Benefits from IUGS’ Membership
The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) was formed in 1961 as the umbrella organisation to represent the geosciences globally. It is a non-political, non-governmental and a notfor-profit organization, which: is the scientific sponsor of the International Geological Congress (IGC), and offers influence, access to international research opportunities, grants and networking.
IUGS’ membership is at national level, through a so-called Adhering Organization, such as a Geological Survey, Geological Society or National Academy of Sciences. There are 8 categories of membership, the cost of which increase from 1 up to 8. At present the Union has 121 national members.
The Executive Committee carries out the administration of the Union, under the general direction of the Council and with the assistance of various Committees. Council, which meets at each IGC, comprises members nominated by Adhering Organisations. Amongst other things, Council approves the Executive Committee, the host for the next available IGC and the membership fees. For financial and IGC matters, the number of votes that members have in Council is based on their category of IUGS membership
In summary, the Union:
1. promotes development of the geosciences through the support of international, broad-based, and interdisciplinary scientific studies relevant to the entire System Earth – lithosphere, soil (pedosphere), hydrosphere, atmosphere, as well as marine and continental environments, hazards, climate change, resources and geoparks;
2. applies the results of these and other studies to preserving Earth’s natural environment, using all natural resources wisely and improving the prosperity of nations and the quality of human life;
3. strengthens public awareness of geology and advances geological education in the widest sense;
4. is involved with several flagship programs, including:
i) the International Geoscience Program (IGCP), which is jointly funded by IUGS and UNESCO and provides seed funding and prestige for worthy proposals involving international collaboration;
ii) the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP), which arose from the International Lithosphere Program – a joint IUGS-International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics initiative;
5. is currently developing a major new initiative Resourcing Future Generations, which will be of interest to many nations. Its objective is to facilitate a broad range of collaborative, coordinated activities in the short term that are aimed at helping meet the massive long term (post-2030) requirements for additional mineral, water and energy resources to support a growing world population and the aspirations of emerging nations.
In more detail, the benefits available to countries through IUGS Membership include:
a) Representation through IUGS in major international and supra-governmental bodies, such as:
i) the International Council for Science (ICSU) is the umbrella organisation for all scientific Unions within the United Nations. Through ICSU and via IUGS, Adhering Organizations may voice their opinions on major scientific and societal issues to global bodies and supra-governmental organisations. Through ICSU, IUGS is invited to directly and indirectly provide geo-related statements on important, topical issues;
ii) the IGCP – IUGS Members can nominate individuals for positions on the IGCP Scientific Board;
b) Access to positions on the IUGS Executive Committee
c) Representation in IUGS bodies, whose Terms of Reference often stipulate the explicit preferential position for individuals from IUGS National Organizations.
3) Participation in and support for projects:
a) Access by geoscientists from Member countries to international projects and funding.
i) The dues paid by member counties are used almost completely for research and related activities, with access to funds through IUGS and IGCP projects. In addition, in the past few years IUGS has successfully obtained over $250,000 USD from ICSU’s annual research Grant Programme, open only to ICSU Unions and ICSU member countries.
4) Travel grants:
a) Geologists from countries represented in IUGS are eligible to apply for travel grants to attend the IGC through the IUGS Hutchison Fund and through the GeoHost support programme organised by the local organising committee of each IGC
a) With preference, Adhering Organizations are invited to develop special symposia at each IGC.
b) Adhering Organizations periodically receive free publicity pages in EPISODES and may announce their events in the IUGS Calendar of Events and the IUGS E-Bulletin.
c) Hotlinks through the IUGS website are established with National Bodies and organisations.
d) As members of IUGS, being the largest Union represented in ICSU, an adhering organization to IUGS may strengthen their international profile and prestige.
6) Network and infrastructure
a) Adhering organizations may profit from the IUGS networks by accessing advice and relevant expertise to support review or consultation activities in their countries.
b) They may request access to the IUGS Directory from the IUGS Permanent Secretariat.