A brief historical review

The late Professor and Academician Elias G. Mariolopoulos, during the last years of his life, came up with the idea of establishing a charitable foundation whose objective would be the promotion and development of atmospheric sciences (Meteorology-Climatology and Atmospheric Physics). The objectives of the Foundation included both the awarding of young people involved in these sciences and the diffusion of issues pertaining to these sciences into society. Professor Mariolopoulos worked on this idea with his close associates, Professor Christos Zerefos and Assistant Professor Christos Repapis, Director of the Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens, which was supervised by the late Mariolopoulos. The Professor passed away in 1991 and his wife, the late Ekaterini-Nina Elias Mariolopoulos, in order to commemorate her husband and her parents, Petros and Eugenia Kanaginis, decided to proceed with the establishment of the Foundation. For this purpose, she collaborated closely with Mr. Christos Zerefos and Mr. Christos Repapis and they resolved that the Foundation for the Environmental Sciences which was about to be established should have an expanded scope in order to include Agricultural Sciences in honor of her late father Petros Kanaginis, who was a distinguished agronomist. The Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences was founded with the Presidential Decree GG (FEK) 283/Issue Β΄/26-4-93. Its establishment was made possible after Ekaterini-Nina Mariolopoulos contributed part of her real estate as sponsorship. The Foundation operates in compliance with the Greek legislation pertaining to National Trusts, it is managed by a Board of Trustees and at the same time it collaborates with a multinational body of advisory experts, which is composed of internationally acclaimed scientists.

The first Session of the Foundation’s Board members with the Representatives of the World Meteorological Organization and the Director General of the 12th Directorate of the European Union. From the left to the right, there are C. Liatsos, C. Repapis, C. Zerefos, C. Tountas, J.P. Contzen (EU), Ekaterini-Nina Mariolopoulos, R. Bojkov (WMO), Th. Kanaginis, O. Mantis, G. Mariolopoulos (Glyfada, April 1993).

The first composition of the Board of Trustees as it was designated by its founding Presidential
Decree was the following:

The Foundation Board in April 1993


Vice Chair




Ekaterini-Nina Elias Mariolopoulos

Professor Christos Zerefos

Assistant Professor Christos Repapis

Dr. George Mariolopoulos

Professor Constantine Tountas (Academician)

Professor Themistocles Kanaginis

Professor Homer Mantis (Academician)

Professor Panagiotis Ladas

Alternate Members

Professor John Zambakas

Dr. Constantine Liatsos

  • On September 25, 1993, the official opening ceremony marking the beginning of operations for the Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation took place during a reception in Asteras Vouliagmenis, Attica. The reception was attended by the representative of the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, Professor R.D. Bojkov, the Director-General of the 12th Directorate of the European Union, Professor J.P. Contzen as well as other Greek and foreign eminent scientists and representatives of organizations related to environmental issues. The commencement of operations was declared by the Chair of the Foundation, Mrs. Ekaterini-Nina Mariolopoulos.
  • In the years that followed its establishment, the Foundation, relying on its own resources without any government funding, developed the following activities, starting from Thessaloniki, because the Board saw it fit to place emphasis and priority on Thessaloniki and Northern Greece in general where the late Mariolopoulos and Kanaginis started their careers and developed their activity. Later, after 2002, the headquarters were transferred to Athens.