- March
Posted By : Secretary
Newsletter – 28 Mar 21

Dear Member,

I write to provide an update on Association and Conference matters.

Firstly, a word from our President, Cdr (Prof) H.A.P (Hennie) Smit, Associate Professor of Military Geography, South African Military Academy:

Dear IAMG members

To say that we live in strange times is fast becoming the biggest cliché in history-although it is still true. Twenty months ago, we were together in Padova, and according to our plans, a mere four months from now should have seen us all in Charleston, South Carolina. Covid-19 obviously had other plans. I want to start off this brief communication by conveying my sincere sympathy to any of our members or their families who were impacted by the virus. It remains a strange and disconcerting phenomenon.

The second order of business is to thank Eric McDonald and his team for all their hard work in preparing for ICMG 14. I know that the decision to postpone was not taken lightly, and that they had done a huge amount of groundwork in preparation for the event. Ultimately, they had no option but to postpone. Drew will supply more particulars about the postponement, new dates, the possibility of a short virtual conference, etc. I have one question to ask, and I would like to have your suggestions in this regard. Postponing ICMG 14 to 2022, will mean that it will now have a new rhythm, and will happen during even years, and not during odd years.  In the case of South Africa, ICMG conferences will now take place during the same year as our national Geography conference. I am not sure if similar “clashes” will occur in other areas. If it is a general problem, I will propose that we rectify it by holding ICMG 15 in 2023. That will restore the rhythm. We will be willing to host the conference in South Africa, should no other host be available. But that is just an idea. Please let us open a conversation about that.

While the last 20 months was an unusually trying and uncertain time, it was certainly not an unproductive period for IAMG members. Peter Guth produced Military Geoscience: Bridging History to Current Operations, a book in the Advances in Military Geosciences series published by Springer.  Congratulation on that Peter! Since the Padova conference, various attendees published articles in the two Italian journals, Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria and Rendiconti Online, while the conference book, Military Geoscience in Peace and War is in press. Once again, a big “thank you” to Aldino Bondesan for your hard work to make this possible. My appreciation also to Judi Ehlen as co-editor of Military Geoscience in Peace and War. A whole host of other publications emanated from members of the IAMG during this period. This continuous stream of publications with a military geoscientific focus is an important way to draw attention to and expand the reach and impact of military geosciences. I therefor wants to thank and congratulate all the authors, editors, peer-reviewers and researchers who contributed to publications and kept the military geosciences flag flying since the Padova conference.

In conclusion, it is a sad reality that we will not see each other in Charleston in June. However, let us keep contact, either formally or informally, and keep up the good work you all do to further military geosciences in your area of expertise and influence. The good news is that it is only 15 months before we see each other in Charleston!

Until then, stay safe!

Hennie Smit

As Hennie alludes to above, the decision has been taken to postpone the next International Conference for Military Geosciences to 2022. The following overview is extracted from the event page on our website:

ICMG22 – The 14th International Conference on Military Geosciences, Charleston South Carolina, U.S.A. (LINK)

UPDATE: The Conference Committee has been monitoring the pandemic situation in the U.S. and abroad. Despite the apparent progress being made, it still far from clear as to what the situation may be in June 2021. Therefore, with great regret, the Committee has decided to postpone the 14th ICMG until 2022. Further details will be released in the coming months. General details have been updated below to reflect the change in dates, but the general programme of events for the conference and post-conference excursion remains extant.

Dates:  June 20 – 24 2022

Conference Theme: Military Geosciences in the 21st Century: Past Lessons and Modern Challenges

Location: The Conference will be held from Monday June 20 through Friday June 24, 2022, on the Campus of the College of Charleston.  The Conference is being organized on behalf of the Desert Research Institute (DRI, Reno, Nevada), the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston, and the International Association for Military Geosciences (IAMG).

Located in the heart of downtown Charleston, the College of Charleston is a beautiful and historic campus, (founded in 1770).  The campus lies within the Charleston historic district where the city was founded in 1670 as a seaport city.  The city is defined by its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses, particularly in the elegant French Quarter and Battery districts. The Battery promenade and Waterfront Park both overlook Charleston Harbor, while Fort Sumter, a federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War rang out, lies across the water.

Themes:  We seek abstracts that link a wide range of military activities within a broad span of geological, geographical, archeological, suitability, historical, and spatial analysis.  Examples include (additional examples can be viewed at http://militarygeoscience.org/about/).

Abstracts:  Due to the postponement of the planned 2021 conference, we are still reviewing the schedule but anticipate submission deadline of March 30, 2022.  A volume of peer-reviewed papers presented at the Conference will be published summer of 2023.

Post-Conference Excursion:  Coastal Geology and Military History: A post-conference tour is being planned, dates to be confirmed but likely to be June 25 through June 28.  The excursion will begin in Charleston, SC and end in Charlotte, NC.  The theme of the tour will be military history and coastal environments.

Conference Committee:

  • Prof Eric McDonald (DRI)
  • Dr. Brad Sion (DRI)
  • Prof Steve Henderson (Emeritus, Oxford College, Emory University)
  • Prof Tim Callahan (Chair: Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston)

Covid-19 Pandemic:  We will continue to monitor the status of the pandemic in the U.S. and globally.  Updates will be provided as and when possible.

Further details will be made available as they become available.

This newsletter is long overdue and I apologise for the time it’s taken to get around to getting this out. I do post notices via the website and would like to see more. You’re welcome to email me and I’ll pass the information on.

Please do also utilise our social media channels to keep in touch. I appreciate that not everyone uses these means, but for those who do, these are your services to use to connect, exchange ideas and communicate books, opportunities, notices, etc.

Please feel free to pass this email/newsletter along to others whom might be interested in the association and conference series. If they let me know I’ll add them to the email list.

Best regards,

Drew Craig, Association Secretary


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