On October 9, 1990, a lively group of more than 60 scientists from around the world gathered at Northeastern University's Henderson House in Weston, Mass., to spend 4 days in concentrated efforts to unravel the complexities of cusp/cleft theory and observations.

Plans for the National Science Foundation-sponsored workshop were formulated at the previous GEM workshop convened by Ted Rosenberg at the University of Maryland in October 1989, where participants agreed that the first task of the first GEM campaign—attacking problems of the magnetopause, boundary layers, and their signatures in the ionosphere—should be the identification of cusp signatures in ground-based and airborne data by intercalibrating with spacecraft data on direct overflights.