The city of Wellington in New Zealand has won the hosting rights to the 22nd International Sedimentological Congress (ISC) in 2026.
The ISC is one of the largest international conferences dedicated to the study of sedimentary rocks and the processes by which they are formed. The ISC is rarely held in the Southern Hemisphere but in 2026 it will be hosted by Geoscience Society of New Zealand’s Sedimentology Special Interest Group.
The congress is expected to attract up to 1,000 participants to Tākina, Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre and deliver an estimated NZ$3.4 million (US$2.4 million) to the economy.
The theme for the congress will be ‘Sedimentation on active plate margins through time and space’, and will include field trips across the country covering as broad a range of sedimentary systems in Zealandia as possible. Topics relating to Māori and Pacifica views of the sedimentary process will also be included.
The conference win is testament to both New Zealand’s strengths in earth science and its ability to provide fascinating first-hand experiences in the field, lead organiser and senior geologist at GNS Science, Mark Lawrence, said.
“Geologically New Zealand is very interesting. It has a whole range of geological attributes concentrated in a relatively small geographic area. Then you have the impact of tectonics, and climate change. It’s essentially a neat, small-scale laboratory,” he added.
Lawrence pointed out the congress is an excellent opportunity to engage the next generation of sedimentologists, who will be able to attend with fewer costs since the event is close to home.
“It will be particularly good for students who may otherwise be unlikely to attend such a prestigious event overseas. For those starting out in the field it’s a great opportunity to make these international contacts.”
Plans are also underway to ensure the conference has wider outreach to New Zealanders, through public lectures or learning experiences for school-age children.
Tourism New Zealand general manager domestic & business events, Bjoern, Spreitzer said: “Conferences like this showcase our expertise to the world and help grow our knowledge at home. They also deliver significant economic gains that benefit the New Zealand economy.”