Statutes and By-laws of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS)
Adopted by the IUGG Council on 30 September 2019 (updating previous version adopted in June 2015)
[Previous Statutes, By-laws and Terms of References (TOR) can be downloaded here.]
The International Association of Cryospheric Sciences, hereinafter called “IACS”, formed in 2007 is a constituent association of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (hereinafter called “IUGG”), and is autonomous in its governance structure and processes, as defined below and without contradictions to the Statutes and By-Laws of IUGG.
Statute 1; Objectives of IACS
1 a. to promote studies of the cryosphere of Earth and other bodies of the Solar System and related physical processes
1 b. to encourage research on cryospheric sciences through collaboration and co-operation among individuals, institutions, and research programmes, both nationally and internationally
1.c. to provide opportunities for international discussion and collaboration on cryospheric sciences and research;
1 d. to promote education and public awareness about the cryosphere;
1 e. to facilitate the standardisation of measurements and the collection of cryospheric data and the analysis, archiving and publication of such data;
1 f. to promote the scientific activities of any permanent service which may fall under IACS responsibility and scientific supervision.
1 g. to promote and support diversity, inclusion and equality within the field of cryospheric science, within IACS as well as among its membership including but not limited to career stage, gender, racial and ethnic identities, and geographic origin.
Statute 2; Membership of IACS
2.1 There are three categories of membership in IACS: National Members, Individual Members, Honorary members
2.1 a. A National Member is a country admitted to IUGG and is represented by the IUGG Adhering Body of that nation. Each National Member may appoint at least one Correspondent to IACS.
2.1 b. Anyone engaging in scientific research on the cryosphere or otherwise contributing to the objectives of IACS may become an Individual Member.
2.1 c. Honorary membership is conferred upon an individual for outstanding service to IACS according to Statute 3.11.
Statute 3; Structure of IACS
3.1. IACS shall consist of a Bureau and other component bodies as specified in the By-laws of IACS.
3.2 Plenary Administrative Session
3.2 a. The work of IACS shall be directed by a Plenary Administrative Session which shall be convened at least once during each General Assembly of IACS, and attended by the Accredited Delegates appointed by National Members, and by Individual Members. One-third of the Accredited Delegates that are eligible to vote are required to validate a decision. Delegates not present may forward a vote on any specific question as described in Statute 3.4.
3.2 b. A Plenary Administrative Session may be convened at a Scientific Assembly of IACS between General Assemblies at the request of the President, and must be convened at the request of not less than one-third of IUGG Adhering Bodies eligible to vote. Such a request has to reach the Secretary General at least four months prior to the Scientific Assembly.
3.3. The work of IACS consists of matters that are scientific, administrative, and financial in character. Prior to a Plenary Administrative Session the President shall decide the character of each agenda item and whether the procedure of voting by correspondence applies.
3.3 a. On matters of scientific purpose, all Accredited Delegates and IACS Individual Members have a single vote but no person can have more than one vote.
3.3 b. On matters of administration, including election of officers, only Accredited Delegates from IUGG Adhering Bodies in regular IUGG member status (dues paid) may vote; each delegate has one vote and may represent only one Adhering Body.
3.3 c. On matters of finance, only Accredited Delegates from IUGG Adhering Bodies in regular IUGG member status (dues paid) may vote; each delegate has the number of votes corresponding to the Category of IUGG membership of the Adhering Body and may represent only one Adhering Body.
3.4. An IUGG Adhering Body eligible to vote that is not represented by a Delegate at a Plenary Administrative Session may vote by correspondence, including post, fax, or electronic mail, on any voting matter provided that:
● the matter has been clearly defined in the final agenda distributed in advance to the members in accordance with the By-laws,
● the substance of the matter has not been changed, and
● the vote has been received by the Secretary General prior to the meeting.
3.5. Decisions on any voting matter, except for the modification of the Statutes, shall be determined by a simple majority of the votes cast. Simple majority shall be determined by the proportion of affirmative votes to the sum of the affirmative and negative votes, including correspondence votes, and excluding abstentions. If a tie should occur, the decision shall rest with the President.
3.6. The Plenary Administrative Session has the power to adopt and modify By-laws that include specification of the scientific components of IACS (Divisions).
3.7. Electronic voting (e-voting) may be required in between Plenary Administrative Sessions on matters that are scientific, administrative, or financial in character. The matters must be communicated to the IACS Correspondents that are appointed by the IUGG Adhering Body National Committees and in case of scientific matters also to IACS Individual Members at least one month in advance of the voting date. IACS Correspondents from Adhering Bodies in regular IUGG member status (dues paid) are eligible to vote. Individual IACS Members may vote only on issues of scientific matter. The same number of votes per person applies as specified in Statute 3.3. The President nominates one Vice-President or the Secretary General to organize and oversee the ballot. The same quorum applies as for Sessions held at Assemblies.
3.8. The Bureau.
3.8 a. The Bureau shall consist of a President, the President-elect or immediate Past-President, three Vice-Presidents, the Secretary General, and the Heads of the Divisions. The immediate Past-President will remain a Bureau Member during the period between the end of his/her office of President and the election of a new President-Elect. In order to maintain continuity, the terms of office of the President, the President-Elect and the immediate Past-President are staggered. Thus, the four-year term of the President is split, with the first two years in office having the immediate Past-President on the Bureau and with the last two years having the President-Elect on the Bureau. The President-elect will become President at the IACS Scientific Assembly approximately mid-period between IUGG General Assemblies.
3.8 b. Except for the incumbent President, all members of the Bureau shall be elected by the Plenary Administrative Session during the General Assembly of IACS in accordance with the Statutes and By-laws.
3.8 c. In the event of any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Bureau, a person will be appointed to fill the vacancy by the remaining members of the Bureau until the next election. The eligibility for election of a person so appointed shall not be affected by such an appointment. If the vacancy is that of the President, the President-elect shall assume the office of President. If there is no President-Elect, then the Bureau shall appoint one of the three Vice-Presidents to act as President.
3.8 d. No elected officer of the IACS Bureau may hold more than one position within the Bureau at the same time.
3.10 The Bureau may establish Standing Groups and Working Groups with specified terms of reference.
3.11 The Bureau may nominate persons to the Plenary Administrative Sessions for recognition as “Honorary Members of IACS.”
3.12 IACS may create joint bodies with other IUGG Associations and other intergovernmental and non-governmental international scientific organizations such as the International Science Council (ISC) and organizations affiliated with the United Nations, to deal with topics of mutual interest, and may appoint appropriate representatives to these organizations.
Statute 4; Assemblies of IACS
4.1 A General Assembly of IACS shall normally be held in conjunction with each General Assembly of IUGG.
4.2 The interval between the end of one General Assembly and the end of the next one is, for the purposes of the Statutes, termed one Period.
4.3 A Scientific Assembly of IACS may be held between General Assemblies of IACS.
4.4 Notice of the date and place of a General Assembly or a Scientific Assembly shall be sent by the Secretary General to the IACS Correspondents at least nine months prior to that Assembly.
4.5 Between Assemblies, responsibility for the direction of IACS shall rest with the Bureau, which shall administer the affairs of the IACS in accordance with these Statutes and By-laws and the decisions of the prior Plenary Administrative Session.
Statute 5; Dissolution of IACS
If IACS should be dissolved, its financial assets will revert to IUGG to be used for the continuation of scientific and educational activities.
Statute 6; Languages
The present Statutes have been prepared in the official languages of IUGG. The English text shall take precedence if there is a question of interpretation.
Statute 7; Adoption and Modification of the Statutes
7.1 The Statutes of IACS must be approved by the IUGG Council at a General Assembly of IUGG, and shall come into force at the close of the Council Meeting at that General Assembly.
7.2 A member of the IACS Bureau, an IACS Correspondent or a Delegate to the IACS Plenary Administrative Session from an IUGG Adhering Body may propose a change to these Statutes. Any such proposal must reach the Secretary General of IACS at least six months prior to the announced date of the IUGG General Assembly at which it is to be considered. The Secretary General shall notify all IACS Correspondents and Accredited Delegates of any proposed change at least two months prior to the announced date of the General Assembly.
7.3. For adoption, modifications must be agreed by at least a two-thirds’ majority of the votes cast by Accredited Delegates at a Plenary Administrative Session held during a General Assembly, and further approved by the Council of the IUGG. A two-thirds majority shall be determined by the proportion of affirmative votes to the sum of the affirmative and negative votes, including correspondence votes, and excluding abstentions.
7.4 Modifications to these Statutes shall come into force at the close of the General Assembly at which they were adopted.
By-laws of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS)
By-law 1: Divisions
By-law 1: Divisions
The scientific components of IACS shall be separated into Divisions as follows:
– Snow and Avalanches
– Ice sheets
– Sea Ice, Lake and River Ice
– Cryosphere, Atmosphere and Climate
– Planetary and other Ices of the Solar System
● The role of Divisions shall be to further the scientific objectives of IACS through co-ordination of appropriate scientific research, promotion and administration of IACS Working Groups, organization of scientific meetings, and promotion of the exchange of information and data.
● Each Division shall be responsible for its role, structure, and mode of operation.
● Each Division shall be represented on the IACS Bureau by a Division Head.
● The role and effectiveness of each Division shall be reviewed periodically by the Bureau.
By-law 2: IACS Administration
2.1 The Bureau shall meet at least twice at each IACS General Assembly, and must meet at least once more between such Assemblies.
2.2 The Bureau shall meet at the call of the President, who will set the agenda in consultation with the Secretary General.
2.3 The Bureau can meet in person, or via teleconference. All participating Bureau Members have equal voting rights.
2.4 The quorum for an IACS Bureau Meeting shall be a majority of the Bureau Members but must include: at least three of the President; President-Elect or Past-President; the Secretary General; and one of the Vice-presidents.
2.5 The President may invite representatives of scientific bodies or individuals to attend a Bureau Meeting in an advisory capacity.
2.6 Electronic voting (e-voting) may be required in between Bureau Meetings. E-voting is a two-stage process: a discussion phase where Bureau Members openly discuss the issue, followed by a voting phase that is secret. The Secretary General or, in case of conflict of interest, either the President or the President-Elect or Past-President, counts the votes. The same quorum applies as for Bureau Meetings (see By-law 2.4). The discussion period and voting time should be kept as short as possible (approximately one week each).
2.7 The President, the Secretary-General, and either the President-Elect or the immediate Past-President shall meet at the call of the President, in person, or via teleconference. As a subset of the full Bureau, they will handle the day-to-day IACS administration and perform tasks delegated by the Bureau.
By-law 3: Officers
3.1 a. The President shall be elected for one Period, and may not be re-elected to the same office. In accordance with Statute 3.8a, the term of office begins approximately mid-period between IUGG General Assemblies, usually at the time of an IACS Scientific Assembly.
3.1 b. The duties of the President are
(i) to represent IACS in the IUGG Executive Committee and at other meetings, conferences, or functions where formal representation is requested or desirable;
(ii) to convene Plenary Administrative Sessions and meetings of the Bureau and to preside over these meetings;
(iii) to prepare and distribute the agenda of Bureau Meetings to Bureau Members in consultation with the Secretary General;
(iv) to submit a report on the work of IACS to Plenary Administrative Sessions;
(v) to appoint the Chair of Standing and Working Groups established according to Statute 3.10;
(vi) to appoint, on behalf of the Bureau, persons who maintain liaison between the Bureau and other scientific bodies and programmes according to specified terms of reference.
3.1 c. If the President is temporarily not available, the President-Elect shall act on behalf of the President in accordance with the Statutes and By-laws. If there is no President-Elect, then the Bureau shall appoint one of the Vice-Presidents, who shall be from a country represented by an IUGG Adhering Body in regular IUGG member status (dues paid), to act on behalf of the President in accordance with the IUGG Statutes and By-laws.
3.2 a. The Vice-Presidents shall be elected for one period and may be re-elected for not more than one period which may or may not be consecutive.
3.2 b. The duties of the Vice-Presidents are:
(i) to represent the interests of cryospheric scientists at-large;
(ii) to advise the Bureau on IACS activities;
(iii) to assist the President in furthering the objectives of IACS within IUGG and the International Scientific Community;
(iv) to assist the President and Secretary General in administering IACS.
3.3 Secretary General
3.3 a. The Secretary General shall be elected for one period and may be re-elected for not more than two additional periods which may or may not be consecutive.
3.3 b. The duties of the Secretary General are
(i) to assist the Bureau in the management of the administrative and scientific affairs of IACS, to attend to correspondence, and to maintain and preserve the records of IACS;
(ii) to arrange meetings of the Bureau, to assist the President in the preparation of the agenda for Bureau Meetings, and to prepare and distribute the minutes of these meetings;
(iii) to organize Assemblies according to the instructions of the Bureau, to prepare and arrange publication of the program of each Assembly,
(iv) to request and receive the names of Accredited Delegates for each Plenary Administrative Session; to prepare and distribute the agenda; to prepare ballots and arrange for counting of votes; and to prepare and distribute the minutes of each Session;
(v) to receive and take charge of the funds allocated by IUGG to IACS, or as may be received from any other source; to disburse such funds in accordance with the decisions of Plenary Administrative Sessions or with the instructions of the Bureau; to keep account of all receipts and disbursements and to submit such account, audited by a qualified accountant, for approval by the Bureau and submission to the Plenary Administrative Session;
(vi) to maintain lists of IACS Members for purposes of communication, including IUGG, and Correspondents;
(vii) to publish an internal IACS bulletin (such as IACS News) containing information of general interest to IACS;
(viii) to perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President or the Bureau.
3.3 c The Bureau may, at its discretion, appoint an Assistant Secretary General.
3.4 Heads of Divisions
3.4 a. The Heads of Divisions shall serve for one period but may be re-elected for two more periods which may or may not be consecutive.
3.4 b. The duties of the Heads of Divisions are:
(i) to promote the interests of their respective divisions through participation in symposia, conferences, workshops and other activities, which receive the approbation of the Bureau;
(ii) to oversee the activities of Working Groups within a Head’s Division and serve as liaison between the Working Group and the Bureau;
(iii) to assist the Bureau in furthering the objectives of IACS in accordance with the Statutes and By-laws.
3.4 c. The Bureau may, upon request from the Head of a Division and at its discretion, appoint a Deputy Head of Division. The Division Head can temporarily delegate the right to vote on Bureau matters to the Deputy. No Division can have more than one vote.
3.5 No person who has served on the Bureau for four Periods shall be eligible for further election to any position on the IACS Bureau.
By-law 4: Nominations and Election of the Bureau
4.1 The Bureau shall establish a Nomination Panel consisting of a Chair and not less than two other members at least ten months before a General Assembly of IACS. The Panel will receive and consider suggestions and shall prepare a list of candidates for each office, seeking to achieve reasonable balance with respect to gender, career stage, cryospheric field, and geographical distribution. Members of the Bureau may not be appointed to the Nominating Panel.
4.2 At least nine months before an IACS General Assembly, the Secretary General shall solicit nominations for officers that must be received by the Chair of the Nomination Panel not later than six months before the IACS General Assembly. Nominees for the position of President-Elect, but not for the other positions, must be from countries represented by IUGG Adhering Bodies in regular IUGG member status (dues paid).
4.3 Each nomination for office must include a résumé of the candidate’s qualifications relevant to the office for which the candidate is nominated. A signed statement of the candidate’s willingness to stand for office must also be provided. The nomination shall not be considered without submission of the résumé and consent statement.
4.4 A person may be a candidate for more than one office, but once elected for one position cannot be elected for another for the same Period according to Statute 3.8d.
4.5 The list of candidates shall normally contain more than one name for each office. The Chair of the Nomination panel shall distribute the list to the accredited delegates to the Plenary Administrative Session at least three months before an IACS General Assembly. The list submitted for voting shall contain both the candidates proposed by the Nomination Panel and the names of all other nominees submitted.
4.6 Voting for the election of Bureau Officers by the Accredited Delegates shall be by secret ballot. The President shall select two electoral officers from among the participants at the Plenary Administrative Session to oversee and compile the votes. The electoral officers shall not be members of the Bureau or members of the Nominating Committee nor candidates for the election.
4.7 Candidates who obtain a simple majority of votes shall be elected. If no candidate receives a majority of votes for a specific office, the two candidates receiving the most votes shall be named and a second vote shall be held. In the case of a tie in the second round the current President shall decide.
By-law 5: Plenary Administrative Sessions
5.1 a. Plenary Administrative Sessions shall be open to all scientific participants at IACS Assemblies and to the general public.
5.1 b. Participants who are either Accredited Delegates or IACS Individual Members have voice on any issue. Any other session attendee has voice only on scientific issues.
5.1 c. An Accredited Delegate may designate another participant from that country to be his or her representative at all or part of a Plenary Administrative Session provided that the Secretary General is informed in writing prior to the Plenary Administrative Session at which the designated representative is to act.
5.1 d. The President may, on his or her initiative or at the request of an Accredited Delegate, invite individuals such as representatives of relevant scientific bodies to attend a Plenary Administrative Session in an advisory capacity.
5.2 a. A provisional agenda for a Plenary Administrative Session shall be prepared by the Secretary General and circulated to IACS Accredited Delegates and Correspondents at least two months prior to the opening of an Assembly.
5.2 b. The provisional agenda shall include all items submitted by IACS Accredited Delegates for discussion at the Plenary Administrative Session, together with questions placed on the provisional agenda by the Bureau. Additional agenda items, for which notice has not thus been given, may only be discussed with the consent of the voting members of the Plenary Administrative Session.
By-law 6: Modifications to the By-laws
The By-laws may be modified by a simple majority of votes cast at a Plenary Administrative Session.
Glossary: IACS Statutes and By-laws
Accredited Delegate: the Delegate appointed to attend a Plenary Administrative Session of an IACS Assembly by an IUGG Adhering Body. The Accredited Delegate may, but does not need to be, the National Correspondent. An Accredited Delegate may vote on all IACS scientific matters and on IACS administrative and financial matters if the IUGG dues of the Adhering Body are paid.
Adhering Body: As defined in IUGG Statute 4a, a single body in any country that represents the geodetic and geophysical activities of that country. Under extraordinary circumstances, there may be more than one Adhering Body for a country. Each Adhering Body forms a Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics hereafter known as an IUGG National Committee (IUGG By-law 4).
Assembly: a General Assembly or a Scientific Assembly of IACS.
(The) Bureau: the officers elected by a Plenary Administrative Session at an Assembly of IACS.
(The) By-laws: the By-laws of IACS.
Correspondent: the person named by an IUGG Adhering Body National Committee to serve as a liaison between the National Committee and IACS.
Divisions: The primary scientific components of IACS, named in By-law 1.
IACS: the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences.
(IACS) Individual Member: a person registered with IACS as an individual member.
IUGG: the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics.
National Members (of IACS): A country admitted to IUGG as voting or non-voting member as defined in Statute 2.1 a.
Nominating Panel: the committee appointed by the Bureau to solicit candidates and provide nominations for the election of Bureau officers to the Plenary Administrative Assembly.
General Assembly (of IACS): an Assembly of IACS held in conjunction with a General Assembly of IUGG (i.e., every 4 years). Consistent with IUGG General Assemblies it consists of three parts: (1) a Plenary Administrative Session, (ii) business meetings of IACS, and (iii) an open scientific assembly.
Period: the interval between the end of one General Assembly of IACS and the end of the next General Assembly of IACS.
Plenary Administrative Session: a formal meeting of Accredited Delegates, and IACS Individual Members. It is open to the public.
Scientific Assembly (of IACS): an Assembly of IACS held between General Assemblies.
(The) Statutes: the Statutes of IACS.
Terms of Reference of IACS Working Groups (WGs), IACS Standing Groups (SGs) and Joint Bodies (JBs)
Drafted by the IACS Bureau during its meeting in Vienna, Austria, on April 12 and 13, 2008, and finalized after discussion among Bureau members via electronic mail on May 23, 2008; Revised after discussion among Bureau members via electronic mail on May 10, 2020. Further revised at bureau meeting on September 6, 2021 (paragraph on joint commissions added).
The Statutes of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences, IACS, define
‘Working Groups’ and ‘Standing Groups’. The Association wishes to attract the full diversity of members of the international cryospheric community to contribute to the progress of snow and ice sciences through initiating and participating in Working and Standing Groups.
Proposals from any person or group active in the cryospheric sciences, and who wish to initiate an IACS Working or Standing Group, are welcome at any time and will be considered by the IACS Bureau in a timely manner.
IACS is committed to ensuring diversity including but not limited to career stage, gender, racial and ethnic identity, and geographic origin, within Working Groups, Standing Groups and Joint Bodies.
IACS Working Groups
Working Groups address scientific problems of the cryosphere that are timely and well constrained. Working Groups shall have explicit aims, objectives, milestones and deliverables. They should be international in composition. They shall define the instruments, for example workshops and conferences, which they will use to achieve their aims and objectives. Working Groups will normally be limited to up to four years duration. They may be renewed, with suitable justification, for up to a further four years in exceptional circumstances. Working Groups report annually to the Bureau through the appropriate IACS Head of Division. The chair or co-chairs of a Working Group and its member must be IACS Individual Members.
IACS Standing Groups
Standing Groups address scientific problems of the cryosphere that require medium- to
long-term reflection. Standing Groups shall have well considered aims, objectives, milestones and deliverables. They should be international in composition. Standing Group activities could include, for example, monitoring, databasing, and dissemination of cryospheric information. Standing Groups will normally have a life-time of eight years. They may be renewed, with suitable justification, for further periods of eight years. Standing Groups report annually to the Bureau through the appropriate IACS Vice-President or other Bureau member and may also be subject to external expert evaluation at appropriate intervals. The chair or co-chairs of a Standing Group must be IACS Individual Members.
Support for IACS Working and Standing Groups includes:
· Formal IACS endorsement of activity.
· Representation on IACS web pages.
· IACS funding applications on behalf of Working Groups or Standing Groups to IUGG and ICSU for grant programmes that require formal IACS involvement.
· Formal letters of support for funding applications to national and international
· Financial support of up to 1500 Euros per year, i.e. a total of up to 6000 Euro for a 4-year WG. Financial support can be used for example for travel support for WG participants to attend WG meetings, especially participants from less developed countries. Other expenses may include publication costs or in special cases also salary support. Funding requests are made to the Secretary General by submitting eligible invoices detailing the nature of the expenditure. No proposal for funding is needed but the WG should indicate approximate amounts of funding needed to the Secretary General as part of their annual reporting, to ensure that the costs are appropriate and eligible for reimbursement. However, if funding is requested for salary, a detailed justification (ca. 1/2-1 page) must be sent to the Secretary General prior to employment. No payments will be made unless these arrangements were agreed to by the IACS Bureau in advance. IACS supports payments to a person involved in WG work, but does not support any overhead for formal employment at universities or other institutions. Salary payments may also be made in the form of an honorarium directly to the person involved in WG work.
The IACS Bureau may also approve, from time to time, Joint Bodies to carry out a joint venture between IACS, an IACS Working Group or Standing Group and IUGG bodies or another organization, or organizations. The justification for such joint activities should be similar to that for IACS groups. The Bureau may also approve other forms of IACS joint activity, where an IACS representative is appointed by the Bureau in a bilateral or multilateral initiative with another international organization or organizations.
• Joint commissions are commissions between IACS and one or several other IUGG Associations to foster inter-association science.
• Joint commissions are established through approval by the IACS Bureau in agreement with another Association. A new joint commission shall establish Terms of Reference (ToR) defining the purpose and governance structure of the commission. The ToR and any subsequent changes thereof must be approved by the IACS Bureau.
• The lifetime of a joint commission may be of a permanent nature. It may be terminated by the IACS Bureau if deemed appropriate.
• Joint IACS commissions shall be chaired by two co-chairs, one of whom has to be an IACS representative. Additional officers (e.g. vice-chairs, secretary) should include officers from both associations. The IACS co-chair and any other officer representing IACS must be approved by the IACS Bureau and be IACS Individual Members.
• The commission reports annually to the Bureau through an assigned Bureau member and shall also be subject to external expert review or IACS Bureau evaluation at least every 8 years.