2022 IAPSO Activities


IAPSO has the prime goal of ‘promoting the study of scientific problems relating to the oceans and the interactions taking place 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 ISC's Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), and UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). 
For more information see https://iapso-ocean.org.


The IAPSO Bureau and the Executive Committee were renewed in July 2019 during the IUGG General Assembly in Montreal. Two additional members were added to the Executive Committee in 2020 after online election and one of them was replaced in 2021 (By Law n. 9-d).  

President: Trevor McDougall (Australia)
Past President: Denise Smythe-Wright, (UK)
Secretary General: Stefania Sparnocchia (Italy)
Treasurer: Ken Ridgway (Australia) 
Vice-Presidents: Agatha de Boer (Sweden), Hans van Haren (The Netherlands)
Members: Edmo Campos (Brazil), Juliet Hermes (South Africa), Rick Lumpkin (USA, until September 2021), Yukio Masumoto (Japan), Jae-Hun Park (Republic of Korea), Joellen Russell (USA, replace Rick Lumpkin from October 2021), Alejandra Sanchez-Franks (UK), Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade (USA and Puerto Rico), Peter Zavialov (Russia)

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. The website was renewed during 2021-2022 and moved to the new address iapso-ocean.org. A page on the Facebook social network is also active with the aim of facilitating the spreading of information in the community (see https://www.facebook.com/iapso.iugg.org).

IAPSO finances are managed by the Australian-based Treasurer, Ken Ridgway.

IAPSO business meetings were conducted by email and videoconference where appropriate


2023 General Assembly 
The principal activity during the year was the organization of the 28th IUGG General Assembly to be held in Berlin, Germany, from 11 to 20 July 2023. The Secretary General has been active in the planning process and participated in several video conference of the Scientific Program Committee. IAPSO is sponsoring or co-sponsoring 27 symposia covering a wide range of topics. The program details can be found at the Assembly’s website:  https://www.iugg2023berlin.org/iapso/.

The call for the ECS medal for 2023 was issued on 3 October, 2022 with a deadline on 10 January, 2023.  Three nominations for the medal in Physical Ocean Science were received. The Award Committee has been appointed by the IAPSO President and consists of 4 members plus the chair of the IAPSO Early Career Working Group. The results of the selection will be announced in March 2023.

SCOR Administration 
IAPSO President Trevor McDougall attended the virtual SCOR Annual Meeting in October 2022.  The many subsidary bodies of SCOR were reviewed and memberships renewed.  Many of these bodies coordinate physical, biogeochemical and fisheries research in the global ocean.  Two new SCOR working groups were selected for funding, each receiving sufficient funds for three face-to-face meetings.  


Early Career Scientist Working Group
In 2022, IAPSO ECS directed its focus toward the upcoming IUGG General Assembly of 2023, where activities for early career conference attendees will be organised together with the other member organisations of IUGG. In preparation for this effort, we recruited Marina Azaneu, who took over after Arvind Singh in liaising with other relevant Early Career networks. IAPSO ECS are in contact with a large and growing number of other networks, within and outside of the IUGG, and have been part of planning joint webinars for networks in the Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) programme in 2023. Our website (https://www.iapsoecs.org) has been extended with educational resources, and fellowship opportunities, and continues to grow. We steadily reach 400+ subscribers across our communication channels.

Joint Commission on Ice-Ocean Interactions (JCIOI, joint with IACS)
The Joint Commission on Ice-Ocean Interactions hosted a workshop from 17-20 October 2022, the theme of which was identifying knowledge gaps in ice-ocean interactions in Antarctica and Greenland. The workshop brought together over 280 registered participants from 26 countries across 6 continents. Presentation topics included the physics of the ice-ocean boundary, the role of glacial melt in the wider ocean, new and emerging technologies for studying ice-ocean interactions, the impact of ocean-driven melt on glacier and ice sheet mass balance, and community linkages. The sessions were recorded, and are available via the JCIOI website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-K08KQA86pNh5oLHNZU0Hw. We are preparing a white paper that summarises the key workshop outcomes from the workshop, and look forward to continuing the discussions in our joint symposia session at IUGG Berlin 2023 (JP04 Ice-Ocean Interactions: Challenges and Insights from Theory, Observations and Modelling).

Joint Committee on the Properties of Seawater (JCS)
JCS did not meet in person in 2022, but held a virtual  meeting on June 14, 2022 for the salinity/density and pH taskgroups. A planned meeting for relative humidity (RH) taskgroup was postponed due to illness. Members continued work on tasks identified during the 2018 Workshops as well as other items relevant to JCS, including important future publications on the long-term stability of Standard Seawater.  In addition, progress continued on the formation of a new taskgroup on chemical speciation  to continue working on issues identified by SCOR WG-145 (Chemical Speciation Modelling in Seawater) with a planned initial taskgroup meeting in January 2023, as well as plans for a JCS website.

Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL)
The PSMSL dataset has continued to grow and from 1st January to 1st December 2022, 1325 stations years of data were added from 688 stations. In January, Citizen Scientists completed the digitisation of the Zooniverse UK Tides project (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/psmsl/uk-tides). The PSMSL technical lead secured funding from IAPSO for the Best Practice Study group on Tidal Analysis (https://iapso-ocean.org/activities/best-practice-study-groups.html) to be held in Berlin in July 2023. The head of PSMSL joined the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Inter-sessional Working Group on the Revision of the IOC Oceanographic Data Exchange Policy and the group has been working on revising the IOC Oceanographic Data Exchange Policy (see IOC Circular Letter No2864 - https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000379785). In October we recruited a full-time data manager, to replace the previous part-time data manager who left due to retirement.

Tsunami Commission (Joint with IASPEI and IAVCEI)
In 2022, members of the Tsunami Commission organized tsunami sessions at EGU and AGU and participated in these sessions. It should be noted that tsunami sessions in these meetings had special slots for the 2022 Tonga tsunami which propagated though Pacific as an air-ocean coupled wave and has recently attracted a large amount of attention because of new findings for tsunami excitation.



  • Prof. Trevor McDougall AC (UNSW) and President of IAPSO has received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science (https://www.industry.gov.au/publications/prime-ministers-prizes-science-2022/2022-prime-ministers-prize-science) for his discoveries of new ocean mixing processes and his work to redefine the thermodynamic definition of seawater. This has been adopted by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission as the new international standard.
  • IAPSO scientist, Prof. Toshiyuki Hibiya (University of Tokyo, Japan) is awarded the IUGG Fellowship for being a global leader in understanding the production of ocean turbulence by the internal tide and the parameterization of mixing in ocean and climate models.


Prof. Robin Muench (USA) passed away on 25 January 2021 at the age of 78. Prof. Muench had a long career as a polar physical oceanographer having participated in field-based physical oceanographic research, primarily in the Arctic and Antarctic. Robin also served in many oceanographic service roles and was the President of IAPSO in the years 1991-1995.

Dr. David Pugh (UK) passed away on 1 August 2022 at the age of 79. Dr Pugh was Director of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level and chairman of the IAPSO Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides. His career was concerned with understanding the changes in sea level due to the tides and other processes that are so much a feature of the UK coastline.

Prof. Dr. Wilhelmus P.M. de Ruijter RSSA (Netherlands) passed away 12th January 2023, age 71. He was well recognised as one of the great original thinkers on ocean dynamics and stimulated the cohesive efforts of a large group of creative colleagues to work on central problems at the forefront of ocean science. He received the Royal decoration in the Order of the Dutch Lion in 2011 and he was an Ordinary Fellow (foreign) of The Royal Society Of South Africa since 2001. Prof. Dr. de Ruijter has participated for a long time in the activities of IAPSO, also in the functions of National Correspondent of the Netherlands. He was well loved by his colleagues and students given his vibrant mentorship and inquisitive nature. 

The following activities are scheduled for 2023 and beyond

  • Participation in the 28th IUGG General Assembly, July 11-20, 2023, at the Messe Berlin – City Cube, Berlin, Germany.
  • Participation in the 2023 SCOR Annual Meeting in Guayaquil, Ecuador from 17 to 19 October 2023.
  • Organization of the next Joint Assembly with IAMAS and IACS in Busan, Republic of Korea, in 2025.

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