“Every December for the past 44 years, something very special has happened in the world of Earth and space science — AGU’s Fall Meeting — and 2011 was a very special year indeed.

For the first time in Fall Meeting history, attendance passed the 20,000 mark–22,167, to be exact. Attendees hailed from 94 countries and 29 percent of them were students. For five straight days, the City of San Francisco became the ‘City of AGU’. Clerks at area hotels wore ‘Welcome AGU’ buttons. Local restaurants and grocery stores Tweeted greetings to meeting attendees. For blocks around the Moscone Center, the sidewalks teemed with a sea of pedestrians wearing AGU badges. And inside the Moscone Center, the excitement was palpable.

As president of AGU, I felt privileged and honored to be a part of it all.”

Michael McPhaden, President, American Geophysical Union (from the 20 December 2011 President’s Message, “Fall Meeting 2011: One for the record books”)

AGU’s Fall Meeting is the world’s largest gathering of Earth and space scientists. In 2011, the meeting boasted more than 20,000 attendees, 12,000 poster presentations, and 6,000 oral presentations. In addition to the robust scientific program, the Fall Meeting offers a variety of different workshops, town halls, and social and networking events. From Section and Focus Group receptions to a Union-wide Fun Run, and from a lecture open to the public to Author and Editor Resource Centers, there was something for everyone!

During the 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU offered attendees such events as:

  • Workshops and Panels on topics including: communicating climate science, using video in science communication, communicating with Congress, navigating the NSF system, career advice, and resume writing and networking skills
  • An International Career Day
  • An Honors Ceremony and Reception/Honors Banquet
  • Exploration Station
  • A Public Lecture by Astronaut Andrew Feustel
  • First-time Attendee Orientation
  • The 2nd Annual Fun Run
  • AGU Gives Back (a volunteer opportunity where participants planted trees in Golden Gate Park)
  • An Ice Breaker Reception

AGU also introduced several new technologies in 2011 designed to improve the overall Fall Meeting experience. These included a mobile app, increased Video on Demand offerings, and an ePoster portal where authors could display electronic versions of their posters on the Fall Meeting Web site. More than 2,200 posters were uploaded!

The Fall Meeting generated copious news coverage, with more than 150 journalists in attendance and more than 30 bloggers actively covering the meeting, and talk of the Fall Meeting generated more than 8,000 tweets using the event hashtag — #AGU11.

For full-length videos of selected sessions, visit the Video On Demand page, and AGU’s YouTube channel, where you can see videos including the climate communications panel, communicating with Congress and educator workshops. Photos from the 2011 Fall Meeting are also available on AGU’s Flickr page.