Fall Meeting: Preliminary Press Conference Schedule

November 09, 1998

Bulletin! -- Fall Meeting Abstracts (1086 pages, four pounds) were mailed first class to the 50 earliest press registrants on November 9. No additional advance copies are available, but later registrants will receive their copies upon checking in at the Press Room in the Moscone Convention Center. If you were sent an advance copy, please take it to the meeting; we cannot provide duplicates.

We are organizing a series of press conferences and related events designed to help reporters gain maximum value from attendance at Fall Meeting. The following list shows events already scheduled and is offered with the understanding that dates and times, even topics, may change between now and December 6. We plan to issue an updated schedule in late November; the final schedule (always subject to change, of course) will be available in the Press Room in San Francisco.

The general format of press conferences will be the same as at Spring Meeting: an opening statement by one scientist, outlining what is news and providing some background. A panel will be on hand to help respond to media questions, but panelists will not each make formal statements. We hope to provide maximum time for journalists to put questions to the scientists.

To make the Press Room more user friendly, we will provide continental breakfast Sunday-Thursday and light lunches Sunday-Wednesday. Some press conferences will be held during the lunch hour, when panelists are not available at other times.

Press registration
Reminder: Working press and public information officers are encouraged to preregister for press credentials. Please consult our Media Advisory 1 of October 21, which includes the Press Registration Form, if you have not already done so. You may find it on the AGU web site: http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/prrl/prrl9833.html.



12:00 Noon: Press Excursion to Hayward Fault
(Limited to one busload: SOME PLACES STILL AVAILABLE! See Press Registration Form to sign up.) USGS geologist David Schwartz will provide an informative and lively look at several populated areas along the Hayward Fault, the one deemed most likely to produce California's next "big one." We will also visit the USGS facility in Menlo Park to see their earthquake monitoring operation. Followed by dinner at a good, reasonably priced restaurant. (Box lunch on bus provided by AGU; dinner is no-host.) This event will be held rain or shine.


8:00 AM: Breakfast Overview of Fall Meeting
Dr. Bob Duce of Texas A&M, Chair of the Fall Meeting Program Committee, is the person with the broadest and clearest view of the 7,000 oral and poster presentations, special sessions, and lectures that comprise the meeting. He will help you make the most effective use of your time by steering you toward the most interesting and newsworthy sessions.

10:00 AM: Long Range Transport of Pollutants
Prof. Dan Jaffe of the University of Washington, Bothell, will present the latest findings on the intercontinental exchange of pollutants between Asia and America and between America and Europe and Africa. Last year a poster session on this topic, based on modeling, produced significant media interest. This year's presentation is all new and is based on data from actual observations.

12:15 PM: Mars Global Surveyor
Dr. Arden Albee of Cal Tech will report on nearly 400 low altitude orbits of Mars' northern hemisphere since Spring Meeting, answering many questions and reopening some old ones. The polar ice cap has been mapped, but there is controversy over the cause of its shape: ice flow or sublimation-deposition. There is new infrared imagery of Phobos, showing both thick dust and large boulders.

3:00 PM: El Niño
The 1997-98 El Niño was the first in history that was closely observed from start to finish and from space, from the ocean, from the atmosphere, and from land, and we have learned a lot. Drs. Ants Leetmaa of NOAA and Anthony Busalacchi of NASA/Goddard are lining up a panel that will provide maximum information in one hour, concentrating on predictions of the 1997-98 El Niño and the future value of improved models, the impact of SeaWiFS measurements on our knowledge of this El Niño, and a survey of its worldwide impact.

5:00 PM: News Media: How They Work; How Scientists Can Work With Them
This is a 90 minute seminar for scientists, organized for AGU by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Journalists and PIO's are welcome to attend. Panelists Jerry Bishop, Charles Petit, David Perlman, and Paul Raeburn will discuss the hows and whys of effective media relations, covering such issues as press releases, interviews, press conferences, and embargoes.


8:30 AM: Activity in the Van Allen Belt: Forecasting space weather
The May 1998 solar magnetic storm, the largest space weather phenomenon of the current solar cycle, produced an additional temporary radiation belt and ionospheric electrical currents 300-400 percent greater than usual. It was also discovered that Van Allen Belts are natural particle accelerators, with implications for predicting space weather.

12:15 PM: Europa and Callisto as seen by Galileo
On the third anniversary of the Galileo spacecraft's arrival at Jupiter, we will hear the latest on the discovery that oceans may (repeat: may) exist beneath the surface of Callisto, one of Jupiter's moons. Dr. Torrence Johnson of JPL is organizing this press conference, assisted by Dr. Robert Pappalardo of Brown University. Newly arrived data and images of Callisto, Europa, and Jupiter will be discussed and distributed.

3:00 PM: Atmospheric impact of large fires
Scientists look beneath the smoke clouds of recent fires in Indonesia and Central America to analyze the pollution produced by these large-scale events. The May 1998 Central American fires, for example, boosted smog levels throughout the eastern United States. Results will also be presented on new capabilities to track active fires from satellites. The presenter is Dr. Sundar Christopher of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.


10:00 AM: Ionospheric mass ejection
The POLAR satellite has recently discovered that oxygen ions are ejected from Earth's upper atmosphere as a result of solar coronal mass ejections. Dr. Thomas Moore of NASA/Goddard will discuss the causes and consequences of this phenomenon, which will be the subject of a day long meeting session. NASA will provide press materials, including color illustrations, animation, and a video file in connection with the presentation.

12:15 PM: Natural Disasters and Public Policy
Highlighting the implications of geophysical research for public policy, this session focuses on the issue of natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc. New technology can assist policy makers and disaster relief workers if information is provided in a timely fashion and used effectively. Dr. Gregory van der Vink of the IRIS Consortium leads this press conference, based on an all day session organized by AGU's Committee on Public Affairs.

Evening (time to be provided later)
NCSWA program
The Northern California Science Writers Association (NCSWA) is hosting an event at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, to which media representatives and PIO's attending Fall Meeting are invited. NCSWA will provide the details later. A fee will be charged, which includes dinner.


10:00 AM: The Vostok Ice Core
The ice core produced by the Russian research team at Antarctica's Vostok Station contains a weather report for four complete climatic cycles. This press conference, led by Dr. Claude Lorius of the University of Grenoble, will cover major findings on such issues as temperature change, atmospheric composition, microorganisms in the ice, and correlation of this core's record with that of other Arctic and Antarctic cores, as well as land based records. The future of Russian science at Vostok will also be discussed.

American Geophysical Union

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