Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020: Press events and onsite information

10 February 2020

AGU Contacts:
Liza Lester, +1 (202) 777-7494, [email protected]
Lauren Lipuma, +1 (202) 777-7396, [email protected]

WASHINGTON—Discover the latest in ocean sciences research at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020, where more than 5,000 attendees are expected to present research findings about the world’s oceans. The meeting will bring together researchers from the American Geophysical Union, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, and The Oceanography Society.

The 2020 meeting is 16–21 February 2020 at the San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, California 92101.

Information for the press is available online in the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 Media Center. Browse the scientific program here.

Included in this advisory:

  1. Press events and potentially newsworthy presentations
  2. Press registration and badge pickup
  3. Press room and quiet room information
  4. Plenary and award lectures
  5. Press tours: Labs, aquarium, and whale watching
  6. Ocean Sciences Meeting app

1. Press events and potentially newsworthy presentations

Press events

The AGU press office has planned several media roundtables to help reporters cover new developments in ocean science research. Roundtables provide reporters with background information about an upcoming project or ongoing area of research rather than present breaking news. Roundtables are designed to feel like a comfortable chat around the table, encouraging reporters to ask questions at any time. Media roundtables are for onsite press only; they will not be live streamed or recorded.

A list of Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 media roundtables is below. Descriptions of these events are available online in the Press events tab in the Ocean Sciences Meeting Media Center and available for download here.

The following schedule is subject to change before or during the Ocean Sciences Meeting. Updates, changes and additions to the schedule will be posted to the Ocean Sciences Meeting Media Center.

All media roundtables are 45 minutes long and take place in the press room, room 16B on the mezzanine level of the San Diego Convention Center. All times listed are Pacific Standard Time.

Who were the first Americans – and how did they get here?
Monday, 17 February, 10 a.m.

For decades, many archaeologists thought humans first migrated to North America around 13,500 years ago, traveling across a land bridge between Alaska and Russia. Researchers suspected these early migrants hunted big game in the continent’s interior and only adapted to coastal life once the major megafauna went extinct. But recent research suggests humans came to America as early as 20,000 years ago, possibly traveling the Pacific Rim by boat. If the first Americans did inhabit the coast, a vast archaeological record would have been drowned when sea levels rose at the end of the last ice age. In this roundtable, experts will discuss current theories on how the first Americans arrived and describe the latest research to map and sample submerged areas of the Pacific Coast. Researchers hope to better understand the drowned landscapes of the continental shelf and potentially identify prehistoric archeological sites hidden beneath the waves.

Todd Braje, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, United States;
Shannon Klotsko, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina, United States;
Jillian Maloney, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, United States;
Donna Schroeder, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Camarillo, California, United States.

Related sessions:
SI14A: Reconstruction of Drowned Paleolandscapes and Potential Uses for Underwater Archaeology Posters

Oceanography in space
Tuesday, 18 February, 9:00 a.m.

The discovery of oceans beneath the ice cover of moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn has raised the possibility that life found near Earth’s hydrothermal vents could be an analog for places in the solar system where life may have arisen in addition to, and perhaps independent of, life on Earth. This roundtable will explore new research originating from within the ocean science community that will help inform future space expeditions to ocean worlds in the outer solar system, beginning with NASA’s Europa Clipper mission scheduled for launch early in this new decade.

Kevin Arrigo, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States;
Donna Blackman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, United States;
Chris German, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, United States;
Krista Soderlund, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, United States.

Related sessions:
MG24A: Oceanography Beyond Earth: A Frontier in Ocean Sciences II Posters

Understanding, predicting, and mitigating harmful algal blooms
Thursday, 20 February, 10:00 a.m.

Harmful algal blooms occur when freshwater or marine algae produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds. They cause significant economic and environmental damage to coastal communities around the world and can produce toxins that can threaten human health when they accumulate in seafood. This roundtable will discuss the state of scientific understanding of harmful algal blooms and the trans-disciplinary approaches being taken to improve understanding of these events. Panelists will discuss the ability of harmful algal blooms to cross freshwater-marine boundaries, the latest successes and setbacks at prediction and mitigation, and how climate change – including rising temperatures and increasing frequency and magnitudes of extreme weather events – can promote harmful algal blooms.

Andrew Allen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the J. Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla, California, United States;
Clarissa Anderson, Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, United States;
Raphael Kudela, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States.

Related sessions:
CP24G: Transdisciplinary Research and Education in Coastal Systems Posters
CP34B: Human Populations and Influences in the Coastal Zone: Effects on Ocean and Human Health (OHH) V Posters

Seafood sustainability: Take action with what you eat
Thursday, 20 February, 4:30 p.m.

Many fisheries are under intense pressures created by environmental change and consumers’ appetites for favored commercial species. A San Diego collective of scientists and seafood purveyors argue we can eat our way out of the problem by developing markets for under-loved species and under-valued cuts of fish, reducing waste across the seafood supply chain. In this roundtable, a biologist, ecologist, economist, fisherman and chef will discuss thinking beyond the fillet to diversify the cuts of fish as well as the catch. Samples will be served at a town hall session following the roundtable discussion.

Heidi Dewar, fisheries biologist, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, San Diego, California, United States;
Kelly Fukushima, fisherman, F/V Three Boys; San Diego, California, United States;
Sarah Mesnick, ecologist, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, San Diego, California, United States;
Christina Ng, chef and owner, Chinita’s Pies, San Diego, California, United States;
Stephen Stohs, economist, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, San Diego, California, United States.

Related sessions
TH45F: Culinary conservation: Saving the ocean – and increasing the value of local fisheries – by promoting full utilization across the seafood supply chain

Press releases and tip sheets

The AGU press office plans to issue press releases about newsworthy research being presented at the meeting. In addition, our media tip sheet provides a list of potentially newsworthy research presentations selected by the AGU press office. A list of California-specific presentations can be found here.

Reporters can access Ocean Sciences Meeting press releases, tip sheets, and other materials from AGU and other institutions in the Ocean Sciences Meeting Media Center.

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2. Press registration and badge pickup

Press registration

Online press registration for the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 will remain open throughout the meeting to expedite the registration and badge pick-up process. We encourage all press registrants to register online. For press registration eligibility requirements and required credentials, please read the details in the cover an AGU meeting page.

Pre-approved press registrants should print and bring their confirmation letter with them to the meeting. Badge pick-up will be available in the main registration area, in the lobby of Hall D on the first floor of the San Diego Convention Center.

Eligible members of the press may also register on-site at the meeting. To register on-site, please proceed to the main registration area, in the lobby of Hall D on the first floor of the San Diego Convention Center. On-site press registrants will need to provide the required credentials listed in the cover an AGU meeting page. All times listed are Pacific Standard Time.

On-site registration and badge pick-up times:

Sunday, 16 February: 2:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Monday, 17 February and Tuesday, 18 February: 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 19 February and Thursday, 20 February: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday, 21 February: 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Check the Who’s Coming list of journalists and press officers who have registered for the meeting. This list is updated regularly.

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

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3. Press room and quiet room information

Press room

The Ocean Sciences Press Office will provide a press room with workspace for press registrants, including a computer, printer, Wi-Fi, and room for working and networking with colleagues.

The press room is room 16B on the mezzanine level of the San Diego Convention Center. All press events will take place in the press room.

The press room opens daily at 7:30 a.m. Monday, 17 February through Friday, 21 February. The press room closes daily at 6:30 p.m. except for Friday, 21 February, when it closes at 2:00 p.m. All times listed are Pacific Standard Time.

A continental breakfast and light refreshments will be provided in the press room for press registrants.

Quiet room

Press registrants can reserve a quiet room during the meeting to conduct interviews. Please sign up to reserve this room using this online form. Reservations are given in 30-minute increments for up to one hour at a time, and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Public information officers can disseminate hard copies of press releases and other materials to reporters in the press room. We recommend bringing around 20 copies of printed materials. Email your materials to [email protected] to make digital copies available to the press in the Ocean Sciences Meeting Media Center. Printed materials remaining in the press room on Friday, 21 February at 1:00 p.m. will be collected and recycled.

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4. Plenary and award lectures

The Ocean Sciences Meeting will host several plenary and award lectures throughout the meeting. Plenary lectures will take place in room 6A-F on the upper level of the San Diego Convention Center. All times listed are Pacific Standard Time. These lectures include:

  • Nainoa Thompson will deliver the opening plenary on Sunday, 16 February from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Thompson is the first Native Hawaiian in 600 years to practice the ancient Polynesian art of navigation: long-distance open-ocean voyaging on a traditional double-hulled canoe without the aid of modern instruments. His work has led to a renewed understanding and revival of traditional voyaging arts lost for centuries due to the disappearance of such travel methods and the colonization and Westernization of the Polynesian archipelagoes.
  • Heidi Sosik and Erik van Sebille will deliver the science plenaries on Tuesday, 18 February from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Heidi Sosik is a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and currently holds the Stanley W. Watson Chair for Excellence in Oceanography. Erik van Sebille is a physical oceanographer at Utrecht University.
  • AGU, ASLO and TOS will present their society award plenaries on Wednesday, 19 February from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Presentations include the AGU Sverdrup Lecture, the TOS Award Lecture, and the ASLO A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement and Raymond L. Lindeman Awards.
  • Margaret Leinen will deliver the closing plenary on Friday, 21 February from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Leinen is an award-winning oceanographer and an accomplished executive with extensive national and international experience in ocean science, global climate and environmental issues, federal research administration, and nonprofit startups.

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5. Press tours: Labs, aquarium, and whale watching

Scripps Institution of Oceanography has organized three events for press registrants:

  • Lab and collections tour: Scripps will hold a media tour of their Argo Lab, Scripps Collection and Ellen Browning Scripps Pier 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, 19 February. You can find more information and register for the tour here. AGU will provide transportation between the San Diego Convention Center and Scripps.
  • Aquarium tickets: The Birch Aquarium is offering two complimentary tickets for Ocean Sciences Meeting press registrants for the week of the meeting. Please email Beth Chee, director of marketing for the Birch Aquarium, at [email protected] for tickets.
  • Whale watching tours: Additionally, Birch Aquarium offers whale watching tours through Flagship Cruises, with Birch Aquarium experts on the cruises. During the Ocean Sciences Meeting, Flagship Cruises is offering a 40% discount for conference attendees. To receive the discount guests should enter the code BIRCH at checkout: https://www.flagshipsd.com/cruises/whale-watching-san-diego.

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6. Ocean Sciences Meeting App

The Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 mobile app is now available for download. Search for “AGU events” in your app store on iOS and Android. Use the mobile app to browse, search, and schedule sessions from the scientific program to your itinerary planner. Explore events and workshops, search the Exhibit Hall, and receive notifications on late-breaking meeting news and events.


Founded in 1919, AGU is a not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. We support 60,000 members, who reside in 135 countries, as well as our broader community, through high-quality scholarly publications, dynamic meetings, our dedication to science policy and science communications, and our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce, as well as many other innovative programs. AGU is home to the award-winning news publication Eos, the Thriving Earth Exchange, where scientists and community leaders work together to tackle local issues, and a headquarters building that represents Washington, D.C.’s first net zero energy commercial renovation. 

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