The first Intercongress meeting of the INQUA Executive Committee took place from 16th to 18th of March 2016 in Washington D.C. (U.S.A.). The meeting was hosted by Dr. Ester Sztein, Assistant Director, Board on International Scientific Organizations, Medicine in the Keck Center of the National Academy of Science, Engineering, to whom we are very grateful.
Participants of the meeting:
Back row (from left): Brian Chase (France, S-G), Alessandro Michetti (Italy, TERPRO), Allan Ashworth (U.S.A., President), Atte Korhola (Finland-PALCOMM), Mauro Coltorti (Italy –SACCOM), Thijs van Kolfschoten (the Netherlands, VP)
Front row (from left): Marie-France Loutre (Belgium, outgoing Treasurer), Ashok Singhvi (India, VP), Margaret Avery (R.S.A., Past President), Franck Audemard (Venezuela, VP), Nicki Whitehouse (U.K. – HABCOM), Lyudmila Shumilovskikh (Germany, ECR), Craig Sloss (Australia – CMP)
Unfortunately, Vice-President Dr. Guo Zhengtang (China) could not attend the meeting.
The program of the meeting was very full. Topic of the discussion included visibility of INQUA and future directions, Quaternary International, evaluation of IFG and projects, ECR Committee, Quaternary Perspectives, INQUA Congress 2019, awards, fees, new Treasurer position, revision of forms, selection of officers, gender balance etc.
During the first day, 16th of March, we discussed current work of INQUA. Proposal forms were evaluated and simplified. Dr. Thijs van Kolfschoten provided a report on Quaternary International. Dr. Marie-France Loutre reported on finances. This is her last meeting as she has had to resign due to work obligations. The replacement Treasurer will be Dr. Maria Rita Palombo (Italy).
Thursday, 17th of March, was the day for evaluating grant proposals. This year, 38 proposals were submitted to INQUA. Of these 23 were successful. All proposals were of high quality and it was really difficult to make a choice.
At the end of the day, young scientist Beth Peixotto, a Ph.D. student at American University in Washington, DC, gave us an exciting talk on her involvment in the studies of the Rising Star Cave and the discovery of Homo naledi.
On Friday 18th March, Prof. Peter Coxon as Chair of the local organising Committee gave a report via Skype about the progress in preparation of the INQUA Congress 2019 (http://www.inqua2019.org).
All agreed to improve the information flow within and outside of INQUA. In order to increase visibility of INQUA, a new webpage will be created during this year. Finally, I presented a report from the ECR Committee and Quaternary Perspectives and suggestions to future developments. By the end of the day, ways to improve the gender and demographic balance were discussed.