THE NEW GSA INTERNATIONAL SECTION
2009 was the year of transition from International Division to International Section (IS). Proposed Section Bylaws, modeled on those of other Sections, were approved by the Council in May. But subsequently the Section realized the great difficulty that a Chair would have to identify and select all appropriate candidates for the requisite committees from the 1,844 GSA members that resided outside of North America.
Newly proposed Bylaws uniquely state: “An International Liaison Committee (ILC) of eight voting affiliates, chaired by the International Secretary, shall be appointed for two-year terms by the Section Chair...Each appointee shall be a GSA Honorary Fellow, or a colleague recommended by him/her, who has long-term experiential expertise in one of the eight regions of future potential collaboration: Europe, East Asia, South Pacific, Latin America, South Asia, Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and North Asia.”
Such an ILC shall “conduct liaison with overseas geoscientific societies, universities, other institutions, and especially the Members and Fellows residing outside of North America, and shall assist in arranging for appropriate international meetings, workshops, symposia, and excursions within their respective regions.” Also this ILC shall be a substitute for the traditional Nominating and Awards Committees of North American Sections, and fully utilize the capabilities of the regional experts that have previously been recognized by the GSA as Honorary Fellows.
The awards to be considered by the ILC include meeting travel grants insofar as the funding permits, nomination of International Honorary Fellows (previously done by the Council), and initial identification of a candidate for the IS Distinguished International Career Award. Possibly this last awardee might become a subsequent Section Vice-Chair as overseas scientists replace the current North American residents on the Management Board.