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Obituary: Dr James (Jim) Ascough III

A tribute in memory of Dr. James (Jim) C. Ascough II

Timothy R.Green, Olaf David, Holger R.Maier

This is a tribute to Dr. Jim Ascough, who was an enthusiastic member, officer and medalist of the International Environmental Modelling & Software Society (iEMSs). Sadly, Jim died of a heart attack on 1 December 2016. This shocked his family, friends and colleagues, who knew Jim as an active person who rarely lacked energy for any endeavor. Jim is survived by his wife, Dr. Lois Deer-Ascough (Deer-Ascough et al., 1995; Ascough et al., 1998), son TJ (age 22) and daughter Katie (age 18).

Outside of work, Jim was fully engaged as a husband and father, who expressed his love to his family in words and actions. Even during the work day, it was not uncommon to hear Jim talking on the phone to one of his kids or his wife. He was an active participant in their school and athletic activities, even coaching soccer and playing tennis with his children. The family took vacations together, attended church regularly, and participated in many outdoor activities, like hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how iEMSs uses and protects any information that you give iEMSs when you use this website. iEMSs is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement. iEMSs may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 7th of May, 2012.


What we collect

We may collect the following information:

  • name and job title
  • contact information including email address
  • demographic information such as postcode, preferences and interests
  • other information relevant to customer surveys and/or offers

What we do with the information we gather

We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:

  • Internal record keeping.
  • We may use the information to improve our products and services.
  • We may periodically send promotional emails about new products, special offers or other information which we think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided.
  • From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. We may contact you by email, phone, fax or mail. We may use the information to customise the website according to your interests.


We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

How we use cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about webpage traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Controlling your personal information

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:

  • whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website, look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used by anybody for direct marketing purposes
  • if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to us.

We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which we think you may find interesting if you tell us that you wish this to happen.You may request details of personal information which we hold about you.  If you would like a copy of the information held on you please contact us.If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible, at the above address. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.

New iEMSs Fellows

Dear IEMSS members,

As you may recall, in every odd-numbered year, the Society confers three Fellowship for: “Unselfish dedication to promoting the aims of the Society, and for outstanding contributions to environmental modelling and software.”

It is my pleasure to announce the 2011 IEMSS Fellows.

The awardees are

Susan Cuddy, ANU and CSIRO, Australia

Carlo Giupponi, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia, Italy


Richard Sojda, USGS, USA

They have been unanimously recommended by the five members of the Awards Committee and then approved by Society Board.

Our congratulations to the awardees!

Alexey Voinov, iEMSs President

on behalf of the Awards Committee

Tony Jakeman Chair, Awards Committe, and Members: Kristina Voigt, Miquel Sànchez-Marrè, Pete Loucks, Giorgio Guariso

and the Society Board.

IEMSS Student and Young Researcher Network

Dear members and other environmental modellers!

We are happy to announce the launch of the IEMSS Student and Young Researcher Network!!!

The networks aims to promote collaboration and exchange of ideas among young researchers working in the domain of environmental modelling as well as interactions with senior environmental modellers.

The Network’s website is: It is still in a beta version. All members, especially students, are welcome to suggest and add further content.

For more information please contact Network coordinators: Anna Cord and Francesco Falcieri.

From the President: the road from Ottawa to Leipzig

Dear IEMSS members,

It was great to see most of you once again in Ottawa. Sorry some of you did not make it. We are now looking forward to our next conference in Leipzig, July 2–7, 2012.

There are several things in order.

1. You will need to update your status with the society. To do that you need to go to the society web site at and login with your username and password. Most likely you will be told that your membership has expired. Click the “renew” button.

If you were at the IEMSS’10 conference choose the “free iEMSs 2010 membership” button.

If you did not make it to the conference, you will need to renew your membership going directly to:

2. Like after Barcelona we are collecting your reflections and opinions about our latest conference in Ottawa. Since the blog on our iemss web site does not seem to perform securely, we are using the “posterous” functionality to collect your opinions.
Please go to
to share your impressions about the conference. You can also do it by simply sending an e-mail to

Looking forward to hear what you liked at the conference and what could be made better.

If you have any suggestions about the Web Conference Management Tool (WCMT) that we use, please go directly to
and then go to Support -> Tracker and choose Bugs or Feature Requests.

All this should very helpful for planning and running our next conference in Leipzig.

3. There is a couple of new IEMSS threads announced:

If you would like to suggest any other threads to keep in touch with your colleagues in between the conferences, please send an e-mail to

4. There are several position papers and Thematic Issues of EMS in the planning as a result of the Ottawa meeting. Please watch our web site for more news and see if you wish to contribute.

5. IEMSS students are starting a student network. If you are a student please get in touch with Francesco <> or Anna <>.

6. Documents from the Ottawa meeting (BGM minutes, student network ideas, etc.) are now available for the Society members. Login and go to Documents. We do have a full Board at the moment: all the Board members who happened to be absent in Ottawa have updated their status with the society and are eager to serve for the next term.

Best wishes and, as always, please let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions for the Society.


Frequently asked questions and answers

Q:How can I register as a new iEMSs member?

A:  To register as a new member one needs to visit this web-page, then choose a method of payment of the membership fee and fill-in the registration form. After you fill-in the form there will be a button to proceed with payment. The fastest way is to pay using PayPal. Another option is to do a regular bank transfer (offline).

Q:I am trying to register but I am returned back to the previous page. What can I do?

A: This problem sometimes occurs when using Internet Explorer. Please try to use Firefox and enable cookies.

Q: How can I get access to the members’ area of the web-site with all the extra resources?

A: You need to login here using you username and password.

Q: What is a username?

A: Your username is NOT your email. It is a unique name you chose/or you were assigned/ while registering.

Q:I forgot my username. What do I do?

A: If you do not remember your username please use the link Forgot login?’ on the main page and choose the checkbox ‘Lost Username’. The username will be sent to your registered email.

Q:What do I do if I forgot my password?

A: Use the link ‘Forgot login?’ on the main page and choose the checkbox ‘Lost Password’. The password will be sent to your registered email.

Q:I have some interesting scientific information (conference announcements, special issues, job opportunities, etc.) to share and I would like to send an email to all members. How do I do this?

A: Please send your email to members|at| It is a moderated list, so once your message is approved by the administrator, all iEMSs members will get your email. Moreover, once you’re a registered user of the portal, you’ll also be able to submit content to the website.

Q: You told me I can post content on the website how do I do that?

A: First you have to login. Then click on the ‘Discussion’ link in the ‘User menu’ box at the left. There you’ll find options like ‘Submit an article’, ‘submit a web link’ etc.

Q:My contact information/affiliation/post have changed. How can I update it on iEMSs web-site?

A: You need to login first. Then please go to User menu -> Profile. Choose the ‘Edit’ button at the top left corner of the screen and make your changes.

Q: I have changed by e-mail in my profile but I still get messages from IEMSS at my old address.

A: We are utilising Simplelists as a tool to manage our users and news mailing lists. If you cannot access your own settings through a message you have received via the list, please contact the iEMSs secretary: secretary(at)

Minutes of the 4th biennial general meeting

The minutes of the 4th biennial general meeting of the iEMSs have been published in the “Document Archives” section of the website. The minutes also report the outcome of the elections of the new board and office for the 2008-2010 biennum and the selection of the next iEMSs conference venue: Ottawa, Canada, in 2010.


Please direct your enquiries  to:

iEMSs Secretariat c/- IDSIA

Via la Santa 1
CH-6962 Lugano-Viganello

Email: secretary (at) iemss (dot) org

Scope and Aims

iEMSs (we pronounce it “eye-em-es”) is a not-for-profit organization uniting private persons and organizations dealing with environmental modelling, software and related topics.

The aims of the iEMSs are to:

  • develop and use environmental modelling and software tools to advance the science and improve decision making with respect to resource and environmental issues. This places an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and the development of generic frameworks and methodologies which integrate models and software tools across issues, scales, disciplines and stakeholders with respect to resource and environmental issues;
  • promote contacts among physical, social and natural scientists, economists and software developers from different countries and coordinate their activities;
  • improve the cooperation between the sciences and decision makers/advisors on environmental matters;
  • exchange information in the field of environmental modelling and software among scientific and educational organizations and private enterprises, as well as non-governmental organizations and governmental bodies.

 To achieve these aims, the iEMSs:

  • organizes international conferences, meetings and courses in environmental modelling and software;
  • publishes scientific studies and popular scientific materials in the Environmental Modelling and Software journal (Elsevier);
  • hosts a website which allows members to communicate research and other information relevant to the Society’s aims with one another and the broader community;
  • delivers regular information to members through the website and mailing lists.



Awards of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (iEMSs)

Updated June 2022

The International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (iEMSs) (henceforth, “the Society”) provides awards in the following categories: Fellowships, Biennial Medals, Early Career Research Excellence Prizes, and Student Prizes. 

Fellowships are intended to be awarded in every odd-numbered year in between the Society’s Biennial Conferences. Biennial Medals, Early Career Research Excellence (ECRE) Prizes, and Student Prizes are intended to be awarded in every even-numbered year to coincide with the Society’s Biennial Conferences.

An Awards Committee and its Chair for the following two years will be determined at each Biennial General Meeting. The Committee composition will recognise diversity in terms of gender, geography and domains of research interest. It will have a minimum of four members and not more than 10. The Committee will make recommendations on Fellowships, Biennial Medals and ECRE awards for approval by the iEMSs Office and the Board of Directors. 

Any active member of the Society may be nominated for a Fellowship, Biennial Medal or ECRE award. Self-nominations are not accepted. There must be a proposer and seconder who are both members of the Society at the time of submission. Candidates will be notified of their nomination by proposers.

Nominations will be called normally in the first half of odd years for Fellowships and the first half of even years for Biennial medals and ECREs. The information regarding the call, including the submission mechanism, will be disseminated through the members mailing list and also be available on In general, nominations will be required to be submitted through online forms on the iEMSs website. Nominations will require a supporting statement of no more 3,500 characters addressing the aims of the award (see below), and a curriculum vitae of the nominee that includes a publication list. The required limit of the CV length and publication list will be specified with each call for nominations.

  1. Fellowships:
    • In every odd-numbered year, the Society will confer Fellowships, traditionally three in number, for: “Unselfish dedication to promoting the aims of the Society, and for outstanding contributions to environmental modelling and software.”
    • Fellows are entitled to use the postnominal “FIEMSS”.
    • Fellowships commenced in 2003.
    • Any President will automatically become a Fellow on retiring from the position.
  2. Biennial Medals:
    • In every even-numbered year, to coincide with the Biennial Conference, the Society will confer Biennial Medals, traditionally two or three in number, for: “Exceptional research and sustained contributions to environmental modelling and software, and for promoting the aims of the Society.”
    • Biennial Medals commenced in 2004.
  3. Early Career Research Excellence Prizes:
    • In every even-numbered year, to coincide with the Biennial Conference, the Society will confer Early Career Research Excellence Prizes, traditionally 3-5 in number, for: “Early career research excellence in environmental modelling and software.”
    • An early career researcher should have graduated with a PhD degree or equivalent within seven years of being nominated for the award, with due consideration for extension of time given to leave and part-time employment 
    • Early Career Research Excellence Prizes commenced in 2004.
  4. Student Prizes for Presentations:
    • In every even-numbered year, at the Biennial Conference, the Society will confer Student Prizes recognising the top tier of presentations
    • Student Prizes were first awarded at the Inaugural Biennial Conference in 2002.
    • Consideration for Student Prizes is through self-nomination to the Convenor of the Biennial Conference before the commencement of the conference.
    • The Convenor of the Biennial Conference and the President will appoint the Student Prize Committee. At least two members of the Committee will attend and assess each student, scoring specified characteristics of the presentation.