- April
Posted By : Secretary
Reflections on 20 years of participating in the ICMG

Eric V. McDonald, President of the IAMG, June 2022 to present

During these last 20 years of ICMG conferences I have learned much about military history, modern military operations, and the environmental aspects of strategic, operational, and tactical military activities.

I was hooked on research related to the military geoscience after my first ICMG meeting in 2003, held at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point.  I had long been interested in both military history and conducting research related to the U.S. Department of Defense and was thrilled to find a meeting that incorporated a wide range of aspects of the geosciences with military history and modern operations. 

Succeeding conferences through to 2022 provided innumerable further examples of military geoscience with topics expanding to include battlefield archology, geochemistry, GIS/remote sensing, and environmental science. 

The international quality and reach of the ICMG series have grown with conferences in England, Canada, Austria, Scotland, the United States (Annapolis and Charleston), South Africa, and Italy. 

Conference related fieldtrips to classic military sites such as Antietam, Culloden, the Dolomites, the Nevada Atomic Test Site, Isandlwana, and Fort Sumpter add additional levels of value to the events and provide excellent examples of the integration of the terrain and military strategies and history. 

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the ICMG events is the welcoming atmosphere of the conference and the ensuing comradery that develops and builds with each conference.  The venues and activities are as much selected for historical and cultural enjoyment as to facilitate vibrant interaction among attendees. 

Participants represent numerous academics from universities and service academies, governmental and defense organizations, and the military.  Most notable is the wide range of internationalities that attend each conference representing a wide range of military historical and geoscience topics and issues. 

Strong friendships among participants are developed or renewed during each conference. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of each conference is that the atmosphere is much like a large family reunion with the accompanying celebrations and camaraderie.   

Whilst I may not be able to join the South African team this summer, I know that there will be many within the Association family, participating virtually, and that this community will continue to flourish.