Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Friends,


This is my eighth progress report after 240 days as your President. Note that previous reports are on the ISSMGE web site under “From the President” if you need them. In this report, I would like to talk to you about FedIGS, Communications, Basic Information on ISSMGE, Technical Committees, and Recent Trips.


FedIGS. In November 2009, I attended my first meeting of the FedIGS Board. Shortly thereafter, the Presidents of the three member societies (Fred Baynes for IAEG, Jean-Louis Briaud for ISSMGE, and John Hudson for ISRM) formed a subgroup of the FedIGS Board because they were concerned about the direction that FedIGS was taking including a sense that FedIGS was starting to compete with its member societies (corporate associates at 5000 Euros per year, separate conference, rapidly increasing number of Joint Technical Committees). After 2 months of work including discussions with prominent members of ISSMGE, the three Presidents sent a report to the FedIGS Board in January 2010 with a set of recommendations describing a significant change in the direction that FedIGS should take. William Van Impe, President of FedIGS, disagreed strongly with the recommendations and resigned. On 15 March 2010, the ISSMGE Board passed a motion supporting unanimously the changes requested by the three presidents. On 28 May 2010, the FedIGS Board met and decided that there would not be any official corporate associates, that there would be no fees paid by anyone to belong to FedIGS (ISSMGE was paying 3500 Euros per year to belong to FedIGS), that there would not be any separate FedIGS conference, and that the number of JTCs would be reduced to 3: JTC1 on landslides (Jean-Louis Briaud will be the liaison), JTC2 on data collection (John Hudson will be the liaison), JTC3 on education (Fred Baynes will be the liaison). Nielen Van Der Merwe, Past President of ISRM, was elected the new Chair of the FedIGS Board until October 2011. Jean-Louis Briaud proposed and the Board concurred to express its deep appreciation for the unwavering devotion demonstrated over the years by William Van Impe to his profession. The Board renewed its strong commitment to increased cooperation between International Geo-Societies which is the very reason for the existence of FedIGS. FedIGS is now a light, flexible, inexpensive, unobtrusive organization dedicated to the cooperation between international geo-societies.


Communications. I have started three email lists which you can join voluntarily. The first one is called This list is for announcements only; if you join this list, you would receive emails with various announcements but if you responded to this list, it will reach no one. The second list is called This list is for discussion among ISSMGE members worldwide; by responding to this list you reach all those in the world who have signed up. The third list is called This list is the discussion list for all young (less than 35 years old) members of the society who wish to sign up. So please drop me an email if you wish to join one of those voluntary distribution lists. The goal is to improve communications among all of us.


Basic information on ISSMGE. I have prepared a few slides (attached in pdf because of size, I can send you the Power Point if you wish) giving some basic information on ISSMGE, what it does, and why every geo-professional should be a member. Please feel free to use those slides at you convenience. In particular, I would appreciate if all Professors would take 5 minutes of their class time to explain to their students what ISSMGE is. We need more exciting photographs conveying the fascinating work that we do. If you have such photographs please send them to me to add to this basic information on our profession. Feel free to improve these basic slides and share any improvement with me if you do not mind. Of course there is much more information on the ISSMGE web site.


To TC Chairs and TC Members. I attach the latest table of TCs with the known membership. TOC will publish an article in the June edition of the ISSMGE Bulletin. This table does not yet include the members selected by the National Societies that have been received by the Secretariat. If not already done, the chairs should proceed with the selection of their 4 “chair selected” members. They should also be proactive in recruiting members by contacting those they wish to have on their TC and tell them to ask their national society that they wish to be on a certain TC. If there are more than 2 members per country, corresponding members may be a good solution to make sure that important contributors are not lost. I also wish to remind you that I would like TC chairs to support the Int. Jour. of Geo-Engineering Case Histories ( by encouraging their members when appropriate to contribute an article to that Journal. This Journal is a refereed Journal which is free for all on the internet; as such it represents a tremendous service to our members. I wish that all TCs would consider making a contribution to this Journal a TC Task.


Recent trips. During the last 4 months I have visited 9 countries (United Arab Emirates, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia). I have seen some of the richest countries with some of the most exciting projects, and some of the poorest countries where devastation is disheartening. During these trips I have felt the excitement of the people working in our profession, I have learned many lessons which will help guide my future work as your President, and I have made many new friends. Everywhere I went I have been treated with outstanding hospitality; I wish I had time to send personal emails to the many people who contributed to making me feel at home in their country. Your kindness gives me energy.


Sorry for the long message but a lot of things are happening. Please do relay this message to all the members in your country.


Best wishes,
Jean-Louis BRIAUD
President of ISSMGE

TCs 2009-2013-11 June 2010