Towards a geoindicator network in Argentina
An informal discussion, Miramar, Argentina, March 13, 2005
Report by Monica Blarasin
At the conference on "Holocene environmental catastrophes in South America:
From the lowlands to the Andes" held at Miramar (Cordoba) from March 11th
to 17th, 2005, a brief meeting was held to discuss the organization of an
Argentine network or working group on Geoindicators. The aim was to promote and
to connect the various geoindicator activities that different working groups
are already performing in Argentina.
- As background, Susana Degiovanni explained the scope of the course
"Environmental and soil quality indicators", organized and sponsored by the
National University of Río Cuarto and taught in October 2004 by Mario Cantú,
Mónica Blarasín, Susana Degiovanni and José Camilo Bedano. The week-long course
covered the following: Environmental indicators, concepts, different application
models; Indicators for surface and underground water resources, for natural
risks (river, seismological, volcanic, etc.) and for soil quality in
physical-chemical and biological issues. The course consisted of classroom
lectures and workshops to discuss problem cases. It was attended by 25
professionals from Tucumán, Neuquén, Entre Ríos, and other regions.
- Jose Sayago suggested that in order to promote the subject and its
applications a working group or network should be formed with links to an
existing organization, working for example in Geomorphology or Quaternary
sciences, which could provide a base for geoindicator research.
- Monica Blarasin argued, however, that the network should work more
independently of these disciplines, because geoindicators are useful tools to
evaluate environmental problems (risks and impacts). This includes, for example,
seismology, volcanism, surface and sub-surface hydrology quality and dynamics,
and soils degradation.
- Archaeologist Andrés Laguens suggested that the network must be more
independent and not formally related with any organization.
- Anotny Berger offered the IUGS Geoindicator Initiative web page
to post and disseminate papers and reports of geoindicator-related activities
- As a possible model for geoindicator activities, Carlos Costa explained the
experience of a worldwide network of active fault surveying and the organization
of a database.
- José Sayago emphasized the importance of measuring geoindicators and
communicating the results to planners. He asked C. Costa to provide details of
the organization of the active faults surveying network.
- Antony Berger reiterated that we should keep in mind the ultimate goal of
the geoindicators, i.e. to obtain information that will serve as a basis for
planners. He emphasized the need to work in an interdisciplinary manner,
despite the difficulties and hindrances involved.
- José Sayago proposed that a geoindicators network be formed and that those
professionals working in various areas report on relevant projects.
- It was proposed that Jorge Sanabria be the Coordinator, and to collect the
necessary information. This would be presented in September, 2006, during the
3rd Argentine Congress of Geomorphology and Quaternary to be held in Cordoba
and for which he will preside over the Organizing Committee.
- Finally it was agreed to compile and circulate a participant list including
their electronic addresses, so as to initiate the exchange of information.
- Antony Berger asked that Jorge Bejerman be included in this list, because
even though he was absent, he has been working for some time to advance
geoindicators in the region. He had organized in 2002 the first meeting in
Argentina on geoindicators, and was now completing the translation into Spanish
of the complete geoindicator checklist, for dissemination via