Report on the IAG Executive Committee (EC) meeting. Paris, March 22-23, 1999.


K-P. Schwarz President

F. Sanso First Vice President

J. Dickey Second Vice President

W. Torge Past President

C. C. Tscherning Secretary General

O. B. Andersen Assistant Secretary General

F. K. Brunner President Section I

C. Boucher President Comm X.

R. Rummel President Section II

P. Willis Secretary Section II

G. Beutler President Comm VIII

R. Forsberg President Section III

P. Holota President Section IV

B. Heck Secretary Section IV

M. Feissel President Section V

T. Tanaka President Comm VII

P. Teunissen Editor in Chief of Journal of Geodesy

1. Agenda

The agenda presented by K-P. Schwarz was adopted with small modifications.

2. Review of IAG program for IUGG in Birmingham

The IAG program is available on the IAG Internet site. The program has been planned to avoid overlap between IAG sessions and Union or Inter-Association symposia on the same topic. Rooms for meetings currently not on the schedule must be requested via the Central Bureau.

3. Structure of opening and closing sessions at the IUGG99 in Birmingham

K-P. Schwarz presented the programs that essentially follow the structure at previous General Assemblies.

Program for the opening session (Mon, July, 19th, 16.20 - 18.00):

Report of President. Report of secretary general. Brief report of the editor in chief of Journal of Geodesy. Section highlights by section presidents. Presentation of awards (Bomford, Levalloir, Best Paper). Acceptance speech by the Bomford Prize recipient.

The opening session will be followed by a reception.

Program for the closing session (Wed, July, 28th, 16.20 - 18.00):

Introduction of the new EC. Presentation of resolutions adopted. Announcement of next IAG general meeting and next IUGG general assembly. Talk by the new president.

4. Council meetings

C. C. Tscherning presented the program and dates for the 3 IAG council meetings.

Program for the First Council Meeting (Mon, July 19th, 14.00-15.30):

Birmingham organisation. Preparation of elections. Report of Cassinis committee on proposed changes of statutes and by-laws. Process of reviewing the IAG structure. Appointment of audit committee. Appointment of resolution committee. IAG budget. IAG awards.

Program for Second Council Meeting (Wed, July, 21th, 19.00-21.00):


Program for Third Council Meeting (Tues, July, 27, 18.00 -19.30):

Vote on changes of statutes and by-laws. Report of the audit committee. IAG budget approval. IAG fund report. Election of IAG representatives. Approval of resolutions.

5. Bomford Prize

National committees had nominated three candidates for the prize. The submitted material had been distributed in advance of the meeting. Following the procedure outlined in the Geodesist's Handbook, the seven members of the EC, entitled to vote, cast a secret ballot. The result of this ballot will be, communicated to all national committees and to the successful candidate. It will be publicly announced at the General Assembly in Birmingham. Because there were different interpretations of the current 'Rules for the

Bomford Prize', K.-P. Schwarz will reformulate the parts on 'Nominations' and 'Selection Procedure' to incorporate the following: The screening committee should have two reviewers from outside the EC who will perform comparative reviews which will become part of the nomination package. In addition, only the name of the award winner will be communicated to the national committees. These corrections will be proposed for adoption to the EC at the Birmingham meeting.

Action items: CCT to inform successful candidate

KPS to reformulate Bomford Prize Rules

6. Levallois Medal

The members of the ad hoc committee of honorary presidents made a unanimous proposal, which was fully supported and confirmed by the EC. The name of the candidate will be publicly announced at the Birmingham meeting.

Action item: KPS to inform successful candidate.

7. Best paper award (BPA)

The initial elctronic vote on the BPA for 1997 let to a tie between two candidates and was therefore refered to this meeting (no meeting in 1997). After a long discussion, it was decided to not award the the BPA for 1997. Since some of the problems encountered in the past have to do with the nomination procedure, it was decided to change this procedure. In addition to the current possibility of nominating candidates, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geodesy will solicit proposals from the Editorial Board of the JofG and will rank them. The three top ranked papers will be candidates for the vote in the EC.

To enlarge the pool of eligible papers, one or two BPA will be awarded every second year at either the General Assembly or the Scientific Assembly. K-P. Schwarz will draft a proposal along these lines and will present it at the next meeting of the EC.

The BPA and the Bomford Prize will be advertised more visibly in the Journal of Geodesy and on the IAG website.

Action item: KPS to draft proposal, CCT to advertise 97/98 BPA

P. Teunissen to come up with short list

8. Next Scientific Assembly

Three invitations have so far been received for the next IAG Scientific Assembly in 2001. They are:

Poland (venue to be the University of Warsaw in July or August),

Hungary (venue to be Sophron in June or Budapest in August), and

Denmark (venue to be the University of Copenhagen in August)

It was agreed that the IAG sends out a questionnaire to each inviting country to obtain the same basic information from each. The deadline for getting this information back will be the end of May. Any country, which has send the information before the end of May will be eligible to host the Scientific Assembly. Based on this information and the EC will invite selected candidates to give a presentation at Birmingham.

Action items: KPS to send out questionnaire

CCT to inform national committees of end-of-May deadline

9. Journal of Geodesy

The editor in chief P. Teunissen presented a written report on the status of the Journal of Geodesy and highlighted some items. Currently, about 60 papers are published each year which is a good match with the number of papers accepted by the reviewers. Average processing time is 11 months from submission. After analysing the causes for delays, it is foreseen that the average time could decrease to 7-8 months in the future if a few of the planned changes are made. Roughly 20 percent of submitted papers are rejected. P. Teunissen volunteered to make a list of old and possible new members of the editorial board, and to send this to the EC before Birmingham. A new editorial board will be elected there. He asked for co-editors from Eastern Europe and South America.

10. Proposal to affiliate the journal 'Artificial Satellites' with CSTG

A proposal to affiliate the journal 'Artificial Satellites' with IAG Commission VIII (CSTG) under the new name 'Journal of Space Techniques for Geodesy' was distributed at the meeting. After some discussion, it was decided not to make a decision on this subject immediately, but to ask Section 2 to make a recommendation at the Birmingham meeting. This recommendation should consider the need for another journal under IAG auspices and the possible impact on the Journal of Geodesy. It was felt by some members of the EC that Springer should be contacted on this issue before any decision is made.

Action item: Section 2 to come up with recommendation

11. IAG program for Birmingham

A common schedule for all six IAG Symposia (G1 to G6) was agreed upon having

Morning sessions (8.30 - 12.45)

Session 1: 8.30 - 10.30 (9.30 start at days of union lectures)

Coffee break 10.30 - 11.00

Session 2: 11.00 - 12.45

Posters are up during lunch break

Afternoon session (14.00 - 16.00)

Session 3: 14.00 - 1600

Coffee break 16.00 - 16.20

Session 4: Poster 16.20 - 18.00.

Meetings and small workshops should be scheduled in the evening.

Acceptance of Papers

A total of 400 contributions, with more than 100 in both G1 and G3, have been accepted. It was decided that K.-P. Schwarz drafts a standard letter of acceptance which will be sent out by the convenors (with modifications were necessary) about the middle of April.

Action item: KPS to draft acceptance letter.


It was decided to publish partial IAG proceedings of the Birmingham meeting in

one volume under the title: 'Geodesy Beyond 2000 - The Challenges of the First

Decade', containing the reviewed contributions to G6, supplemented by 10 invited contributions from each of the other five IAG symposia (G1 to G5).

12. SSG, Commissions and Special Commissions

The section presidents presented status reports of their sections and recommended changes to their organization.

Session 1

Comm X will continue but terms of reference should be changed. SC4 changes status from special commission to commission. One submission for future SSG has been received. Half of the SSG worked properly and will report in Birmingham.

Section 2

All SSGs will report in Birmingham. One of them had a new chairman. SC7 will change from Special Commission to 'Commission on Satellite Gravity' under a new president.

Section 3

Commission III and Commission XII will be merged into 'International Gravity and Geoid Commission'. All SSG have worked satisfactory and will report in Birmingham. The formation of a new SSG on Gravity in the Arctic has been adopted earlier by email vote.

Section 4

Some of the SSG have worked very well and three of them will be continuing on related topics. A new SSG will be proposed. One SSG has been terminated. SC1 will continue as a Commission.

Section 5

Two out of four SSG will continue on related topics. Please refer to Agenda #18


Several Section presidents expressed their disappointment with our current practice to establish SSGs. In many cases it is a 'top-down' approach which often results in SSGs with little motivation and activity. To encourage 'bottom-up' SSGs, a call for new SSG will be issued via the IAG web, newsletter, and e-mail lists. The deadline to respond to this call will be June 15 and suggestions should be submitted directly to the Section presidents.


The national committees will be asked to submit names for commission members before Birmingham.

13. IAG Schools and Training Courses

F. Sanso briefly reviewed the successful IAG school initiatives. In the preceding four year period, seven schools have been conducted. This is four times the number of schools held in the previous 4-year period. For the upcoming period seven schools are planned. Furthermore there will be a tutorial on GPS in Japan in 1999 and a school in engineering geodesy in Germany in 2000. A calendar of IAG supported schools has been established on the IAG website at

14. Activities in developing countries.

F. Sanso briefly reported on IAG activities in developing countries which are often tied to international schools and training courses, see item 13. A highlight was the successful Scientific Assembly in Brazil in 1997 and the very impressive results of the SIRGAS campaign in South America. Besides the recent meeting in Cairo, there were no IAG initiatives in Africa, and the initiatives in South East Asia suffered from the economic crisis in the region.

15. Cassinis Committee report.

The report of the Cassinis Committee was presented by its chairman W. Torge. It suggested moderate changes in general, specifically proposing the abolishment of special commissions and the return to one type of commission. It also proposed a leaner structure by abolishing the positions of second vice-president and section secretaries.

Additional suggestions made at the meeting included the proposal to have an EC meeting once per year and a proposal to have the Cassinis Committee consist of 5 members, two of which would not be members of the EC.

Both proposals were adopted for inclusion in the committee report

Because of the ongoing discussion on the IAG structure, it was decided that the Cassinis Committee report would be presented to the Council at Birmingham for information but not for immediate adoption. It would be considered as a base for the continuing discussions on the IAG structure and will be incorperated in the proposal to the Council meeting following Birmingham.

EC members expressed their thanks to the Cassinis committee which was then dissolved. O. Andersen will prepare a new document which will show the changes in the IAG Statutes and By-laws proposed by the Cassinis Committee.

Action item: OA to prepare document

16. Report of the Nominating Committee

The chairman of the Nominating Committee, W. Torge, reported briefly on the work done so far. The committee has received nominations from national committees and individuals and has established a preliminary list of candidates for all positions to be filled under the current Statutes and By-laws, considering a good global distribution of candidates. Within the next two weeks, all candidates will be approached and asked whether they are willing to accept the nominations. The complete list including brief CVs will then be distributed to the National Correspondents at the EC meeting in Birmingham.

17. Recommendations of the GIGGOS Symposium.

R. Rummel briefly presented the previously distributed recommendations for a reorganisation of the IAG which were the result of presentations and discussions at the GIGGOS symposium. After some discussion the EC agreed to the proposed procedure of discussing alternatives to the current IAG structure and a potential reorganisation of the IAG during the period 1999-2003. In particular, the suggestions of having

- 1-2 retreats of an enlarged IAG EC

- the restructuring proposal adopted at the 2001 Scientific Assembly

- the new structure put in place for the period 2003-2007

were adopted.

The current IAG structure shall remain in place for the period 1999-2003. A full day of the G6 symposium on 'Geodesy Beyond 2000 - The Challenges of the First Decade' will be devoted to the topic of the current and future IAG structure. Papers representing different viewpoints will be invited for presentation and a panel discussion will conclude this part of the symposium.

J. Dickey invited to host the first retreat of an enlarged EC in conjunction with the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in December 1999. It was suggested that the following retreat might be held in a developing country. Action item: JD to follow up on meeting

18. Cairo Meeting

M. Feissel reported on the CSTG meeting in Cairo in November 1998. Upon her proposal and with support from Section 2, the EC approved the formation of a new Crustal Deformation Commission in Section 5, in which the current Commission VII and the Special Commission SC6 will be merged. The new Commission will be asked specifically to redefine the form of IAG support to crustal deformation research.

19. Dubrownic meeting

K.P. Schwarz briefly summarized the resolutions made at the meeting in Dubrovnic and proposed to pass them on to the chairperson of the Birmingham resolution committee. This was approved.

20. Planned symposia and workshops

The GGG2000 (Gravity, Geoid and Geodynamics, 2000, Canada) and the 14th International Earth Tide Symposium in (Japan, 2000) had applied for, and have obtained sponsorship by the IAG.

The GPS99 (Tsukuba, Japan) has been obtained IAG support via the CSTG as IAG sponsorhip of major meetings is not possible in the year of the IUGG General Assembly.

C. C. Tscherning emphasized that all applications for IAG support must be addressed to the Central Bureau at least 18 month before the proposed symposium. This is essential if any financial support is expected.

W. Torge announced an opportunity for a joint symposium with PAIGH in Columbia in 2001. He was asked to negotiate with the LOC on behalf of IAG.

Action item: WT

21. Change of Procdures for the IAG Fund.

The EC adopted the following changes to the IAG Travel Fund rules: 'the convenor of an IAG sponsored or co-sponsored meeting or an IAG meeting organized by a Section or a SSG may also recommend a person for an IAG travel award'. This will make the award procedure much more flexible.

22. Confirmation of e-mail votes.

The system has been successful in allowing decisions to be made with a much shorter turn-around time.It was decided to continue this procedure. Decisions taken will be published in the Newsletter for future reference. All decisions taken in the last 4-year period were confirmed.

23. Guidelines for IAG Proceedings

K.-P. Schwarz together with F. Brunner and R. Forsberg will prepare a set of guidelines for papers to be published in the official IAG proceedings series.

Action item: KPS, FB, and RF to write guidelines before Birmingham

24. New IERS Charter

M. Feissel had distributed a report and presented the new IERS charter. The EC supported her suggestion that the IERS board sends out a call for proposals for all functions before the IUGG99 in Birmingham.

Action item: CCT

25. ICET (International Centre of Earth Tides)

The section 5 president recommend that commission V (Earth Tides) be requested to organize a survey of ICET and to report on the following topics.

-current and future needs of users

-possible new scientific service tasks

-interactions with the other FAGS/IUGG services concerned with Earth Tides.

The EC did not reach a decision on this.

Action item: CCT

26. ISO TC 211

J. Ihde has replaced C. Boucher as IAG representative to ISO TC 211. A report by J. Ihde can be found at

27. Second representative for IUSM

Due to the election of I. Mueller as president for the IUSM, a second position for an IAG representative became available on the Board. Due to the uncertain future of IUSM, the current representative (KPS) recommended to wait until after the IUSM meeting in August 1999 before making a decision. Since P. Willis is general secretary of the IUSM, the IAG viewpoint is well represented anyway. The recommendation was adopted.

28. Committee on History

The committee has not been active and it was proposed to join the ????? . CCT will explore this possibility. Action item: CCT

29.Travaux and Handbook preparations

O. Andersen reported on the preparations and requested contributions to the Travaux. He will send out a letter of requested material and format instructions. It was decided to distribute the Travaux on CD-ROM as a default solution. Those who rquire hardcover copies will be charged by the Central Bureau. Material for the Handbook is required before Birmingham, to avoid the unnecessary delay in publication.

Action item: All Section presidents

30. IAG Calendar.

J. Dickey proposed to look into the possibilty of producing an IAG calendar for the promotion of IAG to a wider audience. Apparently this idea has been quite succesful with the IAVCEI and their calendar on volcanoes. JD volunteered to look into the matter and report back to the EC at Birmingham.

Action item: JD