AGU Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C.: Press registration open; book hotel now

10 September 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Discover the latest Earth and space science news at the 51st annual AGU Fall Meeting this December, when more than 20,000 attendees from around the globe are expected to assemble for the largest worldwide conference in the Earth and space sciences.

This year, the meeting runs from Monday through Friday, Dec. 10-14, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC 20001.

United States Capitol Dome and Flag. Credit David Maiolo/Wikicommons

Credit: David Maiolo/Creative Commons

Included in this advisory:

1. About the Fall Meeting
2. Press registration information
3. Hotel information
4. Press workshop and field trips
5. U.S. visa regulations for international attendees

1. About the Fall Meeting
Journalists attending the Fall Meeting can learn about the latest research in fields as diverse as planetary evolution, natural hazards, changing climate, Earth observation, seafloor mapping and more. The preliminary program includes more than 1,200 proposed sessions and more than 26,000 submitted abstracts.

Note: The preliminary program is subject to change. The final scientific program, along with the schedule of press conferences highlighting news being presented at the meeting, will be included in future advisories.

To help journalists report on newsworthy scientific findings presented at the Fall Meeting, AGU provides a press room where reporters, press officers, bloggers and others can work and mingle. In the press room — and in an online Virtual Press Room to be launched in November — AGU will make available copies of press releases about developments in Earth and space science and other news presented at the meeting. During the meeting, registered members of the press will also be able to reserve quiet rooms to conduct interviews. AGU will also provide online tools where reporters can connect with scientific experts at the meeting. More information about these tools, and how PIOs can participate, will be included in a future advisory.

AGU will also offer a series of press conferences about newsworthy scientific advances, announced in a schedule about a week before the meeting’s scientific sessions begin. Reporters can remotely participate in Fall Meeting press conferences via webstreaming. Information about how to sign up and access this feature will be included in a future advisory.

Public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions can use the Fall Meeting as an opportunity to present research to more than 200 on-site reporters through press releases, press conferences, press workshops, media availabilities, a virtual press room, and one-on-one contact with the press. Please use the AGU Press Event Proposal Form to submit press conference, press workshop and media availability proposals. The deadline to propose a press event is Friday, September 28.

Information for the press will be posted to the Fall Meeting Media Center.

NOTE: Audio recording, photography and video recording are not allowed in scientific sessions or in poster halls.

2. Press registration information
Online press registration for the Fall Meeting is now open. Please pre-register to expedite the on-site badge pick-up process.

The AGU Press Office provides complimentary press registration to members of the media for the express purpose of gathering news and information to produce media coverage of AGU meetings. Press registrants receive, at no charge, a badge that provides access to all scientific sessions, the press room and the press conference room. For eligibility requirements, please visit the Press Registration Eligibility Requirements page.

Registrations are approved at the discretion of the AGU press office and approval may take up to 5 business days. Eligible members of the press may also register for press credentials on-site at the meeting. The on-site registration location, badge pick-up location, and Press Room, Press Conference Room and Quiet Rooms locations will be included in a future advisory.

NOTE: Some events and activities, including but not limited to invitation-only events and communications workshops, are not open to press badge holders.

It is not required to wait for press registration approval before booking a hotel room, nor is it required to book a hotel room when registering to attend the meeting. Hotels sell out quickly and AGU encourages members of the media to book hotel rooms as soon as possible to take advantage of preferential rates. Please see #3 below for more information about hotel reservations.

The AGU press office will also be hosting a field trip for members of the media 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, December 9. Please see #4 below for more information.

3. Hotel information – book now for the best selection!
Members of the press can make hotel reservations through the online press registration site. You will need to submit your press registration before booking a hotel room. However, it is not required to wait for press registration approval before booking a hotel room.

Once you have submitted your press registration, you will see a link to add/modify your hotel reservation on the press registration site. An additional link to the housing website is provided in the registration acknowledgement email you will receive after submitting your registration. You can also log back into the press registration site using your email and registration ID to add/modify your hotel reservation. The deadline to book a hotel room at the special AGU room rate is Wednesday, November 14.

More than 20,000 scientists, journalists, educators, and students are expected to attend this year’s meeting and hotels sell out quickly. Please consider booking a hotel room now to take advantage of the preferential rates. There are more than 60 hotel choices included in the registration form and rates start as low as $169.00 per day, plus tax. The special AGU room rates are subject to availability after the November 14 deadline.

Please visit the Fall Meeting housing page to see a list of hotels offering the special AGU room rate, as well as their rates and locations. However, press must register and book housing via the press registration site, and not from the Fall Meeting housing page. Please use this page as a reference only.

4. Press field trips and workshop
AGU is hosting a field trip for members of the media on Sunday, 9 December. NASA will also be holding a press workshop on Sunday, 9 December, and a field trip on Thursday, 13 December. Pre-registration for the workshop and field trips is required. Please see details below.

Press Field Trip: Community Environmental Justice in Brandywine, Maryland Sunday, 9 December
Hosted by AGU, BTB Coalition and local partners

Air quality is an issue of great importance for human rights, public health, and social fairness because of its profound influence on human health. The burden of air quality impacts is not shared equally by all communities.

By the end of 2019, three large (250-, 775- and 990-megawatt) fossil fuel-fired power plants will operate immediately within a 2.9-mile radius of the majority black community of Brandywine, Maryland (population less than 10,000). The 990-megawatt plant (Panda Matawoman Power Project), planned to come online in 2019, will worsen the exposure of elderly and young populations, particularly those who are low-income, to airborne pollutants. In addition to power plants, Brandywine residents also face pollution from a coal-ash disposal landfill, a Superfund site (Brandywine DRMO), toxic waste treatment facilities, a sludge lagoon, multiple sand and gravel mines, and roads highly congested with diesel truck traffic. Brandywine Elementary School is centrally located to these sources and has been heighted as a point of concern in a community Health Impact Assessment.

In this field trip for members of the media, journalists will learn about how scientists and community members are working together to collect data on air quality in Brandywine and advocate for health in an unincorporated area that has no formal local government. On the tour, led by AGU partner Brandywine | TB Southern Region Neighborhood Coalition (the BTB Coalition), participants will see various sites affecting the community and hear from community residents, local activists and scientists about the issues faced by residents, and how these groups are working together to understand the health risks and advocate for environmental justice.

The local air quality project with BTB Coalition is one of more than 80 Thriving Earth Exchange projects currently underway or completed in the U.S. Thriving Earth Exchange is a program powered by AGU that brings communities together with Earth and space scientists to address local challenges related to natural resources, natural hazards and climate issues. The BTB Coalition is a community group founded to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government, work to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influence public policy through education and advocacy.

 Sunday, December 9, 2018, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Where: The field trip will depart from and return to the Washington Convention Center. Further details on the trip will be provided closer to the meeting.
Cost: Free!

Eligibility: Space for the tour is limited. Staff journalists representing media organizations, freelance journalists, photographers, videographers, podcasters, bloggers, authors and filmmakers will have first priority for registration. If space is still available on the tour one week before the meeting, AGU will open the tour to public information officers and institutional science communicators. PIOs and institutional science communicators interested in attending should email [email protected] to be notified if space becomes available. If you are unsure what media category you fit into, read AGU’s press eligibility guidelines here. 
Register: Reporters can register for the field trip here. All reporters planning to attend the field trip MUST pre-register; no on-site registrations will be accepted.
 If you register for the field trip and are unable to attend, please cancel your registration as soon as possible so that AGU can make your spot available to another person.
Questions: email Nanci Bompey at [email protected].

Press workshop: Everything you’ve always wanted to know about near-Earth objects and planetary defense
Sunday, 9 December
Sponsored by NASA

How would we know if Earth was going to be impacted by an asteroid? Want to know more about finding and tracking near-Earth asteroids and determining when one might impact or just be a “close approach”? Interested in learning about plans for defending Earth against asteroid impacts?

NASA and its partners maintain a watch for near-Earth objects (NEOs), asteroids and comets that pass within Earth’s vicinity, as part of an ongoing effort to discover, catalog, and characterize these bodies and to determine if any pose an impact threat.

In this three-hour workshop hosted by NASA, experts will report on the methods and status of finding, tracking, and characterizing near-Earth objects (NEOs) and planning for planetary defense. Plenty of time will be provided for questions and discussion.

Journalists and science writers will have an opportunity to learn about such developments as:

  • Progress in ground-based optical and radar observations of near-Earth asteroids and comets.
  • Advances in modeling and understanding atmospheric, land, and water impacts of NEOs.
  • Current understanding of NEO characteristics.
  • NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Test, the first mission that will demonstrate an asteroid deflection technique (the kinetic impactor).
  • Functions of the Minor Planet Center, the International Asteroid Warning System, and the Space Missions Planning Advisory Group.
  • The first test of the global asteroid-impact warning system and plans for a second test.
  • Interagency and international cooperation on planning for planetary defense.
  • The status of planning for a dedicated, space-based asteroid detection telescope.

Experts on hand will include:

  • NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson Lindley Johnson
  • NASA NEO Observations Program Manager Kelly Fast
  • Former Minor Planet Center Director and NASA consultant Tim Spahr
  • NASA NEO Observations Program Scientist Michael Kelly
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory radar scientist Marina Brozovic
  • NASA Ames Research Center Advanced Supercomputing Division Deputy Chief Donovan Mathias

Sunday, 9 December 2018, 9 AM – 12 PM
Where: AGU Fall Meeting conference venue. Exact location TBD.
Cost: Free! A box lunch will be provided.
Eligibility: Space for the workshop is limited. Staff journalists representing media organizations, freelance journalists, photographers, videographers, bloggers, podcasters, authors, and filmmakers will have first priority for registration. Registration to the AGU Fall Meeting is not required. If space is still available on the workshop one week before the meeting, NASA will open the workshop to public information officers and institutional science communicators. PIOs and institutional science communicators interested in attending can email Lajuan Moore at [email protected] to be added to the waitlist.
Register: Reporters can register for the workshop here. All reporters planning to attend the workshop MUST preregister; no on-site registrations will be accepted.
Note: If you register for the workshop and are unable to attend, please cancel your registration as soon as possible so that NASA can make your spot available to another person.
Questions: Email [email protected]

Press field trip: NASA’s next frontiers
Thursday, 13 Dec. 2018
Hosted by NASA

Visit the research labs, satellite operations centers, and the facilities where spacecraft are designed, built, and tested at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, one of the space agency’s primary science hubs – and one of the only institutions in the world able to support the whole life cycle of a space science mission from conception to manufacture to data analysis.

With the OSIRIS-Rex mission approaching the asteroid Bennu, and with the launches of TESS, Parker Solar Probe, and ICESat-2 (scheduled for September), NASA Goddard is leaning heavily into cutting-edge research missions to study our home planet, our solar system, and well beyond. Tour stops will include opportunities to see the clean rooms and “chamber of horrors” facilities where some of NASA’s most iconic science missions were built and tested, and the opportunity to meet and interact with scientists and engineers at work on NASA’s ongoing and next major science missions.

 Thursday, 13 December 2018, 1:00–4:00 P.M.
Where: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. Transportation details to and from NASA Goddard are still being arranged.
Cost: Free!
Eligibility: Space for the tour is currently limited to 20 spots, though we may be able to offer more. Staff journalists representing media organizations, freelance journalists, photographers, videographers, bloggers, authors, and filmmakers will have first priority for registration. Field trip attendees MUST be registered as press for the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting to attend. However, it is not necessary to wait for your press credentials to be approved to register for the field trip. You can register online for Fall Meeting press credentials here.
 Reporters can register for the field trip here. RSVPs for Foreign National media must be entered by 16 November, 2018, in order to process NASA badging requirements. All reporters planning to attend the field trip MUST preregister; no on-site registrations will be accepted.

Note: If you register for the field trip and are unable to attend, please cancel your registration as soon as possible so that NASA can make your spot available to another person.

Questions: Email Patrick Lynch at [email protected]

5. U.S. visa regulations for international reporters
All journalists who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States need a visa to cover scientific meetings in the U.S. This also applies to journalists from “Visa Waiver Program” countries (e.g., Western Europe) who do not normally need visas to enter the U.S. as tourists.

The required visa is a “Media (I) Visa” issued by an American Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Journalists traveling internationally to attend the Fall Meeting should apply as soon as possible for a “Media (I) Visa.”

The U.S. Department of State has a “Media (I) Visa” fact sheet for journalists available on its website.


The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 60,000 members in 139 countries. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and our other social media channels.

AGU Contact:

Nanci Bompey
+1 (202) 777-7524
[email protected]

Lauren Lipuma
+1 (202) 777-7396
[email protected]

Liza Lester
+1 (202) 777-7494
[email protected]