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Lettre d'information n° 22 (1/2005)

Association Internationale des Géomorphologues


IAG/AIG: The official acronym

The official acronym for the International Association of Geomorphologists is IAG/AIG. The two parts of the acronym reflect the fact that ours is an international organization operating in multiple languages. Both parts are necessary to avoid confusion with other organizations that use similar acronyms. Among the other "IAG" organizations are two with whom we may share members: the Institute of Australian Geographers, and the International Association of Geodesy.

Award to Giovanni Battista Castiglioni

From the 15th to the 17th of February 2005, Mario Panizza represented the IAG/AIG at the Congress "Mountains and Plains, Recent Developments of the Research in Physical Geography and Geomorphology" in honor of Professor Giovanni Battista Castiglioni, in Padova (Italy). The IAG/AIG acknowledged Professor Castiglioni's scientific achievements in Geomorphology with a silver plate.

Mario Panizza, Modena

President, IAG/AIG


In recent months, IAG/AIG has co-sponsored or played a major role in three international meetings:

(1) "Geomorphology and sustainability." The British Geomorphological Research Group, the International Geographical Union Commission on Geomorphic Challenges for the 21st Century, and the International Association of Geomorphologists held a Joint International Geomorphology Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, August 17-20, in association with the 30th Congress of the International Geographical Union. Professors Janet Hooke and Tony Parsons organized the conference; IAG/AIG President, Mario Panizza, delivered an inaugural address.

(2) "From the Mediterranean Area Toward a Global Geological Renaissance, Geology, Natural Hazards, and Cultural Heritage." IAG/AIG promoted a series of general and topical symposia for the 32nd International Geological Congress, held in Florence, Italy, 20-28 August, 2004.

(3) "Living with hydro-geomorphological risks: from theory to practice." This post-graduate training course was organized by the European Centre on Geomorphological Hazards (CERG) in the framework of the FORM-OSE action of the Council of Europe, and was under the aegis of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG/AIG), the School and Observatory of Earth Sciences (EOST-IPG), and the Faculty of Geographical Sciences of the University Louis Pasteur. The program's objective was to exchange ideas about how to cope with hydro-geomorphological hazards using the most advanced, state-of-the-art methodology, mainly earth observation data and new technologies of communication and information, to explain in practice different kind of mitigation and prevention strategies used to live with these hazards, and to develop fruitful, interdisciplinary discussion. It was held in Strasbourg (France) from 14–19 September, 2004.

This year, 2005, is the year of the 6th international IAG/AIG conference. International IAG/AIG conferences are held every four years. The Sociedad España de Geomorfología will host the 6th international conference at the Congress Hall Auditorium in Zaragoza, Spain, from 7-11 September, 2005. Professor Mateo Gutierrez, of the Universidad de Zaragoza, chairs the local organizing committee. Further information about the conference is available at The 5th international IAG/AIG conference was held in 2001 in Tokyo, Japan, and the venue of the 7th conference, to be held in 2009, will be chosen at the meeting of delegates during the Zaragoza conference.

IAG/AIG Grants to Young Geomorphologists

Grants Awarded

The International Association of Geomorphologists is glad to announce that 12 grants were offered to support the training of young geomorphologists during the period September 2004-March 2005.

(1) The first three of these sponsored international participants to attend the FORM-OSE Post-graduate Training School "Living with hydro-geomorphological risks from theory to practice" held in Strasbourg, France, 14-19 September 2004. IAG/AIG grants were awarded to young
geomorphologists from the Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe: Ioannis Fourniadis (Greece), Mihai Alexandru Micu (Romania), and Tatiana Vujnovic (Croatia). Additional scholarships were offered by French institutions to young researchers from North Africa (Algeria and Tunisia).

(2) IAG/AIG grants were awarded to two young geomorphologists from North America: —Ben Poulter (USA) and Alexandra Shaw (Canada)—for the AGU (American Geophysical Union) Chapman Conference on Salt Marsh Geomorphology, "Physical and Ecological Effects on Landform," held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, from 9-13 October 2004.

(3) IAG/AIG grants were awarded to four young geomorphologists from Latin America —Alina Crincoli (Argentina), Alexandro Garcia (Mexico), Esteban Passeggi (Argentina) and Ricardo Szupyani (Argentina)— to participate in IAG/AIG International Course on "Dynamics of Fluvial Systems: Processes and Morphologies," held in Maringá, Brazil, from 15-25 October 2004.

(4) An IAG/AIG grant was awarded to a Ph.D. student in Geomorphology from Eastern Europe, Dominika Wronska (Poland), for the BGRG (British Geomorphology Research Group) "Post-graduate Research Training Workshop," held in Windsor, UK, from 13-16 December, 2004.

(5) IAG/AIG grants were awarded to two young geomorphologists from Latin America —Juan Luis Garcia (Chile) and Carolina Martinez Reyes (Chile)— to enable them to participate in "III Postgraduate Field Course on the Geomorphology and Quaternary Geology of Tierra del Fuego," held in Argentina, 5-21 March, 2005. Additional support was offered by the Argentine National Research Council (CONICET) (2 scholarships for Argentine graduate students) and the Government of the Province of Tierra del Fuego (2 scholarships for Fuegian native or resident graduate students).

The next set of IAG/AIG grants (approximately 15) will be offered to enable young geomorphologists from the less favoured countries of the world to take part in the 6th International Conference on Geomorphology (Zaragoza, Spain, 7-11 September 2005). Please visit the IAG website for future training activities:

Mauro Soldati, IAG/AIG Executive Committee Member

The value of grants received

Letters of thanks from the recipients of IAG/AIG grants to young geomorphologists remind us of the great value of these experiences and the need to continue to provide them. These excerpts from letters written by young geomorphologists who attended the post-graduate training school on living with hydro-geomorphological risks in Strasbourg, France, illustrate the benefits of the grant program:

"…The best thing at the workshop was to have so many good lectures and lecturers who were very approachable for our questions, and also maybe for future cooperation…It made me see that we work on one (still) new and rapidly growing multidisciplinary field of science…I made new friendships with people from all over Europe and the globe, and I think that is the new way to our future. We can exchange ideas and information, but also help each other a lot. We'll stay in contact and someday work together for wellbeing of the humans all over the world."

Tatjana Vujnovic, Croatia

"…I am indebted to IAG and CERG for a grant that enabled me to attend the course, where I could find answers to many of my questions. Besides, I had the chance to meet researchers with a vast experience and remarkable results. I could also work with equipment that is essential for studying and evaluating geomorphological hazards."

Mihai Alexandru Micu, Romania

"it was an excellent effort…that managed to bring together specialists from a number of fields, young Ph.D. students from many parts of Europe, and that helped define in a more concrete manner the somewhat elusive concept of a "common European research space"… the field trips were, in general, excellently planned… the course as a whole was really worthwhile, attracting a highly qualified teaching team that was matched only by the enthusiasm of the participants!"

Ioannis Fourniadis, Greece

IAG/AIG Working Groups

The International Association of Geomorphologists sponsors a set of Working Groups that focus on aspects of geomorphology of special, international interest. Working Groups are established for four-year periods, and may be renewed. Proposals for new Working Groups will be considered at the 6th International Geomorphological Conference in September, 2005. Between the 5th and 6th International Geomorphological Conferences, 2001–2005, the following seven Working Groups have been active:

Interaction between Fluvial, Eolian and Lacustrine Processes in Arid Regions, chaired by Prof. Dr. Xiaoping Yang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

Hydrology and Geomorphology of Bedrock Rivers, chaired by Prof. Paul Carling, University of Southampton, UK.

Geoarchaeology, chaired by Prof. Dr. Eric Fouache, Université de Paris, France.

Geomorphological Sites: Research, Assessment and Improvement, chaired by Dr. Emmanuel Reynard, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Large Rivers, chaired by Prof. Avijit Gupta, University of Singapore.

Terroirs Viticoles (Wine Regions), chaired by Prof. Dr. Alain Marre, Université de Reims, France.

Geomorphological Consequences of Volcanic Events, Including Hazards, chaired by Prof. Dr. J.-C. Thouret, Blaise-Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Working Groups have organized sessions on their respective themes for the 6th International Geomorphological Conference in Zaragoza, Spain. Between international conferences, they advance the state of geomorphological knowledge of their thematic areas by organizing and participating in meetings and field trips, promoting discussion of their themes, and contributing to new publications.

Editor's Note

The success of the IAG/AIG Newsletter depends upon the contributions that we receive. Please assist by sending commentaries, reviews of regional or national meetings and field trips, summaries of issues pertinent to geomorphology, and announcements of future meetings and workshops. Your contributions should be forwarded to the IAG/AIG Publications Officer:

Carol Harden, Department of Geography, 304 Burchfiel Geography Building, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA 37996-0925. Fax +1 865 974 6025. E-mail:

Association Internationale des Géomorphologues.


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