Science and Enabling Strategies for the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO)




IAPSO's Purpose Objectives
Response to Survey
October 2002 Think Tank


Science Focus Areas
Science Enabling Focus Areas
Outreach, Education and Transfer of Knowledge
Visibility and Communication
Organizational Structures


1. Statutes and By-Laws
2. Protocol of the Albert I Medal
3. Survey Questions
4. Membership of Strategic Planning Task Team



AGU: American Geophysical Union
ASLO: American Society for Limnology and Oceanography
AUV: Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
CLIC: Climate and the Cryosphere
CLIVAR: Climate Variability and Predictability
DOES Deep Ocean Exchanges with the Shelf
EGU: European Geophysical Union
EOS Newsletter - Transactions, American Geophysical Society
GA General Assembly
GCOS Global Climate Observing System
GEF Global Environment Facility
GLOBEC Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics
GOOS: Global Ocean Observing System
HF High Frequency
IABO: International Association for Biological Oceanography
IAHS: International Association of Hydrological Sciences
IAMAS: International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
IAPSO: International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICSU: International Council for Science
IGBP International Geosphere Biosphere Program
IGY International Geophysical Year
IHDP International Human Dimensions Program
IMBER Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research
IOC: International Oceanographic Commission
ITS: International Temperature Scale
IUGG: International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
JGOFS Joint Global Ocean Flux Study
LME Large Marine Ecosystem
NC: National Correspondents
OCEANS Follow on program to JGOFS
PICES Pacific equivalent of ICES
SCOR: Scientific Committee on Oceanographic Research
SOLAS Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study (IGBP)
TOGA: Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere
UN: United Nations
UNEP: United Nations Environment Program
UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
WCRP: World Climate Research Programme
WOCE: World Ocean Circulation Experiment




IAPSO is one of seven Associations which comprise the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) which was founded in 1919, and IUGG in turn is one of 25 Unions grouped within the International Council for Science (ICSU). Three IUGG Associations deal with the mathematics, physics and chemistry of the Earth's fluid environment, viz IAPSO (oceans), IAMAS (atmosphere) and IAHS (hydrology).

The International Geophysical Year (1957/58) provided the major impetus for the focus on, and advancement of, geophysics in the 20th century, and in this IAPSO played a significant role. The decades which followed the IGY witnessed unprecedented developments in the ocean sciences and the realization of truly international coordinated activities - even throughout the cold war years - with benefits for mankind extending to the present day. The last 15 years have seen an explosion in information technology and a revolution in global communications. In oceanography there have also been enormous advances in measurement technology and in modelling, and there has been the advent of a new era of what is referred to as "operational oceanography".

Concurrent with these developments, the way in which science is conducted and funded has changed substantially - both at the national and international levels. Societal and economic changes have resulted in the re-prioritization of science and science budgets in many countries with a shift towards "perceived relevance", particularly those with an interdisciplinary character. Of particular note has been the increased interactions between oceanographers, atmospheric scientists and hydrologists and between physics, biogeochemistry and socio-economics in addressing issues of climate variability and change and sustainability. Roles traditionally played by long established mono-disciplinary ICSU bodies have in some instances become less important as a consequence of the emergence of interdisciplinary programmes and the establishment of alternative international structures. Thus the conduct of science in the year 2004 is very different from what it was 50 or even 20 years ago. However, IAPSO has been affected somewhat less by all these changes than many other bodies, and the fact remains that IAPSO is the only truly international organization for the physical sciences of the oceans, including chemistry, and that understanding of the physics and chemistry of the oceans underpins all other ocean science areas. Moreover the Association has a long and proud history of achievement and possesses many strengths and unique attributes. Clearly IAPSO has an important role to play in the decades ahead - but we cannot afford to be complacent.

In order to realize its full potential, IAPSO has to re-assess its present role in marine science globally in the light of new challenges and opportunities, and then develop a vision for the future and a strategy through which to achieve it. Recognizing this, the Executive Committee of IAPSO at its meeting in Argentina in October 2001 decided to initiate steps to address this, and a small Task Team was appointed to assist the Executive with the process. The terms of reference of the Task Team were as follows:

  • To assess the present role of IAPSO in marine science globally and examine the challenges and opportunities which developments over the next 10-20 years may provide.
  • To review the aims and objects of IAPSO and propose revisions, where appropriate, in order to reflect current concerns and priorities.
  • To consider the options for the future development of IAPSO and to propose a realistic strategy and action plan for achieving the objects of the Association.
  • The above should include considerations of the following: (a) visibility/profile of IAPSO and to increase/revise it; (b) relevance of IAPSO to society in the 21st century; (c) importance/usefulness to member countries; (d) attractiveness of IAPSO activities to oceanographers (cf commissions and structures); (e) IAPSO role in education, outreach and transfer of knowledge; (f) linkages/partnerships with external (but related) organizations; (g) membership, subscriptions and financial matters, including the feasibility of a permanent secretariat.

In order to give direction and guidance to the process and at the same time ensure broad participation and transparency, the Task Team solicited opinions and advice from Members of the Association. (Note: Members of IAPSO are those countries which adhere to the IUGG. The By-Laws of IAPSO provide for adhering countries to form National Sub-Committees for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans - with communication between countries facilitated via National Correspondents (NCs). Some countries have such Sub-Committees, but others use different structures for communication between the National Correspondents and the scientists.) The responses received from the Member Countries (i.e. through the NCs) were then collated and synthesized in the form of a working document for a meeting of the Task Team in Cape Town in October 2002. The draft Strategic Plan (i.e. this document) which was the output from this meeting, was considered at the last General Assembly of the Association in Sapporo, Japan, July 2003.



The Purpose Objectives of IAPSO are defined in the Statutes as "Objects" (refer to Appendix 1). Purpose Objectives are general statements reflecting what an organization should do and attempt to achieve (i.e. they give direction to the organization). The Purpose Objectives of IAPSO are as follows:

  1. To promote the study of scientific problems relating to the ocean and interactions taking place at its boundaries, chiefly insofar as such study may be carried out by the aid of mathematics, physics and chemistry.
  2. To initiate, facilitate and coordinate research into and investigations of those problems of the ocean which require international cooperation.
  3. To provide for discussion, comparison and publications.

It was the view of the Task Team that these Objects of IAPSO were still entirely appropriate for the organization at the start of the 21st century (a view supported by the majority of IAPSO member countries - see below), and accordingly, no changes of substance are necessary.



The response to the Survey (Questionnaire) was most encouraging. By the final (extended) return date of 21 August 2002 completed questionnaires had been received from NCs in 30 IAPSO member countries. These countries were: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, China-Academy of Science in Taipei, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxenbourg, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan-China, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States of America. Several countries provided comprehensive comments to justify their points of view, and also useful suggestions as to how perceived problems could be addressed. The list of Questions and the proportions of "Yes" and "No" answers appears in Appendix 3. A brief synthesis of the responses (grouped under generic issues) is as follows:

Issue 1. Objects of IAPSO and relevance of the Association

The vast majority of respondents felt that the objects of the Association were appropriate for the 21st century. Moreover some 77% of NCs considered that IAPSO viewed in terms of its objects was relevant to today's society. What was less encouraging was that 47% of respondents felt that there would be no negative impact on the conduct of the physical sciences of the oceans if IAPSO were to cease to exist! Two countries suggested that biogeochemistry should be included in IAPSO's mandate. As biogeochemistry is a focus area of SCOR, IAPSO should collaborate closely with SCOR on biogeochemical issues. Another suggestion was that IAPSO should specifically refer to its role in addressing societal problems in its objects.

While the objects of IAPSO are evidently seen as relevant, there is a significant body of opinion that feels that IAPSO is really not addressing its Objects satisfactorily. In particular, IAPSO has not given sufficient attention to address Object (b). There was general support for the development of a clear set of goals/directions - but for a realistic time span. Another suggestion was that IAPSO should focus more attention on operational oceanography.

Issue 2. Collaboration within and outside IUGG

There was an overall strong support for IAPSO strengthening further its ties with its sister "fluid" Associations in IUGG, because many of the problems which are relevant to society involve interactions between the oceans, atmosphere and hydrosphere. The linkages, however, need to be promoted more actively and be ongoing, rather than every four years at IUGG General Assemblies. With respect to strengthening links between IAPSO and organizations in the biological and social sciences, there was again strong support. ( Moreover care should be taken not to usurp the function of SCOR.) It was also seen as an opportunity and challenge for IAPSO to play a pivotal role internationally in addressing societal problems, but here IAPSO would need to be proactive and think creatively.

Issue 3. Visibility and communication

Judging from responses to the questionnaire, this was an issue which requires paramount attention. The fact is that IAPSO has low visibility, and there are communication problems at all levels. Some 60% of respondents were not aware of the roles played by IAPSO Commissions, while 63% were not aware of the Association's role in SCOR. Several excellent suggestions have been made by the NCs to improve communication, including having a regular e-mail newsletter which can be distributed to all interested oceanographers with a minimal cost implication.

Issue 4. Education, outreach and transfer of knowledge

There was support from 70% of NCs for IAPSO devoting more attention to education and public outreach activities. This is an area which requires concerted effort - yet the rewards could be substantial if IAPSO were to successfully link the emerging ocean science communities in developing countries with mainstream oceanography. (The fact is that it is often the less-well developed countries that most need access to mainstream science and technology to address pressing societal problems. IAPSO is uniquely positioned to play such a facilitating role, perhaps in partnership with IOC and other inter-governmental bodies. Again it is a matter of IAPSO being proactive, innovative and finding appropriate partners and sponsors.) It was also suggested that IAPSO should augment its electronic "products" with hardcopy material. This would have cost implications.

Issue 5. Finances

The issue of inadequate financial resources is something that impacts on IAPSO's ability to address its objects. There was some support for introducing an individual member category as a mechanism for increasing income.

What was clear was that IAPSO needs to be innovative to address and find solutions to the financial challenges set by the proposed new initiatives. It is probably unreasonable to expect substantially increased grants from IUGG and that means that alternative options should be explored. Here it was suggested that "donor" funds could be forthcoming if IAPSO were to demonstrate its ability to address significant societal problems and/or act as a catalyst or conduit for such funds in putting together international partnerships which would result in transfer of technology and knowledge - i.e. in real benefits for less-developed communities. However, funding for "core" science activities may be more difficult to find.

Issue 6. Structures and assemblies

There was 70% support for the establishment of a paid secretariat as it was felt by some that this would go a long way towards addressing some of the issues raised in the survey. However, questions were raised as to how this could be funded.

What was apparent from the survey exercise was that the present system of having National Correspondents is not universally satisfactory. The NCs are admittedly effective in a handful of countries, but not in the majority. Moreover, it seems that the majority of NCs really do not interact adequately with the oceanographic communities in their respective countries. As regards the Commissions, the responses indicate the need for IAPSO to examine whether they are really the most effective mechanism within IAPSO to address specific science issues.



At the meeting of the Task Team in October 2002 in Cape Town the responses to the Survey/Questionnaire were examined, the present role of IAPSO internationally was reviewed, challenges and opportunities were listed and debated, science and enabling focus areas in which the Association will play leadership roles were formulated, and a foundation was laid for the development of a strategy for IAPSO up to 2010.

The examination of responses to the IAPSO Survey highlighted a number of points. These are:

  • The existing statutes are still entirely appropriate for the coming decades and no changes to these are recommended. The By-Laws, however, require updating to reflect recent developments (e.g. the establishment of the Prince Albert I Medal for science excellence).
  • Although most countries have National Committees for the IUGG, few have formal structures relating to IAPSO per se. Accordingly, the National Correspondents for IAPSO do not generally have appropriate network and communication structures available in their countries. Thus the responses to the Survey were in many instances more an expression of personal opinion rather than a country position. Moreover, interaction with several of the NCs was problematic. Clearly IAPSO will need to re-think the role of NCs and country networks.
  • There are several international agencies - both governmental and non-governmental - which address various aspects of ocean science. Accordingly, IAPSO cannot function in isolation, but rather must further strengthen its links with these bodies.
  • IAPSO is perceived as focussing on open ocean science. The role of the Association in boundary areas (coast, seabed, sea-air) requires more prominence.
  • The General Assemblies provide a potentially valuable forum for discussion of new directions in ocean science.
  • IAPSO has a very low visibility. This could be improved via a regular e-journal and/or newsletter. Hard copies of selected material to augment the electronic media are essential.
  • The role of the physical sciences of the oceans in fields such as fisheries needs to be highlighted.
  • Close collaboration with sister Associations within the IUGG must be a priority.
  • Interaction between IAPSO and social scientists is important but difficult to implement.
  • Outreach to young scientists, and increasing their involvement in IAPSO is seen as a very high priority. This could be facilitated inter alia via summer/winter schools, by giving recognition to young scientists who excel by the establishment of an award, through closer collaboration with UN agencies such as IOC/UNESCO and UNEP, etc.
  • Union lectures at the four-yearly General Assemblies are particularly important and require promoting.
  • IAPSO could play a supporting role by sponsoring sessions and symposia at assemblies/meetings of other ocean science organizations.

At the Think Tank, scientific issues that presented both challenges and opportunities for IAPSO over the coming decade were identified. These included inter alia the following:

  • Earth systems science
  • Data assimilation : from the fundamentals to operational ocean forecasting
  • Deep ocean exchanges with the continental shelf
  • Revision of the equation of state of sea water
  • Physical and chemical processes as key elements of the structure and dynamics of marine ecosystems:
    • Sustainable ecosystem and fishery management
  • Systematically observing the oceans :
    • Advances in sensors and new developments
    • Satellites : potential facilitating role for IAPSO for setting standards and easing access to satellite products.
    • Autonomous observations
    • Standards and methods of observation
    • Data and information management
    • Transition from research to operational modes of GOOS and GCOS

From these challenges and opportunities the Task Team identified a suite of science and enabling focus areas in which IAPSO could play a leadership role during the early part of the 21st century. These are listed and discussed under "Strategic Issues and Focus Areas" as are the proposed strategies and actions.

At the Think Tank, various other issues of relevance to the Association were addressed. These included: external factors which are critical to the success of IAPSO; linkages and partnerships among IAPSO and other relevant organizations; visibility and communication; education, outreach and transfer of knowledge; assemblies, workshops and meetings; organizational structures and finances. The conclusions relevant to these components appear under "Strategic Issues and Focus Areas".




The Mission of IAPSO can be expressed as follows:

IAPSO advances the physical sciences of the oceans by promoting, initiating, participating in and coordinating research into problems that require international co-operation, as well as standardization of measurements. The Association is uniquely equipped to serve the international community of physical and chemical oceanographers, to act as their voice, and respond to the needs of member countries. IAPSO is one of seven International Associations which collectively comprise the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). In order to achieve its goals, IAPSO interacts with national and regional ocean science organizations and with other national regional and international bodies where multidisciplinary collaboration between the physical sciences of the oceans, other natural sciences and human sciences is beneficial. The Association, through the IUGG, adheres to the International Council for Science (ICSU), subscribes to the principle of free circulation of scientists, and strives for excellence in its endeavours.

The goals of IAPSO stem directly from IAPSO's Purpose Objectives ( defined in the Statutes as "Objects" ) and constitute a more detailed expansion of them:

  • Advancement of international research in the physical sciences of the oceans, recognizing that the oceans comprise an integral part of the earth system and that interactions taking place at the coast, seabed and sea-air boundaries are also of critical importance.
  • Provide leadership and a sense of focus for the global (physical) ocean community, and serve as a conduit for the application of ocean physics in developing countries.
  • Serve as the international forum for the physical sciences of the oceans for the review and discussion of research, stimulation and encouragement of the development of new concepts, approaches and directions, and advancement of knowledge.
  • Set standards for the conduct of physical oceanographic research and to promote the achievement of high measurement standards.
  • Sponsor and co-ordinate relevant scientific activities and promote interdisciplinary co-operation between the physical ocean sciences, other geophysical sciences, other natural sciences and the social sciences which address global societal issues.
  • Foster collaboration between developed and developing countries in research in ocean physical sciences, capacity building, and application.
  • Develop strategies to enhance the visibility and influence of the physical sciences of the oceans in public affairs and to society at large.
  • Encourage excellence in research and education in the physical sciences of the oceans, and to acknowledge excellence therein through prestigious awards.
  • Encourage the career development of young oceanographers.



Three science foci have been identified as priority areas for IAPSO activities during the period 2003п2010. Brief details of these and proposed strategic actions follow:

1. Earth System Science

Recent advances in science and technology provide the community with an unprecedented opportunity to advance our understanding of the intimate and complex relationships among physical, chemical and biological processes that shape the Earth System. This poses an enormous intellectual challenge, but this understanding is essential for making decisions about how best to manage the effects of human activity on our planet. Any approach to Earth System Science must cut across environmentally oriented disciplines such as atmospheric science, physical geography, physical, chemical , biological oceanography and environmental engineering, and must capitalize on the new observational tools and technologies now available for the Earth exploration. Earth System Science thus emphasizes the fundamental understanding of the Earth as an integrated system operating in a wide range of space and time scales.

Over the last few centuries , the human race has emerged as a major influence on the Earth's system. We have modified the flow of energy and matter between the land, atmosphere and oceans, with effects on the full system that are just now starting to emerge. Climate change is just one example of such recent anthropogenic changes as is the dramatic decrease in specie change rates. The realization that we can alter the Earth's climate marks the beginning of a new phase in the evolution of the planet, one in which our activities, rather than the collective processes of all organisms, control the Earth processes. The latter ones operate over spatial scales that range from molecular to global and on time scales from seconds to millennia and affect all the components of the Earth System. The challenge is indeed enormous: we do not fully understand how anthropogenic- induced changes will affect the planet's ability to provide for human needs in the long term. We do not even know whether it is even possible to predict the effects of these changes on the future itself of the Earth.

The vision is that of a planet in which networks of novel sensors , coupled models of all the Earth System components ( atmosphere, oceans, land, cryosphere and biosphere), and cyberinfrastruture for data handling, dissemination and visualization will help to anticipate the effects of human induced disturbances. Based upon these new tools, it will be possible to develop the needed understanding that will allow scientists to distinguish among natural variability and changes caused by human activity, facilitating rational resources allocation.

Possible focus areas include:

  • Climate and Global change
  • Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Environmental Information Technology and Cyberinfrastructure
  • New Sensor Technologies and Networks

Proposed strategic action: IAPSO will participate in developing science and implementation plans for Global Change and Earth System Science Programmes. IAPSO will promote the dissemination of the novel concepts, approaches and methodologies of Earth System Science to developing countries by establishing contacts with scientists/ Institutes of the more advanced countries.

2. Data assimilation: from the fundamentals to operational ocean forecasting

During the last decade, ocean data assimilation has evolved into a mature science. It is a quantitative approach that can now be used in a mathematically rigorous way to extract maximum information from the relatively sparse observations of the time-varying ocean, of its circulation and of its interactions with the other components of the Earth's system. There are many applications that involve data assimilation or build on its results, the ultimate goal being the need for predictions and understanding of ocean dynamics on multiple space and time scales. In all these applications data assimilation exploits the knowledge of the equations of motion, heat and salt conservation, the overlying meteorological forcing functions as well as explicitly accounting for errors in the models and in the observations.

Many applications in research and operations require the routine analysis of the ocean state. To date there are three strands all with different methodologies and requirements. The need for real-time now-casting and forecasting of the mesoscale eddy field is the first; the estimation of the ocean initial condition in coupled ocean-atmosphere models for seasonal/inter-annual predictions is a second one; the model-data synthesis of the ocean over the last several decades with a quality required for climate dynamics analysis is yet a third distinct application.

Among the first set of applications, of increasing importance is the need for permanent, continuously operating real-time regional ocean prediction systems required to support a variety of critical activities in the marine coastal environment, including fisheries, navigation and marine operations, response to oil and hazardous material spills, search and rescue, and prediction of harmful algal blooms and other ecosystem or water quality phenomena. The implementation of such systems in turn requires advanced technologies in sensors and observing systems, numerical models and data assimilation, as well as the infrastructures necessary to jointly use them.

Coastal ocean observation networks are now being constructed at numerous locations and the US and European networks can be prototypes for more extensive systems. Enabling technologies that make this possible include the rapid advances in sensor and platform technologies, multiple real-time communication systems for transmitting the data and the emergence of a universal method for the distribution of results via the world wide web. Future sensors that will expand observing capabilities include new ocean colour satellites, altimeters, HF radars and autonomous vehicles. Particularly important are the efforts of the Global Ocean Observing System to develop an observational network for the global ocean which also meets the requirements for regional ocean observations and forecasting.

Concurrently, hydrodynamic and ecological models for the regional systems have been developed and are beginning to show considerable skills. The crucial step allowing for real-time regional forecasting is the development, started in the late 80's, of oceanographic data assimilation which has now reached a mature stage allowing for the emergence of a new scientist: the ocean forecaster.

Proposed strategic action: IAPSO will promote the creation of regional real-time forecasting systems in developing countries capitalizing on the expertise developed in the US and Europe. A series of workshops under IAPSO sponsorship will be held with the first workshop to occur in South Africa in November 2004.

IAPSO will establish contacts with the GOOS program in order to identify topics of mutual interest in which IAPSO can play a constructive role.

3. Deep Ocean Exchanges with the Shelf

A new international programme will be established by IAPSO to look at exchanges between the deep ocean and the shelf seas. A working group on Deep Ocean Exchanges with the Shelf (DOES), chaired by Dr. J. Johnson, is to be formed to organize a symposium in 2005. The primary goal of DOES is to understand the physical and chemical interactions taking place at the shelf break between the deep ocean circulation and the shelf currents. The shelf break is a region of steep slopes, strong narrow currents, internal tides, shelf waves and significant vertical motion.

Modellers have often regarded the shelf break as the nominal seaward boundary of shelf models or the coastal boundary of deep sea models. Even with the finest resolutions in ocean general circulation models, the shelf region is poorly resolved with only a few grid points. Ocean observers have difficulty in securing measurements at the edge of the shelf due to the narrowness of the currents and steep slopes.

DOES will include:

  • Physical processes due to shelf waves, internal tides, shelf break upwelling.
  • Chemical and biological flux exchanges between the deep ocean and coastal ecosystems.
  • River and estuary input of sediment and fresh water.
  • Coupled physical-chemical-biological numerical models that have a better description of the exchanges at the shelf edge.
  • The influence of ocean physics around the shelf break on fisheries and climate.
  • Dissipation of tidal motion along the continental margins.
  • Flows over sills.

Proposed strategic action: A Working Group on DOES will be formed by IAPSO. (To be chaired by Dr J. Johnson).



Three broad foci have been identified as priorities for science enabling activities by IAPSO during the period 2003п2010. Brief details of these and proposed strategic actions are:

1. Revision of Equation of State

Defining the equation of state for sea water is fundamental to a number of aspects of observing the physical state of the oceans and in representing ocean processes in numerical models. The equation of state is presently defined in terms of algorithms published by Fofonoff and Millard, 1983. (Reference at bottom of page *). Virtually, all high precision ocean measurements are now made using the 1990 temperature scale (ITS-90). In order to use the equations of state, the common practice (for example during WOCE) was to convert measured temperatures from (ITS-90) to (ITS-68), apply the equation of state and, if necessary, convert back to ITS-90.

A growing group of younger scientists are unaware of the 1990 change, and may therefore wrongly employ the equation of state without taking into account the temperature conversion. In addition, the 1990/1968 conversion is done with an approximate linear formula, deemed to be "adequate" for oceanographic purposes but not rigorously precise.

Since the present equation of state was defined, there has been a significant body of work on the thermodynamics of sea water, including the derivation of a Gibbs function from which other variables can be deduced. A poster at the 2002 final WOCE conference by T. McDougall pointed out that temperature is not properly conserved when a mixture is made of two waters with differing temperature and salinity. IAPSO will form a working group to produce a new "official" equation of state that works directly in ITS-90. This could be done by conversion of the old formulae or by making new formulae directly from the source data.

*Fofonoff,N.P. and R.C.Millard,Jr,1983: Algorithms for computation of fundamental properties of seawater.UNESCO Technical Papers in Marine Science, Paris;No 44, 53 pp

Proposed strategic action: IAPSO will form a Working Group on the Equation of State that will consider the wider thermodynamics of sea water, rather than simple conversion of old formulae. This would lead to a new set of equation of state relations that are thermodynamically consistent.

2. Systematically Observing the Ocean.

The greater part of the 20th century was spent on what might be described as expeditionary oceanography that was limited by the capabilities and endurance of single research vessels and their scientific parties. With the advent of earth observing satellites and through the drive created by the TOGA and particularly the WOCE programmes we are now in an era of sustained global observations. Most importantly, WOCE provided us with an unprecedented baseline data set for the 1990s, against which past and future changes in the ocean can be assessed.

This new era brings with it both opportunities and challenges. Our expectations are high. By using autonomous vehicles we can make measurements largely free of the constraints of ship availability and independent of seasonal constraints. Surface drifters produce high quality velocity, temperature, salinity and atmospheric pressure data. The Argo array of profiling floats is over 33% of the way towards its 3000 float target. Autonomous gliders have the potential for repeated sections through the boundary currents that have a central role in global heat and freshwater transports, and powered Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) can explore under sea and shelf ice to provide observations that are impossible by any other means. Research vessels continue to make observations of the highest quality and to explore the interior of the ocean and its exchanges at its margins.

These new in situ observing techniques and the global data that they (together with satellites) provide, have made possible ocean and climate forecasting with huge potential benefits to the earth's population. Some have referred to this as an era of "operational oceanography" but we are as yet some way from the stage at which any ocean observations that are of value or the assimilations of these data into models can be considered as entirely routine. The research community needs to remain fully engaged in the development of observing systems and of the means by which they and models are combined.

We are still learning about the stability and performance of sensors deployed for many years in the ocean. Many still fall well short of optimum performance. We have much to learn about the synergy and complementarity of the various observing systems, and we need to ensure that observations from whatever source are made according to procedures that ensure their quality and utility.

Proposed strategic actions: In each of these areas IAPSO, as an Association firmly focussed on the physical and chemical sciences of the ocean, can have a beneficial impact by:

  • promoting the assessment and evaluation of new physical and chemical sensors (particularly those designed for autonomous use) and by encouraging the development of novel sensors having low power consumption and high stability.
  • taking responsibility for promoting and advising on best practice in ocean observations such that the global data sets that so result will be of uniform and high accuracy.
  • imparting training to scientists from developing countries on modern data acquisition and modelling techniques in concert with other international organizations.
  • by providing an international forum through which the development of ocean state estimation and ocean forecasting may be advanced.
  • working with other international (e.g., WCRP, ICES, PICES) and intergovernmental bodies (IOC) to ensure the development of an effective system to deliver high quality ocean data to a wide range of researchers and ocean applications programmes in a timely and user-friendly manner.

3. Role of Physical and Chemical Processes as Key Elements of the Structure and Dynamics of Marine Ecosystems

Ecosystems are dynamic, highly complex structures in a constant state of flux.Thus a systematic approach to the study of ecosystems must be framed in the context of continuous change, with all the commensurate challenges to measurement and monitoring of the system response. Furthermore, the ecosystem health in different regions of the world depends on the state of nature in each location and the influence of anthropogenic activities. The impact of the latter disturbances must be gauged against a background of natural variability. Many of the ecosystems linked to marginal and semi-enclosed seas often endowed with large shelves where major rivers discharge, have undergone large deterioration during the last decades. The most well known example of such deterioration is the Black Sea whose shelf was recently defined as an "euthropic soup".

The structure and dynamics of these ecosystems are crucially controlled by physical and chemical processes. In the field of marine science, international initiatives such as IGBP/SCOR JGOFS, GLOBEC and the new IGBP/SCOR IMBER programme rely on interdisciplinary exchanges and links with the oceanographic community to assess, quantify and model the role of physical and chemical processes on the biological components, from biogeochemistry to fishery resources. Furthermore, international endeavours that manage large marine ecosystems in a sustained manner ( e.g., in the Global Environmental Facilities' suite of LME projects) require interactive involvement between oceanographers of all disciplines.

Another very important earth component in which oceanographers are involved is the earth climate with a strong commitment of the community to WCRP projects such as CLIVAR. While the impact of climate change and variability on marine ecosystems is presented as a key component of all the above activities, there is still relatively little link among the above projects. Thus there is an opportunity for IAPSO to play an important role in bridging the divide between the earth climate issues and marine ecosystem dynamics.

Proposed strategic action: IAPSO will endeavour to connect these programmes by developing research areas aimed at reconciling the geographic scales addressed by the different communities. IAPSO will promote the use of models to downscale from the basin scale atmospheric and oceanographic variability to the scale of regional ecosystems.



Today, Global Change investigations occupy a central role in earth's System Studies. A number of major international initiatives such as IGBP, WCRP and IHDP are addressing Global Change issues, individually and jointly. These issues are quite complex and involve studies on various water reservoirs of the earth both on regional and global scales. Oceans, because of their inherent physical and biogeochemical properties, play a key role in Global Change. For a number of countries, particularly developing nations, to be involved in ocean related studies, it is important that they have well trained scientists with adequate technical skills. Further, today's ocean science programs are almost unaffordable for most developing nations; therefore, their participation in such programs has to rely on the development of viable "partnerships" among them and developed nations.

IAPSO is one international mechanism which can promote education in oceanography, help transfer knowledge between developed and developing nations and strengthen partnerships among various countries to address important regional and global scientific issues pertaining to oceans. More than two thirds of IAPSO national committees have suggested that IAPSO should give more attention to educational and public outreach activities. IAPSO can undertake such a task both by itself and also jointly with other oceanographic organizations (IOC, SCOR, etc.) .Suggestions for promoting educational and outreach activities include:

  1. fostering ocean and environment related issues in public education.
  2. sponsoring popular lectures on physical sciences of the ocean, especially in relation to fisheries, sustainable development, climate, tourism, etc.
  3. organizing educational conferences to teachers and providing teaching materials
  4. supporting emerging universities in oceanography.
  5. establishing and providing IAPSO Fellowships to young scientists.
  6. arranging on a regular basis winter/summer schools on physical sciences in oceans and related topics.
  7. conducting short courses/publish fliers to promote more public awareness about man-ocean interactions.
  8. providing newsletters/brochures and review articles, which are another means of communicating and disbursing information on current topics.
  9. having IAPSO Presidents and Past Presidents visiting and giving informational lectures about IAPSO activities/events in IAPSO countries during their terms of office.

The national committees also had provided suggestions for building partnerships between developing and developed nations and technology transfer. Some of these are:

  1. to identify generic problems in various regions which can be addressed through physical oceanography. One example is the development of coastal circulation/mixing models to help with better water management and pollutant control.
  2. to provide financial support to enhance scientist interactions (e.g., establish visiting scholarships for scientists from developing nations, reduce costs for their participation in meetings).
  3. to enhance inter-institutional collaborations, promote exchange visits.
  4. to develop regional programmes with scientists from developed nations and from the region.
  5. to co-ordinate regional training programmes and facilitate in providing onboard training for young scientists from developing nations on modern analytical techniques.

Implementation of many of the above suggestions require substantial financial resources. One approach to get around this problem would be to undertake some of these training/teaching programmes jointly with other oceanographic organizations such as the IOC which are known for some of their regional initiatives and training programmes. Several countries, particularly many developing nations, are members of IOC. IAPSO should explore establishing joint programmes with IOC which would bring modern trends in physical sciences of the ocean to developing nations, and establish training schools in modelling and measurements. Further, such joint initiatives can also enhance the role of IAPSO in operational oceanography as it could be involved in implementation of GOOS/GECOS.

Any effort to impart higher education and training and mediate technology transfer by IAPSO would go a long way not only in bringing oceanographers from developing nations into mainstream oceanography, but also in enhancing the profile and visibility of IAPSO. Such initiatives would also promote the role of IAPSO in addressing societal issues, many of which pertain to water management, pollutant transfer, fisheries, tourism, etc., in coastal areas. This would be a challenging task for IAPSO, but it is one of the unique international organizations which can take up such a role. Towards this, IAPSO has to be proactive to establish partnerships with other interested international organizations and be innovative to find viable approaches to carry out these activities.

Proposed strategic action:

The IAPSO Executive Committee will prioritize and choose the most important of the above proposed educational and outreach activities for immediate action.



The visibility of IAPSO by national and international organizations and by individual scientists is far from optimal. There are many reasons for this, but the main one may lie in insufficient communication among IAPSO Executive Officers and the National Correspondents, and among these groups and the organizations/scientists in each individual country.

The latter deficiency is most likely due to the lack of guidance from IAPSO as to the expectations placed upon the individuals identified as National Correspondents. It is obvious, however, that the future success of IAPSO as the leading and only truly international organization for the Physical/Chemical Sciences of the Ocean lies in a) setting a scientific agenda (as is outlined in earlier sections) and b) in solving these communication problems.

To address b), a series of strategic actions should be undertaken with urgency.

These are:

  1. Establishment of a monthly IAPSO electronic newsletter, to be prepared by the Secretary General with the help of the Executive Officers and distributed to the National Correspondents and to a select list of scientists in the physical and chemical sciences of the ocean.
  2. Transformation of the IAPSO web site into an interactive site to allow direct communication and feedbacks among IAPSO officers and worldwide scientists.
  3. Design of a hard copy leaflet to be distributed to Member Countries of IAPSO. This will be of special value in countries with limited internet access.
  4. Organization of IAPSO-led symposia/sessions at international meetings such as AGU, EGU, ASLO, The Oceanography Society, etc.
  5. Creation of a free IAPSO membership for which members are elected by simply filling a form distributed at the IAPSO-led symposia at the biennial general assemblies. This mechanism, used by the Commission Internationale pour l'Exploration Scientifique de la Mer Mediterranee, has been proven very effective in creating an e-mail list of worldwide scientists to which the electronic newsletter could also be distributed.
  6. Formalization of IAPSO Member meetings at the General Assemblies in a manner consonant to IUGG style:
    • distribute a formal agenda to the Members before the meetings
    • distribute written minutes after the meetings
    • summarize and distribute action items to be carried out by the Executive Committee and /or by the National Correspondents.

Strategic actions needed to identify the National Correspondents:

  • Identification in each country of the leading organization in the Physical and Chemical Sciences of the Ocean and possibly of the leading individual.
  • Official request from IAPSO President and Secretary General to the national agency to identify and appoint new National Correspondents according to the designed profile.
  • Definition by the IAPSO Executive Committee of a "National Correspondent" profile, e.g. of the duties and commitments expected from the National Correspondents. The latter ones include:
    • dissemination of information of IAPSO activities to the country community by establishing an e-mail network
    • organization of national coordination meetings with the National Correspondents of other IUGG Associations before IUGG General Assemblies
    • the writing of biennial reports to IAPSO Secretary General about the country activities related to and relevant to IAPSO objects
    • attendance at IAPSO meetings at the General Assemblies


IAPSO's focus is on the physical sciences of the oceans. Thus for IAPSO to be more relevant to current and future international initiatives in oceanography and in Global Change which by nature are multi-disciplinary, IAPSO has to build new partnerships and strengthen existing ones with other groups which would complement its strength in physical sciences. The primary goal of these partnerships should be for IAPSO to provide inputs on physical/chemical oceanography issues, without encroaching into the functions of other oceanographic scientific bodies.

IAPSO has strong ties with SCOR through joint Working Groups and membership in the SCOR Executive. This relation, however, needs to be strengthened further to involve IAPSO in the development and planning of SCOR's Large Scale Oceanographic/Global Change Programs. The IAPSO-SCOR link should serve as a step towards establishing ties with IGBP and WCRP which are actively pursuing studies on the role of oceans in Global Change and are co-sponsors of some of the large- scale programmes of SCOR. The SOLAS and OCEANS are examples of IGBP-SCOR international initiatives in which IAPSO can contribute to the physical oceanography component.

IOC is another organization with which IAPSO should promote linkages, as this would help bring IAPSO's activities to many countries, especially the developing nations which are members of IOC. This would also provide an opportunity for IAPSO (i) to be involved in regional/coastal oceanographic problems; (ii) to help with human resource development, transfer of technologies from developed to developing nations; (iii) to participate in educational/training activities; (iv) to develop protocols for data gathering and analysis in GOOS/GCOS programs. Many of these activities have societal implications and thus provide IAPSO an opportunity to play a key role in addressing societal issues.

A major initiator of both ocean observations and modelling in the past two decades has been the programs of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). First TOGA, then WOCE had enormous impact and now the drive continues through the CLIVAR project on Climate Variability and Predictability, and the CLIC project. WCRP has a specific climate agenda and there are many areas of ocean observation and modelling (and indeed of improving our fundamental understanding of how the ocean "works") that lie outside WCRP's direct remit. In earlier paragraphs we have identified some of these (e.g., DOES, equation of state, standards for ocean observations). Thus there is an enormous potential for a productive partnership between IAPSO and WCRP.

Within IUGG, IAPSO has strong linkages with IAMAS (atmosphere) and IAHS (hydrology) the two other associations which deal with the earth's fluid environment. These linkages result from the interactions of the oceans with the atmosphere and the hydrological cycle which influence climate and environment, topics of societal interest. These ties are mainly through joint meetings or co-sponsored symposia as a part of IUGG General Assemblies and, therefore, are limited in scope. Considering the scientific and societal importance of ocean-atmospheric interactions and global hydrological cycles, these linkages have to be more active and continuous. Suggestions to achieve this include development of long-term strategies for the associations and identifying potential areas of collaborations, establishing joint WGs or commissions on topical issues.

There is also strong support for strengthening the interactions between IAPSO and the biological sciences (IABO) and social sciences (IHDP). The success of the Mar del Plata IAPSO-IABO Joint Assembly (2001) has brought to light the need for such interactions in the future to better understand the coupling between ocean physics and biology or how to manage the ecosystems in a sustainable manner.

In addition, to enhance the awareness of IAPSO activities among geoscientists, it should hold symposia/special sessions as a part of EGU Assemblies and AGU meetings. Further, the AGU publication, EOS, can serve as a good medium for communicating IAPSO activities to a wide audience. Towards all these, IAPSO needs to build partnerships with these organizations. Similarly there are oceanographic societies, with which IAPSO may like to interact and build ties to promote its scientific profile and visibility. Thus, IAPSO needs to be "proactive" around a broad spectrum of organizations to promote its scientific goals and activities.

A major requirement for promoting interactions between IAPSO and other organizations is finance. Establishment of joint WGs and participation in large -scale programmes require funds. Priority, therefore, must be to enhance the financial base of IAPSO.



The existing Statutes and By-Laws of IAPSO provide for: a Bureau comprising the President and the Secretary General; an Executive Committee comprising the President, immediate Past President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and six additional persons elected from countries which adhere to the IUGG; the IAPSO Commissions and Services, and the National Correspondents. IAPSO does not have a Treasurer; that function at present is being addressed by the Secretary General.

The following changes in respect of the above are envisaged:

  1. The present functions of Secretary General will be split between a Secretary General (with a revised job description) and a Treasurer (duties to be defined). To avoid expansion of the Executive Committee the position of Deputy Secretary General will disappear and be replaced by the position of Treasurer.
  2. The Bureau will then comprise the President, Past President, Secretary General and Treasurer.
  3. While IAPSO does not have sufficient financial resources to make the post of Secretary General a paid position, IAPSO will ask countries proposing candidates for this position to provide appropriate financial and infrastructure support.
  4. A clear policy will be developed concerning the appointment, function and duties of National Correspondents and requirements for National Committees/ Sub-committees for IAPSO.


Consistent with its Statutes, and in pursuit of its newly-defined Goals through the implementation of agreed Strategic Actions, IAPSO will become the organization of choice for the initiation, development and implementation of multi-national research in the physical sciences of the oceans. Further, IAPSO will enable the transfer of knowledge and expertise in these fields between developed and developing countries, and serve as the recognized international voice for the physical sciences of the oceans, thereby informing, advising and influencing international ocean policy and decision making for the benefit of global society.






Adopted by the General Assembly at Berne, October 1967, modified at Canberra, December 1979, and modified by mail ballot, 1998.

    I. Objects, Composition and Membership of the Association.

  1. The International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO) is a constituent of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. The Association is subject to those articles of the Statutes and By-Laws of the Union which apply to Associations, and also to these Statutes.
  2. The objects of the Association are:
    1. To promote the study of scientific problems relating to the ocean and interactions taking place at its boundaries, chiefly insofar as such study may be carried out by the aid of mathematics, physics and chemistry.
    2. To initiate, facilitate and coordinate research into and investigations of those problems of the ocean which require international cooperation.
    3. To provide for discussion, comparison and publications.
  3. Those countries which adhere to the Union are Members of the Association, and are hereafter referred to as "Member Countries". By resolution of a General Assembly of the Association, other international organizations which are concerned with the study of physical sciences of the oceans may be admitted to Membership, with the status of guests.
  4. !!. Administration

  5. The Authority of the Association shall be vested in the Member Countries adhering to the Union, and exercised collectively by their delegates meeting in General Assembly of the Association.
  6. The Association shall hold business meetings at the General Assemblies of the Union, to be held normally once every four years.
  7. The Association may recommend to the Executive Committee of the Union, at a General Assembly of the Union, arrangement of joint sessions of two or more Associations or of joint meetings of two or more Committees or Commissions for the discussion of topics of an interdisciplinary character.

    With the concurrence of the Executive Committee of the Union, the Association may arrange General Assemblies and other meetings of its own in the interval between the General Assemblies of the Union, either singly to deal with topics of specific interest, or jointly with another Association or other Associations.

  8. The General Assembly of the Association shall elect the President, the two Vice-Presidents, the Secretary General and the Treasurer ( new position) of the Association.
  9. The Bureau of the Association shall consist of the President, Past President, the Secretary General and the Treasurer. Its duties shall be to conduct the affairs of the Association in accordance with the decisions of the foregoing General Assemblies of the Association. It shall prepare the Agenda for General Assemblies.
  10. The General Assembly of the Association shall elect, from Member Countries which adhere to the Union, six persons who, together with the President, immediate Past President, Vice Presidents, Secretary General, and Treasurer, shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Association.
  11. A Nominations Committee of four persons from Member Countries which adhere to the Union will be appointed by the Executive Committee. The Nominations Committee will normally include the immediate Past President as its Chairperson. Its function will be to scrutinize nominations received for positions on the Executive Committee which become vacant, to seek additional nominations where appropriate, to ensure disciplinary and geographical distribution, and to prepare a final slate of candidates for election by the General Assembly.
  12. The Executive Committee of the Association may establish medals and awards to recognize individuals for their accomplishments in advancing the knowledge of the physical and chemical sciences of the oceans.
  13. III. Voting

  14. On scientific matters, each delegate present shall have one vote.
  15. In questions of administration or of mixed, administrative and scientific character not involving questions of finance, voting shall be by Member Countries, each Member Country having one vote with the provision that its subscription shall have been paid up to the end of the year preceding the voting.
  16. questions involving finance, voting shall be by Member Countries, with the same provision as for administrative questions. The number of votes for each Member Country shall be one greater than the number of its category of membership to the Union.
  17. In case of doubt as to which class a question belongs, and in all cases of equality of votes, the chairman shall decide.
  18. A delegate shall represent only one Member Country. An adhering Member Country not represented by a delegate may forward by post its vote on any specific question of an agenda.
  19. Guests will not vote.
  20. IV. General

  21. These Statutes shall be changed only by a majority of two thirds of the votes cast at a General Assembly by delegates or by post.
  22. The Association may make By-Laws which may be changed by a simple majority of the votes cast at a General Assembly by the delegates or by post.
  23. This English text shall be the authoritative text of the Statutes of the Association.


Adopted by the General Assembly at Berne, October 1967, modified at Canberra, December 1979, modified at Honolulu, August 1995, and modified by mail ballot, 1998.

  1. Membership of the Association
    1. It is recommended that each adhering Member Country shall form a National Sub-Committee for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean, to which correspondence may be addressed.
    2. Each adhering Member Country and each international member may contribute to the Agenda of General Assemblies of the Association.
  2. Administration

      1. The President and the Vice-Presidents shall be elected for one four-year term. Their terms shall be the interval between the ends of two successive General Assemblies of the Association. A Vice-President may be elected for one additional four- year term.
      2. The term of the immediate Past President shall run from the end of the General Assembly at which the new President is elected until the end of the next General Assembly.
      3. The Secretary General and the Treasurer shall be elected for two periods, and may be re- elected for subsequent single periods.
    1. The Secretary General shall:
      1. serve as Secretary of the General Assembly, the Member meetings, the Executive Committee and the Bureau; arrange for meetings of these Bodies; prepare and distribute promptly the agenda and the minutes of all their meetings;
      2. manage the affairs of the Association, attend to correspondence, preserve the records;
      3. maintain an Association web page on the World Wide Web, either as part of or linked to the IUGG web page. The web page shall include all general details of the Association; its activities; abstract books of Association Assemblies when available; and other information of use to Member Countries and associated scientists;
      4. at least three months before the General Assembly, forward to all the Member Countries a report on the administration of the Association since the last General Assembly, and present a summary of this to the General Assembly itself;
      5. perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Bureau.
    2. The Treasurer of the Association shall be responsible for the financial administration of the Association in accordance with directions issued by the Bureau.
      1. prepare the yearly budget of the Association and distribute to the Bureau for approval;
      2. collect the funds of the Association and disburse them in accordance with the approved budget;
      3. maintain records of all the financial transactions of the Association and submit annual financial reports thereon to the Bureau;
      4. assemble, at the end of the calendar year preceding a General Assembly, the complete accounts of the Association for the past period for presentation to the Bureau at least three months prior to the General Assembly and at the Member meeting at the Assembly;
      5. pay traveling expenses and per diem subsistence to members of the Executive attending IAPSO General Assemblies and meetings with IAPSO support.
    3. The Treasurer shall :

    4. Of the six persons referred to in Article 8 of the Statutes, not more than three may be elected to an additional term.
    5. The Executive Committee shall:
      1. Prepare for the Executive Committee of the Union recommendations concerning the arrangement, at a General Assembly of the Union, of scientific meetings to be confined to joint sessions of two or more Associations or of Joint meetings of two or more Committees or Commissions, for the discussion of topics of an interdisciplinary character.
      2. Seek for the concurrence of the Executive Committee of the Union for the arrangement of General Assemblies and other meetings of the Association in the intervals between the General Assemblies of the Union, either singly to deal with topics of specific interest, or jointly with another Association or other Associations.
      3. Fill any vacancy which may occur among the officers of the Association between General Assemblies. Such appointments shall be subject to the subsequent approval of the next General Assembly. Tenure of office for part of a period shall not be counted as a period for the purpose of these By-Laws.
      4. Consider matters of general administration and finance, and report thereon to the General Assembly.
      5. Make recommendations on matters of policy.
      6. Frame the budget for the ensuing period and report to the General Assembly of the Association and to the Secretary General of the Union. The budget period of the Association coincides with the budget period of the Union.
      7. Advise upon the distribution of funds.
      8. Consider proposals for changes in the Statutes and By-Laws, and report thereon to the General Assembly.
    6. Officers designated by these By-Laws for special duties or for special committees may appoint substitutes in their stead. Notice of the intention to do so must be sent in writing to the President or Secretary General. No substitute shall represent more than one officer.
    7. Decisions and actions of the Officers and Committees of the Association, taken during and
    8. between General Assemblies, shall be subject to the sanction of the General Assembly.
    9. Proposals for the Agenda of a General Assembly shall reach the Secretary General six months before the General Assembly. The Secretary General shall send the Agenda to adhering Member Countries, through the National Sub-Committees where such exist, at least four months before the General Assembly. No question which has not been placed on the Agenda shall be discussed unless a proposal to that effect be approved by two-thirds of the votes of the Member Countries represented at the Assembly.
    10. Medals and Awards.
      1. the Executive Committee will establish protocols for awarding medals or other awards established by the Association;
      2. the Prince Albert I Medal shall be awarded at each Association Assembly to a distinguished ocean scientist for career achievements in advancing the knowledge of the physical and chemical sciences of the oceans; the Protocol for the assignment of the Albert I Medal is given in Appendix 2.
      3. the Eugene LaFond Medal will be awarded at Association Assemblies to a student or scientist from a developing country in recognition of the student's or scientist's presentation of an outstanding paper. Not more than one Medal will be awarded at any Assembly. The Executive Committee may decline to present the Medal at a particular Assembly.
      1. The terms of members of the Nominations Committee referred to in Article 9 of the Statutes will expire at the end of the General Assembly following their appointment.
      2. A call for nominations for candidates for positions on the Executive Committee will be issued by the Secretary General of the Association at least six months prior to a General Assembly where an election is to take place.
      3. Nominations must be accompanied by a brief Curriculum Vitae, and will not be accepted later than three months prior to the General Assembly, except for additional candidates identified by the Nominations Committee in Accordance with Article 9 of Statute I.
      4. The Nominations Committee will prepare a slate of candidates one month prior to the General Assembly, and will confirm that the members of this slate are prepared to serve if elected.
      5. In the event of a vacancy occurring on the Executive Committee during its term of office as a result of the resignation or demise of a member, the Nominations Committee will assist the Executive Committee in finding a suitable replacement.
    11. Nominations Committee.

  3. Finance
    1. The President and Treasurer shall individually have power to sign documents on behalf of the Association.
    2. All disbursements of Association funds shall be made by the Treasurer in consultation with the Executive Bureau.
    3. The Treasurer shall receive the allocation of funds from the Union, maintain financial accounts, obtain receipts for disbursement of funds and maintain financial records.
    4. Travelling expenses may be paid by the Treasurer, but only
      1. in connection with meetings on specific Association or Union business; when the travelers represent the Association and not adhering Member Countries or other organizations; and where those concerned cannot draw proper allocations from their national sources.
      2. to cover the traveling costs of a person receiving an award from the Association.
      3. Such payments may cover traveling costs at economy rates and a reasonable Contribution to other expenses when attending such meetings


      APPENDIX 2. Protocol of Prince Albert I Medal

      The Protocol was established on February 8, 2001.

      The above proposed revisions (indicated by boldface) will be submitted for approval at the 2005 IAPSO Assembly in Australia.

      1. The Prince Albert I Medal shall be awarded to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the enhancement and advancement of the physical and chemical sciences of the oceans.
      2. The Medal shall be awarded once every two years in conjunction with the IAPSO Assemblies starting in 2001 with the IAPSO Assembly in Argentina.
      3. The Medal shall be awarded only once to the same scientist.
      4. The Award Committee shall total six to eight members appointed by the IAPSO Executive Committee. Its responsibility is to select suitable candidates for the award. The Chair of the Award Committee shall be a distinguished scientist in the physical sciences of the oceans.
      5. The term of each Award Committee shall be for one award period. The membership of the Award Committee should change between one award and the next. The Committee shall include the Chair of the previous committee and the previous medallist as ex-officio members. Some members may serve for more than one period, provided that the majority is new members. If any member of the Committee is nominated for the award, he or she shall be excused as a member of the Committee and a substitute shall be found.
      6. One year prior to each IAPSO Assembly, the Secretary General of IAPSO will call for nominations for the award. Nominations must be sent to the Secretary General within three months of the announcement and must be accompanied by substantive supporting documentation. The Award Committee shall prepare a list of candidates for the Medal from the nominations received. The Award Committee may add its own nominations to the list and also, where appropriate, seek additional nominations from individuals, institutions and organizations.
      7. The Award Committee shall select from the list of nominations a suitable candidate for the Medal on the basis of the significance of each nominee's contributions as a whole to the enhancement and advancement of the physical sciences of the oceans.
      8. The Award Committee shall submit to the President of IAPSO its decision regarding the choice of the medallist. Only one candidate shall be recommended for the award at a time, as there is provision only for one Medal. If, from the list of nominations, the Award Committee finds that there is no suitable candidate of sufficient high standard, it may, at its discretion, recommend that no award be made.
      9. The Award Committee shall be responsible for preparing an appropriate citation to accompany the award of the Medal.
      10. The Award Committee will conclude its work within three months of the reception of the nominations from the Secretary General.
      11. The award ceremony shall be held at the IAPSO Assembly, where the recipient shall deliver a Prince Albert I Medal Memorial Lecture.
      12. Changes to the above guidelines may only be made by the IAPSO Executive Committee. Any changes must then be ratified at the next General Assembly, following which they will become effective.


    1. Do you regard the Objects of the Association as appropriate for the 21st century?ииYes 83%; No 13%..
    2. Do you think that IAPSO is presently addressing its Objects satisfactorily?иYes 57%; No 33% If your answer is "no" can you indicate where you feel that IAPSO is falling short, and/or what could be done to improve the situation?
    3. Do you feel that the manner in which IAPSO is currently functioning satisfies the needs of your National Sub-Committee (or equivalent structure used in your country)?иииYes 57%; No 30%
    4. Should IAPSO attempt to define a set of clear goals/directions for the next 10 п 20 years?иии.Yes 57%; No 23%. If yes, what should these be?
    5. Is IAPSO "visible" in your country? i.e. Is the majority of the physical and chemical oceanographers in your country aware of the existence of the Association, its functions and structures?ииYes 40%; No 57%. If not, can you provide suggestions to increase IAPSO visibility?
    6. Is communication between the IAPSO Secretariat and your National Correspondent adequate?ии..Yes 53%; No 37%. If not, can you provide suggestions to improve it?
    7. Is there adequate communication between the National Correspondent / National Sub-Committee and physical and chemical oceanographers in your country?ииYes 57%; No 40%. If not, what are the reasons?
    8. If IAPSO were to cease to exist, would this negatively impact on the conduct of the physical sciences of the oceans in your country?иииYes 50%; No 47%. (Please provide reasons to justify your response.)
    9. Is closer cooperation between the three "fluid" Associations (i.e. IAPSO, IAMAS and IAHS) needed?ииYes 67%; No 13%. If yes, why?
    10. Should IAPSO strengthen ties with organizations in the biological and social sciences? In other words, should IAPSO devote more attention to interdisciplinary activities?иииYes 73%; No 20%. If you feel that this is desirable, please indicate reasons.
    11. Should IAPSO give more attention to educational and public outreach activities?ии.Yes 70%; No 17%. If "yes", can you suggest what, or how this, could be done?
    12. Do you feel that the present IAPSO activities are attractive to oceanographers, young oceanographers in particular?иииYes 40%; No 30%. If not, why is this so, and what should be done to improve the situation?
    13. Is IAPSO (viewed in terms of its Objects) relevant to today's society?иии.Yes 77%; No 13%. If your answer is "no", please substantiate.
    14. Should IAPSO do more to facilitate technology transfer in ocean sciences between developed and developing countries and to encourage partnerships between such countries?иииYes 70%; No 20%. If "yes", please provide specific suggestions as to how the transfer of technology could be facilitated.
    15. Are you aware of the roles played by IAPSO Commissions? (A "not much" response is taken as "no".)ии.Yes 37%; No 60%.
    16. Are you aware of the role played by IAPSO in SCOR (Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research)? (A "not much" response is taken as "no".)ииYes 33%; No 63%.
    17. Should IAPSO attempt to become more service-orientated?иииYes 33%; No 43%. If yes, in what way?
    18. General Assemblies of the IUGG take place every four years. They provide the only opportunity for full interaction between IAPSO and the other six Associations of IUGG and are as a consequence expensive to run and of necessity lengthy. Do you feel that the majority of physical and chemical oceanographers in your country consider the General Assemblies of IUGG (which are also IAPSO General Assemblies) attractive?иYes 53%; No 40%. If not, what are the reasons?
    19. Do you feel that the quality of science and the presentations at the various IAPSO assemblies/meetings is good? иииYes 73%; No 23%. If not, what could be done to improve the quality?
    20. Should IAPSO try to arrange more frequent, more focussed meetings and workshops?ии.Yes 83%; No 17%.
    21. The position of IAPSO Secretary General is a voluntary one and is unpaid. The SG has no secretarial or administrative support - yet the workload is considerable. Should IAPSO explore options to create for example a paid secretariat (major financial implications)?иииYes 70%; No 17%.
    22. IAPSO has very limited financial resources. It relies on a small annual grant from IUGG (which in turn receives its income by way of subscriptions from member countries). Assemblies etc therefore have to be self-funding. One of the options for IAPSO to increase its income may be to introduce an individual member category. Do you think that such an option is worth exploring further?ииии.Yes 53%; No 30%.
    23. Because of the high cost of printing and distributing hard copies of Assembly proceedings, IAPSO instituted a policy in 1997 of electronic publication. Abstract books from Assemblies are placed on the IAPSO Web page Are you able to access that Web page?иии..Yes 97%; No 0%. Do you find it acceptable or useful to have the abstract books available solely on the Web?иииYes 73%; No 10%. If not would you be prepared to pay another $100 per delegate in Assembly registration fees to cover the cost of publication of a hard copy?иииYes 10%; No 20%. Are there any other products that you feel IAPSO should/could produce?иииYes 10%; No 23%
    24. If you answered "No" to question no 1, please suggest what should be changed and provide revised wording? (Responses have been incorporated under question 1)
    25. What do you see as the major challenges and opportunities in ocean sciences over the next 10 years? Please indicate what role you foresee IAPSO playing here, perhaps as a sponsor or co-sponsor of certain international activities.
    26. What does IAPSO need to do to retain and enhance the support of its Members?
    27. What is IAPSO uniquely equipped to do, but is perhaps not addressing adequately at present?
    28. Please now append any constructive comments you wish to make relating to any of the questions 1 п 23, and any other suggestions which you feel will be helpful for the development of a strategic vision for the Association.


      James O'Brien (USA: A Past President of IAPSO)
      John Gould (UK: Former Director of the WOCE International Planning Office)
      John Johnson (UK: Vice-President of IAPSO)
      Swami Knishnaswami (India: Vice-President of IAPSO)
      Alan Meyer (South Africa: Representing IAPSO young scientists)
      Paola Rizzoli (USA: President of IAPSO)
      Vere Shannon (South Africa: Immediate Past-President of IAPSO)

      (The Task Team was led jointly by Paola Rizzoli and Vere Shannon)