IMGA currently has 23 Local Chapters and one Honorary Chapter. More Chapters are being actively developed.
We extend a very warm welcome to the new IMGA Local Chapter in the UK lead by Darren Beriro. The UK Local Chapter was approved by the IMGA Executive Committee at the April 2015 board meeting. The UK Chapter joins the Local Chapters that have been established successfully in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ghana, Haiti, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, NIS, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Uruguay and USA. Several of these Chapters provide reports of their activities on their Chapter page. IMGA members are also hoping to establish Local Chapters in the near future in Cyprus, France, Kenya, Nigeria and Turkey. Please see the contact list at the end of this newsletter article.
IMGA also extends a warm welcome to the new Ireland-China IMGA Concord, which aims to strengthen links and collaboration between the two countries.
In order to expand and develop the IMGA community world-wide, IMGA is encouraging the establishment of Local Chapters (i.e. groups) within individual countries/regions/territories. The aim is that IMGA Local Chapters are established by local groups of enthusiasts interested in Medical Geology.
The IMGA bylaws state that:
Chapters are groups within a country/territory bringing together people from different areas (cities, regions, etc.) or organizations (university, government agency, etc.) interested in Medical Geology. Chapters are a way to "locally" facilitate the growth of Medical Geology. The concept of developing "Chapters" is a fundamental basis by which larger societies strengthen their regional and eventually their national development. All members of the Chapter must be members of the Association. A Chapter must consist of at least five (5) paid members. To be recognized as a formal Chapter, the Chapter Leader must send an e-mail request to the IMGA Local Chapters Special Advisor who will put the request forward to the IMGA Board. The request must include the following information:
Upon approval by the IMGA Board a certificate of recognition will be issued to the Chapter – the Local Chapters Special Adviser will contact the Local Chapter Leader to arrange this. Local Chapters can contact the Local Chapters Special Adviser at any time with questions for the Board or for assistance from the Board.
Payment of Dues and Local Chapter Funding
Members of Chapters must pay individual dues to IMGA Central and fill in a membership application form. All dues are payable by the 1st of January each year. Details of how to join and pay the dues are given on the IMGA website:
Register to Join IMGA here:
In some countries/territories it may be difficult to pay dues via international methods to IMGA Central. In these circumstances, please e-mail the IMGA Local Chapters Special Adviser to inform IMGA of these problems. In these situations, the IMGA Board may decide to advise a Local Chapter to collect and retain the IMGA dues locally. However, all uses of the locally-held funds must first be approved by the IMGA Board. In these circumstances, Local Chapter leaders should make their requests for using the funds by e-mail to the Local Chapters Special Adviser who will forward them to the IMGA Board. Once approved and the activities/use of the funds have been carried out, a report of the activities must be submitted to the IMGA Board via e-mail to the Local Chapters Special Adviser. Members who pay their dues locally to their Local Chapter should still complete the IMGA membership application form on the IMGA website and indicate on the form that they have paid their dues locally in the Research Interest Box. At the moment only members in Iran are allowed to pay by this method.
In addition, Local Chapters who retain their own funds must provide a list of their paid members and a set of accounts to the IMGA Board to maintain IMGA Central records. IMGA is legally required to document all accounts, which is why this information is needed. The Local Chapters Special Adviser will contact the Local Chapter Leader to request this information twice a year. The information should include:
At the present time, IMGA operates a two-tier dues system, 40 Euros for standard professional members and 20 Euros for professional members from African countries/territories. The IMGA Executive Committee agreed recently that Developing Country/Territory Local Chapters outside of Africa can apply also for the reduced dues rate for their members. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the IMGA Committee. Please e-mail Fiona Fordyce, Local Chapters Special Adviser to make such requests: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Chapter Reporting
All affiliated organisations, including Chapters, must send regular reports for the IMGA newsletter. The newsletter is published twice a year in June and December. The Local Chapter reports are compulsory. Each Chapter is required to send a short report that includes a description of the Chapter and its activities and Medical Geology issues in their country.
In addition, the IMGA newsletter is an ISBN listed publication and strongly welcomes articles describing research topics or projects that members of Local Chapters are involved with. These will be reviewed by the IMGA Newsletter editorial panel before publication. The technical articles are optional.
The Local Chapters Special Advisor will contact Chapter Leaders to request their newsletter contributions before the deadline for submissions. The reports should not be sent in PDF format as these cannot be used in the newsletter.
Useful Resources for Local Chapters
Publications and promotional materials such as Medical Geology newsletters, posters and fliers to help Local Chapters raise awareness about Medical Geology and recruit new members are available on the IMGA web-site:
Information on teaching courses on Medical Geology around the world is also available on the website:
IMGA also runs Short Courses on Medical Geology. These are normally run in conjunction with Scientific Conferences. If a Local Chapter would like to host a Short Course, an application form is available on the IMGA website. IMGA is also in the process of developing an online short course in Medical Geology, more information will be available on the website once this is established.
IMGA has also established a travel fund to support IMGA members’ attendance at the biennial IMGA MEDGEO conference. IMGA is calling for donations to this fund on the IMGA website; all donations will be gratefully received. More information about this fund is available on the IMGA website:
Local Chapter Contacts are provided in each Chapter Report. IMGA members are also hoping to establish Local Chapters in the near future in Venezuela, Cyprus, Kenya and Nigeria. Please see the contact list at the end of this newsletter article.
If you would like to organise an IMGA Local Chapter or apply for IMGA Committee approval for a Local Chapter, please contact:
Geology and Health Division, Geological Society of America
Links to Related Sites
IMGA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Medical-Geology-Association-IMGA/217954944942790