Working Groups and Commissions

IAPSO is sponsoring/co-sponsoring Working Groups, Commissions and Services relevant to its prime goal of "promoting the study of scientific problems relating to the oceans and the interactions taking places at the sea floor, coastal, and atmospheric boundaries insofar as such research is conducted by the use of mathematics, physics, and chemistry."

Working Groups

  • IAPSO Early Career (EC) Scientists Working Group

As one of the leading international associations in ocean physics and chemistry, IAPSO will provide a significant platform for early career scientists to network and integrate into the scientific community. For this purpose, the IAPSO EC has established a Working Group to take it forward identifying three Chairs after a call for nomination sent to National Correspondents in November 2017.

Early Career Scientists interested in coming into contact with the working group representatives can contact them through the IAPSO SG (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or write directly to their e-mail address shown below.

Chair: Alejandra Sanchez-Franks, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice-ChairMalin Ödalen, Department of Meteorology (MISU), Stockholm University, Sweden, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


1. To form an IAPSO early career network; one that will be open to anyone that self identifies as an early career scientist in physical or chemical sciences of the oceans. Using the IAPSO website and social media, an IAPSO early career network will allow early career scientists to follow IAPSO developments, while also sharing opportunities and experiences.

2. To provide advice from the early career network to the IAPSO executive committee, and to communicate key agenda points resulting from the IAPSO directive back to the IAPSO early career network.

3. To maximize impact and connectivity of the IAPSO early career network by liaising with other national and international networks (e.g. AGU, EGU, IIOE-2, Challenger Society, etc.).

4. To organize early career events at bi-annual IAPSO assemblies that may include mentoring, outreach activities, and maximizing networking between early career scientists and senior researchers. In turn this will increase visibility of the IAPSO bi-annual assemblies to the early career network and optimize attendance.

5. To promote diversity as actively as possible and to create awareness on the associated gaps/challenges and discrimination that currently exist.

Supporting scientists from as early a career stage as possible plays a large contributing role in ensuring progress and success in their careers, as well as ensuring the future advancement of the field.


  1. JULY2019 Newsletter
  2. ECS Update, Presentation of Malin Odalen to the GBM, Montreal July 2019



  • Joint Committee on the Properties of Seawater (JCS)

The Joint SCOR/IAPWS/IAPSO Committee on the Properties of Seawater (JCS) is a permanent group with limited membership whose purpose is to act as an international "point of contact" for seawater questions. It is jointly sponsored by organizations directly concerned with the properties of seawater: the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam, and the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean.
JCS acts as a permanent source of expertise to its parent organizations, maintains a repository of knowledge and software for the scientific community (via a web-site,, and is also a conduit for any desired communications between its parents, and out to other international organizations like the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures), the WMO (World Meteorological Organization), and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry). In addition, JCS may from time to time summarize progress in seawater-related issues to the community at large, and suggest areas where gaps exist in the available knowledge.

Chair: Rich Pawlowicz, University of British Columbia, Dept. of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences,  Canada

Vice-Chairs: Rainer Feistel, Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Germany; Steffen Seitz, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany




  1. TEOS-10 manual 10jun 2010
  2. An historical perspective on the development of the Thermodynamic Equation of Seawater – 2010, Ocean Sci., 8, 161–174, 2012
  3. Report on activities at JCS workshops, Greenwich, UK Sept. 2-3, 2013
  4. JCS Update, Presentation of Trevor McDougall to the GBM, Prague June 2015
  5. Activities Report June 2015-June 2017
  6. Report to SCOR and IAPSO on JCS Workshops Sept 2018 and Recommendations on renewal of Terms of Reference and membership
  7. Activities Report June 2017-June 2019
  8. JCS Update, Presentation of Rich Pawlowicz to the GBM, Montreal July 2019
  • Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides (CMSLT)

The IAPSO Commission on Mean Sea Level and Tides (CMSLT) aims to support research into applications of sea level measurements. In addition to sponsoring meetings, the CMSLT is the body that the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level formally reports to.
The CMSLT has always had a policy of considering as members any researchers who express interest in the topics of mean sea level and tides.

President: Gary T. Mitchum, University of South Florida, USA

Contact: to get in touch with the CMSLT write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Annual Report 2011

Report 2019

  • Tsunami Commission (Joint with IASPEI and IAVCEI)

The IUGG Tsunami Commission (IUGG/TC) is an Inter-Association Commission responsible for international coordination of tsunami related meetings, research, and publications. It is jointly sponsored by IASPEI, IAPSO and IAVCEI and was established at the 12th General Assembly of IUGG in Helsinki, Finland in 1960 to promote the exchange of scientific and technical information about tsunamis.

The IUGG/TC membership comprises an international group of scientists concerned with various aspects of tsunamis, including an improved understanding of the dynamics of generation, propagation and coastal run-up and the consequences to society of the tsunami hazard.

IUGG Tsunami Commission website contains the current information about the Commission activities and upcoming meetings.

Chair: Vasily V. Titov, NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, USA

Vice-Chairs: Fumihiko Imamura, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, Japan; Ahmet Cevdet Yalçiner, Middle East Technical University, Department of Civil Engineering, Üniversiteler Mahallesi, Turkey

Secretary: Phil Cummins, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Australia

IAPSO representative: Efim Pelinovsky, Institute of Applied Physics, Dep. of Extreme Wave Phenomena, Russia 

Contact: to get in touch with the Tsunami Commission write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  1. Activities Report 1995-1997
  2. Activities Report 1999
  3. Activities Report 2009-2011
  4. Tsunamis in the Mediterranean Sea 2000 B.C.-2000 A.D., Springer, 2000
  5. Activities Report 2011-2015
  6. Activities Report 2015-2017
  7. Activities Report 2017-2019

Permanent Services

  • Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level

The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) is the internationally recognised global sea level data bank for long term sea level change information from tide gauges and also provides a wider Service to the sea level community.
The PSMSL was established in 1933 by Joseph Proudman who became its first Secretary. Since then, the PSMSL continues to be responsible for the collection, publication, analysis and interpretation of sea level data. It is hosted by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Liverpool with funding provided by the UK Natural Environment Research Council. PSMSL operates under the auspices of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Director: Elizabeth Bradshaw, National Oceanography Centre, British Oceanographic Data Centre, UK

previous Director: Lesley J. Rickards, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, UK

IAPSO Liaison: Philip L. Woodworth, National Oceanography Centre, UK




  1. Activities Report 1991 - 1995
  2. Activities Report 1999-2003
  3. 2004 Annual Report
  4. 2006 Annual Report
  5. Activities Report 2003-2007
  6. Activities Report 2007-2011
  7. Activities Report 2011-2015
  8. Activities Report 2015-2017
  9. Activities Report 2017-2019
  10. PSMSL Update, Presentation of Andy Matthew to the GBM, Montreal July 2019
  • IAPSO Standard Seawater Service

The IAPSO Standard Sea-Water Service is the only internationally recognized standard for the calibration of salinity measurement devices. Its widespread use over 100 years of IAPSO history has been of great importance to the quality and comparability of salinity data worldwide. IAPSO continues to oversee the preparation of standard sea water and to encourage its use by all laboratories involved in salinity measurement. Demand for this service continues to grow.
Initially, the standard sea-water was prepared under the guidance of the International Council for Exploration of the Seas, Copenhagen. In the early 1970's the operation was transferred to the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (IOS) in England. In 1989, with IAPSO's concurrence, a private company (Ocean Scientific International Limited) was set up with space and facilities provided by IOS. As a result, ampoules of standard sea-water continue to be available to the oceanographic community thorough this IAPSO service.

Director: Richard Williams

Contact: IAPSO Standard Seawater Service, OSIL
Havant, United Kingdom
E-mail: osil(at)



  1. Activities Report 1991-1995 
  2. Activities Report 2009-2013
  3. Activities Report 2013-2017
  4. Activities Report 2017-2019

Previously Funded

  • Commission on Groundwater Seawater Interactions

Discontinued in 2005

  1. Members
  2. Members by country
  3. Activities reports 2002
  4. Activities reports 2003
  5. Activities reports 2004
  • Commission on Sea Ice

Discontinued in 2003

  1. Activities Report 1991-1995
  2. Activities Report 1995-1999
  • IAG/ IAPSO Joint Working Group on Geodetic Effects of Nontidal Oceanic Processes (1999-2003)

Final report