Article 1. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Geomagnetism, Paleomagnetism, and Electromagnetism Section of the American Geophysical Union.

Article 2. Objectives

  1. To promote the aims and activities of the American Geophysical Union within the fields of Geomagnetism, Paleomagnetism, and Electromagnetism.
  2. To promote the scientific study of Geomagnetism, Paleomagnetism, and Electromagnetism and to make the results of such studies available to the public by
    1. scientific discussion, publication, and other dissemination of information, and
    2. by the sponsorship of scientific and technical symposia, colloquia, and meetings.

Article 3. Membership

  1. Types of members are as defined in Article 3 of the Union Bylaws.
  2. Members of the Section shall be all classifications of Union members who indicate an interest in affiliation with this section.
  3. A Union member who becomes an inactive member of the Union shall also become an inactive member of the Section.
  4. Any member of the Section who ceases to be a member of the Union shall also cease to be a member of the Section.
  5. All Section members who are classified under Article 3, Sections 1, 2, or 3, of the Union Statutes, are entitled to vote and are eligible to hold office in the Section.

Article 4. Administration and Officers’ Duties

  1. Officers — The officers of the Section shall be a President, President- Elect, and a Secretary. The officers shall be members under Article 3, Section 1, 2, or 3, of the Union Statutes.
  2. Term of Office — The Section officers shall serve a two-year term, without honorarium, coincident with the term of the Union Officers. The President shall not be eligible for election as President-Elect immediately following the term as President. The Secretary’s term may be renewable. As specified in Article VII, Section 2 of the Union Bylaws, vacancies that occur between terms may be filled by the section executive committee; however, in the case of a vacancy in the office of section president, the elected section president-elect shall automatically succeed to the office of section president, followed by the full term as section president that would otherwise have been served. An appointed section president-elect shall not automatically become section president, but may be a candidate for that office during the subsequent election cycle. If a vacancy occurs in both the section president and president-elect positions they may be filled by the section executive committee for the remainder of the term and the subsequent election shall be for both a section president and president-elect.
  3. Executive Committee — The Section shall have an Executive Committee which shall include the President, President-Elect, Secretary, and immediate Past President, an Early Career representative, a Student Representative, the Fluxline Editor, the webmaster, and—at the discretion of the President—one at-large member chosen by the President.
  4. Duties of the President — The President shall preside at meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee. The President shall appoint members to Section committees and task groups and have the power to withdraw appointments made while in the office or by previous Presidents, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all Section task groups or committees. The President shall be a voting member of the Union Council and shall attend, or appoint an alternate to attend and vote, at all Council meetings. The President shall develop agendas for the GPE Executive Committee meetings and for business meetings of the section.
  5. Duties of the President-Elect — The President-Elect shall assume the duties and powers of the President, at the request of the President or in the absence or incapacity of the President. The President-Elect shall be a voting member of the Union Council and shall attend, and vote, at all Council meetings. The President-Elect shall have such other powers and duties as may be assigned by the Section President. The President-Elect shall succeed the President at the end of the President’s term of office. The President-Elect shall be chair of the GPE Fellows and Awards Committee. The President-Elect shall be chair of the GPE Nominations Committee.
  6. Duties of the Secretary — The Secretary shall prepare the official minutes of all meetings of the Section and of the Executive Committee; a report of the meetings should be published on the GPE website in a timely manner. The Secretary shall handle all general correspondence of the Section; maintain and distribute an accurate list of task group and committee members, addresses, and year of appointment; issue notice of all Section and Executive Committee meetings; conduct letter ballots for the Section; receive and disburse funds as authorized by the Executive Committee of the Section and Council of the Union; in the absence of a designated alternate, the Secretary shall represent the absent President at Council meetings (or the President-Elect if not serving for the President); and perform such other duties as may be delegated by the Section President. Traditionally, the Secretary has also served as the section’s program representative to the Fall Meeting Program Committee.

Article 5. Nomination and Election of Section Officers

  1. Nominations — At least six months before the general election, a Nominations Committee composed of at least three Section members shall be appointed by the Section President, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. The Chair of the Nominations Committee shall be the President-Elect. The Nominations Committee shall submit to the Section President a slate of at least two nominees for each elective office in the Section and the President shall submit that slate to the Union Council at least four months before the Union’s general election. Election procedures subsequently follow Union Bylaws Article VIII “Nomination, Election, Voting and Removal”.

Article 6. Divisions, Committees and Task Groups

  1. Divisions — The Section may be subdivided into Divisions. Proposals for a new Division or discontinuance of an existing Division may be made by any Section member but must be approved by the Section’s Executive Committee and by the Union’s Council. The Section shall elect appropriate officers for each Division.
  2. Committees — The Section may have administrative and technical committees. Proposals for a new committee or discontinuance of an existing committee may be made by the Section President, subject to the approval of the Section’s Executive Committee. Each committee shall consist of a chairman appointed by the President, with advice of the Executive Committee, and at least two members appointed by the President, with the recommendations and advice of the committee chairman. Committee membership should be distributed geographically and organizationally to the maximum extent possible. The term of office of all committee chairmen shall not extend beyond the term of office of the appointing President, but a committee chairman may be reappointed by an incoming President for another term. In the interest of some continuity of activities, the committee members should be appointed to definite terms such that the terms of only one-half of the members expire each two-year interval.
  3. Task Groups — Special task groups may be appointed by the President to undertake particular projects of limited duration. The term of appointment normally should not extend beyond that of the President but the term may be extended if necessary to bring the project to completion.

Article 7. Meetings

  1. The Section may hold as many section meetings, or Executive Committee meetings, and at such locations, as may be deemed desirable by the Executive Committee, but at least one Annual Business Meeting shall be held per year. Administrative and technical committee and task groups may hold as many meetings as they need to maintain their objectives and assignments. At least 30 days advance written notice shall be given for the Annual Business Meeting and at least 15 days advance written notice shall be given for Executive Committee or other committee and task group meetings. Specialty meetings dedicated to the pursuit of a specific scientific subject may be sponsored, subject to the approval of the Council of the Union.
  2. A quorum for all business meetings shall be those present at the meeting. Aquorum for the Executive Committee and other committee and task group meetings shall be one-third of the total membership of these committees or task groups.

Article 8. Publications

The Section may publish a newsletter and other items of interest to its discipline. However, the type of publication and the means of financing same shall be approved by the Union’s Executive Committee.

Article 9. Bylaws, Adoptions, and Amendments

  1. Adoption — New Bylaws may be adopted by the same method as is provided for the amendment of Bylaws.
  2. Amendments — Any voting member of the Section may propose an amendment to the Bylaws. Such a proposal shall be presented to the Section’s Executive Committee. The Section’s Executive Committee is empowered to accept or reject the proposed changes. In case of conflict with the Statutes and Bylaws of the Union, the Union takes precedence over the Section.

Article 10. Parliamentary Authority

Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws.

Bylaw Changes

In March 2014 we began a consultation exercise concerning the name of the section.

See the Membership Survey just completed and the letter of rationale that the Executive Committee wrote in advance of the survey:

Reorienting our section name for the 21st century: GPE

Our section has great diversity within its ranks: we study processes occurring in the deepest part of the Earth’s core via surface phenomena and atmospheric physics out to solar system planets; we work on fundamental and applied science, on both micro and macro scales, and on timescales stretching from the age of the Earth to sub-second frequencies. This amazing range of topics is to be commended.

Our name at the moment reflects two major components of our activities. Some would argue that our current title is perhaps already imprecise since some of our members work on planetary magnetism; nothing is perfect in life. But there is an even more significant problem, in that the section title does not really properly represent a very active and significant portion of our membership, namely those working in electromagnetism per se. The community that uses electromagnetic methods for sub-surface investigation is a vigorous sub-discipline, as evinced by their very full program at recent AGU meetings. The name “Geomagnetism” does not really represent their interests.

As one of the smallest sections of AGU, we have, at times, struggled to remain influential within AGU. The current Executive Committee would like to do everything possible to maintain or even strengthen our numbers.

Colleagues working within induction, magnetotellurics, controlled source electromagnetism, and other allied disciplines are increasingly valued in today’s society and have seen an increase in numbers, but have sometimes chosen to align themselves with sections such as Tectonophysics or similar. It would be beneficial if we could provide them with a natural home within a section whose name is representative of their interests. The Executive Committee believes strongly that their natural home is our section, particularly because their intellectual and experimental expertise lies at the heart of the corpus of our membership.

Just as Louis Agricola’s original journal Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity changed its name in 1948 to the Journal of Geophysical Research that we have today, some things can benefit from being brought up to date. For this reason, the Executive Committee is endorsing a change in the name of our section to GPE, or Geomagnetism, Paleomagnetism, and Electromagnetism, to properly represent our membership. The third part of our title would draw strongly on the origins of our subject with Faraday, Maxwell and even Louis Agricola himself.

The bylaws of AGU state that such a change is a matter for the Executive Committee, but we would not be so presumptuous as to take such action without consulting the membership. A critical part of this exercise is the discussion and feedback of the members. We have already gauged member reaction through discussions at the GP business meeting this past 10th of December at AGU. While the support at the meeting was not unanimous, it appeared that there was a strong consensus for the name change. This consensus included many past and present elected leaders of the GP section. We now are investigating a method for broader feedback from the GP section this year, about which you will be fully informed.

In closing, the Executive Committee believes that this simple move would be of overall benefit to the future relevance of our section within AGU. The new name would summarize well the activities of our members, and we commend it to you.

Andrew Jackson, Richard G. Gordon and the Executive Committee.