments.



   There are two attachments to this letter which I encourage you to read: Download documents >


1.  2006-07 IAPSO Activities -- Report to SCOR (August 2007)

      This is a report I prepared in July 2007 for presentation at the SCOR (Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research) annual meeting in Bergen, Norway, 26-28 August 2007.


2.  Highlights of annual SCOR meeting in Bergen, Norway, 26-28 August 2007

      This is a report prepared by Johan Rodhe (the new Secretary General of IAPSO) and myself in September 2007 which was sent to the IAPSO EC to inform this committee about the discussions at the Bergen meeting.


   In this letter I will be referring to these two attachments and also providing updates to the information contained in them.



   At the last General Business Meeting (GBM) of IAPSO in Perugia, at the 24th General Assembly of IUGG, July 2007, a number of IAPSO EC members completed their terms and a new EC was elected.  I would especially like to acknowledge with thanks, the many contributions of the outgoing EC members:  Paola Rizzoli (Past President), Shiro Imawaki (President), Seth Krishnaswami (Krish) (Vice President), Fred Camfield (Secretary General), Cintia Piccolo (Deputy Secretary General), and Kentang Le and Claude Roy (EC members).

   Paola Rizzoli has provided inspiring and dynamic leadership for us all, and she has done a tremendous job of revitalizing IAPSO. Especially significant are her contributions to the *IAPSO Strategy Document* (to be discussed in my Open Letter No. 2, November 2007). Thank you Paola!

   Shiro Imawaki has done a most admirable job of implementing several of the IAPSO initiatives started around the time of his election to the presidency in 2003.  He has also ensured that the GBMs of IAPSO (in 2005 and 2007) were run efficiently and effectively.  We are indebted to Shiro for his many contributions at the various meetings in Perugia this past summer (see attachment 1).  In the past two months, he has provided me with invaluable advice and suggestions in my role as president.

   Thirdly, it is a great pleasure to thank Fred Camfield for his 12 years of dedicated service as Secretary General (SG) of IAPSO.  Fortunately, we shall be able to continue drawing on his experiences with IAPSO in his new position as IAPSO Treasurer.

   Special thanks also go to Cintia Piccolo who served as the deputy for Fred in Perugia.  She provided most helpful secretarial and financial assistance at our many meetings in Perugia.

   To Krish, Kentang and Claude, thank you for your comments and advice over the past four years.


EC MEMBERS FOR 2007-2011:

   Thanks to the efficient work of the nominations committee chaired by Paola Rizzoli, a truly international slate of members were proposed and subsequently elected to the IAPSO EC at the GBM in Perugia.  They are as follows:


President:   Lawrence Mysak, Canada

Secretary General (SG):   Johan Rodhe, Sweden

Past President:   Shiro Imawaki, Japan

Vice President:   Denise Smythe-Wright, UK

Vice President:   Eugene Morozov, Russia

Treasurer:   Fred Camfield, USA

EC Members:

   Isabelle Ansorge, South Africa

   Silvia Blanc, Argentina

   W. John Gould, UK

   John Middleton, Australia

   Temel Oguz, Turkey

   Stefania Sparnocchia, Italy


   This slate spans 11 countries and all the continents, and it includes four female members.  It should also be noted that as a consequence of a Statute change passed at the GBM in Perugia, the former position of Deputy Secretary General has been abolished and replaced with the position of Treasurer.


2006-07 IAPSO ACTIVITIES -- Attachment 1

   As mentioned in this attachment, a highlight of the Perugia meeting was the presentation of the *2007 Price Albert I Medal* to Prof. Russ Davis from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, LaJolla, CA, for "excellence in physical and/or chemical oceanography".  He is the fourth recipient of this medal, the previous medallists being Drs. Munk (2001), Wyrtki (2003) and Schott (2005).


   IAPSO also awards a second medal, the *Eugene Lafond Medal*, to a developing world scientist who presents a notable paper at an IAPSO symposium.  Following a review of the nominations for this award after the Perugia meeting, the EC decided to present this medal to Dr. Catia Motta Domingues from Brazil, for her talk entitled  "Towards more accurate estimates of the thermosteric sea level rise" in the IAG/IAPSO symposium "Global sea-level change: Altimetry, GNSS and tide guage measurements".  At the next assembly of IAPSO (in Montreal in July 2009 -- see below), we plan to solicit nominations ahead of time for this medal and follow a new set of guidelines for choosing the medal recipient.  These guidelines can be obtained from the new SG, Johan Rodhe:">


   It was also noted in this attachment that there were relatively few IAPSO delegates in Perugia -- about 300.  Also, there were only 14 NCs present at the GBM.  These low turnouts can in part be attributed to the difficulty and expense in getting to Perugia; the new EC hopes that many more delegates and NCs in particular, will attend the 2009 IAPSO assembly in Montreal.


26-28 AUGUST 2007 -- Attachment 2

   This was a very exciting meeting which reviewed the progress of current SCOR working groups (WGs), evaluated proposed new WGs, and discussed a number of international scientific programs that are SCOR-related.  Details can be found in this attachment.  As you know, SCOR is a very important partner of IAPSO, and as such the two organizations have, over the past few years, jointly sponsored a number of working groups, namely, WG 121: Ocean mixing (now disbanded); WG 127: Thermodynamics and equation of state of seawater; and WG 129: Deep ocean exchanges with the shelf (DOES).

   As part of their work, WG 127 has recently (September 2007) submitted a revised paper to Deep-Sea Research entitled:  "The composition of standard seawater and the definition of the reference-composition salinity scale" by Millero, Feistel, Wright and McDougall (chair of the WG).  WG 129 (chaired by John Johnson and Piers Chapman) met for the first time in Perugia, and is planning for a second meeting in Capetown, South Africa, in October 2008.  In an attempt to interact more with developing nation countries, one day of the workshop will be reserved for discussions with scientists from developing countries in Africa and elsewhere.



   Tne next assembly of IAPSO will be held jointly with IAMAS and IACS (a new association of IUGG - see next paragraph) in 2009, the midway point between IUGG General Assemblies.  The last time we met with IAMAS, an important IUGG partner of IAPSO, was in Melbourne in 1997.  In view of the great interest in climate change today and the role of the oceans in climate, it is most appropriate that we again meet with IAMAS in 2009.


   In Perugia, IACS, the International Association for Cryospheric Sciences, officially joined IUGG as the 8th association.  Formerly, the cryospheric sciences were represented in IUGG by UCCS, the Union Commission for Cryospheric Sciences.  Again, because of the much current publicity on the changing (shrinking!) cryosphere, we are delighted that IACS will also join us at the Montreal assembly.  At present, all three associations plan to hold symposia separately and jointly during the first week (20-24 July) of the assembly;  IAMAS will continue on into the second week (July 27-29) with their own symposia.


   The venue for the assembly will be the Palais des Congres, a large conference site in the centre of Montreal, midway between the old historic port and the shopping areas.  Many hotels and restaurants are nearby for the convenience of the delegates.  Later this fall, we will notify you when the conference website is up and running.


   In Perugia, we started to plan the IAPSO symposia and identify appropriate conveners for the Montreal assembly.  *However, we would like to hear from you about your ideas for symposia, and offers of your willingness to be conveners.*  There will also be several joint symposia with IAMAS and IACS which will be related to climate and earth system science.  IABO, the International Association for Biological Oceanography, will participate in three of the proposed IAPSO symposia. *Please send our new SG, Johan Rodhe, your ideas or expressions of interest*.  By January 2008, we would like to have most of the symposia and conveners in place.



   Presently, the IAPSO website is based in the USA and has been under the charge of Fred Camfield, the former SG of IAPSO, and now our Treasurer.  In the next few weeks, the website will be moving to Sweden, and the new SG, Johan Rodhe, will be the website administrator.  Johan will inform you when the website is up and running in Sweden.



   One of the ongoing challenges of IAPSO is to explain to others, even some physical and chemical oceanographers, the nature and raison d'etre of IAPSO.  This lack of knowledge about IAPSO was also identified as a point of action in the IAPSO Strategy Document (to be discussed in Open Letter No. 2, November 2007). Thus, as a first step to improve this situation, this fall Johan and I will be preparing a pamplet or leaflet for wide-spread distribution.  IAG, the International Association for Geodesy of IUGG, had a nice leaflet on display at Perugia, and we plan to use this as a model for an IAPSO leaflet. * If you have any strong opinions on what this leaflet might contain, please let us know.



   I appreciate that my first open letter is rather long.  However, the EC of IAPSO sincerely would like to improve the communication with the NCs, and to *hear your views on how we can improve the operation and visibility of IAPSO.  Please share this open letter and the attachments with your colleagues.  *I look forward to hearing from you.* *


With best wishes,


Lawrence A. Mysak


President, IAPSO


Canada Steamship Lines Professor

Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

McGill University

805 Sherbrooke St. W.

Montreal, QC  H3A 2K6

Tel.  514-398-3768FAX.  514-398-6115">



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