2018 IAPSO Activities 


IAPSO has the prime goal of 'promoting the study of scientific problems relating to the oceans and the interactions taking places at the sea floor, coastal, and atmospheric boundaries insofar as such research is conducted by the use of mathematics, physics, and chemistry.' IAPSO works mainly through 1) biennial scientific assemblies; 2) working groups; 3) commissions; 4) services and 5) website information. Of special importance to IAPSO is the involvement of scientists and students from developing countries in oceanographic activities.

IAPSO maintains formal liaison with other scientific commissions and committees. These include the ICSU's Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), and UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
For more information see http://iapso.iugg.org/.


The 2015-2019 Bureau of IAPSO comprises:
President: Denise Smythe-Wright, (UK)
Past President: Eugene Morozov, (Russia)
Secretary General: Stefania Sparnocchia (Italy)
Treasurer: Ken Ridgway (Australia)

The Executive Committee comprises the Bureau members and
Vice-Presidents: Dr Isabelle Ansorge (South Africa)
Trevor McDougall (Australia)
Dr Agatha de Boer (Sweden)
Dr Hans van Haren (The Netherlands)
Prof Toshiyuki Hibiya (Japan)
Dr Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade (USA and Puerto Rico)
Dr Chris Meinen (USA)
Dr Satheesh Chandra Shenoi (India)

The IAPSO office is located at the Institute of Marine Science of the National Research Council of Italy, Trieste and day-to-day business is managed by Secretary General (SG), Stefania Sparnocchia. The SG is responsible for the IAPSO website and in July, 2015 a new IAPSO page was created in the Facebook social network, with the aim of facilitating the spreading of information in the community (see https://www.facebook.com/iapso.iugg.org). Together with the President, the SG also prepares and distributes a bi-annual Newsletter to IAPSO delegates and interested parties.

Financial management is presently split between Australia and Sweden. The previous Secretary General, Johan Rodhe, was co-opted by the IAPSO executive to assists the Treasurer, Ken Ridgway, with day to day banking until the Assembly in Montreal, Canada, in 2019.

IAPSO business meetings were conducted by email.


2019 Assembly
The principal activity during 2018 was preparing for the IUGG 2019 General Assembly to be held in Montreal, Canada, from 8 to 18 July, 2019. The Secretary General has been active in the planning process and participated in several video conference of the Scientific Programming Committee and attended in-person a meeting in Vienna, Austria, on 8 April, 2018. IAPSO is sponsoring or co-sponsoring 31 symposia covering a wide range of topics. The program details can be found on the Assembly's website: http://www.iugg2019montreal.com/p.html

IAPSO Early Career Scientist Working Group
An important initiative during 2018 was the establishment of the IAPSO Early Career Scientist Working Group. As one of the leading international associations in ocean physics and chemistry, IAPSO will provide a significant platform for early career scientists to network and integrate into the scientific community. In November 2017, the President invited expressions of interest in setting up such a network and three suitable candidates were identified at the end of January 2018 and have been asked to take the initiative forward. Alejandra Sanchez-Franks (United Kingdom) is chairing the WG with the vice-chairs Robert Graham (Norway) and Malin Ödalen (Sweden).

The Term of References of this group are

1. To form an IAPSO early career network; one that will be open to anyone that self identifies as an early career scientist in physical or chemical sciences of the oceans. Using the IAPSO website and social media, an IAPSO early career network will allow early career scientists to follow IAPSO developments, while also sharing opportunities and experiences.
2. To provide advice from the early career network to the IAPSO executive committee, and to communicate key agenda points resulting from the IAPSO directive back to the IAPSO early career network.
3. To maximize impact and connectivity of the IAPSO early career network by liaising with other national and international networks (e.g. AGU, EGU, IIOE-2, Challenger Society, etc.).
4. To organize early career events at bi-annual IAPSO assemblies that may include mentoring, outreach activities, and maximizing networking between early career scientists and senior researchers. In turn this will increase visibility of the IAPSO bi-annual assemblies to the early career network and optimize attendance.
5. To promote diversity as actively as possible and to create awareness on the associated gaps/challenges and discrimination that currently exist.

The first IAPSO ECS networking event is scheduled during the IUGG 2019 General Assembly.

Prince Albert I Medal 2019
The Prince Albert I Medal is an award offered by the Foundation Rainier III of Monaco to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the enhancement and advancement of the physical and/or chemical sciences of the oceans. It is awarded every two years to a most prominent scientist chosen by a specially appointed IAPSO Award Committee.

The Secretary General called for nominations for the 2019 award on 7 July, 2018. Nominations were accepted until 6 October, 2018. The Award Committee was appointed following the protocol (http://iapso.iugg.org/awards-and-honors/the-prince-albert-i-medal25.html) and was chaired by Trevor McDougall (IAPSO Vice-President, Australia). The Members of the Committee were Isabelle Ansorge (past Chair, IAPSO Vice-President, South Africa), Lynne Talley (2017 medalist, USA), Sabrina Speich (France) and Rik Wanninkhof (USA). The selection procedure is lasting until January 2019. The Prince Albert I Medal 2019 will be presented during the IUGG 2019 General Assembly.

IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal 2019
The IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal was established this year by the IAPSO Executive Committee and will be awarded for the first time during IUGG 2019. The Medal honours Early Career Scientists for their outstanding research in the physical or chemical sciences of the oceans, and for their cooperation in international research. It will be presented by the IAPSO President, every two years, at the biannual IAPSO Assembly, where the Awardee will be expected to give a talk on a scientific topic of their choice. Financial assistance to attend the Assembly will be available. The Secretary General called for nominations for the 2019 award on 1 October, 2018 and nominations will be accepted until 31 January, 2019.

SCOR Administration
IAPSO has maintained its formal relations with SCOR during the year. The EC members were involved in the evaluation of the 2018 Working Group proposals and the President, Denise Smythe-Wright participated in the SCOR Annual Meeting in Plymouth, UK, 4-7 September 2018.

While much of the business centered around reports from current SCOR working groups and affiliated organizations, substantial time was devoted to the evaluation of nine working group proposals submitted for the 2018 round of funding. The IAPSO President presented the IAPSO views alongside those of other organizations and after robust discussion it was decided to fund two proposals:

• Active Chlorophyll fluorescence for autonomous measurements of global marine primary productivity. See https://scor-int.org/group/156 for further details
• Toward a new global view of marine zooplankton biodiversity based on DNA metabarcoding and reference DNA sequence databases (MetaZooGene). See https://scor-int.org/group/157/ for further details

IUGG/IAPSO support to scientific meetings

  • IAPSO endorsed three scientific meetings that were supported by IUGG in 2018:
    The 2nd IndOOS Review Workshop was held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 21 to 23 March, 2018. The goal of IndOOS (Indian Ocean Observation System) is to provide sustained high-quality oceanographic and marine meteorological measurements to support knowledge-based decision making through improved scientific understanding, weather and climate forecasts, and environmental assessments. The review seeks critical assessment of what is working well and what is not with the present Indian Ocean observing system, and advise on fruitful future directions for IndOOS. The workshop consisted of 25 review presentations based on the IndOOS review chapter, along three themes: Operational drivers; IndOOS components and new technologies; and Science drivers for future IndOOS. This was followed up by a review board session and break-out session, which brought out the key recommendations for the future IndOOS that will be considered by the review board. IUGG funds were used towards travel expenses for one scientist from India to attend the workshop that gathered 40 participants
  • The International Conference 'Understanding the Problems of Inland Waters: Case Study for the Caspian Basin', held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 12 to 14 May 2018. The conference was organized by the Institute of Geography of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and the Inter-Islamic Science and Technology Network on Oceanography. The aim of the conference was to increase the exchange and cooperation between different international organizations and scientific teams ('communities') dealing with studies of the Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, and Urmia and Van lakes. About 140 scientists and students from more than 55 organizations, including about 50 delegates from foreign countries, including France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and the USA, participated in the conference. In addition to the conference, IUGG funds were used to support the one-day International Student Workshop, organized on 11 May 2018, whose aim was to help students and early career scientists increase their knowledge of geoscience and on the application of remote sensing to studies of environmental problems related to the Caspian Basin. 31 students and young researchers and nine international and local experts specializing in remote sensing and geoscience lectured at the workshop.
  • The X Jornadas Nacionales de Ciencias del Mar (Conference on Science of Seas), was hosted by the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and held from 30 July to 3 August 2018. The main goal of this conference was to create an adequate framework for the exchange of opinions among the various national and foreign experts, and to increase cooperation among professionals with the aim of understanding, assessing and solving problems related to the care of the marine environment. The program activities included conferences, courses, and presentations in oral sessions and panels, all of them covering an ample spectrum of subjects and points of view. Thematic areas addressed included diversity and conservation, populations and communities, ecosystems, natural and anthropogenic processes, renewable/non-renewable resources, climate change, geology, oceanography, education, and legal aspects. More than 800 people attended, including students, educators, and researchers belonging to institutes and universities from across Argentina. The meeting also had important international participation, with presentations by researchers or students from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Uruguay, and the USA. 122 presentations were delivered in oral format, 413 as posters, and 8 as plenary lectures. Additionally, there were seven workshops, one six-hour course, and eight exhibition booths representing local and foreign universities, private companies, and government institutions. All abstracts were peer-reviewed before being accepted for presentation and will become a part of an electronic book. IUGG funds were used to support subsistence expenses of 90 registered students.

The following activities are scheduled for 2019 and beyond:

  • Participation in the 27th IUGG General Assembly, July 8-18, 2019, at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
  • Participation in the 2019 SCOR Annual Meeting in Toyama, Japan, from 23 to  25 September 2019
  • Organization of the next Joint Assembly with IAMAS and IACS in Busan, Republic of Korea, in 2021

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