Postby salsinawi » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:09 pm


What is IUGS

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) is one of the largest, non-governmental, non-political, and non-profit making scientific organizations in the world. It addresses earth-science problems of broadly international scope through its own activities and those co-sponsored with other agencies. IUGS encourages the highest levels of international co-operation and participation in its activities, many of which deal increasingly with the Earth and human welfare. Since its founding in 1961, IUGS has been a member of ICSU (International Council for Science, www.icsu.org).

IUGS undertakes day-to-day work through its Commissions, Subcommissions, Task Groups, Joint Programs and its Initiatives. The Union is the scientific sponsor of the quadrennial International Geological Congress and advises and assists the organizers in formulating the scientific program for this event.

Commissions and their component subcommissions address topics requiring long-term study. Existing Commissions include Environmental Planning, Global Sedimentary Geology, History of Geological Sciences, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrogenesis, the handling of Geoscience Information, Stratigraphy, Systematics in Petrology, Geological Education and Training, and Tectonics.

Task Groups deal with topics needing immediate action or short-term studies. They are appointed directly by the Union and deal with: Decay Constants in Geochronology, Global Geosites, Global Continental Geochemical Baselines, Fossil Fuels and Public Affairs.

Joint Programs are sponsored by IUGS and other organizations. Existing programs in collaboration with UNESCO are: the International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP), Geological Applications of Remote Sensing, and Mineral and Energy Deposit Modelling. The ICSU Scientific Committee on the Lithosphere (SCL) was born as an inter-Union initiative between IUGS and the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics.

Two new Initiatives were established by the IUGS Executive Committee in 2002: The Initiative on Medical Geology, and the Initiative on Geoindicators.

Accomplishments of IUGS

As the broadest ranging international forum for the geological sciences, IUGS has established an effective and highly respected global network for communicating across disciplines, across political and geographical boundaries, across levels and gaps of knowledge. This has led to countless examples of improved resolution of scientific problems, establishment of better standards and techniques, more enlightened definition of fields requiring future scientific inquiry - in short, the strengthening of the scientific base on which geological research rests and without which geoscience cannot be effectively applied toward improving human welfare.

The International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP)

(www.unesco.org/science/ea...ces/igcp)) with National Committees in 100 countries and contact addresses in 21 more countries is the only truly global Earth science programme doing “grass roots” research. Launched in 1972, as a joint endeavour between UNESCO and IUGS, it is one of the most successful such initiatives ever undertaken. The objective is to bring together scientists from all over the world and enhance interaction, through joint research work, meetings and workshops. About 40 research projects involving more than a thousand participants are currently operating under the auspices of the IGCP. Current IGCP Projects include:
“ Understanding future dryland changes from past dynamics”
“World correlation on karst geology and its related ecosystems”
“Ore-forming processes in dynamic magmatic systems”
"Landslide Hazard Assessment and Cultural Heritage"
"Mantle Dynamics and Natural Hazards"
"Coastal Environmental Change during Sea-Level Highstands"
"Basement Volcanoes Interplay and Human Activities", and
"Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment in North Africa."


The IUGS believes that one of its key roles is to promulgate knowledge and understanding about the Earth. It appreciates, therefore, the importance of communicating relevant information to member nations, individual scientists, and the public. Done most effectively by electronic and traditional kinds of publications, the Union is committed to publicizing its work through these vehicles.


The IUGS publishes a quarterly journal, Episodes, which features scientific articles, conference reports, book reviews, news, and a comprehensive calendar of scientific meetings. Episodes is produced in Beijing by the Ministry of Land and Resources of the People’s Republic of China (Episodes, P.O. Box 823, 26 Baiwanzhuang Road, 100037 Beijing, P. R. China). The journal is distributed to over 115 countries. Your contribution to Episodes is hereby invited. Guidelines for contributors are published annually and are always available at the IUGS web site: www.iugs.org/iugs/pubs/epiguide.htm. The annual subscription is US$24.00, which includes air-mail postage.


Since 1980, IUGS has published or co-published an irregular series of monographs which vary greatly in scope, size, and topic. Publication list and information on how you can purchase IUGS monographs may be obtained from the Secretariat.

World-Wide Web

IUGS has established a comprehensive, easy-to-use web site at www.iugs.org. Constantly updated, it publicizes a wealth of background and topical information about the Union and its activities. Subsequent web-site entries explain the function and structure of the Union and give its statutes and bylaws, current members, officers, scientific activities, and publications; information about the Hutchison Young Scientist Fund; synopses of the transactions of key meetings; a five-year calendar of future events; and links to all component and related bodies that maintain web sites.


The IUGS Secretariat is located in Trondheim at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), and is financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry. Hanne Refsdal has headed the office as Executive Secretary since 1987. All the matters concerning IUGS may be directed to the IUGS Secretariat or the IUGS Secretary General.

Secretary General
Dr. Werner R. Janoschek
Austrian Geological Survey
Rasumofskygasse 23, P.O.B. 127
A-1031 Vienna
Tel: +43 1 712 56 74 ext. 180
Fax: +43 1 712 56 74 56
E-mail: wjanoschek@cc.geolba.ac.at IUGS Secretariat
Hanne Refsdal
Geological Survey of Norway
N-7491 Trondheim
Tel: +47 73 904040
Fax: +47 73 502230
E-mail: Hanne.Refsdal@ngu.no
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