The goal was to create an ambitious global program of scientific collaboration between working scientists, rather than between governments.
From the beginning, the program has operated as a joint enterprise of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
During 1929–1995, a full sea-level cycle was observed.
An exception is Kazakh, where it is called , Kaspiyskoye more.
The Caspian Sea, like the Black Sea, Namak Lake, and Lake Urmia, is a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea.
It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southeast.
The Caspian Sea presently lies about 28 m (92 ft) below sea level in the Caspian Depression, to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the vast steppe of Central Asia.