The North American Geosynthetics Society is voting on a name change and the addition of board liaison members. NAGS - IGS GeoAmericas 2016 LogoAfter 28 years, the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS) may be on the verge of a name change. The organization, which is a chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) and which represents chapter members in Canada and the United States, is currently voting on proposed changes to its by-laws. It is also proposed to add non-voting board liaison seats.
Voting opened to NAGS members on January 25 (via email signed by President John Henderson) and will remain open through March 8.
Both proposed changes are part of a single yea or nay vote, as the changes are proposed to the society’s governing bylaws.


The proposed new name has been carefully considered. A Working Group was established as far back as October 2014 to begin discussion on if and how to rebrand. If the bylaws change is approved, the group’s name will become IGS – North America (IGS-NA). This would align it with the most common naming conventions used by other IGS chapters, the majority of which formed much more recently than NAGS.
If approved, the Society’s new Mission Statement will be:

The Mission of IGS – North America is to provide leadership in advancing geosynthetics education and research to attain their appropriate and widespread use as engineering materials as the Chapter of the International Geosynthetic Society (IGS) for the United States of America and Canada.

The proposed board liaison member seats, which would be non-voting seats, are designed to provide continuity and communication between NAGS and other geosynthetics and geotechnical engineering groups of influence. These may include seats for the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA), and similar organizations. Any appointed liaison would have to be or would have to become a chapter member.
Members are encouraged to take part in the vote and to renew their membership now. (REMINDER: Memberships are based on calendar year.)


In separate communication, NAGS also informed its members that long-time member Corey Bobba has stepped down from his Treasurer position on the Board of the Directors. The Board thanked him for his service to the society and announced that Vice-President John McCartney would serve out the Treasurer term.
Dr. Ranjiv Gupta was subsequently co-opted by the Board to fill McCartney’s VP spot.
NAGS will host the 3rd Pan-American Conference on Geosynthetics (GeoAmericas 2016) 10 – 13 April 2016 in Miami. Learn more about the event at
Learn more about NAGS, its activities, and membership at