2012 IAPSO Activities

The main activity of the Bureau and the EC was the planning of the Joint IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI Assembly “Knowledge for the Future” that will be held 22-26 July 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Local Organization Committee (LOC) has regularly met with its chair Professor David Turner, dean of the Faculty of Science, Gothenburg University.  The Scientific Programme Committee (SPC) includes Professor Leif Andersson (Chair), Gothenburg University and the Royal Academy of Sciences, IAHS SG Christophe Cudennec, IAPSO SG Johan Rodhe and IASPEI SG Peter Suhadolc. Johan Rodhe was co-opted to the LOC meetings. Assembly website: http://iahs-iapso-iaspei2013.com/. Congrex is the official congress organizer. Eleven IAPSO-only symposia and eigth joint symposia have been organised. The expected number of participants is 1000 – 1500. As of 4 February 2013 about 1600 abstracts have been submitted.

In November 2012, IAPSO SG Johan Rodhe and IAGA SG Mioara Mandea were invited to the IAMAS Bureau meeting in Paris, France to discuss a possible IAGA-IAMAS-IAPSO Joint Assembly in 2017. Isabelle Ansorge (IAPSO Vice President and IUGG EC Member) was invited to present Cape Town, South Africa as a possible venue. It was decided ask the respective EC for approval of such a Joint Assembly. In January 2013 this was approved. An Association-joint call for Letter of Intent to arrange such an Assembly has been sent to all National Correspondents. This is necessary to ensure that the choice of venue will be an open process.

SCOR/IAPSO Working Groups

The IAPSO SG and Vice-President attended the annual meeting of the SCOR in Halifax, Canada in October 2012. The SCOR meetings review the progress of current SCOR Working Groups (WG), evaluate proposed new WGs, and decide which WGs to fund. A number of international SCOR-related scientific programmes were also discussed. Details can be found on the SCOR website (www.scor-int.org). Two new SCOR WGs, out of 7 proposals, were approved: WG 141 on "Sea-Surface Microlayers" and WG 142 on "Quality Control Procedures for Oxygen and Other Biogeochemical Sensors on Floats and Gliders".  These two new WGs got an “intellectual support” from IAPSO.

The work within the joint SCOR/IAPSO WGs is an important part of the IAPSO activity, see the IAPSO webpage. A WG is usually formed of a maximum of 10 members from different countries to deliberate on a narrowly focused topic and to publish a report in a peer-reviewed journal or book, manual, database etc. WGs are expected to complete their tasks in 4 years or less.

The following SCOR WGs, co-funded by IAPSO, have been active during this period, and have published important books and/or special journal issues:

  • SCOR/IAPSO WG 127 “The Thermodynamics and Equation of State of Seawater” (Chaired by T.J. McDougall) had finished its tasks and was reorganized into a Joint SCOR/IAPSO/IAPWS Committee on the Properties of Seawater.
  • SCOR/WCRP/IAPSO WG 136 (Co-chaired by L. Beal and A. Biastock): “The Climatic Implications of the Greater Agulhas System” organized a conference on ”The Agulhas system and its role in changing Ocean Circulation, Climate, and Marine Ecosystems. It was held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 8-12 October 2012. The conference generated great excitement among the participants - particularly among regional scientists who have never attended an international conference before. The conference attracted 108 participants from 20 countries. 35 came from seven African countries and 27 were PhD students. They covered the fields of ocean and climate modelling, physical and biological oceanography, marine ecology, paleoceanography, meteorology, and marine and terrestrial paleoclimatology. IUGG supported the Conference financially.

IAPSO Commissions and Services

  • The Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides (CMSLT), hosted by the Proudman
    Oceanographic Laboratory, UK. President: Gary T. Mitchum. Website: http://www.psmsl.org/.
  • The IAPSO/IASPEI/IAVCEI Tsunami Commission. Chair: Dr. Vasily Titov. Website:
  • The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, hosted by Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, UK.
    Contact: Dr. Lesley Richard. Website: http://www.psmsl.org.
  • The IAPSO Standard Seawater Service, hosted by OSIL, Havant, Hampshire, UK. Director: Paul Ridout. Website: http://www.osil.co.uk.
  • The IASPEI/IAPSO/IAGA International Ocean Network (ION). Chair: Yoshiyuki Kaneda. IAPSO Representative: Dr. Satheesh C. Shenoi. Website: http://msg.whoi.edu/ION/index.html.  

The working groups, commissions and services report to IAPSO. These reports are posted on the IAPSO website http://iapso.iugg.org/working-groups

Prince Albert I Medal

IAPSO and the Monaco Royal Family established the Prince Albert I Medal for excellence research in physical and/or chemical oceanography. The award is given every two years and the ceremony is held during the Assemblies. In 2012, Professor Arnold L. Gordon from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA, was selected as the winner of the Prize 2013 for “his outstanding work on ocean dynamics".

Eugene LaFond Medal

This Medal, created in honour of Eugene LaFond (former SG of IAPSO), is awarded to a scientist from a developing country for an outstanding oral or poster presentation at an IAPSO Assembly. IAPSO forms a special committee at each Assembly to select the winner. 

Future activities of IAPSO

The main activity in 2013 is the IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI Joint Assembly in Gothenburg, Sweden 22-26 July 2103. This is discussed under “Activities”. The main activity after that is the related to the IUGG General Assembly 2015 in Prague, Czech Republic and the Association Assembly in 2017. This is also discussed under “Activities”. The main activities besides the assemblies are the work within the SCOR/IAPSO woking groups. No WGs are funded after 2012. Currently, a call for WG proposals is out and they will be discussed at the SCOR meeting in New Zealand in November 2013.

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