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BISO Events Calendar

Events of US National
Committees and
international unions
associated with BISO


  INQUA Header Photo - Anders INQUA Header Photo - Alaska  

U.S. National Committee for INQUA

The U.S. National Committee for the International Union for Quaternary Research (USNC/INQUA) represents the interests of the U.S. Quaternary community in INQUA, advances Quaternary research both in the United States and abroad, and formally represents the United States in INQUA through the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the U.S. adhering body to INQUA.

The USNC/INQUA plans and arranges for U.S. participation in INQUA congresses and programs. The INQUA congresses are held every four years and provide the only forum in which the multidisciplinary, international Quaternary research community can collaborate and exchange ideas. The committee normally holds two meetings each year, of which one is commonly in association with the meetings of the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA), the Geological Society of America (GSA), or the American Geophysical Union (AGU). 

This committee has organized a series of biennial “Teaching Climate Change” teaching workshops in collaboration with On The Cutting Edge and AMQUA. The most recent workshop was held in Duluth, MN, in June 2012. This committee is also active in the organization of scientific sessions at professional society meetings with the other U.S. National Committees for Geosciences, and is very interested in supporting the development of early career Quaternary scientists through mentoring activities linked to its travel fellowship programs, and, most recently, through self-standing mentoring activities at the 2012 and 2014 AMQUA meetings.


INQUA Executive Committee Members Convene in Washington, DC

INQUA EC Meeting 2016 Museum
INQUA Executive Committee members and USNC/INQUA senior program officer Ester Sztein
at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

From Wednesday, March 16 through Friday, March 18, 2016, members of the INQUA Executive Committee held their annual meeting at the National Academies' Keck Center. Agenda topics included the review of current and future union and commission activities, review of international proposals, and plans for communications outreach.

The EC members also enjoyed a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, March 15, where they examined fossil specimens and toured the Hall of Human Evolution. On Thursday, the committee members attended a talk given by Becca Peixotto, a PhD student at American University, who was part of the recent Homo naledi excavation team in South Africa.

The executive Committee members in attendance were Dr. Allan Ashworth (U.S.A. - President), Dr. Margaret Avery (R.S.A. – Past President), Dr. Brian Chase (France- Secretary General), Dr. Marie-France Loutre (Belgium-Treasurer), Dr. Ashok Singhvi (India – V-P), Dr. Franck Audemard (Venezuela – V-P), Dr. Thijs van Kolfschoten (Holland-V-P), Dr. Lyudmila Shumilovskikh (Germany – ECR), Dr. Craig Sloss (Australia – CMP), Dr. Nicki Whitehouse (U.K. –HABCOM), Dr. Atte Korhola (Finland-PALCOMM), Dr. Mauro Coltorti (Italy –SACCOM), and Dr. Alessandro Michetti (Italy-TERPRO). Dr. Guo Zhengtang (China – V-P) was absent.

For regular INQUA news updates, visit the INQUA Blog.

INQUA EC Meeting 2016 Keck Lobby
INQUA Executive Committee Members in the Keck Center lobby
of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Arctic Matters Day Held at NAS Building
The Polar Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held its “Arctic Matters Day” on Thursday, January 14, 2016 in the NAS Building at 2101 Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC.  The event was part of a larger initiative to raise awareness about rapid change in the Arctic and how it affects us all, including our coastlines, weather, ecosystems, and more.  The agenda featured lively “TED-like” talks from top experts who study Arctic change, artistic displays, and interactive exhibits. Please take a look at our free Arctic Matters educator resources, including a booklet, classroom poster, and interactive web tool on the Arctic Matters website

USNC/INQUA Committee Member Publishes Research in Nature Climate Change Journal
A USNC/INQUA member since 2012, Professor Feng Sheng Hu of the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign has published an article in the journal Nature Climate Change. Professor Hu, along with five other scientists, closely examined the Yukon Flats region of Alaska. Their study concludes that the recent fires plaguing the Yukon Flats and other boreal forests around the world are sending an unprecedented amount of carbon into the atmosphere. Mass amounts of carbon in the atmosphere accelerate warming temperatures, which in turn lead to an increase in forest fires. 

Dr. Hu's research has been cited in a recent article for The Washington Post, as well as a University of Illinois press release. To read the full study, click here.

American Allan Ashworth Elected INQUA President; Three U.S. Scientists Elected as INQUA Commission Officers
Allan Ashworth - INQUA 2015Dr. Allan C. Ashworth (pictured on the right), research professor and distinguished professor emeritus in North Dakota State University's Department of Geosciences, was elected the new INQUA President at the 2015 Congress in Nagoya. Professor Ashworth is a paleoecologist specializing in fossil insects, with a long record of excellence in teaching and geology. He has taught courses in Quaternary biology, Earth history, and stratigraphy. He has conducted paleoclimatic research in Asia, Europe, North and South America, and most recently Antarctica, where he has organized several expeditions funded by NSF. He is past chair of the U.S. National Committee on Quaternary Research. An Antarctic glacier and five species of beetles have been named after him, and his work has been featured in film and television. Professor Ashworth is a co-PI of the full-searchable multiproxy Neotoma Paleoecology Database ( He is a frequent speaker on global warming and other issues. He has authored or co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications, 110 abstracts and presentations in U.S. and international meetings, and obtained 25 research grants.

In addition to Dr. Ashworth's election, three Americans now hold positions of leadership in three of the five INQUA commissions. Dr. Anders Carlson (Oregon State University) is the new Vice-President of the Coastal and Marine Processes Commission (CMP). Dr. Jennifer Marlon (Yale University) was elected Vice-President of the Paleoclimate Commission (PALCOMM), and Dr. Lewis Owen (University of Cincinnati) was elected Vice-President of the Commission on Stratigraphy and Chronology (SACCOM).

The USNC/INQUA extends its warmest congratulations to the U.S. representatives.

September 2016 INQUA Early Career Conference and Summer School
INQUA has established an Early Career Researchers Committee (INQUA ECR) to support and connect young scientists and help them to become involved in INQUA activities. INQUA Early Career Researcher 2016 presents the next opportunity for young palaeo-observational and climate-modeling researchers. This summer school, held at the University of Reading, UK, features hands-on training, conference sessions, and practical activities over five days in September. More details can be found on the University of Reading Tropical Palaeoecology Research Group Blog.

The most recent INQUA Early Career Researcher inter-congress was held December 2 through December 6, 2013, at Wollongong University, New South Wales, Australia. The meeting provided an avenue for MSc/PhD candidates, Post-Doctoral Researchers, and research-active academics in the early stage of their careers (within 5 years of obtaining their PhD) to attend valuable workshops designed to assist ECRs with career development, to present their science, and to gain invaluable mentoring from more senior scientists. Details can be found on the INQUA Early Career Researcher inter-congress meeting website.

To become involved in INQUA ECR, please visit and "Like" the INQUA ECR on Facebook to share links and find jobs! You can also follow INQUA ECR on Twitter through @INQUA_ECR. For additional information, e-mail  

2019 Dublin Bid Accepted at 2015 INQUA Congress
Once every four years, quaternary researchers from all over the world meet at the INQUA Congress to exchange the latest research results and develop agendas for the years to come. In 2015, the Congress took place in Nagoya, Japan from July 27 to August 2. The Congress program addressed the themes of the Commissions during six days of oral and poster sessions, plenary presentations, and side meetings. 

The next Congress will be held in
Dublin, Ireland in 2019.

USNC/INQUA Hosts Two Scientific Sessions at the 2015 INQUA Congress
The USNC/INQUA proudly hosted an oral session and a poster session titled Interdisciplinary Quaternary Research: Past, Present, and Future at the 2015 Congress in Nagoya, Japan on Saturday, August 1. The presentations included previous and ongoing research from very complex projects to relatively small endeavors, with a focus on those involving international collaboration. New directions in interdisciplinary research were also addressed.

Rolfe D. Mandel and Ester Sztein were the session conveners. Anders Carlson (U.S.), Christine S. Lane, Luiz C.R. Pessenda, Julie Brigham-Grette (U.S.), Laura Lamair, Erik J. DeBoer, Iain Robertson, Lourdes Lopez-Merino, and Agustin Scanferla, and Claire E. Krause gave oral presentations, while posters were presented by Fiona McRobie, Alexandre V. Andronikov, Erika Schreiber, Vladimir G. Trifonov, and new INQUA President Allan Ashworth. 

24th Biennial Meeting of the American Quaternary Association: June 28-July 1, 2016, in Santa Fe, New Mexico
In 2016, the International Commission on Stratigraphy will decide on whether or not the Geologic Time Table will designate a new Anthropocene Epoch, and where in time to drive the Golden Spike. The 24th AMQUA Biennial Meeting will address the theme "Retooling the Quaternary to Manage the Anthropocene," and kick off on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 with three field trips addressing ongoing research in the area.

Over two and a half days, 25 invited plenary speakers will address different aspects of the "Retooling" challenges. The remaining presentations will be contributed posters, which will be featured in one-minute lightning talks (1-2 slides) during the technical program and remain up for the entirety of the meeting. Students are strongly encouraged to register and apply for AMQUA Student Travel Grants on the meeting registration page. For more information, please visit


23rd Biennial Meeting of the American Quaternary Association
The 23rd Biennial Meeting of the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA 2014) was held August 7-10, 2014 in Seattle, WA. The meeting focused on the Quaternary geological and environmental processes that shaped the Pacific Northwest region, the animals that lived in it, and the late intrusion by humans. The meeting was hosted by the Quaternary Research Center, College of the Environment at the University of Washington. For more details, please consult the AMQUA 2014 website.

USNC/INQUA Mentoring Session for Students and Early Career Scientists: A mentoring event for early career scientists at the AMQUA meeting was held in Seattle on August 9, 2014. AMQUA generously provided the space and the lunch. This event, led by Rolfe Mandel (USNC/INQUA Chair), provided an opportunity for mentors to discuss their various career paths in different Quaternary disciplines and answer questions from early career scientists.

U.S. National Academy of Sciences, U.K. Royal Society Release Joint Publication on Climate Change

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, the national science academy of the U.K., released a joint publication that explains the clear evidence that humans are causing the climate to change, and that addresses a variety of other key questions commonly asked about climate change science. For more details and a link to the full report, please consult the Climate Change: Evidence and Causes press release
2014 AAAS Symposium - “Santa’s Revenge: The Impacts of Arctic Warming on the Mid-Latitudes”
This symposium examined high-latitude changes linked to mid-latitude weather and the effect of these complex phenomena on freshwater resources, food availability, and national security. This event was spearheaded by the U.S. National Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics, and co-sponsored by the U.S. National Committees for INQUA, Soil Sciences, and Geological Sciences.

Events and Activities
Resource Links
INQUA International Webpage

Contact the USNC/INQUA

Ester Sztein, Assistant Director
Pam Gamble, Administrative Associate


February 15, 2014 AAAS Session: “Santa’s Revenge: The Impacts of Arctic Warming on the Mid-Latitudes”
December 12, 2013 AGU Session (PDF): “Science Diplomacy in the Geosciences”

February 15, 2013 AAAS Session: “U.S. Climate and Weather Extremes: Past, Present, and Future"

December 7, 2012 AGU Town Hall (PDF): “International Geoscience”

February 19, 2012 AAAS Session: “Causes and Effects of Relative Sea-Level Changes in the Northeast Pacific"

February 17, 2012 AAAS Session: “Toward Stabilization of Net Global Carbon Dioxide Levels"

February 20, 2011 AAAS Session: “The Practice of Science Diplomacy in the Earth Sciences”

February 19, 2010 AAAS Session: "Dust in the Earth System"

December 17, 2009 AGU Poster Sessions: “Extreme Natural Hazards: Risk Assessment, Forecasting, and Decision Support”

February 16, 2009 AAAS Session: "Global Sea Level Rise: Observation, Causes, and Prediction"

September 25, 2008 BISO Symposium (PDF): “Global Connections among Earth Sciences, Health, and Policy"

February 15, 2008 AAAS Session (PDF): "Planet Earth: Lessons Ignored, Lessons Learned”

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number ICER-1312037. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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