3,500 Earth And Space Scientists To Report Latest Findings At Boston Meeting

May 07, 1998

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Some 3,500 scientists from around the world will report on and discuss their latest research results in fields ranging from the Earth's central core to the limits of the solar system at the May 26-29 Spring Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Boston. This will be AGU's first meeting in Boston and several of the scheduled sessions are of particular interest in the area, including those on earthquake hazards in the region, Boston Harbor's recovery experiment, and new approaches to dealing with polluted water sources on Cape Cod.

Some of the information to be presented will be so fresh that it has not yet been collected. This is true of the Mars Global Surveyor, for example, a satellite that has only recently begun its observations of that planet. The latest data will be presented in a public lecture, "Mars: Search for evidence of past climates," on Thursday, May 28, at 7:00 PM in the Hynes Convention Center. The program will also cover plans for the 2001 Mars rover mission, which will sample rocks for evidence of wet conditions and signs of ancient life. Attendees will have an opportunity to put questions to scientists who are leading the investigations.

Another special event is the first Rachel Carson Lecture, possibly the first science lecture series named for a woman. Its theme is cutting edge ocean science. The Rachel Carson Lecturer is Prof. Sallie W. Chisholm of MIT, who will discuss marine ecosystems on Tuesday, May 26, at 4:00 PM, in the Hynes Convention Center. Six other named lectures, covering a range of sciences will also be delivered and are limited to registered meeting participants.

The discussion of Boston's earthquake risks will be part of a series of presentations on earthquake hazards in eastern and central United States the afternoon of Wednesday, May 27.

On Friday afternoon, May 29, ocean scientists will discuss progress in the Boston Harbor cleanup experiment. One of the more unusual analytic approaches is that of Profs. R. Siegener and R. F. Chen of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, who have studied the significance of caffeine in the harbor (which is not thought to be related to any massive dumping of tea leaves).

A series of poster displays to be discussed Thursday afternoon, May 28, will address the issue of natural restoration of contaminated aquifers, using Cape Cod as one of the examples. Evidence will be presented that natural processes can be more effective than expensive cleanup efforts.

The Spring Meeting is jointly sponsored by AGU, the Mineralogical Society of America, the Geochemical Society, and the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society.

Note: All scientific sessions are open to registered news media representatives. In addition, a series of press conferences will be organized during which journalists can question scientists about their reports. These press-specific events will be detailed in a subsequent Media Advisory. Three previous advisories about the Spring Meeting may be accessed on the AGU Web site: http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/media.html. The one dated April 7 includes a Media Registration form, which may be printed and faxed to AGU. (The stated deadline, May 4, has passed, but it has been extended for one week until May 11.) Registration may also be done on-site.
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American Geophysical Union

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