Lettre d'information n° 23 (2/2005)
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In such a dramatic and shocking moment for London, United Kingdom, Europe and all the World, I wish to express on behalf of the IAG, our full and sincere solidarity to the British colleagues for the new hideous and tragic crime carried out by terrorists and our firm execration of any form of violence. Let’s send a thought and a helping hand to any of our colleagues, friends, students and other acquaintances, whatever their country or beliefs of origin who may have been hurt or otherwise touched by the brutal bombings in London. With the hope that culture and science may contribute to overcome any political and religious contraposition.
Members present: M. Panizza, A. Goudie, D. Lóczy, A. Ozer, A. Pérez-González, M. Gutiérrez-Elorza, F. Gutiérrez, M. Soldati, I. Alcantara-Ayala, M.T. Benazzouz, Z. Zwolinski. Apologies for absence: C. Harden, V. Jha, E. Latrubesse, J. Lugo-Hupb.
– M. Panizza participated in: the International Karst Conference in Ljubljana (Slovenia, July 2004), where he offered an IAG/AIG silver plate to Prof. I. Gams: the IGU Congress in Glasgow (UK, August 2004): the International Geological Congress in Florence (Italy, August 2004): the National
Portuguese Geomorphology Conference in Coimbra (Portugal, November 2004): and the Italian National Geomorphology Conference on “Mountains and Plains” (Padova, Italy, February 2005), where he offered an IAG/AIG silver plate to Prof. G.B. Castiglioni.
– The European Federation of Geologists proposed a European Manifesto on Earth Heritage and Geodiversity together with IUGS and IGU. IAG/AIG supports the Manifesto: the President sent a letter of agreement, expressing the interest of IAG/AIG in these activities. The next IAG/AIG President, A. Goudie, will attend a workshop in London in November 2005.
– V.Ch. Jha, Member of EC, who could not be present, sent a report on activities in India and, with regard to the destruction of the tsunami on December 26, 2004, proposed the establishment of an International Centre for Geomorphological Studies. In an answer to V.Ch. Jha, IAG/AIG EC generally agrees with the idea, which will need to be elaborated in more detail over a longer term. At present, the IAG/AIG EC asks for a regional Working Group proposal to be presented in Zaragoza. After four years of activity, the Working Group can be developed into a Centre. When organizing the WG, he should also involve countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Malaysia.
– The International Consortium on Landslides, of which IAG/AIG is a member, held a meeting during the International Geological Congress in Florence. A. Goudie was present. A. Ozer is preparing a research proposal concerning landslides in Romania to be presented to ICL this year.
– (A. Goudie) The IUCN is keen that IAG/AIG should be associated with them. A. Goudie proposes close links, the IAG/AIG Working Group on Geomorphological Sites will work for this aim.
– (I. Alcantara-Ayala) The volume of the journal Catena on Land Degradation and Geomorphology, from the Session on Land Degradation and Desertification of the Regional Conference (Mexico City, 2003), will be published. IAG/AIG President will write a preface.
– (M. Soldati) The special issue of Geomorphology (proceedings of the Dornbirn IAG Symposium, Austria, 2002) has been published, including 20 papers.
– A national group of geomorphologists of Malta has been organized. M. Soldati presented IAG/AIG activities to geomorphologists in Malta in October 2004. In Zaragoza, Malta will be proposed as National Scientific Member. The IAG/AIG EC wishes to thank the Coordinator of the Malta Geomorphology Group, Odette Magri, University of Malta, for this organizational effort.
– Z. Zwolinski contacted geomorphologists in Tunisia, where the organization of a national geomorphological group is underway, but further input is needed from IAG/AIG EC.
The Minutes of the Zaragoza Administrative Meeting (April 2004) are formally approved after the following amendments: Point 1 corrected: Newsletter No. 4 is ready in 2003: Point 6 corrected: BGRG course in 2004.
Since the Zaragoza Administrative Meeting (April 2004), new proposals for IAG/AIG National Scientific Members have come from Colombia, Malta, Niger and Vietnam, where national geomorphological groups have been organized. Possible new applicants are Bangladesh, Indonesia and Mongolia. D. Lóczy is to remind them to apply before the Zaragoza Conference. The IAG/AIG EC has to encourage the formation of a national group in Tunisia. Total memberships, as of April 2005, are 58. In one month, A. Ozer sends letter calling for payment of membership fee. If members cannot pay before the Zaragoza meeting, voting is only possible if the reasons are specified.
Z. Zwolinski presented the construction of the IAG/AIG database. The Database will include obligatory (first name, last name, e-mail address, password and password repeated) and optional data. Searching is possible also by country where members work. National Delegates are to be approached for national lists. Z. Zwolinski was asked to make a presentation of IAG/AIG Database in Zaragoza.
(A. Ozer) Income has been mainly from membership fees and royalties from IAG Encyclopedia of Geomorphology, while spending has been mainly on grants and training courses. The present IAG/AIG EC started with a balance of EUR 39,000 in 2001 and is expected to end in Zaragoza with a balance of ca. EUR 50,000. M. Panizza emphasized the importance of the income from the publication of the Encyclopedia of Geomorphology that enables, thanks to A. Goudie, such a positive balance. EC members approved the financial report.
– A. Goudie reported on plans for an IAG/AIG Handbook of Geomorphology. A multi-author work is planned, edited by Basil Gomez, Victor R. Baker, Andrew S. Goudie and André G. Roy. Royalties will go to IAG/AIG (ca. GBP 12,500).
– Last Newsletter in press: No 21 (4/2004).
– The acronym IAG/AIG will be used in the title of the Newsletters.
– M. Panizza informed the EC that a proceedings volume from the Tokyo Conference has been published as a supplement volume of Geografia Física e Dinamica Quaternaria.
A. Pérez-González collected the WG reports prepared last year and remarked that WG web sites are not yet in standard format. A. Ozer reported that new WGs received their financial support. A. Pérez-González was asked to send letters to WG presidents asking for detailed reports of their four-year activities, listing publications, and requiring web sites to be changed to the standard format. WGs will also be asked whether they want to continue activities over the next period. In Zaragoza, decisions will have to be made about the WGs, including whether old WGs will end or continue under IAG/AIG umbrella without support. A. Goudie underlined that new proposals are needed with new research concepts.
New Working Group proposals: (1) Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments by Achim A. Beylich, Trondheim. (2) Proposal for a regional WG: Carpatho-Balkanic-Dinaric Working Group by Milos Stankoviansky, Bratislava. According to M. Panizza it provides a new opportunity for the coordination of geomorphological research. (3) Australian proposal: Rock coast geomorphology. (4) Polish proposal: Geomorphology of Small Catchments. (5) Hungarian proposal: Human Impact on the Landscape by D. Lóczy, Pécs. A. Pérez-González is asked to reply to the proposals, which are to be presented in Zaragoza. V.Ch. Jha will be asked to change his proposal and organize a regional WG instead of the Centre (see point 1).
M. Soldati reported on training activities held during the period 2004-05 and on grants awarded by IAG/AIG: (1) - IAG Symposium on Geomorphology and Environment, Calcutta, India, February 2004: 2 grants offered to less favoured countries of Asia. (2) - Tierra del Fuego Course, Argentina, March 2004: 2 grants offered to less favoured countries. (3) - FORM-OSE Post-Graduate Training School, Strasbourg, France, September 2004: 3 grants offered to Eastern European and Southern Mediterranean countries. (4) - AGU Salt Marsh Geomorphology Conference, Halifax, Canada, October 2004: 2 grants offered to Northern American countries. (5) - IAG International Course, Maringá, Brazil, October 2004: 5 grants offered to Latin American countries. (6) - BGRG Training Course, Windsor, UK, 2004: 1 grant offered to Eastern European countries. (7) - Tierra del Fuego Course, Argentina, March 2005: 4 grants offered to Latin American countries. (8) - Training course planned in April 2005 in Algeria was cancelled. (9) - An Intensive course on Soil erosion and Landslides will be held after the Zaragoza International Conference (September 2005).
Altogether, 11 courses have been supported and 29 grants awarded over the 4–year presidency of M. Panizza.
A request of support by the ICSU Dark Nature project (Yukon Conference 2005) was discussed, but the EC decided to devote all of the budget available for 2005 to grants for the Zaragoza International Conference (see Point 16).
A. Ozer discussed the library with J. Poesen: on each donation attach a label showing that it is property of J. De Ploey Library. All books will be stored at Department of Physical Geography, University of Leuven. A. Ozer presented a list of books in the Library and asked for further donations. M. Panizza suggested putting the request on the web site and in the Newsletter.
F. Gutiérrez reported on progress of preparations. Total number of registrations: 656. Convenors will evaluate abstracts and select chairmen. Abstracts received after April 11 will be rejected. Paper sessions and WG sessions have been finalized. D. Lóczy will send an updated list of National Delegates to organizers.
– First General Assembly, 7 September: M Panizza will summarize the goals of IAG/AIG during the period 2001-2005 and their implementation. WG proposals, proposals for international and regional conferences, and for new EC Members. Acceptance of new National Members.
– First Council Meeting, 8 September 9.00.
– Second Council Meeting 10 September 16.00: Voting on WG proposals, venues of International and Regional Conferences, EC members.
– Second General Assembly 11 September 8.00-19.00: M. Panizza announces the results of voting at Second Council Meeting (half an hour), and presents new EC, WG, and venue of 2009 International Conference. It is immediately followed (19.00-19.30) by Closing Ceremony at which both former and new presidents speak (evaluation and plans).
Plenary lectures (only half an hour each) will be by M. Panizza, A. Cendrero, I. Alcantara-Ayala, M. Thomas, M.T. Benazzouz and Xiaoping Yang. Plenary lectures should be concerned with concepts instead of particular research. Young geomorphologists meeting to be convened by an experienced professor to be named later.
F. and M. Gutiérrez-Elorza reported on grant requests (almost 100 were received). IAG previously approved EUR 10,000 to be devoted to grants for young gemorphologists from less favoured countries. Decisions are to be made during the Liège meeting by a commission following guidelines set by IAG EC: M. Soldati, F. Gutiérrez, I. Alcantara-Ayala. The following criteria were agreed upon: grants should be given to participants from European countries outside EU, from less-favoured countries (Purchasing Power Parity below USD 10,000), to applicants under 35 years of age, with abstract submitted, CV and recommendation letter from supervisor, and no IAG grants previously received during the quadriennium. The Organizing Committee will offer grants to young geomorphologists, national delegates from less favoured countries and retired scientists.
IAG pays the registration fees of EC members (11 people), ca EUR 4000. IAGAIG grants decision: out of 22 applicable requests, 15 grants will be awarded to applicants from Mexico (4), Russia (2), Argentina (2), South Africa (2), Brazil (1), China (1), India (1), Uganda (1) (total: EUR 10,000). A waiting list has also been compiled. Council dinner and EC dinner will be covered by the Organizing Committee. The expenses of participation (registration, travel and accommodation) for new Honorary Fellows will be paid from IAG/AIG budget (A. Pissart, L. Starkel, H. Verstappen, EUR 3000 in total).
M. Panizza suggested that the IAG/AIG Constitution should be printed in English and French and delivered to the participants in the Zaragoza Conference.
Proposals received for EC members: from Belgium: M. De Dapper (secretary), D. Balteanu (vice-president): from Poland: L. Andzejewski (vice-president). D. Lóczy is to send an invitation for further proposals stating that proposals should be sent to the Secretary 3 months before Zaragoza.
Proposals for International Conference: from USA (Desert Research Institute): San Francisco or San Antonio, and from the Australia-New Zealand Geomorphology Group: Melbourne.
Proposal for Regional Conference: from Poland: conference to be organized on Svalbard.
Publication of Proceedings from Zaragoza Conference: various journals are interested in the publication of papers of certain selected topics (Catena, Géomorphologie, Geomorphology, Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria etc.).
Modena-Trier, 20 May 2005
Mario Panizza, Dénes Lóczy
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