I started this monolog initially intending to respond to Helen Fricker's question on the IGS Facebook site. But it turned out to be much too long for that venue so I moved it to the blog.
Back in the seventies everyone in glaciology was 'expected' to join the IGS. My UW professor Charlie Raymond told us in no uncertain terms that if we were going to pursue a career in glaciology we really should be members.That is where the glaciology papers were published and if you wanted to have a copy of the papers, the only way was to join. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it, that is no longer the case. People nowadays ask themselves, 'what is the benefit of joining?'.
So we are looking at ways to give 'value added' to IGS membership. But what we can do is dependent on the membership. The more members we have the more we can do.
Membership started dropping off in the eighties with a slight surge upwards in the late eighties and then again a drop. In the early nineties membership started climbing again and reached a peak in 2001 at 835. It then plummeted but we started crawling back in 2004/2005 and now we are getting close to the 'latter day maximum' in 2001. At the time of writing we are at 825. So get your colleagues to join to bring the number above the 2001 figure. We will then have to go back to 1987, when we had 907 members.
We are aiming to get above 900 this year and above 1000 within another 2-3 years. But it all depends on what we can 'give' to members. Right now we have all the back issues of the Journal and Annals available to members online. This is our main attraction. ICE is now online as well. Members also get a preferential rate at our symposia.