2015 Fall Meeting Press Events Schedule

The AGU Public Information Office has planned more than 20 press events to help reporters cover new developments in the Earth and space sciences. There will be three formats for press events at the Fall Meeting:

  1. Press Conferences – A small panel of speakers will share newsworthy findings being presented at the meeting.
  2. Workshops – Experts will provide comprehensive information and answer reporters’ questions about an upcoming project or mission, or an ongoing area of research, rather than present breaking news.
  3. Media Availabilities – A prominent person(s) in the Earth and space sciences will be available to reporters.

A complete list of 2015 Fall Meeting press events is below. Events listed are press conferences unless otherwise specified. Click on the title of an event or scroll down below the table for more information, including short descriptions, participants and associated scientific sessions.

The following schedule of events is subject to change before or during the Fall Meeting. Press events may be added or dropped, their titles and emphases may change and participants may change. Updates, changes and additions to the press events schedule will be posted in the Press Conference tab in the Media Center.

All press events will take place in the Press Conference Room (Room 3000, Moscone West, Level 3). Times are listed in Pacific Standard Time. All press events will be streamed live over the web. Click on the “Webstreaming” tab in the Media Center for further information.

Press conferences will be archived on the AGU YouTube channel.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday
8:00 - 9:00 AM:
Global impacts of the 2015-16 El Niño
8:00 - 9:00 AM:
Tracking ice: The latest efforts to measure polar ice sheets (Media Availability)
8:00 - 9:00 AM:
Fluctuations within the lunar dust cloud: Results from NASA’s LADEE mission
9:00 - 10:00 AM:
EPIC first results from NASA's DSCOVR satellite
9:00 - 10:00 AM:
Arctic Report Card 2015
9:00 - 10:00 AM:
Future Himalayan seismic hazards: Insights from earthquakes in Nepal
9:00 - 10:00 AM:
Ecosystem impacts of record ocean warming in the North Pacific
10:30 - 11:30 AM:
Global air quality: The impacts of people and cities
10:30 - 11:30 AM:
New science of fog
10:30 - 11:30 AM:
Latest findings from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover mission
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM:
Methane from hydraulic fracturing: Where does it come from?
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM:
Accidental geoengineering?
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM:
Field to faucet: Agriculture and algal blooms
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM:
Why all rainbows don’t look alike
1:45 - 2:30 PM:
XPRIZE announcement
1:45 - 2:30 PM:
France Córdova (Media Availability)
1:30 - 2:30 PM:
Changing lake temperatures on six continents
***CANCELLED***
3:00 - 3:45 PM:
Preliminary results from Cassini's Enceladus plume dive
2:30 - 3:30 PM:
Alaska’s thawing permafrost: Latest results and future projections
2:30 - 3:30 PM:
Discoveries from real-time tracking of an underwater eruption
4:00 - 5:00 PM:
Plunging below the ionosphere
4:00 - 5:00 PM:
The Carbon Mineral Challenge: A worldwide hunt for new carbon minerals (Workshop)
4:00 - 5:00 PM:
NASA’s MMS mission: Understanding our space environment (Workshop)
5:00 - 6:00 PM:
The impacts of heat stress on densely-populated regions in the 21st century
5:00 - 6:00 PM:
AWARE: The most comprehensive meteorological study of Antarctica ever undertaken (Workshop)

EPIC first results from the DSCOVR satellite: An unprecedented view of sunlit Earth
Monday, 14 December
9:00 a.m.

The Earth-facing camera on NOAA’s new Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) takes daily images of the sunlit side of our planet from the satellite’s unique vantage point between Earth and the sun. At this briefing, researchers will present the first scientific results from these images captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), and will discuss how the instrument provides a new view from a million miles away of cloud cover, dust transport, vegetation and more.

Participants:
Robert Smith, DSCOVR Deputy Project Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Alexander Marshak, DSCOVR Deputy Project Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Jay Herman, Research Scientist, University of Maryland Baltimore County and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Steven Lorentz, NISTAR instrument lead investigator, L-1 Standards and Technology, Inc., New Windsor, Maryland, U.S.A.

Sessions: A21I, A41L


Global air quality: The impacts of people and cities
Monday, 14 December
10:30 a.m.

Air pollution’s rise and fall is a hallmark of industrialization, economic activity, and even civil unrest – and it can have far reaching effects on human health and the environment. Now, NASA has produced the first high-resolution global map of air quality. In this briefing, scientists will discuss the evolving human impact on air pollutants from 2005 to 2014.

Participants:
Bryan Duncan, Atmospheric Scientist and Deputy Project Scientist for the Aura mission, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Anne Thompson, Chief Scientist for Atmospheric Chemistry, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Russ Dickerson, Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.

Sessions: A23N


Methane from hydraulic fracturing: Where does it come from?
Monday, 14 December
11:30 a.m.

Scientists have known that bacteria thrive inside hydraulic fracturing wells but where these bacteria originate has remained a mystery. Using genomic analysis, isotopic tracers, laboratory cultures, and computer models, researchers have now uncovered the origin of these bacteria and their habitat. The panelists will describe their new findings about these microbes and how these bacteria could affect methane production deep underground.

Participants:
Kelly Wrighton, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Biophysics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.;
David Cole, Professor of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A., and Interim Director, OSU Subsurface Energy Resources Center, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.;
Thomas Darrah, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.;
Michael Wilkins, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences and Microbiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.

Session: B13K


XPRIZE announcement
Monday, 14 December
1:45 p.m.

XPRIZE is a non-profit organization that designs and launches large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Best known for the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight and the $10 million Progressive Automotive XPRIZE for 100 mile-per-gallon equivalent cars, XPRIZE is now launching prizes in Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, Learning, and Global Development. During a special session Monday, December 14 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of XPRIZE, as well as several XPRIZE leaders and sponsors, will announce a new XPRIZE competition. The special session will take place in Moscone North, Hall E. A press conference about the announcement will be held following the session in the press conference room.

Participants:
Peter Diamandis, XPRIZE Chairman and CEO, Culver City, California, U.S.A.;
Jyotika Virmani, XPRIZE Prize Lead and Senior Director; Culver City, California, U.S.A.;
Paul Bunje, XPRIZE Principal and Senior Scientist; Culver City, California, U.S.A.;
David Schewitz, Shell Vice President of Geophysics for the Americas, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.;
Richard Spinrad, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chief Scientist, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Session: U13B


***NOTE: THIS PRESS CONFERENCE HAS BEEN CANCELLED.***
Preliminary results from Cassini’s Enceladus plume dive
Monday, 14 December
3:00 p.m.

Scientists from NASA’s Cassini mission will present preliminary findings from the spacecraft’s October 28, 2015 close flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Cassini’s observations have implications for the habitability of Enceladus, which has a global subsurface ocean.

Participants:
John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator, NASA Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington D.C., U.S.A.;
Hunter Waite, Cassini mission Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer lead, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.;
Sascha Kempf, Cassini mission Cosmic Dust Analyzer co-investigator, University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Linda Spilker, Cassini mission project scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.

Sessions: P11D, P13A
******************************************************************************


Plunging below the ionosphere
Monday, 14 December
4:00 PM

A US Air Force satellite dedicated to the study of our space environment has had the ultimate swan song. During its last six months, as its orbit decayed and it circled toward re-entry into our atmosphere, the US Air Force’s Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite captured the first-ever set of comprehensive observations about the low-Earth orbit through which it was traveling – the very space environment that can directly cause premature orbital decay. The new observations reveal that the near-earth space environment behaves in unexpected ways – information that will not only advance our fundamental knowledge of this region, but also protect our technology in space, and help us predict when and where satellites will re-enter our atmosphere.

Participants:
Cassandra Fesen, Principal Investigator, C/NOFS, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.;
Rod Heelis, Principal Investigator, CINDI, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.;
Rob Pfaff, Project Scientist, CINDI, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.

Session: SA21A


The impacts of heat stress on densely-populated regions in the 21st century
Monday, 14 December
5:00 p.m.

Globally, heat kills more people than any other weather-related event. With temperatures and humidity expected to increase in the coming decades, heat stress is projected to have increasingly severe impacts on many regions of the world. Here, researchers estimate the global exposure to fatal heat stress throughout the 21st century and its effects on human health, infrastructure, power generation, and economic performance.

Participants:
Ethan Coffel, PhD candidate, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University, New York, New York, U.S.A;
Radley Horton, Associate Research Scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University, New York, New York, U.S.A.;
Noah Diffenbaugh,
Associate Professor, Stanford University, and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford, California, U.S.A.

Sessions: GC11A


Global impacts of the 2015-16 El Niño
Tuesday, 15 December
8:00 a.m.

The unfolding 2015-16 El Niño event is already the strongest the world has seen since 1997-98, and people all over the world are feeling or are expected to feel its impact in a variety of ways. Scientists from NASA and NOAA will present findings on El Niño’s global reach as seen from the vantage point of NASA’s Earth observing satellites. Topics to be covered include the destructive fire season in Indonesia and other regions, changes in the natural variation of tropospheric ozone, the impacts of El Niños on atmospheric river events, and whether the current El Niño will bring much-needed drought relief to California and the American West.

Participants:
Jim Randerson, Earth System Scientist, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California, U.S.A.;
Mark Olsen, Research Scientist, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Duane Waliser, Chief Scientist, Earth Science and Technology Directorate, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Martin Hoerling, Research Meteorologist, NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.

Session: A31J, B52B, A53F


Arctic Report Card 2015
Tuesday, 15 December
9:00 a.m.

The Arctic is on the front lines of global climate change, warming more than twice as fast as lower latitudes. Now in its 10th year, the Arctic Report Card provides the latest Arctic observations from an international team of more than 70 scientists in 10 countries about changes in Arctic air and sea temperatures, snow, sea ice, vegetation, and the Greenland ice sheet. This year’s report will also include updates on fish and walrus populations, Arctic river discharge and community-based monitoring.

Participants:
Richard Spinrad, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chief Scientist, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.;
Martin Jeffries, Arctic Science Advisor and Program Officer for Arctic and Global Prediction, U.S. Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A.;
Jacqueline A. Richter-Menge, Research Civil Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S.A.;
Kit M. Kovacs, Biodiversity Research Program Leader, Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway.

Sessions: GC11G, GC13K, U21A


Accidental geoengineering?
Tuesday, 15 December
11:30 a.m.

Various parts of the world have “dimmed” and “brightened” at times, as measured by surface solar radiation records, and some of that is clearly related to pollution patterns. But new data suggest an additional mechanism is at work. That something is whitening global cloud-free skies and changing the way that solar radiation reaches Earth’s surface. A provocative new analysis, presented in this briefing, points to a likely cause—an unintentional geoengineering experiment.

Participants:
Charles Long, Senior Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Martin Wild, Professor, ETH (Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science), Zurich, Switzerland.

Session: A23K


France Córdova (Media Availability)
Tuesday, 15 December
1:45 p.m.

France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation, will address Fall Meeting attendees as the 2015 Union Agency Lecturer on Tuesday, December 15 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in Moscone North, Hall E. A media availability will be held immediately following the lecture in the press conference room, Moscone West 3000.

Participants:
France Córdova, Director, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia, USA.;
Roger Wakimoto, Assitant Director, Directorate for Geosciences, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Session: Union Agency Lecture


Alaska’s thawing permafrost: Latest results and future projections
Tuesday, 15 December
2:30 p.m.

Alaska’s permafrost is starting to thaw as the climate warms, and scientists project there will be even greater thawing of the frozen soils in the coming decades, releasing carbon into the atmosphere, and impacting ecological systems and infrastructure. A panel of permafrost experts will unveil new findings about permafrost degradation in Alaska, where permafrost covers 80 percent of the land, and new projections of future permafrost changes in the state and its national parks. They will also discuss the consequences of permafrost degradation in the region and the development of a permafrost forecast system.

Participants:
Vladimir Romanovsky, Professor of Geophysics, Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska, USA;
Santosh Panda, Research Associate, Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska, USA;
Kevin Schaefer, Research Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Session: B31D


Tracking ice: The latest efforts to measure the polar ice sheets (Media Availability)
Wednesday, 16 December
8:00 a.m.

The story of the current and future contribution of ice sheets to sea level rise has many facets and can be difficult to explain in full by individually focusing on the latest scientific results. In this briefing, representatives from NASA, the European Space Agency and an international effort that aims to provide reconciled estimates of ice sheet mass balance (IMBIE) will be available to the press. They will discuss what aspects of the loss or gain of polar land ice are settled, what challenges remain, and what the scientific community is doing to improve those estimates and how this affects predictions of sea level rise.

Participants:
Andrew Shepherd: Principal Scientific Advisor to ESA’s CryoSat satellite mission and IMBIE’s co-leader; Professor of Earth Observation at the University of Leeds, U.K.; and Director of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, London, U.K.;
Erik Ivins: Member of science team for NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and IMBIE’s co-leader; Senior Research Scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Sophie Nowicki: Member of IMBIE’s Executive Committee; ice sheet modeler with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Thorsten Markus: Project Scientist for NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2); Chief of the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.


Future Himalayan seismic hazards: Insights from earthquakes in Nepal 
Wednesday, 16 December
9:00 a.m.

The April 2015 Gorkha earthquake was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since 1934. However, the massive quake did not release all of the pent-up seismic energy in the region near Kathmandu, and more large earthquakes are expected in the future. Here, scientists will discuss unusual characteristics of the Gorkha quake and its induced geohazards, such as landslides and lake outbursts, as well as new evidence of large medieval earthquakes in Nepal. Results presented in this briefing will help scientists predict how future seismic events will alter the landscape of the Himalayas and affect residents of the region.

Participants:
Jeffrey Kargel, Senior Associate Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor, University of Arizona Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.;
Dan Shugar, Assistant Professor of Geoscience, University of Washington-Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A.;
Dalia Kirshbaum, Research Physical Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Oliver Korup, Professor of Geohazards, University of Potsdam Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Potsdam, Germany;
Eric Fielding, Principal Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.

Sessions: NH43D, GC21F


New science of fog
Wednesday, 16 December
10:30 a.m.

New research will be presented about fog along the U.S. Pacific Coast. The first is about trends and future changes in coastal fog due to global warming. Others dive into how compounds from the ocean are making their way onto land via fog.

Participants:
Clive Dorman, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, U.S.A.;
Kenneth Coale, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, California, U.S.A.;
Peter Weiss-Penzias, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.

Sessions: B11D, A33H


Field to faucet: Agriculture and algal blooms
Wednesday, 16 December
11:30 a.m.

As harmful algal blooms begin to happen with greater frequency, agencies are working to shape agricultural practices in ways that curtail blooms and preserve farms and fisheries. Here, new research will be presented on the effects of climate change on algae blooms in Lake Erie, which provides drinking water for 11 million people and supports a $1.7-billion tourism industry. Researchers will also discuss new tools in development to curb future blooms.

Participants:
Noel Aloysius, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.;
Hans W. Paerl, Kenan Professor, Marine and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Sessions: H33I


Changing lake temperatures on six continents
Wednesday, 16 December
1:30 p.m.

More than 60 scientists have contributed to the largest study yet of changing lake temperatures around the world. Speakers will discuss their findings, which have implications for freshwater supplies and ecosystems across the planet.

Participants:
Catherine O’Reilly, Associate Professor of Geology, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, U.S.A.;
Simon Hook, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Stephanie Hampton, Professor and Director, Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, U.S.A.


Discoveries from real-time tracking of an underwater eruption and the future of deep sea research
Wednesday, 16 December
2:30 p.m.

On April 24, 2015, scientists tracked in real time the onset and evolution of an underwater volcanic eruption on Axial Seamount, 320 kilometers (200 miles) off the coast of Oregon, using a newly installed network of cabled sensors that forms part of NSF’s Ocean Observatories Initiative. The scientists involved will discuss the progress of the eruption and the follow-up mapping and seafloor sampling, which together provide new insights into submarine volcano-hydrothermal systems. The ability to remotely monitor these hard-to reach extreme environments in real-time is allowing scientists to build ‘natural laboratories’ at the bottom of the sea.

Participants:
John Delaney, Professor of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.;
Scott Nooner, Associate Professor of Geology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S.A.;
William Wilcock, Professor of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.;
Julie Huber, Associate Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Sessions: OS41B, T51D, B11I, S44B, OS43A, S51D


The Carbon Mineral Challenge: A worldwide hunt for new carbon minerals (Workshop)
Wednesday, 16 December
4:00 p.m.

The Carbon Mineral Challenge: A Worldwide Hunt for New Carbon Minerals is a one-of-a-kind international challenge designed to engage the international mineralogical community—both serious amateur collectors and professional mineralogists—and to kickstart a targeted search for undiscovered carbon-bearing minerals. Today, mineralogists recognize 406 carbon minerals out of more than 5000 known mineral species on Earth. Since 2010, the International Mineralogical Association has reported the discovery of an average of about four new carbon minerals every year for the past five years. However, Deep Carbon Observatory researchers now estimate there are at least 145 more carbon minerals still awaiting discovery. Panelists will talk about how life and minerals have co-evolved on Earth; localities where collectors have found carbon minerals before; what these undiscovered carbon minerals might look like; why we care about finding them; and how amateur and professional mineral collectors can get involved in the Challenge.

Participants:
Robert Hazen, Senior Staff Scientist, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC, U.S.A.;
Daniel Hummer, Postdoctoral Scholar, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC, U.S.A.;
Barbara Lafuente, PhD Candidate, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Session: V51C


AWARE: The most comprehensive meteorological study of Antarctica ever undertaken (Workshop)
Wednesday, 16 December
5:00 p.m.

The ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) will provide much-needed data on the meteorology and cloud properties of West Antarctica, one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth. This is the first substantial atmospheric science field work that has taken place in the region since the International Geophysical Year in 1957, despite the strong significance of Antarctica in characterizing the climate change trends impacting society. A multi-institutional team of researchers led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has begun to deploy radar and lidar equipment at the first of two locations on and near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. These and other surface-based instruments will collect data on the cloud, aerosol, and meteorology in the region. Workshop participants will discuss the overall science goals of the campaign, the colossal challenge of conducting this research in such a remote, harsh place, the data that is starting to be collected, and the data that can be expected.

Participants:
Lynn Russell, Climate scientist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, U.S.A.;
Andy Vogelmann, Atmospheric Scientist, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, U.S.A.;
Jim Mather, ARM Climate Research Facility Technical Director, DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, Richland, Washington, U.S.A.

Sessions: A11D, A42D, A43C


Fluctuations within the lunar dust cloud: Results from NASA’s LADEE mission
Thursday, 17 December
8:00 a.m.

In this briefing, researchers from NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission will discuss their recent observations of the tenuous atmosphere surrounding the moon, called an exosphere. The scientists will explain how specific elements in the exosphere interact with the lunar surface, the sun’s rays and even passing asteroids. Insights about the moon’s exosphere will help scientists understand the evolution of many neighboring planets, moons and asteroids in our solar system, which have exospheres similar to the moon, and impact future exploration of these planetary bodies.

Participants:
Anthony Colaprete, Planetary atmospheric scientist and LADEE Ultraviolet-visible Spectrometer (UVS) Principal Investigator, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, U.S.A.;
Richard Elphic, LADEE Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, U.S.A.;
Menelaos Sarantos, Associate Research Scientist, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Thomas H. Morgan, Project Manager, NASA Planetary Data System, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.

Sessions: P53C


Ecosystem impacts of record ocean warming in the North Pacific
Thursday, 17 December
9:00 a.m.

A warm water anomaly in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, dubbed “the blob,” first appeared in 2014 and continued into 2015, with profound effects on ocean and coastal ecosystems, including an unprecedented bloom of toxic algae along the west coast of North America. In this briefing, panelists will discuss the latest findings on algal toxins in the marine food web, the unusual oceanographic conditions and their effects on fish and wildlife, and the potential for continued impacts in 2016.

Participants:
Raphael Kudela, Professor of Ocean Sciences, Ida Benson Lynn Professor of Ocean Health, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.;
Yi Chao, Principal Scientist, Remote Sensing Solutions, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Nate Mantua, Landscape Ecology Team Leader, Fisheries Ecology Division, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.

Sessions: OS51C


Latest findings from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover mission: One year at Mount Sharp
Thursday, 17 December
10:30 a.m.

Members of the science team for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover will describe recent findings from investigations on the lower slope of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons). Some rocks there are highly enriched in silica, in contrast to the rock compositions seen on the surrounding plains. Other sites on Mars, such as ground investigated by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, are also rich in silica. Researchers are looking at similarities and differences among silica-rich sites for understanding changes in ancient wet environments.

Participants:
Ashwin Vasavada, Project Scientist for Curiosity, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Liz Rampe, Curiosity Science Team Member, Aerodyne Industries at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.;
Albert Yen, Curiosity Science Team Member, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Jens Frydenvang, Curiosity Science Team Member, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, U.S.A., and University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sessions: P43B, P53F


Why all rainbows don’t look alike
Thursday, 17 December
11:30 a.m.

Throughout history, rainbows not only have enchanted poets and painters, but these vibrant aerial lightshows also have sparked researchers’ curiosity. In this briefing, the presenter will discuss a new way to characterize rainbows, a classification generated from hundreds of pictures of these colorful arches. The new system provides insights into why the hue and width of color bands vary among rainbows.

Participants:

Jean Ricard, Research Scientist, Center for the scientific study of optical atmospheric phenomena, National Centre for Meteorological Research, Météo-France, Toulouse, France.

Sessions: A53B


NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission: Understanding our space environment (Workshop)
Thursday, 17 December
4:00 p.m.

After 10 years of challenging development, the four identical spacecraft of the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission spacecraft launched in 2015. They are now flying in a tighter and tighter formation to reveal the microphysics of our space environment, including the dynamic phenomenon of “magnetic reconnection” in the magnetic fields surrounding Earth. MMS provides unprecedentedly-fast observations – at 30 images per second — showing the first-ever three-dimensional views of magnetic reconnection, in which magnetic fields come together and explosively release energy and send particles in all directions. MMS observations began with the spacecraft 160 kilometers (100 miles) apart and have progressed as they closed to just 10 kilometers (6 miles) apart. In preparation for a host of ground-breaking results expected in 2016, a panel of MMS team members will discuss early results from the mission, explain what happens when reconnection joins the sun’s magnetic field with the Earth’s, and why we need four ultrahigh resolution spacecraft flying in formation to learn how reconnection works.

Participants:
Jim Burch, Magnetospheric Multiscale Principal Investigator, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio TX, USA;
Michael Hesse, MMS Theory and Modeling Lead Co-Investigator, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt MD, USA;
Katherine Goodrich, Student Research Scientist, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO USA;
Ian Cohen, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD USA.

Sessions: SM41I, SM42A, SM43A, SM51A