AGU Fall Meeting: Press Conference Schedule; Briefings Streamed Online; Badge Pickup

3 December 2013

American Geophysical Union
2013 Fall Meeting
Media Advisory 5

AGU Release No. 13-59
For Immediate Release

Moscone Convention Center
San Francisco, California
9–13 December 2013

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

Included in this advisory:
1. Preregistration Still Open
2. Press Conference Schedule
3. Webstreaming: Access 2013 Fall Meeting Press Conferences (Live) Online
4. Press/News Media Badge Pickup
5. Press Rooms Update
6. Virtual Press Room
7. Fall Meeting App
8. Fall Meeting Virtual Options
9. Journalism Awards
10. Northern California Science Writers Association (NCSWA) Dinner Registration
11. Who’s Coming

Please visit the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting Media Center for previous media advisories that include important information about visas for international reporters, searching the scientific program and Fall Meeting events.

1.       Preregistration Still Open

Online Fall Meeting press registration will remain open throughout the meeting in order to expedite the badge pick-up process (see #4 below for details).

To register as press and to check eligibility requirements, please see the online press registration page. Press badges provide complimentary access to any of the meeting’s scientific sessions, as well as to the Press Room, Press Conference Room and Quiet Rooms. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

2.       Press Conference Schedule

The AGU Public Information Office has planned a number of press conferences to highlight newsworthy presentations at the 2013 Fall Meeting. A list of press conferences is below. Please click on the “Press Conference” tab in the online Media Center for a full list of press conferences and more information, including participants and associated scientific sessions.

The schedule of press conferences is subject to change, before or during Fall Meeting. Press conferences may be added or dropped, their titles and emphases may change and participants may change. Updates, changes and additions to the press conference schedule will also be posted in the Press Conference tab in the Media Center.

Press conferences take place in the Press Conference Room (Room 3000, Moscone West, Level 3), diagonally across the hall from the Press Room. Times for press conferences are Pacific Standard Time. All press conferences will be webstreamed. Click on the “Webstreaming” tab in the Media Center for further information.

First Results from the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Mission
Monday, 9 December
8:00 a.m.

Solar observations by the small explorer spacecraft IRIS, a NASA mission launched last June, reveal a wealth of violent eruptions at unprecedented resolution. For the first time, IRIS is making it possible to study these explosive phenomena in enough detail to determine their role in heating the outer solar atmosphere. The mission’s images and spectra of the Sun’s chromosphere and transition region also open a new window into dynamics and energetics of the low solar atmosphere that play a pivotal role in heating the solar atmosphere, accelerating the solar wind, and driving solar eruptive events.
Update from Gale Crater: Results from the Mars Rover Curiosity
Monday, 9 December
9:00 a.m.

This is a fragrance-free event. Please join us in ensuring accessibility for those with chemical sensitivity and chronic illness by not bringing fragrances or scents on your clothes, hair, or skin. You can prepare in advance by not using products with fragrance, or by using fragrance free, non-toxic products.

NASA’s robotic explorer is examining evidence about ancient Martian environmental conditions that were favorable for microbial life. Findings are also pertinent to future searches for Martian biosignatures and for future human missions to Mars.

Snow Measuring Mission Reaps Big Benefits for California
Monday, 9 December
10:30 a.m.

In 2013, a prototype airborne system that maps the snowpack of major mountain watersheds performed unprecedented mapping of the Tuolumne River Basin and its Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Sierra Nevada, the primary water supply for 2.6 million San Francisco Bay Area residents. NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory also mapped the Uncompahgre watershed, part of the Upper Colorado River Basin that supplies water to much of the western United States. In this briefing, scientists will discuss how the City of San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy operation used the data to optimize reservoir filling and hydroelectric generation at its O’Shaughnessy Dam this year during California’s severe drought. Scientists will also discuss how the technology is improving understanding of snow and its melt, and how it can be applied worldwide.
SinoProbe: An Unprecedented View Inside Earth’s Largest Continent
Monday, 9 December
11:30 a.m.

SinoProbe is a Chinese earth science research program aimed at revealing the composition, structure and evolution of the continental crust of in China. The SinoProbe (2008–2012) has already successfully located valuable ores as well as uncovered new structures in the crust under China. In this briefing, some of the top scientists of SinoProbe will present a review of the project, how it compares to the U.S.A.’s Earthscope and plans for a vast expansion to make SinoProbe the most extensive seismic survey in history.
Lessons From the Chelyabinsk Airburst
Monday, 9 December
1:30 p.m.

The Chelyabinsk, Russia, meteor airburst on February 15, 2013, injured more than a thousand people and damaged thousands of buildings. It marks the first time scientists can study in detail such an event with a range of modern instruments as well as assess its effects on a populated area. This briefing will offer some of the latest findings about the meteor itself, its explosion and effects, as well as how the incident suggests that smaller, more numerous meteors could pose greater threats to populated areas than previously thought.

Taking Landsat to the Extreme
Monday, 9 December
2:30 p.m.

At the coldest spots on Earth, every breath is painful. Clothing crackles and hot water tossed into the air falls to the ground as tiny shards of ice. But how cold can it get on Earth’s surface? Where are these bitterly cold places, and what sort of weather brings on the record-breaking cold? Speakers in this briefing will offer new insights regarding those questions using new information from multiple satellites, with special focus on the new USGS-NASA Landsat 8 satellite, launched earlier this year. Journalists please note that during the press conference and poster session, Dr. Scambos will present new information, updated from his team’s original abstract.
See-Through Seas: Imaging the Planet’s Hidden Interior
Monday, 9 December
4 p.m.

It has long been difficult and costly to image the nearly two-thirds of the world covered by oceans, leaving a large gap in understanding the Earth’s interior.  Scientists typically image the inside of the Earth by observing seismic waves with stations on land, helping researchers answer questions about how the planet works, including how it maintains its relatively constant temperature. In this panel, scientists will discuss the first results from a 10-month mission with newly developed means to observe the planet’s interior below the oceans, including unprecedented seismic observations. The new instrumentation also gives new opportunities for biologists studying marine animals and meteorologists quantifying rainfall.
The Risks of Human-Induced Earthquakes
Monday, 9 December
5 p.m.

Scientists are increasingly able to trace the source of earthquakes to human activities, including natural gas production through hydraulic fracturing, geothermal energy production, carbon sequestration, mining and water irrigation. In this panel, scientists will discuss the risks associated with induced earthquakes and examine some of the largest human-caused seismic events.
IPCC: The Future of the Assessment
Tuesday, 10 December
8 a.m.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the first in a series of reports on the current state of scientific knowledge about climate change in September, with the IPCC’s fifth assessment slated to be completed in 2014. During this panel, authors who contributed to the first working group report will discuss their findings, the uncertainties and gaps that exist, and what this means for future research needs.
Improved Warnings for Natural Hazards: A Prototype System for Southern California
Tuesday, 10 December
9 a.m.

Scientists will discuss new systems they developed to improve real-time warnings of natural hazards like earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events. The enhanced systems have been used by weather forecasters in Southern California to issue flood warnings and are being integrated into emergency warning systems in San Diego, including monitoring of hospitals and bridges. There are plans to expand the system throughout the western United States.
Science from Juno’s Earth Flyby
Tuesday, 10 December
10:30 a.m.

In October, the Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft did a flyby of Earth before its long journey. The Juno team presents a low-resolution Earth flyby video as well as data acquired by the spacecraft as it zipped past the home planet. Team members will also discuss results from the mission’s outreach campaign inviting amateur radio operators to “Say Hi to Juno” as the spacecraft passed, and the scientific goals for the mission once it reaches Jupiter.
Dynamic Mars from Long-Term Observations
Tuesday, 10 December
11:30 a.m.

There has been a continual spacecraft presence at Mars since 1997. The longevity of spacecraft missions examining the Red Planet has enabled detection and examination of changes on multiple time scales. Active processes include planet-encircling dust storms about every three to four Mars years, evolution of the polar caps, fresh impacts, migrating sand, and a suite of processes on slopes, some of which may involve liquid water. The distribution of shallow ice is much better known, with implications for recent climate change. The longer the observations continue, the deeper the understanding grows about active processes on Mars.
The Battle of Fire and Ice: New Scientific Results from Comet ISON
Tuesday, 10 December
1:30 p.m.

Scientists will report on observations of Comet ISON during its closest approach to the sun on 27-29 November 2013. The comet was clearly visible in the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), and changes in brightness throughout the passage can help scientists determine what the comet was made of. The panel will share data from these results, as well as from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), to present a picture of ISON’s trip around the sun, which appears to have led to its demise. The panel will also report on why ISON was not seen in images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Are Tornadoes Getting Stronger?
Tuesday, 10 December
4:15 p.m. (Please note delayed start of this press conference. It will last only 45 minutes.)

A new technique for analyzing the strength of tornadoes based on the extent of damage in their wakes suggests that there is long-term trend in tornado strength. This briefing covers the technique and results of this ongoing research.
Atmospheric Impacts of Oil and Natural Gas operations
Wednesday, 11 December
10:30 a.m.

The United States has more than a million oil and gas producing wells. What are the impacts of these operations on air quality and climate? At this workshop, leading scientists in the field will share the powerful tools and techniques they are using to probe this question. They will also present some of their recent findings, including emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, ozone pollution, and ozone precursors. The researchers will also touch on some of the unknowns that need answering for public officials, industry, and citizens to make scientifically sound decisions.
New Results From Inside the Ozone Hole
Wednesday, 11 December
1:30 p.m.

More than 20 years after the Montreal Protocol agreement limited human emissions of ozone-depleting substances, the question remains: Is the stratospheric ozone hole over Antarctica recovering? Scientists will present new observations from under the hood of the ozone hole, revealing the internal workings of the annual phenomenon. Why were the holes of 2006 and 2011 so large and why was the hole of 2012 so small? Drawing from the new observations and analyses, the researchers will provide an update on the status of the ozone hole as well as projected trends.
Arctic Report Card 2013
Thursday, 12 December
9:00 a.m.

Learn about the latest scientific observations of the Arctic, an extremely sensitive part of the world that is experiencing a sustained warming trend. Scientists provide the latest information on snow cover, sea ice, air temperature, ocean temperature, the Greenland ice sheet, vegetation, fish and wildlife. This annual update to a Report Card began in 2006 demonstrates the importance of long-term observing programs to effectively measure, and attribute significant changes in the Arctic.
Titan as You’ve Never Seen it Before: New Results from the Cassini Mission to Saturn
Thursday, 12 December
11:30 a.m.

Saturn’s moon Titan is the only place in our solar system other than Earth known to have a surface dotted with stable bodies of liquid, which take the form of hydrocarbon lakes and seas. With the success of additional flybys of Titan this year by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and the development of a new way of analyzing data from the radar mapper, Cassini’s science team has put together the most complete multi-image mosaic yet of Titan’s northern land of lakes and views of the region in 3-D. The new results have given Cassini scientists a better understanding of this Earth-like region and its history.

3.       Webstreaming: Access 2013 Fall Meeting Conferences (Live) Online

Reporters can remotely participate in Fall Meeting press conferences via webstreaming. For information on how to sign up and access this feature, click on the “webstreaming” tab in the online Media Center.

If, for some reason, the webstreaming does not work for a particular press conference, we will immediately put up a message on the 2013 Fall Meeting Media Center homepage and switch to making the briefing available via teleconference. To call into the teleconference, dial (888) 481-3032 within the United States, or +1 (617) 801-9600 internationally. The participant passcode is 115139. NOTE: The teleconference will only be available if the webstreaming goes down.

4.       Press/News Media Badge Pickup

To avoid long lines on Monday morning, Dec. 9, we encourage all members of the news media to go through the final steps of registering and picking up your badge on Sunday, Dec. 8. You may register online throughout the duration of the Fall Meeting. As always, press/news media registration is complimentary.

If you do not preregister online: The main Fall Meeting registration area is in the first level of Moscone West. The press registration counter will be on the far left, next to Exhibitor registration. To register on-site, you must go to the Press Registration Counter in Moscone West, fill out an onsite registration form, and present your media credentials. Freelance science journalists and science bloggers must present three bylined news reports in the Earth and space sciences intended for the general public that were published in 2012 or 2013. To expedite the registration process, please fill out the online registration form, including your press credentials, before you arrive at the Moscone Center, especially if you are a blogger or freelancer.

If you preregistered and were mailed your badge: If you have your badge in hand, you can complete the registration process (picking up a badge holder, program book and other materials) at booths on the first level of Moscone West, the main lobby of Moscone North and the San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel (located at 55 Fourth Street diagonally across from Moscone West). At these booths, you can hand in the voucher that came with your badge and you will be handed the badge holder and other materials. Then, at your convenience, please come by the Press Room (Room 3001A, Moscone West) for your green Press/News Media ribbon that gets attached to your badge. You will need a ribbon to have access to the AGU press rooms, but not to attend sessions or other venues at Fall Meeting.

If you preregistered online but didn’t receive your badge in the mail or forgot to bring your mailed badge to the meeting: You may use the self-registration lines in the main registration area on the first level of Moscone West (you do not need to use the press registration line). At the self-registration counters you can either type in your name and zip code or scan the barcode that you received in the email confirming your registration.

The entrances to the Moscone West building are on Fourth Street between Howard Street and Minna Street.

5.       Press Rooms Update

The Press Room is Room 3001A in Moscone West, Level 3. (This room has an unusual number — the added A – because it is a custom-made room that’s only here during the AGU Fall Meeting, located between Room 3001 and the Level 3 Lobby).

Press conferences take place in the Press Conference Room, Room 3000, which is also on Moscone West, Level 3. It is diagonally across from the Press Room.

The Press Room provides working space for reporters, including three phone lines (with no charge for business calls), two computer terminals and two printers, Wi-Fi, and space for socializing. The main phone number in the Press Room for incoming calls is +1 (415) 348-4404.

The Press Room opens daily at 7:30 a.m. Mon. Dec. 9 through Fri. Dec. 13. The room closes daily at 6:30 p.m. except for Fri. Dec. 13 when it will close at 2 p.m.

Some meals and other refreshments will be provided in the Press Room for news media registrants. Breakfast (from 7:30 a.m.) will be available Monday – Wednesday. Lunch (from 12:30 p.m.) will be available Monday – Thursday. Coffee and tea will be available at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday, and 10 a.m. Friday.

Fall Meeting press registrants can reserve one of two available Quiet Rooms during the meeting to conduct interviews. The Quiet Rooms can be reserved through the online registration form. Reservations are given in 30-minute increments and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

6.       Virtual Press Room

During the Fall Meeting, journalists will find press releases and many resources online in the Virtual Press Room. Public information officers (PIOs) can post releases and other materials on the site. To access the Virtual Press Room, go to the Media Center on the Fall Meeting website and click on the “Virtual Press Room” tab.

For journalists: Press releases, press conference materials (including PowerPoint presentations, images, videos, scientific papers, and more, as available), and video recordings of press conferences are added to the Virtual Press Room during the meeting for easy online access.

For public information officers: PIOs with a login can add press releases, tip sheets and press conference materials to the Virtual Press Room at any time before or during the meeting, including uploading items in advance and scheduling them to post during the meeting. To register for a login, go to the Media Center on the Fall Meeting website and click on the “For PIOs” tab. Only registered PIOs will be allowed to upload content.

Public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions can
also disseminate paper 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 Mon., Dec. 9.

If you prefer, you may send these materials (but not to arrive before Dec. 6) by FedEx, UPS, or
DHL to the following address:

Peter Weiss
(Guest arriving Dec. 6)
Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco
55 Cyril Magnin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
1-415-392-8000, 1-800-595-0507

Shipments to the above address should be timed to arrive on Fri., Dec. 6, or after. They will be displayed from Mon., Dec. 9 or as soon as received (if later than Monday).

Remaining materials may be collected from Room 3001A by Fri., Dec. 13, at 1:00 p.m., after which they will be thrown away.

 7.       Fall Meeting App

The 2013 AGU Fall Meeting Mobile App is now available for download. The app allows you to browse the scientific program, plan and sync your schedule between devices, receive event alerts, and stay connected on Twitter.

The official 2013 AGU Fall Meeting mobile app is available for mobile devices including: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch (software requirement: iOS 4.0 or later); Blackberry (software requirement: 6.0 or higher); and Android (software requirement: OS of 2.0 or later)

The 2013 AGU Fall Meeting app is accessible through the Scholar One MyItinerary App. Please Note: You will NOT be able to search your app store using the keywords AGU or Fall Meeting. Click here for instructions on downloading the mobile app.

8.       Fall Meeting Virtual Options

Fall Meeting Virtual Options will provide online access to livestreamed and recorded content from the Fall Meeting, including named lectures and oral sessions. Sessions taking place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and marked as “Virtual Option” will be live streamed and recorded for video on-demand access. Sessions taking place on Friday and marked as “Virtual Option – On-Demand Only” will be available as video on-demand and will not stream live. All recordings will be available on-demand within 24 hours of filming. E-posters (electronic versions of Fall Meeting posters) will also be available.

Registration for access to Fall Meeting Virtual Options is required, but free for members of the press. Registration for e-posters is available now. Registration for livestreamed and recorded video should be available later this week. Click here for more information and to register.

9.       Journalism Awards

We invite you to join your Press Room colleagues to honor and celebrate AGU’s most recent journalism award winners with a brief, informal ceremony followed by an hour-long reception.

We will recognize the outstanding reporting and story-telling of 2013 Walter Sullivan award winner Tim Folger, 2013 David Perlman award winner Paul Voosen and 2013 Robert Cowen award winners Geoffrey Haines-Stiles and Erna Akuginow. The ceremony will be held 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. on Thu., Dec. 12, in the Press Conference Room, Moscone West, Room 3000, Level 3. The reception will follow across the hall in the Press Room.

10.   Northern California Science Writers Association (NCSWA) Dinner

[The following notice is provided on behalf of the Northern California Science Writers Association about the NCSWA holiday dinner]

AGU press are heartily invited to join Bay Area science writers for NCSWA’s annual holiday dinner. This year, science journalist Alex Witze will discuss her new book “Island on Fire”, written with her husband Jeff Kanipe. “Island on Fire” describes the extraordinary 18th century eruption of Laki, a toxic and explosive Icelandic volcano that darkened Europe and killed thousands of people. Witze, a Boulder-based journalist and contributor to both Science News and Nature, will discuss her research for the book and show images from her travels on Iceland. She’ll also talk about the chances that Laki could erupt again. For a sneak preview, see her blog post:

The NCSWA holiday dinner will be held from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Wed. Dec. 11 at Buca di Beppo Italian restaurant, 855 Howard St. (adjacent to the Moscone Center). Cost is $35 for non-members, $29 for members, and $19 for students. To register, visit

11.   Who’s Coming

Check here for an online Who’s Coming list of journalists and press officers who have preregistered for the meeting. This list gets updated regularly.