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naglowek struktura


Commission on Geography


Chairperson Kazimierz Krzemień
Deputy Chairperson Adam Kotarba
Secretary Bolesław Domański
Deputy Secretary Zofia Rączkowska


The commission, which replaced the Geographical Sciences Commission at PAN Kraków, was formed in 2011. It upholds the traditions of the PAU Geography Commission established in 1924.
In conjunction with the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization within PAN, it supports the publication of the yearbook Studia Geomorphologica Carpatho-Balcanica.

The roots of PAU’s geography commission reach back to the Physiographic Commission, which was established in 1865 as part of the Kraków Learned Society’s Natural and Medical Sciences Section. The Geography Commission took over the Physiographic Commission shortly after the opening of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1873. In the late nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth, the number of geographers achieving associate membership of the Physiographic Commission rose sharply. They included A. Rehman, F. Czerny Szwarcenberg, E. Romer, J. Smoleński, W. Łoziński, L. Sawicki, S. Lencewicz, and S. Pawłowski. In 1919, E. Romer and L. Sawicki were selected as corresponding members of PAU. These circumstances were conducive to the establishment of a separate specialist commission covering a wide range of geographical sciences. The establishment in Brussels in 1922 of the International Geographical Union (Union Géographique Internationale) added impetus to this initiative. Geographers from individual countries could secure International Geographical Union affiliation on condition that the relevant country formed a national committee (comité national).
It was necessary to fulfil these conditions, for example, when seeking official participation in international geographical congresses. In September 1923, prof. E. Romer submitted a formal application and request to the PAU Board in respect of forming a committee (council) of this kind. He resubmitted his application and request on two further occasions in November of that year.  The inaugural Congress of Polish Physiographers, which was organised by the PAU Physiographic Commission and the Polish Copernicus Society of Naturalists, took place in Kraków on 2–6 January 1924. There were three plenary sessions and seven meetings of sections at the congress, including a meeting of the Geographical Section under the leadership of prof. L. Sawicki. Of the dozen or more resolutions Sawicki’s section passed, the formal proposal to establish a Geographical Commission within the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences can be considered the most important.
On 14 January 1924, the plan to establish an Academic Geographical Commission in Kraków was discussed at a meeting of the Mathematical and Natural Sciences Faculty of PAU in the presence of the PAU members who had attended the congress. One day later, a corresponding proposal was submitted on behalf of the Geographical Section of the Congress of Polish Physiographers, signed by prof. Michał Siedlecki (a zoologist), an active member of PAU, and by prof. Ludomir Sawicki, a correspondent member of PAU. The first, introductory meeting of the Geography Commission was convened and chaired by the Secretary General of PAU, prof. Stanisław Wróblewski, on 25 July 1924. Prof. E. Romer was designated as chair and prof. L. Sawicki took over as secretary. The first general meeting of members and associates of the Geography Commission was convened on 14 November 1924, with 30 participants.
The commission took over the tasks of the National Geographic Committee.
Seven sections were established within its structure:
(1) Mathematical geography with cartography
(2) Climatology and hydrography
(3) Geomorphology
(4) Phytogeography
(5) Zoogeography
(6) Human geography
(7) Regional geography.
Following the death of prof. L. Sawicki, the commission became considerably less active. So much so, that the PAU Board decided to abolish it in 1938. The news of the commission’s demise was conveyed to its chair, prof. E. Romer. A proposal to establish a new Geography Commission, a move that several members had called for, was unexpectedly advanced at a PAU meeting on 7 June 1938. Further discussions continued until the end of 1938. prof. E. Romer resigned and the commission was dissolved. The idea of reactivating the Geographical Commission returned with a new proposal to establish a PAU commission to study the Pleistocene. The proposal was put forward and approved on 27 March 1939, while the draft regulations of the commission, drawn up by prof. W. Szafer, were presented on 1 May 1939 at a meeting of PAU Faculty III. They were eventually approved on 9 June 1939 at a meeting of the PAU Board
On 21 June 1939, prof. T. Kowalski, the PAU secretary general, sent a draft of the regulations to prof. W. Semkowicz so that they could be checked for consistency against the relevant points of the PAU rules of procedure.
This was the final item of business concerning the inter-war PAU Geography Commission.  Prof. J. Nowak and prof. J. Smoleńsk, who requested the reactivation of the Geography Commission in 1939, did not survive World War II. In addition, the eminent scholar prof. S. Pawlowski, who was murdered by the Nazis, was also missing. What is more, PAU Faculty III was reorganised after the war. These circumstances meant that no steps were taken to revive the Geography Commission.
In 1952, the communist authorities decreed the suspension of PAU. In the new reality that had taken hold by 1958, new scholarly commissions began to appear as part of the structure of the Kraków branch of PAN. The Geographical Sciences Commission was formed in Kraków on 17 March by the local branch of PAN. It was composed of thirty-nine members drawn from the Jagiellonian University, PAN Department of Physical Geography, PAN Department of Nature Conservation, and the Pedagogical University of Kraków.  It undertook research carried out in teams and individually.
It published journals (yearbooks), including Folia Geographica (a physical geography and economic geography series) and Studia Geomorphologica Carpatho-Balcanica. It also issued monographs and atlases.
The PAN Geographical Sciences Commission held 244 meetings and sessions during the entire period it was active (1966-2011). Summaries of its academic bulletins appeared in the pages of the Kraków PAN branch’s Reports from Commission Sittings.  The financial position of the Kraków PAN branch, which steadily deteriorated in the first decade of the twenty-first century, meant that less work was published. The PAN Geographical Sciences Commission itself ceased publishing from 2010.
Following these difficulties, the Board of the Geographical Sciences Commission held discussions with the Director of the PAU Faculty of Natural Science and with the Praesidium of the Kraków Branch of PAN. The result was that the PAN Geographical Sciences Commission was suspended and a proposal to create a geography commission was submitted to the PAU Faculty of Natural Science. The proposal was approved by the PAU Board on 16 April 2011. The commission had 31 members, of which three were PAU members.  The first organisational meeting of the PAU Geography Commission was held on 12 May 2011, with 18 people in attendance.
The commission’s inaugural sitting, which was held in conjunction with the PAU History of Science Commission, took place on 23 November 2011 and was devoted to the history of the PAU Geography Commission. This is how the commission came to be revived within the structure of PAU.
The PAU Geography Commission usually holds meetings on every second Thursday of the month. They provide an opportunity for Kraków geographers and guests invited from Poland and abroad to deliver papers. In conjunction with the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization within PAN, the commission supports the publication of the yearbook Studia Geomorphologica Carpatho-Balcanica, which is a geography periodical that has gained worldwide recognition. Material from the commission’s meetings is published in PAU monograph series that are the responsibility of the PAU History of Science Commission and the PAU and PAN Scientific Archive in Kraków.
It also organises various exhibitions presenting archive reports and material. The Geography Commission is one of the most active in the academy. It often refers to its historical tradition in its activities.


Go to the webpage of „Studia Geomorphologica Carpatho-Balcanica”



Commission Members


    PAU Members
    Prof. dr hab. Stefan W. Alexandrowicz
Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Kostrzewski
Prof. dr hab. Adam Kotarba
Prof. dr hab. Kazimierz Krzemień
Prof. dr hab. Maria Łanczont
Prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Niedźwiedź
Prof. dr hab. Stefan Skiba
Prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Ustrnul
    Commission Members
    Dr hab. Jarosław Balon
Dr hab. Elżbieta Bilska-Wodecka
Dr hab. Anita Bokwa, prof. UJ
Dr hab. Tomasz Bryndal, prof. UP
Prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Długosz
Prof. dr hab. Bolesław Domański
Dr hab. Marek Drewnik
Prof. dr hab. Krystyna German
Dr hab. Elżbieta Gorczyca
Prof. dr hab. Zygmunt Górka
Prof. dr hab. inż. Czesław Guzik
Dr hab. Krzysztof Gwosdz
Dr hab. Bogdana Izmaiłow
Prof. dr hab. Antoni Jackowski
Dr hab. Józef Kukulak, prof. UP
Prof. dr hab. Włodzimierz Kurek
Dr hab. Sławomir Kurek, prof. UP
Prof. dr hab. Adam Łajczak
Dr hab. Roman Malarz, prof. UP
Dr hab. inż. Włodzimierz Margielewski, prof. IOP PAN
Dr hab. Dorota Matuszko, prof. UJ
Dr hab. Grzegorz Micek, prof. UJ
Dr hab. Mirosław Mika, prof. UJ
Dr hab. Zygmunt Olecki
Dr Józef Partyka
Dr hab. Katarzyna Piotrowicz
Prof. dr hab. Joanna Pociask-Karteczka
Dr hab. Paweł Prokop, prof. IGiPZ PAN
Prof. dr hab. Zofia Rączkowska
Prof. dr hab. Roman Soja
Dr hab. Izabela Sołjan, prof. UJ
Dr hab. Jacek Szmańda, prof. PAN
Dr hab. Jolanta Święchowicz
Prof. dr hab. Janina Trepińska
Prof. dr hab. Robert Twardosz
Dr hab. Agnieszka Wypych, prof. UJ
Dr hab. Joanna Zawiejska
Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Zborowski
Prof. dr hab. Wiesław Ziaja
Dr hab. Mirosław Żelazny