IACS History

The history of IACS and its predecessors are covered in two publications. Uwe radok published the history of ICSI and its predecessors up until 1995 in a paper published by the Hydrological Sciences Journal. Past President H. Gerald Jones has completed an update covering the change from IAHS commission to a Union Association status published in the IGS Annals of Glaciology 48 (Proceedings from the IUGG Perugia Assembly).

For decades several attempts were made by the former International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI) to promote all Cryospheric Sciences and to elevate the study of the Cryosphere to a more prominent position within the International Union of Geology and Geophysics (IUGG), from a Commission within IAHS to a separate Association under IUGG. In the last year we have met strong support and encouragement from the IUGG itself as well as from its Associations, particularly from IAHS. This enabled the bureau of ICSI to put forward a proposal to the IUGG board during its Boulder meeting in 2004 for why the formation of a new association for the Cryospheric Sciences should be formed. This work was lead by the now Past-President Gerry Jones and the current President Georg Kaser with much help from the entire ICSI bureau as well as from the secretary of the IUGG, JoAnn Jocelyn and the NSIDC director Roger Barry. Our efforts resulted in a strong vote within the IUGG governing body to consider a new Association by 2007, in conjunction with the IUGG Assembly in Perugia . In the mean time it was decided that a new commission called the Union Commission for the Cryospheric Sciences (UCCS) should be formed. The UCCS formally replaced ICSI and was organized directly under IUGG. At the IUGG General Assembly in Perugia, Italy, 2007, the IUGG Council voted for establishing an eighth Association under IUGG, the International Association for Cryospheric Sciences, IACS; was born. To further the close and natural contacts that exist between the Cryospheric Sciences and the IAHS, a new commission has formed under IAHS called the Commission for Snow and Ice Hydrology (ICSIH). IACS will of course maintain the god and productive relations with the suster-Associations through e.g. joint assemblies and collabration during Scientific and General assemblies as well as through joint working groups.

A history of the commission, from its roots as the Comission Internationale des Glaciers (CIG), founded in 1894, through the merger with the International Commission on Snow in 1939, to the present day, has been published by Dr Uwe Radok (Hydrological Sciences Journal 42(2) 1997) and by Dr H. Gerald Jones (Annals of Glaciology, 48, 2008).

Latest addition:

A.B. Dobrowolski - the first cryospheric scientist - and the subsequent development of cryospheric science by R.G. Barry et al. (Hist. Geo Space Sci.)

Papers have been made available for download by kind permission from the IAHS Press, the International Glaciological Society, and History of Geo and Space Sciences (through R.G. Barry).