2010 Fall Meeting: Media Advisory 3

2 December 2010

Joint Release

Moscone Convention Center,
San Francisco, California
13–17 December 2010

Preliminary Press Conference Topics; John Holdren speech/press briefing; Journalism Awards Ceremony/Reception

Contents of this message:

  1. Preliminary Press Conference Topics
  2. John Holdren lecture/press briefing and other special events
  3. NEW! Ceremony & reception for journalism awardees – Thurs. Dec 16
  4. Attention PIOs: Sending Press Releases to Fall Meeting
  5. NCSWA Holiday Dinner – Sign up by Wed. Dec. 8 !
  6. Reminder: Field trip to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Sun., Dec 12
  7. News Media Registration Information
  8. Registration Form – preregistration deadline MONDAY, Dec. 6
  9. Who’s Coming

For important information regarding visas for international reporters and hotel bookings at meeting rates, please see: Media Advisory 1
For additional information about searching the scientific program, please see: Media Advisory 2

1. Preliminary Press Conference Topics

We are planning a number of press conferences on some of the newsworthy presentations at Fall Meeting. The following list is subject to change, including deletion of items, likely addition of other press conferences, and different emphases. Reporters are urged to check the sessions and abstracts and attend sessions on topics of interest to them, in addition to attending press conferences.
A subsequent media advisory, to be issued next week, will contain the full list of press conferences, including days and times, explanatory blurbs and lists of participants. The advisory will also provide details for accessing those press conferences via the Internet. All press conferences will take place in the Press Conference Room, Room 3000, Moscone West, Level 3.

    Hidden zones of the Sun

  • John Holdren press availability
  • Antarctic glaciers
  • Predicting solar flares
  • Black carbon
  • Deep sea discoveries
  • Urban heat
  • Photochemistry
  • Saturn surprises
  • Shrinking arctic habitat
  • New Earth-observing missions*
  • Earthquake investigations
  • Martian rover
  • Volcanic ash and aviation
  • And more

(* Workshop)

2. John Holdren lecture/press briefing and other special events

John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, will deliver AGU’s inaugural Science and Policy Union Lecture, entitled Scientists, Science Advice, and Science Policy in the Obama Administration, on Monday, Dec 13 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel, Yerba Buena Ballroom, 12:30 –1:30 pm. Following his speech (at 2pm) , Holdren will be available to speak with reporters in the Press Conference Room, Moscone West, Room 3000, Level 3.

A dozen authors of recent bestsellers on global environmental change (for example: James Hansen, Naomi Oreskes, Eli Kintisch) will discuss their books in back-to-back sessions Wednesday morning, Dec 15 (GC31D, GC32A), followed by two related afternoon events — a global environmental change lecture by Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University (CG33D) and, immediately afterwards, a panel discussion with Oppenheimer and the book authors (CG33E). All in Moscone South.

See the listings of other lectures

3. NEW! Ceremony & reception for journalism awardees – Thurs. Dec 16

The 2010 Fall Meeting offers a special opportunity to honor and celebrate AGU’s most recent journalism award winners before their colleagues and peers. A brief ceremony (5-5:30 pm) , hosted by the peerless David Perlman of the San Franciso Chronicle (after whom one of the awards is named), and followed by an hour-long reception, will recognize the outstanding reporting and writing of 2010 Perlman Award winner Pallava Bagla and 2010 Sullivan Award winner Roberta Kwok. The ceremony will take place in the Press Conference Room, Room 3000, in Moscone Center West, Level 3, followed by the reception, diagonally across the hall in the Press Room, Room 3001A. For more information about the 2010 awards and awardees go here.

4. Attention PIOs: Sending Press Releases to Fall Meeting

Public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions are encouraged to disseminate press releases and related documentation at Fall Meeting. We recommend around 50 copies of printed materials and three-to-five copies of broadcast quality video.
The easiest way to get these materials to the Press Room is to take them yourself, if you are going to Fall Meeting, or to give them to one of your scientists, with instructions to deliver them to the AGU Press Room (Room 3001A) Moscone West, from Monday, 13 December.
If you prefer, you may send these materials (but not to arrive before 10 December) by FedEx, UPS, or DHL to the following address:

Peter Weiss
(Guest arriving Dec. 10)
San Francisco Marriott Union Square
480 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94108
Phone: +1 (415) 398-8900

Shipments to the above address should be timed to arrive on Friday, 10 December, or after. They will be displayed from Monday, 13 December or as soon as received (if later than Monday).
Remaining materials may be collected from Room 3001A on Friday, 17 December, at 1300h, after which they will be scrapped.

5. NCSWA Holiday Dinner – Registration deadline Wed. Dec. 8, New venue

The following notice is provided on behalf of the Northern California Science Writers Association. Registration is required by Wednesday, 8 December at

Holiday Dinner: Math Whiz and Las Vegas card-counting veteran Paul Stepahin

Picaro Tapas Restaurant, San Francisco (directions below)

Come enjoy paella, calamari, grilled artichoke, garlic shrimp and a mix of other Spanish tapas from Picaro’s far-flung menu. Dive into a pitcher of sangria. Hobnob with your local friends and out-of-town colleagues visiting for the annual AGU meeting. And relax to a top-notch lineup of seriously unserious science trivia, whacky door prizes, and Las Vegas card-counting info-tainment.

What does information theory have to do with the black jack tables in Vegas? Our speaker, Paul Stepahin will talk about the mathematical underpinnings of card counting and betting as well as its history–both its rich intellectual background and rollicking anecdotal history.

Card counting techniques owe much to the development of information theory in the 1940s by American mathematician and electronic engineer Claude Shannon. It took another 14 years for this theoretical model to make its way into the casinos as “advantage black jack” or card counting. Paul will take us through the history of card counting including his own experiences as part of a team of advantage black jack players in Las Vegas. He was recruited to this legally-operated (and tax paying) enterprise while still a senior at Columbia majoring in physics. He’ll demonstrate the basics of card-counting, including a group training session, and give some betting strategies and additional pointers on how to win at the black jack table–while avoiding getting tossed out by casino bouncers.

Known as the “math guy” at the Exploratorium  http://www.exploratorium.edu/ for his love of computer science and complex mathematics, Paul is an exhibit developer and worked on the team that developed the recent Geometry Playground exhibition.

Picaro Tapas Restaurant (http://www.picarotapasrestaurant.com/index.html)
3120 16th Street (near Valencia)
San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415 431-4089
Map: http://maps.google.com/places/us/ca/san-francisco/16th-st/3120/-picaro-cafe?hl=en&gl=us
*** one-block walk from 16th St BART Station
*** 16th St BART is a quick, 4-minute ride from the Powell St BART Station near Moscone Center, where AGU will be held

6:00pm–7:30pm No-host happy hour
7:30pm–8:45pm Dinner

$31 members
$20 students
$36 non-members & AGU attendees

NCSWA is subsidizing the cost in order to keep dinner affordable.
Register by Wednesday, December 8 to reserve your spot!

6. Reminder: Field trip to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sibley Volcanic Preserve, Sunday, 12 December

Join us for a tour of selected research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).  We’re planning to speak with a researcher who has been tracking the Gulf oil spill and the microbes that are cleaning it up; learn about how the Advanced Light Source synchrotron is used to advance clean energy and geologic carbon sequestration research; and hear about recent advances in our understanding of regional climate change, climate extremes and abrupt climate change using the Integrated Earth System Model; and more.

We’ll take a break during lunch (a complimentary boxed lunch is provided) to take a tour of geologic features and a local fault at the Sibley Volcanic Preserve which is a short drive from LBNL.

The field trip is expected to depart by bus from Moscone Convention Center (West Building) at 8:30 am and return to the convention center by around 5:00 pm (timing is subject to change).

To register for the field trip, please email Kathleen O’Neil ([email protected]) with the following information by noon EST on Monday, 6 December:

*Media outlet or other affiliation (“freelance” is fine)
*Work address
*Work email address
*Phone number
*Whether you have registered as a member of the news media for the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting
* What would be of particular interest to you on this field trip
*If you are a vegetarian or have a food allergy

Space is limited for this field trip. Priority will be given to working journalists. Please only sign up if you intend to participate. A confirmation of your place on the field trip or on the waiting list will be emailed to you. If a place has been reserved for you on the field trip but you  can no longer attend, please email Kathleen O’Neil to let her know.

7. News Media Registration Information

Eligibility for press registration is limited to the following persons:

  • Working press employed by bona fide news media: must present a press card, business card, or letter of introduction from an editor of a recognized publication.
  • Freelance science writers: must present a current membership card from NASW, a regional affiliate of NASW or other association of science journalists recognized by the World Federation of Science Journalists, or from the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ); or evidence of by-lined work pertaining to science intended for the general public and published in 2009 or 2010; or a letter from the editor of a recognized publication assigning you to cover Fall Meeting.
  • Public information officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies: must present a business card.

Note: Representatives of publishing houses, for-profit corporations, and the business side of news media must register at the main registration desk at the meeting and pay the appropriate fees, regardless of possession of any of the above documents. They will not be accredited as Press at the meeting. Scientists who are also reporters and who are presenting at this meeting (oral or poster session) may receive News Media credentials if they qualify (see above), but must also register for the meeting and pay the appropriate fee as a presenter for the day they are presenting.

News Media registrants will receive a badge that provides access to any of the scientific sessions of Fall Meeting, as well as to the Press Room and Briefing Room. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

Details will be provided in a subsequent advisory about where preregistered members of the media will pick up their badges and where those who have not preregistered will be able to register onsite. In either case, please be prepared to show identification.

8. News Media Registration Form – preregistration deadline MONDAY, Dec. 6

The News Media Registration Form is set up for online submission only. Please go here.
The last day for advance News Media registration (assuring speedy printing of your badge when you arrive) is Monday, 6 December 2010. You may also register on-site.

9. Who’s Coming

The online list of journalists who have preregistered for the Meeting is updated daily and may be seen here