2014 Fall Meeting Press Conference Schedule
Please scroll down below the table to see the complete listing of press conferences, including participants’ names and relevant session numbers.
2014 Fall Meeting Press Conferences
NASA’s newest Mars orbiter, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft began its science phase in mid-November. As the first mission devoted to observing the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars, MAVEN is helping scientists determine how much of the atmosphere has been lost throughout the planet’s history and which processes have been driving that loss. A panel of MAVEN mission scientists will discuss new observations made by the spacecraft that are providing revealing information about the composition and behavior of the upper atmosphere of Mars.
Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN Principal Investigator, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, U.S.A.;
Jasper Halekas, SWIA Instrument Lead, University of Iowa, Iowa City, U.S.A.;
Paul Mahaffy, NGIMS Instrument Lead, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Jim McFadden, STATIC Instrument Lead, University of California at Berkeley, U.S.A.
Sessions: P42A, P43A
Lightning – the bright flashes that put the thunder in thunderstorm – is just one of several mysterious atmospheric phenomena perplexing scientists today. Only recently, scientists learned that thunderstorms sometimes emit bursts of X-ray and gamma-ray radiation. They are now looking at how lightning and these bursts of radiation might be related and what threat the radiation could pose to airliners.
Themistoklis Chronis, Research Associate, Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.A.;
Joseph Dwyer, Professor of Physics, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham , New Hampshire, U.S.A.;
Pavlo Kochkin, Research Scientist, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Just as unhealthy “bad air” days once plagued greater Los Angeles, severe air pollution spikes also degrade air quality in the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula and elsewhere in the Middle East. For the first time, scientists are taking stock of the problem. They’ve looked at the road to the Holy City of Mecca during the Hajj pilgrimage, which draws more than 3 million people into narrow, fume-filled tunnels. They’ve compared pollutants in Saudi cities to Lahore, Singapore and elsewhere. Learn what they’ve found and how officials are responding.
Isobel Simpson, atmospheric chemist, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California, USA;
Haider Khwaja, assistant professor of environmental health sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY and research scientist, New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center, Albany, NY, USA;
Ahzar Siddique, research scientist, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia;
Tao Wang, professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
Sessions: A13C, A13D, A23N
As Greenland’s climate warms, liquid water runoff has become the island’s dominant contributor to global sea level rise. A panel of cryospheric researchers will discuss recent surprising discoveries about Greenland’s melt water: thick ice lenses that contribute to heavy runoff and damaging floods; surface lakes that hold liquid water through Greenland’s frigid winters; and extensive year round near-surface aquifers that store huge amounts of water within the ice. The panel begins with 90-year-old photographs of Greenland glaciers and continues with unexpected findings from field and satellite work exploring the fates of Greenland and its ice melt.
Anders Bjork, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark;
Lora Koenig, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Richard Forster, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.;
Mike MacFerrin, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
Sessions: C12B, C21B, C51C
Scientists are finding new ways of using satellites to anticipate the spread of cholera, an acute water-borne infectious diarrheal disease. Changing climate is likely to have widespread impact on human health, particularly, in regions where population vulnerability intersects with climatic extremes. The research is providing new insights into seasonality patterns for cholera in endemic regions and a preview of where epidemic cholera is likely to emerge in the future.
Rita Colwell, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Antarpreet Jutla, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.A.;
Anwar Huq, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Ali Akanda, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, U.S.A.
Sessions: H14A, H23F, PA31B
New insights into boulder transport by major storms
Monday, 15 December
Scientists will present new observations of boulder transport in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan and new models that examine exactly how tropical storms and tsunamis can move huge boulders. A better understanding of the ways that hurricane storm surges and waves can move boulders can provide insights into the strength of historical storms and help coastal communities prepare for storms in the future.
Max Engel, Research Assistant, Institute of Geography, Universität zu Köln, Cologne, Germany;
Andrew Kennedy, Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, U.S.A.;
Robert Weiss, Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A.
Session: OS23C, NH21B, NH21A
An innovative remotely operated vehicle is giving scientists their first detailed look beneath multi‐year Arctic ice, yielding some unexpected results from this previously under-studied and inaccessible area of the planet. Researchers will present findings from initial scientific dives in July 2014 of the new Nereid Under Ice vehicle, during which scientists could view in real time what the vehicle was seeing as it explored, mapped, and gathered data beneath unperturbed sea-ice.
Antje Boetius, Chief Scientist, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Germany;
Christopher German, Project Co-Principal Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, U.S.A.;
Michael Jakuba, Lead Project Engineer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Sessions: B23G, B24A, C31D
California’s multi-year drought is stressing freshwater availability to its limits and has cost Californians $2 billion in 2014 alone. But when did the current drought begin and when can we say it’s over? Harnessing the power of remote observations, researchers can now answer those questions. Speakers will discuss how they are using the latest satellite and aircraft-based analyses of snowpack, surface water, reservoir storage, soil moisture, groundwater and freshwater to identify the birth and death of California’s droughts.
Jay Famiglietti, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UC Irvine, California, U.S.A.;
Tom Painter, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California, U.S.A.;
Matt Rodell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Dan Cayan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, California, U.S.A.; US Geological Survey, California, U.S.A
NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover, more than two years after landing inside Gale Crater, is continuing its investigations in an extended mission of the Mars Science Laboratory Project. Members of the Curiosity science team will present findings about present and past Martian environmental conditions, as indicated by compositional measurements of atmosphere and rock.
Chris Webster, NASA Curiosity Science Team Co-Investigator, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Sushil Atreya, NASA Curiosity Science Team Co-investigator, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A.;
Roger Summons, NASA Curiosity Participating Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, U.S.A.;
John Grotzinger, NASA Curiosity Project Scientist, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, U.S.A.
Sessions: P42C, P43D
On August 24, 2014 a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck south of Napa, California. Damage estimates for the quake, the subject of late-breaking scientific sessions at this meeting and the largest in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1989, could reach $1 billion. Researchers will discuss unusual movements associated with the quake and their surface manifestations and effects, for instance on building construction. This earthquake was recorded by much more dense and modern network of geophysical sensors compared to previous events.
Julien Cohen-Weaber, PhD candidate in Geotechnical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.;
Ken Hudnut, Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Sessions: S31G, S44D, S33F
Ten years after the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami killed over 230,000 people who had little or no warning of the danger, scientists will describe advances in real-time inundation forecasting and hazard mapping to increase tsunami resilience, the next generation of tsunami sensors designed to provide faster warnings, and lessons that can be learned from the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Japanese tsunamis.
Vasily Titov, Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Tsunami Research at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.;
Eddie Bernard, Scientist Emeritus, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.;
Kenji Satake, professor, University of Tokyo, Earthquake Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan;
Charitha B. Pattiarachi, Professor of Coastal Oceanography, University of Western Australia, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, Crawley, Australia.
Sessions: S13E, S14A
It’s not just the days that are merry and bright this holiday season – festive lights illuminate the nights in cities across the United States. In this briefing, scientists will present a new way of studying satellite data that uses patterns in holiday lights, both during Christmas and the Holy Month of Ramadan, to provide new insights into how energy consumption behaviors vary across different cultural settings.
Miguel Roman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Eleanor Stokes, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission rendezvoused with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on August 6. On November 12, the mission’s Philae lander became the first spacecraft to soft land on a comet’s surface. The Rosetta science team will present images and science results from the mission to date, and discuss future goals for the mission, as the spacecraft and comet approach perihelion (closest point to the sun).
Matt Taylor: Rosetta Project Scientist, European Space Research and Technology Center, Noordwijk, the Netherlands;
Claudia Alexander: US Rosetta Project Scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Kathrin Altwegg: ROSINA Principal Investigator, Center of Space and Habitability., University of Bern, Switzerland;
Jean-Pierre Bibring: Lead Lander Scientist, Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay, France.
Sessions: P32B, P33D, P33F, P34B, P41C
The Arctic is warming three times faster than lower latitudes, setting off changes that affect not only the fragile region, its people, wildlife and environment, but also have broader ramifications beyond the Arctic for global security, trade, industry, weather, climate and sea level. Learn the latest observations on air and sea temperatures, snow, sea ice, the Greenland ice sheet, vegetation and wildlife. This year’s report also includes a special update on a signature animal species.
Craig McLean, NOAA’s acting assistant administrator of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Martin Jeffries, Arctic Science Advisor and Program Officer for Arctic and Global Prediction, Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A.;
Jacqueline A. Richter-Menge, Senior Research Engineer, of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S.A.;
Geoff York, Senior Director of Conservation, Polar Bears International, Bozeman, Montana, U.S.A.
Sessions: A31M, GC33F, B41E, C51C, OS51C, OS54A
The retreat of summer sea ice in the Arctic is driving increased absorption of solar radiation due to the conversion of bright, reflective sea ice into dark, exposed ocean waters. Now, armed with 15 years of satellite observations from NASA’s CERES mission, scientists will present a new estimate of just how much the rate of solar energy gain has increased over the Arctic Ocean since 2000. They will also discuss the implications of this trend for sea ice, the Arctic climate and beyond.
Norman Loeb, NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, U.S.A.;
Jennifer Kay, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.,
Walt Meier, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.
This spring, 130 million cubic meters of water was released from Morelos Dam on the lower Colorado River, allowing water to reach the Gulf of California for the first time in 16 years. Now, six months later, scientists have analyzed some of the first effects of this historic experiment, the result of a new U.S.-Mexico agreement. In this panel, researchers will present satellite and on-the-ground observations of the wide-ranging effects of this brief flow of water, including recovery of native trees and vegetation in the river’s corridor, recharge of the aquifer, the water’s path, and the public’s reaction to this event.
Karl Flessa, Professor of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.;
Pamela Nagler, Research Scientist, USGS Southwest Biological Science Center, Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A;
Jeff Kennedy, Hydrologist, USGS Arizona Water Science Center, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.;
Sessions: H43Q, H41B, NS41A
Rain-on-snow floods – deluges caused when rain melts snow – are becoming more frequent and are spreading into regions where they were once rare as the climate warms and weather becomes more extreme. These events can be catastrophic: major floods in the Canadian Rockies in 2013 resulted in the most expensive natural disaster in the country’s history. Rain-on-snow events are also contributing to the melting of mountain snowpacks, sources of water for many areas that are declining dramatically as temperatures rise. A panel of experts will present new findings about how climate change is affecting rain-on-snow floods and contributing to the collapse of mountain snowpacks.
John Pomeroy, Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change and Director, Centre for Hydrology, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, Canada;
Stacey Dumanski, M.Sc. Candidate, Centre for Hydrology, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, Canada;
Nic Wayand, PhD Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, U.S.A.;
Danny Marks, Research Hydrologist, USDA Agriculture Research Service, Idaho, U.S.A.
Sessions: C41D, C43E, C31E
Ground-based measurements can’t identify the sources emitting carbon dioxide or the sinks absorbing this compound, the most significant of the greenhouse gases. A new satellite mission launched this year and dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, is now collecting more than 100,000 measurements of the gas each day, making it possible to see sources and sinks. Speakers will discuss regional and global carbon dioxide results from OCO -2.
Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 Deputy Project Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Chris O’Dell, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Paul Wennberg, R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Science and Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Christian Frankenberg, Research Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Sessions: A41G, A41H, A41I, A51P, A52E, A53R
Starting in January there will be a new field campaign underway to understand California’s rain and snow fall. CalWater-2/ACAPEX is a high level multi-platform field campaign involving multiple research agencies. This panel will describe how ground-based, multiple aircraft, and ship-based measurements will help provide a better understanding of how California gets its rain and snow, how human activities are influencing precipitation, and how its droughts and floods can best be forecast and managed. The new campaign follows the 2009-2011 CalWater field campaign.
Marty Ralph, Director, Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, California, U.S.A.;
Kim Prather, Director, Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment, UC San Diego, California, U.S.A.;
Ruby Leung, Laboratory Fellow, Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, U.S.A.;
Ryan Spackman, Program Manager, Science and Technology Corporation / NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
Sessions: A34E, A33Q
After nine years and three billion miles in flight, it’s “mission on” for New Horizons. The historic encounter begins with long-distance observations of Pluto in January 2015, and culminates with a flight past Pluto and its moons in July 2015. In this workshop, New Horizons team members will cover why we’re traveling to Pluto, what we want to learn, how we’re going to collect this new information, and efforts to bring the excitement of this incredible voyage to the public. A preview of a new film about the mission followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and AGU member scientists interviewed for the film will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday Dec. 18 in Moscone North Room 130-131.
Alan Stern, New Horizons Principal Investigator, Southwest Research Institute, Colorado, U.S.A.;
William McKinnon, New Horizons Co-Investigator, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.;
Mark Holdridge, New Horizons Encounter Mission Manager, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Cathy Olkin, New Horizons Deputy Project Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Colorado, U.S.A.
Sessions: P31E, P33B
Secretary Jewell will be available to answer questions from the credential members of the media during this half-hour media availability. Her press appearance follows the Union Agency Lecture that she will deliver in the Gateway Ballroom in the Moscone South building from 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. For a bio of Secretary Jewell, please click here.
Related to sea level rise, “nuisance flooding” has increased on all three U.S. coasts since the 1960s, causing public inconveniences such as frequent road closures, overwhelmed storm drains, and compromised infrastructure. Panelists will present new research looking forward into the coming century that revises the outlook for future nuisance flooding risk. They will also discuss how those findings are already impacting future planning.
William Sweet, oceanographer, NOAA’s National Ocean Service’s Center for Operations Oceanographic Products and Services, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A;
Jayantha Obeysekera, South Florida Water Management, West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.