Mailnews

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*** Japan Geoscience Union Mailnews Extraordinary Edition,
                                          No.238 July 8th, 2015 ***
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Report on JpGU Meeting 2015 and Notes on the Direction of Future Meetings.

                                                          Yozo Hamano
                          JpGU Meeting Organizing Committee Chair and
                                       Acting Head of the JpGU Office

In February this year I took on the role of acting head of the JpGU
Office from Ms. Mihoko Tanigami who had worked for 15 years since the
year 2000 organizing the JpGU Annual Meeting and its precedents.

The JpGU Meeting 2015 was held over five days from Monday 24th to
Thursday 28th May. We filled all of the halls of the Makuhari Messe
International Conference Hall and also used the conference facilities
of the Makuhari APA Hotel. The meeting consisted of 189 sessions
(including 55 international sessions) and 4,037 papers were presented
(including 988 at the international sessions). For the presentations
we used the 18 halls of the International Conference Hall and 5
conference rooms in the APA Hotel for all five days of the meeting
(and in fact we needed to use an additional room in the APA Hotel
for one day). All of these facilities were almost completely full
from morning to evening, with 5,271 participants attending the science
sessions alone. On Sunday we held events for the general public.
In addition to the High School Student Poster Presentation public
session which we have held in recent years, this year we yet again
increased our outreach activities, including, amongst others, lectures
and demonstrations of scientific experiments by scientists from the
United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to which middle
school students from Chiba prefecture were invited. Further, as this
year marks the tenth anniversary of the birth of the JpGU and the
twenty fifth year since the start of the joint meetings held by various
Japanese Earth and planetary science organizations that eventually
became the JpGU Annual Meeting, we continued the commendation ceremonies
and related functions that we began last year. In particular, the four
main organizations representing the Earth and planetary science communities
in Asia, Europe and the United States, the JpGU, the AOGS, the EGU and
the AGU organized a joint union session entitled Geoscience Ahead.
In this session seven presidents and past presidents of these organizations
discussed their organization’s present activities and hopes for the
future. The session finished with a panel discussion and a joint statement
from the four organizations. And so ended a very successful JpGU Meeting 2015.
On behalf of the organizing committee I would like to express our thanks
to everyone who contributed to this success.

As a general rule the JpGU expects that the JpGU Annual Meeting be
financed by its participants, and that meeting costs should be covered
by registration charges and abstract submission charges. The two major
costs that must be covered are firstly the personnel expenses of the
JpGU Office staff and others who organize and run the meeting and secondly
the costs of renting the venue and equipment used for the meeting. Everyone
involved in organizing the meeting has worked hard to produce the best
possible outcome with the limited resources available. We have aimed to
increase the level of service to participants, by, for instance, increasing
the displays by corporations, research organizations and universities
and by introducing an Annual Meeting App.

>From 2003 the Annual Meeting was held at the Makuhari Messe International
Conference Hall. Year by year the number of participants grew and the
scale of the meeting increased. By 2011 the number of presentations was
approaching 4,000 and even though we reserved the entire Conference Hall
there was insufficient space for all of the oral and poster presentations.
So it became impossible to further increase the scale of the meeting using
solely the facilities at the International Conference Hall. Accordingly
the 2014 meeting was held in larger facilities at Pacifico Yokohama.
In 2015 the meeting returned to the Makuhari Messe International Conference
Hall but also made use of the conference facilities of the Makuhari
APA Hotel. Nonetheless it is clear that that it will be difficult to
continue to organize a growing meeting of over 4,000 mainly oral
presentations, and that some innovation will therefore be required.
Here it is worth mentioning that the ratio of oral presentations to
poster sessions at the JpGU Meeting 2015 was 2:1, whilst at the AGU
meeting this ratio is 1:3 and at the EGU meeting 1:2. In order to allow
as many people as possible to present their research results at the
JpGU Annual Meeting it will be necessary to follow the lead of the AGU
and EGU and place greater emphasis on poster presentations in the future.

Further, it has been decided that we will hold the 2016 and 2017 meetings
in collaboration with the AGU as a part of the promotion of
internationalization. Specifically, during the JpGU Meeting 2016 we
will hold between 10 and 15 joint sessions with the AGU and actively
encourage the participation of AGU members. The 2017 meeting will be
held jointly by the JpGU and AGU. Accordingly we are expecting around
300 overseas participants in 2016 and more than 500 in 2017. One problem
that this will cause is that the JpGU submission system and program
organizing system will require either major modification or new systems
will have to be introduced.

In order to hold future JpGU Annual Meetings as explained above we will
need to (i) improve the ability of the JpGU Office to handle English
language requests; (ii) either improve the existing JpGU submission
system or introduce a new one; and (iii) improve our ability to secure
suitable conference space. In 2016 we intend to rent the Makuhari Messe
International Conference Hall and the conference facilities of the
Makuhari APA Hotel as before and additionally rent 1/2 of a hall in
the Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall for use for poster
presentations. Using the cost of the 2015 meeting as a baseline, and
making suitable assumptions about the venues for the 2017 and 2018
meetings, the improvements (i) – (iii) above will require an additional
80 million yen to be spent in the 3 years from 2016 to 2018. Meeting
this cost will require a 25% increase in participant registration fee
income compared to that generated from the approximately 5000 participants
in the 2015 meeting, and it will be impossible to cover this from the
expected increase in participant numbers. So we are faced with the problem
that unless we increase the participant registration fee it will be
difficult to hold future meetings as planned. The scale of the fee
increase will be discussed at a future meeting of the JpGU board of
directors, but any decision will be constrained by the general requirement
that since the JpGU is a public service corporation, the expenses of
its annual meeting should be covered by participant registration fees.

We welcome comments and opinions from all JpGU members, and thank you
all in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

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Japan Geoscience Union (http://www.jpgu.org/)
4F Gakkai Center Bldg.
2-4-16 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
113-0032, Japan
Phone: +81-6914-2080 Fax: +81-3-6914-2088
E-mail: office@jpgu.org