2017 Fall Meeting Press Events Schedule
The AGU Public Information Office has planned more than 25 press events, including 17 press conferences, to help reporters cover new developments in the Earth and space sciences. There will be three formats for press events at the Fall Meeting:
- Press Conference – A small panel of speakers will share newsworthy findings being presented at the meeting.
- Workshop – 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.
- Media Availability – A prominent person(s) in the Earth and space sciences will be available to reporters.
A complete list of 2017 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.
All press events will take place in the Press Conference Room (Room 346-347) and are 45 minutes long. Times are listed in Central Standard Time.
All press events will be streamed live on the AGU press events webpage and archived on AGU’s YouTube channel. Click on the “Webstreaming” tab in the Media Center for further information. Slides and other materials will be available in the Virtual Press Room tab in the Media Center.
Please note: The following schedule of events is subject to change before or during Fall Meeting. Press events may be added or dropped and their titles, emphases 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.
A two-year old Tongan Island, expected to last only a few months, is the first island to erupt and persist in the modern satellite era, giving scientists an unprecedented view from space of its early life and evolution. The new analysis of its first 30 months from satellite observations now offers insight into how long it may last and the processes that govern new island formation on Earth. The discoveries may serve as an analogue to similar island-like features seen on Mars.
Jim Garvin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Dan Slayback, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Vicki Ferrini, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, U.S.A.
Rainfall-driven floods and sea level rise will likely significantly impact inland and coastal communities throughout the 21st century. In this panel, researchers will present new estimates of flood risk in the U.S. and will discuss how sea level rise could affect critical infrastructure systems. The panel will also discuss how climate change will influence extreme sea level rise globally, and how some towns and communities along U.S. rivers are relocating to mitigate the impact of climate-driven flooding.
Michelle Hummel, University of California, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.;
Oliver Wing, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom;
Michalis Vousdoukas, European Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra, Italy;
Nicholas Pinter, University of California – Davis, Davis, California, U.S.A.
While people across North America took in the Aug. 21 eclipse, hundreds of citizen, student, and professional scientists were collecting scientific data. They gathered data with telescopes on the ground, balloons launched to the stratosphere, jets chasing the Moon’s shadow and satellites far above Earth. In this panel, participants will share some of the initial results from a cross-section of these studies, in fields ranging from solar physics to Earth science to space biology.
Lika Guhathakurta, NASA Headquarters/NASA Ames Research Center, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.;
Amir Caspi, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Matt Penn, National Solar Observatory, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.;
Angela Des Jardins, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, U.S.A.;
Greg Earle, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A.;
Jay Herman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Maryland Baltimore County, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.
Veteran journalist Dan Rather will deliver the Presidential Forum Lecture on Monday, Dec. 11 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. A media availability with Mr. Rather will be held immediately following the lecture.
Dan Rather, News and Guts, New York, New York, U.S.A.
Session: Presidential Forum
NASA’s Juno mission began orbiting Jupiter on July 4 of last year. Since that time, the solar-powered spacecraft has performed eight science passes of the solar system’s biggest planetary body, representing a quarter of its planned primary mission. This media briefing will include Juno’s latest findings on its iconic Great Red Spot, radiation fields and atmospheric dynamics.
Scott Bolton, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
Heidi Becker, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Candice Hansen, Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.;
Andy Ingersoll, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Climate change is affecting ecosystems around the globe. In this briefing, researchers will present new findings detailing how different animal species are being affected by, and responding to, a changing climate. Results will describe how beavers are colonizing a new biome; how golden eagles are modifying their migratory behavior; how changing snow conditions are affecting Dall sheep populations; and how climate change is affecting the habitat of the Cape vulture, which inhabits one of Earth’s biodiversity hotspots.
Ken Tape, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A.;
Scott LaPoint, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, U.S.A.;
Darcy Gray, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.;
Laura Prugh, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
AGU President Eric Davidson and AGU Executive Director and CEO Chris McEntee will answer questions from reporters on the shifting landscape of science and policy in 2017, AGU’s new Ethics Policy that defines harassment as scientific misconduct, and AGU’s net zero building renovation project.
Eric Davidson, AGU President and Director and Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory, Frostburg, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Chris McEntee, AGU Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
A late-breaking panel discussion will address the challenges humanity faces with global climate change on Tuesday, Dec. 12. The discussion will aim to define conceptual frameworks and practical methodologies aimed at fostering and promoting the innovations needed to respond to the global challenge of climate change. A media availability with the panelists will be held the morning of the session.
Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.;
Richard Alley, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.;
Sarah Myhre, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.;
Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany.
The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, affecting people in the region, fish and wildlife they depend on for food, and their environment. This unprecedented change has ramifications far beyond the region for the global economy, weather, climate, sea level, trade and security. The 2017 Arctic Report Card brings together the work of more than 80 scientists from 12 nations to provide the latest information on Arctic environmental change, including air and sea surface temperature, sea ice, snow cover, the Greenland ice sheet, vegetation and the abundance of plankton at the base of the marine food chain. The peer-reviewed report led by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also include special reports on Eastern Bering Sea fisheries, one of the most valuable fisheries in the world, Arctic wildfire and the state of permafrost that supports Arctic communities.
RDML Tim Gallaudet, USN Ret., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.;
Jeremy Mathis, NOAA Arctic Research Program, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Stephani Zador, NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.;
Emily Osborne, NOAA Arctic Research Program, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Vladimir Romanovsky, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A.
In April and May of 2016, a scientific expedition drilled into the Chicxulub crater off the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, the spot of the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. In this briefing, expedition Co-Chief Scientists Joanna Morgan and Sean Gulick will be available to answer reporters’ questions about what scientists have discovered thus far from the drilling expedition and what they can expect to learn in the months to come. Joanna Morgan will also deliver the 2017 Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture, “Chicxulub: The End of an Era,” on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Joanna Morgan, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom;
Sean Gulick, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is speeding toward a New Year’s Day 2019 rendezvous with Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, which will be the farthest planetary encounter in history. This workshop will cover the scientific, operational and outreach elements of this amazing exploration – including the team’s initial recon on its flyby target, the dozens of observations of other Kuiper Belt Objects that no other spacecraft can provide, and how this multifaceted mission through the Kuiper Belt builds on the discovery and unprecedented excitement of New Horizons’ 2015 Pluto encounter.
Alan Stern, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Marc Buie, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Alice Bowman, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Anne Verbiscer, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.;
Hal Weaver, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, U.S.A.;
John Spencer, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
AGU is facilitating a special keynote panel around the wearestillin.com movement, a response to a U.S. governmental decision to depart from the Paris Climate Accord. A media availability with the panelists will be held immediately following the lecture.
The Honorable James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, Indiana, U.S.A.;
Sra. Tanya Müller García, Secretary of the Environment, Mexico City, Mexico.
Additional panelists TBA.
In 2018, NASA will launch the next generation of two satellite missions that will track changes in Earth’s ice with incredible precision, giving scientists more detailed information to measure ice melt, and forecast future changes and impacts such as sea level rise. In this workshop, scientists will preview the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) follow-on and ICESat-2 missions and their diverse science objectives, which also include studying changes to liquid water, the solid Earth and vegetation.
Thorsten Markus, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Felix Landerer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Helen Fricker, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.;
Don Chambers, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A.
While Ceres once appeared to have a single bright area when seen from a distance, NASA’s Dawn mission has taught us that Ceres has more than 300 patches of bright material scattered across its surface. In this briefing, speakers will discuss new research that surveys and categorizes these bright regions and explores why one crater in particular, Occator, hosts material so much brighter than the rest of Ceres. They will also take a closer look at how the intriguing dome feature at Occator formed.
Carol Raymond, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Nathan Stein, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Lynnae Quick, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Earth’s frozen places are changing dramatically due to climate change. In this briefing, new research about shrinking glaciers and ice sheets, and the hazards of melting permafrost and sea level rise, will be presented.
Sabine Baumann, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany;
Catherine Walker, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.;
Daniel Fortier, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;
Robert Kopp, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Female participation in the geosciences is low. In this workshop, panelists will discuss programs intended to recruit and retain more women and people of color in the geosciences and other STEM fields by engaging girls at the high school and undergraduate level. These programs give girls and women hands-on, real experience both in the field and in labs, make visible the normally invisible aspects of field science, and use interest in biology and art to open up interest in geoscience.
Laura Conner, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A.;
Joanna Young, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A.;
Gabriela Noriega, University of California – Irvine and Southern California Earthquake Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The search for life beyond Earth is riding a surge of creativity and innovation. Following a gold rush of exoplanet discovery over the past two decades, it is time to tackle the next step: determining which of the several thousand known exoplanets are proper candidates for life. In this panel, participants will share recent research dedicated to this task in fields spanning Earth science, astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science—demonstrating how a cross-disciplinary approach is essential to finding life on other worlds.
Giada Arney, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Katie Garcia-Sage, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Catholic University of America, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Stephen Kane, University of California – Riverside, Riverside, California, U.S.A.;
David Brain, University of Colorado – Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
Climate scientists are developing new methods for attributing weather extremes to both natural and human causes. During this press conference, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society will release its 6th annual special collection of this new attribution research—29 independent studies of extreme events including U.S. winter storms, European air pollution, Great Barrier Reef bleaching and South African flash droughts.
Stephanie C. Herring, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Martin P. Hoerling, NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Chris C. Funk, U.S. Geological Survey and University of California – Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.;
Andrew King, ARC Center of Excellence for Climate System Science, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia;
Jeff Rosenfeld, American Meteorological Society, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
The September 2017 Tehuantepec and Puebla earthquakes in Mexico
Wednesday, 13 December
The September 8th and 19th, 2017, Tehuantepec and Puebla earthquakes were some of the largest and most damaging earthquakes ever recorded in Mexico. The Mw 8.1 earthquake (Sept. 8) affected several million people and was widely felt across central and southern Mexico, while the Mw 7.1 event (Sept. 19) produced strong ground motions in big cities in central Mexico leading to numerous building collapses and large numbers of casualties. This panel will discuss the recent events, including new information related to Mexico’s early warning systems and linkages between the two earthquakes.
Ross Stein, Temblor, Inc., Redwood City, California, U.S.A.;
Xyoli Perez-Campos, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico;
Juan Manuel Espinosa Aranda, CIRES Center of Instrumentation and Seismic Record and SASMEX Mexican Seismic Alert System, Mexico City, Mexico.
Coastal Louisiana is losing land at a faster rate than anywhere in the U.S. Subsidence and reduced sediment loads from rivers are among the chief factors contributing to land loss. The causes range from natural to anthropogenic. In this briefing, scientists will present new and innovative approaches to measure and predict the global problem of subsidence, including new results from a subsidence superstation installed in the Mississippi River Delta that is the first of its kind to gather detailed data with unprecedented resolution.
Samuel Bentley, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.;
Torbjörn E. Törnqvist, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.;
Mead Allison, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.;
Cathleen E. Jones, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
The U.S. landfalling hurricanes of 2017 were observed, forecasted and are now being studied in ways never before possible. These two panels of researchers, participating in late-breaking scientific sessions on the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, will share new discoveries from the recent hurricanes, novel technologies in hurricane science and implications of their hurricane research.
Part 1 participants:
Kerry Emanuel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.;
Michael F. Wehner, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.;
John W. Nielsen-Gammon, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, U.S.A.;
Adrian A. Borsa, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.;
Karin van der Wiel, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, Netherlands.
Part 2 participants:
Craig McLean, acting NOAA chief scientist and head of NOAA Research, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.;
Amber Emory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.;
Antonio Busalacchi, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Shian-Jiann Lin, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, N.J., U.S.A.
A warming climate is expected to increase the number of wildfires in North America, which will lead to greater smoke exposure throughout the continent. In this briefing, researchers will detail the estimated financial and health consequences of increased smoke exposure, from effects on hospital admission rates to changes in air quality. These new insights could help U.S. policymakers better prepare for the impending costs of stronger wildfire seasons.
Katelyn O’Dell, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Jeffrey Pierce, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.;
Ebrahim Eslami, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.;
Manvendra Dubey, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, U.S.A.
Music is a powerful tool used to express emotion, identity and even geoscience. Seasons and weather patterns have inspired musicians for centuries, from 17th century orchestras to Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads. Music is also an innovative platform for sharing science across diverse audiences. In this briefing, researchers will present findings on how classical and popular music offers insight into past weather events and climates, and discuss how music can be used to describe and communicate glacial geoscience data in an engaging way.
Paul Williams, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom;
Jeffrey Lee, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, U.S.A.;
Matthew Burtner, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.
On September 3, 2017, more than 100 seismic sensors around the world detected an unusual disturbance. The magnitude was 6.1—roughly equivalent to the earthquake that hit Mexico City a few weeks later—and was in the vicinity of the North Korean test site. The event was consistent with an underground nuclear explosion—something researchers could determine based on remarkable advances of geophysical methods to monitor for these events. In this briefing, geophysics experts will share their findings related to this event.
Dale Anderson (moderator), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, U.S.A.;
Thorne Lay, University of California – Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.;
Young Soo Jeon, Korea Meteorological Administration, Seoul, South Korea;
Jelle Assink, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, Netherlands;
Jolanta Kusmierczyk-Michulec, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, Vienna, Austria;
Tormond Kvaerna, NORSAR, Kjeller, Norway.
Vaughan Turekian, senior board director for sustainability programs at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and former Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State, will deliver the Fall Meeting Agency Lecture, “How a Geoscientist Can Change the World,” on Thursday, Dec. 14 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. A media availability with Dr. Turekian will be held immediately following the lecture.
Vaughan Turekian, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Session: Fall Meeting Agency Lecture
The goal of the ratified Paris Accord to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) may not be achieved by voluntary emission reductions alone. Beyond greenhouse gas actions, climate intervention, or geoengineering, is a means of limiting and even reducing the extent of global warming and ocean acidification. In this briefing, a panel of experts will be available to discuss the motivation, challenges and practices of various climate intervention approaches.
Ben van der Pluijm, Editor-in-Chief, Earth’s Future, and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.;
Leslie Field, Ice911 Research Corporation, Menlo Park, California, U.S.A.;
David Keith, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.;
Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.