The Electronic Geophysical Year: 2007-2008


The 1957-1958 International Geophysical Year (IGY)

In 1952, the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) proposed a series of global geophysical activities for the 18-month period between July 1957 and December 1958. This project was dubbed the International Geophysical Year (IGY) and was modeled on the previous International Polar Years of 1882-1883 and 1932-1933. The purpose and challenge of this project was to allow scientists from around the world to coordinate and share their observations of geophysical data. IGY activities literally spanned the globe from the North to the South Poles. Originally, 46 countries agreed to participate, but by the end of the project, 67 countries had become involved. Overall, the IGY was highly successful in achieving its goals, which were summed up in an NAS IGY Program Report:

" observe geophysical phenomena and to secure data from all parts of the world; to conduct this effort on a coordinated basis by fields, and in space and time, so that results could be collated in a meaningful manner."

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has now made thirteen films available for viewing by the public that were produced using footage taken during IGY field research in 1958-1959. These films were produced to compliment posters and a booklet published in 1958 by the NAS (available from the NAS archives). Each film highlights a major research theme of the IGY.

The films are hosted by LASP and may be viewed here. Adobe Flash Player 9 or greater is required to view the videos, and they are optimized for playing over a high-speed internet connection. If you have any trouble playing the videos please contact the LASP EPO liaison at .

Videos Page:



Celimontana Declaration

IGY Gold Program