Annual Report 1997

The main activity of 1997 was IAGA's 8th Scientific Assembly, August 4-15, in Uppsala Sweden, held jointly with the 9th Solar Terrestrial Physics Symposium of SCOSTEP (Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics) and the International Commission on the Middle Atmosphere of IAMAS (International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences). A scientific highlight of the Assembly was the "Commemorative Lecture on the Contribution of Hannes Alfvйn to Geophysics", given by Professor C.-G. Fдlthammar, who was for many years a close collaborator of Professor Alfvйn and succeeded his chair at the Royal Institute of Technology. Professor Alfvйn's contributions are fundamental to the development of plasma physics, cosmical physics, and many subdisciplines of geophysics. The total number of officially registered participants was 1172, including 129 students. With the help of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, travel grants totaling nearly $65,000 were extended to 122 participants from 28 countries; these figures include an ICSU/UNESCO grant through IUGG of $7,700 for student travel assistance, which was awarded to 18 students from 12 countries. The diligence of the IAGA Division and Working Group Leaders, Session Conveners, and invited and contributing speakers and poster presenters made the Assembly a success.

Also during 1997, IAGA revised and greatly improved our Internet web site:, cosponsored one meeting, published Issues No. 36 and 37 of IAGA News, and began preparations for the 1999 IUGG Assembly in Birmingham, England, including attending a meeting of the 1999 Scientific Program Committee in Birmingham on September 16-18, 1997. IAGA President Masaru Kono attended a meeting of the IUGG Executive Committee September 18-20, 1997, also in Birmingham. IAGA applied for and received a 1998 ICSU grant to support the INTERMAGNET efforts to modernize and standardize global observations of Earth's magnetic field. Congratulations were extended to the Istanbul-Kandilli (Turkey) magnetic observatory for 50 years of operation, and to Professor Dr. Edward S. Kazimirovsky, Russia, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. We mourned the death of IAGA members Viggo Laursen, Denmark (Secretary-General of IAGA from 1951-57 and President from 1957-1960}, Hilkka Ranta, Finland (Chair of the IAGA Working Group II-D "External Forcing of the Middle Atmosphere"), Annick Berthelier, France (Co-Chair of Working Group V-2 "Geomagnetic Data, Indices and Applications"), as well as 14 other colleagues who were honored at the Uppsala Conference of Delegates.

IAGA Co-Sponsored Symposia and Workshops

In 1997, IAGA co-sponsored one meeting: Second Workshop on Solar Activity Effects on the Middle Atmosphere, August 18-22; Prague, Czech Republic.

A number of symposia were approved for Co-sponsorship in 1998, responding to the decision of the Executive Committee to increase the budgeted amount for assistance to regional meetings.


IAGA Bulletin n. 32u - Geomagnetic Data for 1990 was published by ICSU with the financial assistance of UNESCO through the mediation of the Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical data analysis Centers. The Bulletins are produced by the International Service of Geomagnetic Indices (ISGI) Publications Office which is hosted at the Centre d'etude des Environnements Terrestre et Plantaires (CETP, Saint-Maur, France), under the responsibility of Michel Menvielle.

IAGA Executive Committee Meeting

A meeting of the IAGA Executive Committee was held August 3 and 9 in Uppsala, Sweden, including joint discussions with the IAGA Division Leaders on August 9. We were honored by a visit from IUGG President Professor Peter Wyllie, who greeted us on behalf of the IUGG Executive Committee. Topics that were discussed included the specific matters listed below:

  • Received the report of Finance Committee, who examined the IAGA financial records for 1995 and 1996, and found them in good order.
  • Approved preliminary budgets for 1997 and 1998, including support for Inter Association Commissions and seed money for printing of an IAGA poster or new brochure.
  • Recognized persons who have donated money to the IAGA budget (volunteer contributions being an alternative to devising a "membership" plan). Decided that an Executive Committee meeting in 1998 should not cost more than $5000, and may thus be a teleconference if arrangements can be worked out.
  • Recommended that revision be made to the IAGA Statutes and Bye-Laws due to internal inconsistencies and a need for clearer language. These revisions will be sent to National Correspondents and Chief Delegates. Full discussion and a vote will be taken in Birmingham.
  • Appointed the following persons to liaison with other Scientific Bodies: COSPAR - Nagoya (1998): Eigil Friis-Christensen; SCOSTEP: D J Williams; ILP: Sven-Erik Hjelt; SEDI: Masaru Kono; IDNDR: Gordon Rostoker.
  • Accepted the invitation from Dr. Kim Thoa to host the 2001 IAGA Scientific Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam.

IAGA Conference of Delegates

The 1997 8th Scientific Assembly Conference of Delegates was held on Thursday 14 August, in Uppsala Sweden. Twenty-nine accredited delegates were registered, 25 responded to roll-call. The Conference approved the minutes of the 1995 Conference of Delegates and the 1997 Report of the Finance Committee, discussed and approved the actions of the Executive Committee since the 1995 Conference, presented Dr. Michael Gadsden, U.K., with a Certificate of Honorary Membership in recognition of his 20 years of service to IAGA (including Secretary-General from 1983-1995), reviewed the proposed Symposia for the 1999 Birmingham General Assembly, and approved 9 Resolutions (which are published in full in IAGA News No. 37 and listed on the IAGA web site). For the purposes of this report, only the concluding portion of each Resolution is given below:

  • Resolution # 1 recommendsthat an "International Decade for Geopotential-Field Research" be declared to provide an international focus for such efforts.
  • Resolution # 2 urgesthe community to consider using conventional land, marine, and airborne methods for completing gravity and magnetic anomaly coverage in polar regions.
  • Resolution # 3 urgesthe custodians of classified or confidential sets of low-level airborne and marine magnetic anomaly data to release them (or non-sensitive versions of them) into the public domain as soon as possible.
  • Resolution # 4 urgesthat all possible effort be made to maintain continuous operation of the stations contributing to the PC magnetic index, and to provide the PC-index to the international scientific community in near-real time via satellite data links.
  • Resolution # 5 urgesthe producers of the estimated indices to clearly label them with "est" at the end of each index name to distinguish them from the official IAGA indices.
  • Resolution # 6 thanksthe staff of observing stations that contribute data, the organisations that produce, disseminate, and publish geomagnetic activity indices and the national funding agencies that support these activities.
  • Resolution # 7 recommendsthat attention be given to repeating early paleomagnetic studies of lavas (for describing the palaeosecular variation of the geomagnetic field) using modern methods.
  • Resolution # 8 recommendsthat every possible effort be made to continue operation of Ebre Observatory and production of ssc and sfe data.
  • Resolution # 9 urgesthat institutions, laboratories, and individuals in possession of historically important materials geomagnetism and aeronomy make every effort to identify and conserve documents, instruments, and equipment of historical significance.

Finally, this Resolution of Thanks:

AGA, welcomingthe great success and superb organisation of its 8th Scientific Assembly at Uppsala, and recognisingthe enormous amount of work required to organise such a meeting, expressesits deep gratitude to the Local Organisers Dr. Rolf Bostцm, Chair) for their tireless efforts to make the Assembly such an outstanding success.