AGU Fall Meeting: News media registration opens, book hotels now

July 24, 2009

1. Find out what's new (and important) in the Earth and space sciences

The American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting returns to the Moscone Convention Center, located at 747 Howard Street in San Francisco, California. The dates are Monday-Friday, 14-18 December 2009. Over 16,000 scientists from all over the world are expected to assemble for this premier meeting of the Earth and space sciences. The meeting will take place in the convention center's West and South buildings.

For journalists, Fall Meeting is an opportunity to learn about the latest research in fields as diverse as climate change, space weather, planetary exploration, volcanism and seismology, and Earth's magnetic field--just for starters. The preliminary program lists 601 sessions, which are described at http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/program/scientific_session_search.php (click on "Search" for full list of topics, including descriptions). Note: some of these proposed sessions may be dropped or modified, and others added, depending upon abstracts received by the 3 September deadline.

For public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions, Fall Meeting is an opportunity to present your research to more than 150 reporters, through press releases, participation by your scientists in press conferences, and of course, one-to-one contact with the media.

A link to our on-line News Media Registration Form for use by both reporters and PIOs is at the end of this message.

A full program of press conferences is in development and will be announced in later advisories. We are planning a field trip for News Media registrants on Sunday, 13 December. So, if you are coming from afar, plan to arrive on Saturday, 12 December. Details on the field trip and on how to register for it will be announced in future media advisories.

2. U.S. visa regulations for international reporters

All journalists who are not United States citizens or permanent residents need a visa to cover scientific meetings in the U.S. This applies equally to journalists from "Visa Waiver Program" countries (e.g., Western Europe), who do not normally need visas to enter the U.S. as tourists. This is not a new requirement, but it is now being enforced strictly.

The visa for journalists is an "I" visa, issued by the American Embassy or an American Consulate in your home country. If you are planning to cover Fall Meeting, please apply early for your "I" visa. The procedure is not complicated, but depending on the volume of total visa applications, it may take some time to be issued.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a fact sheet about visas for journalists on its Web site, which you are urged to consult: http://travel.state.gov/visa/tempvisitors_types_media.html

3. Book hotel rooms now for the best selection

With over 16,000 scientists and some 200 news media registrants expected at Fall Meeting, it makes sense to book your hotel room now at preferential rates. Cancellations are possible without penalties up to 72 hours prior to arrival. By booking now, you are more likely to get your preferred location or rate, whichever is your top priority.

A wide range of hotel options are available with varying rates, levels of service, and locations. Limited, round-trip shuttle service from most hotels to Moscone Center West and South is provided. Shuttle schedules will be posted at hotels and Moscone Center.

Twenty-one hotels offer rooms at rates starting as low as $105 per day, plus tax. Hotel reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Special AGU room rates are subject to availability after the 12 November reservations deadline.

To see the list of available hotels, their rates and amenities, as well as a map (Blue circle with two black "Cs" is Moscone Convention Center West and South), and an online booking form, go to https://www.cmrhousing.com/AGU_4U/Welcome.aspx

4. News Media registration information

News Media registrants receive, at no charge, a badge that provides access to any of the scientific sessions of the meeting, as well as to the Press Room and Press Conference Room. The locations of these rooms have not yet been finalized. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

Eligibility for press registration is limited to the following persons: 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 are not accredited as News Media 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.

5. News Media Registration Form

The News Media Registration Form is set up for online submission only. Go to: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/newsmedia/registration.php

The last day for advance News Media registration, assuring that your badge will be waiting for you when you arrive, is Monday, 7 December 2009. You may also register onsite at Moscone Center.
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American Geophysical Union
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