ratified by IUGS in February, 2002
INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON STRATIGRAPHY
1. Preamble and Definitions
2. Purpose and Objectives
4. Executive Committee
6. Ad Hoc Committees
7. Task Groups
8. Establishment and Dissolution of Constituent Bodies
9. Terms of Office, Elections and Voting
12. Annual Reports
13. Entry into Force and Amendments to Statutes
1. PREAMBLE AND DEFINITIONS
The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) is a commission of the International Union of
Geological Sciences (IUGS). The IUGS was founded in Paris on 10 March 1961 and is a member of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU).The organizational bodies referred to in the statutes are defined as follows:
a. The Executive Committee of ICS comprises those officers (chair, vice chair, secretary general and councilor) responsible for the objectives, purpose and daily operation of the commission.
b. Subcommissions of ICS are organizational bodies with specific, long-term scientific tasks and are managed by a chair, a secretary, and an optional vice chair.
c. The governing and voting body of ICS is the officers of the Executive Committee and the chairs of each of the Subcommissions, and is hereafter named the Voting Commission.
d. Ad Hoc Committees of ICS are organizational bodies with a specific short-term, non-scientific task, such as overseeing procedure, nomination, voting regulation, or ad hoc organization. Such committees normally consist of a chair and two other members, and are appointed by the Executive Committee or the management of a Subcommission.
e. Task Groups of ICS are organizational bodies for limited, short-term scientific tasks. Each Task Group addresses a single task; for example, one task can be selecting and defining a stratigraphic boundary stratotype, and another task may be consideration of abandonment of an existing
stage and selecting a new one. Task Groups have a four (4) year mandate that may be extended for one more term. The chair and secretary of a Task Group are selected by either the Executive Committee, or the management of the Subcommission.
2. PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
ICS is a body of expert stratigraphers founded for the purpose of promoting and coordinating
long-term international cooperation and of establishing and maintaining
standards in stratigraphy.
Its principal objectives are:
a. the establishment and publication of a standard global stratigraphic time scale and the
preparation and publication of global correlation charts, with explanatory
b. the compilation and maintenance of a stratigraphic database center for the global earth sciences.
c. the unification of regional chronostratigraphic nomenclature by organizing and documenting
stratigraphic units on a global data base,
d. the promotion of education in stratigraphic methods, and the dissemination of stratigraphic
e. the evaluation of new stratigraphic methods and their integration into a multidisciplinary
f. the definition of principles of stratigraphic classification, terminology and procedure, and
their publication in guides and glossaries.
The scientific activities shall be carried out through projects or meetings arranged in
collaboration with IUGS-affiliated organizations, IUGS-joint programs, non-governmental bodies and inter-governmental bodies.
ICS is managed by the Executive Committee.
ICS is organized into Subcommissions that have longer-term scientific goals. In addition, ICS may create short-term Ad Hoc Committees and short-term Task Groups for specific advice and purpose (see 1e
and 1f). The chairs of the Subcommissions and the members of the Executive Committee together form the Voting Commission of ICS that votes on the formal decisions.
4. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The officers of the Executive Committee shall be the chair, one vice chair, the secretary general,
and the councilor. The post as officer of ICS is limited to eight (8) years. The past chair will become consultant ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. All officers serve in an individual capacity. The other officers shall serve as advisors to the chair and assist him/her in the performance of his/her duties. The chair and secretary general are responsible for its daily operation, in accordance with these statutes.
The chair shall be the chief executive officer of ICS. The chair shall be responsible for the management of ICS activities within the scope of the authority delegated to him/her by IUGS. The chair shall solicit the advice of the Voting Commission, when necessary, for the administration of ICS and consult with it on matters of major policy and scientific programs either by correspondence or by meetings.
4.2. Vice Chair
The vice chair assists the chair with regular duties, activities and work, and in particular
oversees stratigraphic standardization. If the office of chair should become vacant, then the vice chair shall serve as chair for the remainder of the term of office.
4.3. Secretary General
The secretary general is appointed by the chair of the Executive Committee, shall assist the chair in administrative and scientific work, and shall keep the financial accounts. The secretary general shall record the minutes of meetings and organizes the votes within the Voting Commission.
The councilor shall coordinate the work of ICS with the preparatory committee of the next
International Geological Congress (IGC). The councilor is appointed by the other officers of the Executive Committee in consultation with the chairs of the ICS subcommissions and the preparatory committee of the next IGC.
4.5. Past Chair
The past chair shall serve as consultant ex-officio member of the Executive Committee for the
four-year period following his/her chair period.
Subcommissions of ICS are organizational bodies with specific, longer-term scientific tasks such
as the standardization of stratigraphic units, the documentation and communication of major stratigraphic data to the global earth-science community, and international stratigraphic cooperation.
Each Subcommission shall be managed by a chair and a secretary. A vice chair may also be elected.
Subcommissions report to the Executive Committee and may be terminated if they fail to respond to its communications.
The voting membership of the Subcommission consists of its management and up to twenty of their members, and is referred to as the Voting Subcommission. These other twenty voting members shall represent regional and methodological diversity in an appropriate manner. Membership may be terminated if a voting member fails to participate for 6 months or more in the work of the subcommission, and/or does not respond during this time to communications from its chair.
Subcommissions may appoint a reasonable number of corresponding members to advise voting members in achieving the assigned scientific tasks. The corresponding membership shall reflect regional and methodological diversity in an appropriate manner.
The chair shall be the leader of the Subcommission. The chair is responsible for the execution of agreed-upon scientific goals and the preparation and the contents of annual scientific and financial reports of the Subcommission. In consultation with the voting members of the Subcommission, the chair shall establish work plans and operating budget requests for the following year.
The vice chair shall serve as chair if the position of chair should become vacant.
The secretary is appointed by the chair of the Subcommission, shall assist the chair with scientific and administrative duties, and is responsible for the organization of votes within the Subcommission.
The progress and results of Subcommissions are annually reviewed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may dissolve a Subcommission upon completion of its entrusted mandate or if the
Subcommission is inactive. A Subcommission is considered inactive when it no longer elects executive
officers, submits annual reports, or no longer responds to communications and ballots from the Executive Committee. The decision on dissolution requires consent from IUGS.
5.4. Other Bodies
Subcommissions may appoint such Task Groups (see 7), regional committees or other ad hoc groups,
which they consider necessary to fulfill their scientific tasks. These bodies report to the chair of the respective Subcommission.
Subcommissions that are responsible for system or higher subdivisions of the international
stratigraphic scale shall establish Task Groups for the purpose of defining the lower boundaries of component geochronologic/chronostratigraphic units, if such boundaries have not yet been defined.
Boundary stratotypes are sought to the level of stages, but not at smaller stratigraphic scales.
5.5. Agreeement between Subcommissions
When deemed necessary, the executive committee of ICS may instruct two subcommissions to closely cooperate and resolve issues of mutual interest. Each subcommission may vote on such issues, commonly related to a stratigraphic boundary in common, or to overlap of units.
Ad Hoc Committees of ICS are organizational bodies with a specific short-term, non-scientific
task, like overseeing procedure, nomination, voting regulation, and/or ad hoc organization.
Committees normally consist of a chair and two other members, and are appointed by the Executive Committee or by the management of a Subcommission of ICS.
The organization of an Ad Hoc Committee is related to its tasks and is subject to approval by the ICS body that appointed it.
6.1 Awards Committee
To emphasize the key role of ICS in international stratigraphy, three ICS awards have been established, as follows:
1. The Digby Mclaren Medal will be awarded to honour a significant body of internationally important contributions to Stratigraphy, sustained over a number of years. The contributions can be in research (through publication of papers, monographs or books) or in education (through development of influential material or resources). It is expected that a major portion of this work be published in an international language. The medal is named in honour of the Canadian geologist Digby McLaren who was influential in developing the key ‘ golden spike’ concept of a GSSP with reference to the Silurian/Devonian boundary, and a major force in the International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP). The medal can be awarded to a single person, to two or more persons, or to a Project. The medal is awarded once every four years to agree with the International Geological Congress, where the medal will be formally presented.
2. The ICS Medal will be awarded to honour high-quality research in Stratigraphy by recognizing a singular major achievement in advancing stratigraphic knowledge. The research can be either in development of new methods of analysis in Stratigraphy, or in the presentation of new data and/or interpretation of geologic history of an area. No limitations of size or scale are suggested. The geographic scope of the work need not necessarily be international, but the work should be an internationally significant contribution of new and important knowledge. The language of the work is not important and one single paper of distinction, or a series of papers over a short time that have the same impact may be involved. The medal is awarded once every four years to agree with the International Geological Congress, where the medal will be formally presented.
3. The Steno Medal will be awarded to a young scientist, including a graduate student that has demonstrated excellence in the theory or application of stratigraphy through a publication, thesis or poster presented at annual meetings of leading geological associations. The Steno Medal will be awarded once every two years.
4. The Awards Committee consists of three or four leading stratigraphers in ICS, including a chair, one or two vice chairs and a secretary, to be appointed by the executive commission of ICS. If deemed necessary, the vice chair of the executive of ICS may also assist with procedures. The mandate of the Awards Committee agrees with the 4 years period between two International Geological Congresses. It is the task of the Awards Committee to invite submissions to the awards through advertisement in international newsletters, journals, the ICS website etc. Nominations can be from any source, not just members of the Commission or Subcommissions. Please give a brief biogeographical background, a reasoned case for the nominee, and if necessary, translation of at least abstracts in English so that independent judgements can be made.
The awards Committee establishes a potential list of awardees to be presented to the ICS executive, and to be voted on by ICS in the usual manner.
7. TASK GROUPS
Task Groups are organizational bodies for limited, short-term stratigraphic tasks. Task Groups generally are organized under individual Subcommissions, but the Executive Committee also may appoint Task Groups for specific tasks that relate to its activities and responsibilities. Commonly, a Task Group is created for the selection and definition of the lower boundaries of geochronologic/chronostratigraphic units. Task Groups may also be created for the purpose of replacing and/or selecting new boundary definitions, stage units or other stratigraphic units. Each Task Group will have a single scientific task.
Task Groups have a four (4) year term that may be extended for a single additional four (4) year
term, depending on sufficient progress with the entrusted task.
7.2. Officers and Members
Officers of a Task Group are the leader and the secretary. These officers are selected either by the Executive Committee, or by the management of Subcommissions, depending under which body the Task Group
Task Groups may appoint a reasonable number of members that represent regional and/or methodological diversity in an appropriate manner. Membership may be terminated if the member does not respond to communications from its Task Group chair.
The progress and results of Task Groups are annually reviewed by the Subcommission and/or
Executive Committee under which they reside. Task Groups may be terminated if they fail to respond to communications from the individual Subcommission or Executive Committee under which they
Task Groups organize votes (see 9) by its members to decide critical scientific issues, and
prepare reports of its decisions for submission to the Subcommission or the Executive Committee under which they reside.
7.5. Terms of Office
Task Groups are automatically dissolved once they have fulfilled their objective, scheduled
such that the objective is completed within four (4) or a maximum of eight (8)
years (see 7.1).
8. ESTABLISHMENT AND DISSOLUTION OF ICS CONSTITUENT BODIES
New Subcommissions shall be established when the Executive Committee of ICS is convinced of the
necessity, and makes a recommendation for the establishment of a new Subcommission to the Voting Commission and to IUGS. When consent is given by the Voting Commission and IUGS, the ICS Executive Committee shall appoint a temporary Subcommission chair and optionally a vice chair. For subsequent terms of office, elections shall be held within the Subcommission by a quorum of its own voting
members. Voting members of a newly formed Subcommission are elected by its officers (see also 9.6)
The dissolution of Subcommissions requires the consent of IUGS, based on recommendations by the ICS Executive Committee (see also 5.3 and 10.2).
8.2. Ad Hoc Committees
Ad Hoc Committees may be established and dissolved by decision of the ICS Executive Committee. Ad Hoc Committees may be reorganized or regrouped with other ICS bodies by decision of the Voting
Commission of ICS.
8.3. Task Groups
Task Groups (see 7) may be established and dissolved by decision of the Executive Committee of ICS and/or the management of Subcommissions under which the Task Group resides.
9. TERMS OF OFFICE, ELECTIONS AND VOTING
9.1. Terms of Office for Officers
The terms of office for the officers of the Executive Committee, the Subcommissions, Ad Hoc
Committees, and Task Groups shall be the period between two International Geological Congresses (IGC), normally four (4) years. All officers, except for the councilor, can be re-elected for one additional term of four (4) years. If circumstances necessitated the term of office to begin in the interval between two IGCs, the period of office will not be extended beyond the second IGC after the officer started in his/her function.
9.2. Terms of Office for Voting Members
The terms of office for the voting members of Subcommissions and Task Groups shall be the period
between two IGCs, normally four (4) years, and can be extended for a maximum of two additional four (4) year periods.
9.3. Election of the ICS Executive Committee
Eighteen months prior to the International Geological Congress, the Executive Committee
appoints the chair of the Nominating Committee, which shall not include any of the Executive Committee. The chair of the Nominating Committee shall select two (2) additional Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee shall invite proposals from all Subcommissions of ICS of candidates for the positions of chair and vice chair of the Executive Committee, but the Committee shall not be restricted thereby in its choice of candidates. Officers of the Executive Committee, with the exception of the councilor, may request re-election for one term beyond their first one (see 9.1).
The Nominating Committee shall evaluate the merits of all proposed candidates for each position, taking into consideration their scientific qualification, managerial capability and willingness to serve. The Committee shall nominate to the ICS chair at least two candidates for each of the two elected positions no later than twelve (12) months prior to the next IGC. The nominations should in
mind geographical and disciplinary diversity, in order to ensure that the principle schools of stratigraphic thought are represented in the Executive Committee.
Upon receipt of the Nominating Committee's submission, the secretary general shall promptly circulate the proposal of nominated candidates to all the members of the Voting Commission for voting and election (
The election requires approval by IUGS.
9.4. Election of the managing committee of Subcommission
A chair and one or two optional vice chairs of a Subcommission of ICS are proposed to ICS after appropriate ballot within each Subcommission with the names submitted to the ICS General Secretary not
later than twelve (12) months prior to the next IGC. These officers-elect are subsequently ratified by the ICS Executive Committee no less than nine (9) months prior to the next IGC. The elected Chair of a Subcommission will select a Secretary who will be a voting member of the Subcommission's Executive Committee for that term of office.
The nominations must keep in mind geographical and methodological diversity; this will ensure broad representation.
9.5. Election of the leaders of Task Groups
The leaders (chair and secretary) of a Task Group are proposed by the management of the Subcommission or the Executive Committee of ICS under which the Task Group resides. Task Group leaders are
confirmed by normal voting procedure in the ICS Subcommission or ICS Executive Committee under which they reside.
The nominations must keep in mind geographical and methodological diversity; this will ensure broad representation.
9.6. Election of the Voting Members of Subcommissions and Task Groups
Voting members of new Subcommissions are elected by its initial executive. New voting members of existing Subcommission are elected by its executive, upon consultation with existing voting members,and confirmed by the Executive Committee of ICS.
Voting members of Task Groups are elected by its executive, in consultation with existing voting
members, and confirmed by the management or executive of the ICS body under which the Task Group resides.
The nominations must keep in mind geographical and methodological diversity; this will ensure broad representation.
9.7. Voting Procedures in ICS
The members of the Voting Commission, Subcommissions and Task Groups make their decisions by
vote. For approval, all decisions, including elections, require a sixty percent (60%) majority of delivered votes, provided that a quorum of 60% has been attained. In cases where no quorum is attained the first time around, a second round of voting is organized. Elections with more than one candidate will require the winner of a relative majority of less than 60% to pass a second ballot listing only him/herself, where he/she has to receive a 60% confirmation.
Voting shall be conducted by postal ballot or electronically (email), giving a deadline of sixty
(60) calendar days for the receipt of the votes. Voting Members may vote "yes", "no" or officially "abstain". In case of electronic voting confirmation may also be requested on paper by postal ballot.
Formal meetings of ICS that attain a quorum of 60%, can arrange in-session ballots.
10.1. Ratifications by ICS
The ICS Executive Committee ratifies:
a. Election or appointment of officers (management) in Subcommissions.
b. Election or appointment of voting members of Subcommissions
10.2. Ratifications by IUGS
IUGS ratifies certain votes made by the Voting Commission of ICS, including:
a. The nomination of members of the Executive Committee
b. Stratigraphic standards like global boundary stratigraphic section and point (GSSP), formal stratigraphic stage names and units of higher rank
c. Abolishment of and/or establishment of new Subcommissions
d. The ICS Statutes
The Executive Committee shall meet at the request of the chair or of any two other officers
of the Executive Committee. The Voting Commission (VC) of ICS shall meet during the IGC. Additional formal meetings of the Voting Commission may be called by the chair of ICS with the advice of the Executive Committee. Formal meetings of ICS that attain a quorum of at least 60%, can arrange in-session ballots.
All Subcommissions shall endeavor to hold at least one meeting during each IGC. They are encouraged to organize additional meetings during major international conferences on their field of scientific
expertise. Task Groups are also encouraged to have formal meetings during each IGC, and organize additional meetings during major international conferences on their field of scientific expertise. Formal meetings of Subcommissions and Task Groups, that attain a quorum of at least 60%, can
arrange in-session ballots.
12. ANNUAL REPORTS
12.1. Subcommissions, Task Groups and Ad Hoc Committee Reports
The chairs of the Subcommissions shall transmit annual reports to the secretary general of ICS no
later than the first of November of each year. The annual reports shall include an overview of the scientific activities and achievements, together with the statement of operating accounts, for the current year and work plans and anticipated achievements, with the operating budget request, for the following year. In the case of Subcommissions with constituent bodies, these Subcommissions reports shall include the scientific achievements and plans of these bodies.
Chairs of Task Groups and Ad Hoc Committees shall transmit annual reports to the chair of the ICS body under which they reside. They are also responsible for including the group’s operating costs in
that report and projected budget for the new reporting period.
12.2. Commission Report
The chair of ICS shall submit a consolidated annual report on behalf of ICS to the IUGS Executive Committee at the time stipulated by that IUGS Executive Committee via its secretariat.
The ICS report shall contain (1) the reports of the individual Subcommissions, Task Groups and Ad Hoc Committees, and (2) an executive document that:
a. provides an executive summary report
b. highlights the scientific achievements of the constituent ICS bodies
c. communicates all formal decisions taken by the Voting Commission of ICS
d. reports on administrative matters of ICS
e. provides a consolidated statement of ICS' operating accounts for the current year
f. submits the work plans and recommends a consolidated operating budget request of ICS for the
The ICS annual report shall be made available to the management of all Subcommissions.
13. ENTRY INTO FORCE AND AMENDMENTS TO STATUTES
These statutes shall come into force when approved by ICS and accepted by IUGS. These statutes was approved by ICS vote on 28 August, 2001 and accepted with minor modifications by IUGS in February, 2002. These statutes supersede the statutes accepted by IUGS at its annual meeting, January 15-18, 1997. Two technical clarifications and additions that already were applied in ICS (item 5.5 and Awards Committee) were incorporated in the fall of 2005.