The following press conferences are planned, as of the date of this advisory. Please note that any press conference may be rescheduled to a different time or day or may be cancelled. Participants may change from those listed here. Other press conferences may be added. Any changes subsequent to this message will be announced in the Press Room at the meeting. All press conferences take place in Room 112 Moscone, with one exception, noted below.
***** Day: Friday, December 6 Time: 8:00 a.m. Description: With many hundreds of sessions and thousands of oral and poster presentations, Fall Meeting can be overwhelming. Press conferences highlight just a fraction of the exciting news emanating from the meeting. If any one person has a grasp on the meeting as a whole, it is Robert Wesson, chair of the committee that organized all of the sessions and special events. He will suggest some sessions worthy of your consideration for which there are no press conferences. Participant:
Robert Wesson, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado; Chair, AGU Fall Meeting Program Committee.
***** Day: Friday, December 6 Time: 9:00 a.m. Venue: Note: This press conference takes place in the Visualization Theater in Hall C. Description: Recent advances in numerical simulation and data collection have produced an enormous need to analyze and visualize large data sets in such fields as atmospheric motions, earthquake clusters and numerical simulations of turbulent behavior. In the special Visualization Theater in Hall C, researchers will demonstrate some of the state-of-the-art techniques by which visualization assists comprehension of complex dynamics in the geosciences. These will include large data sets generated by the world's biggest computer , The Earth Simulator in Japan, which far outperforms the next 12 largest computers in the world. Participants:
JBD Yoshii Kaneko, Department. of Earth and Space Science, University of California, Los Angeles, California;
John R. Baumgardner, T-Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico;
Hiroaki Matsui, Research Organization for Information Science and Technology, Tokyo, Japan;
Gordon Erlebacher, School of Computational Science and Technology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Geoffrey Fox, Institute of High Performance Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Relates to Session: NG61A
***** Day: Friday, December 6 Time: 11:00 a.m. Description: The Antarctic Ice Sheet is changing rapidly. Some of the recent changes can be attributed to global warming and an increased surface melting (e.g. breakup of the Larsen B Ice Shelf). New satellite measurements have also shown that floating ice shelves and grounded glaciers may experience very rapid basal melting (tens of meters per year) when in contact with warm ocean water. Changes in the flow rate of large Antarctic ice streams appear to be controlled by internal processes rather than recent climate. They may, however, represent a delayed response to the large climatic warming that marked the beginning of the Holocene (around 10,000 years ago). Participants:
Slawek Tulaczyk, Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, California;
Christina L. Hulbe, Department of Geology, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon;
Ian R. Joughin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California; 91109
Douglas R. MacAyeal, Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois;
Eric J. Rignot, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
Relates to Session: C51A
***** Day: Friday, December 6 Time: 12:15 p.m. Description: Rapid industrialization of the Asian continent is expected to be the primary driver for global change in atmospheric composition over the next decade, with implications for climate change and for air quality in downwind continents. Atmospheric observations from the ACE-Asia, ITCT-2K2, and TRACE-P aircraft missions over the Pacific are providing new constraints on the emissions of environmentally important gases and aerosols from the Asian continent. These missions are also providing new information on the radiative properties of the Asian aerosol, the chemical aging of the Asian outflow over the Pacific, the transpacific transport of pollutants to North America, and the impact on air quality in the United States. Substantial evidence now indicates that the ozone levels in the air masses reaching the West Coast of the U.S. have increased by about 30 percent over the last two decades. Participants:
David D. Parrish, Research Chemist, Aeronomy Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado;
Barry Joe Huebert, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii;
Daniel J. Jacob, Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts;
James H. Crawford, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.
Relates to Session: A51D
***** Day: Friday, December 6 Time: 2:00 p.m. Description: The bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain is portrayed in nearly all geology textbooks as an example of a change in plate motion. However, new observations question this basic interpretation. This press conference will highlight new results from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 197, as well as other modeling and experimental studies that are forcing a reconsideration of the nature of hotspots, mantle geodynamics, and plate tectonic interpretations based on the fixed hotspot hypothesis. Participants:
John A. Tarduno, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York;
Robert A. Duncan, Professor, College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon;
David Scholl, Consulting Professor, Department of Geophysics, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Relates to Session: T61C
***** Day: Friday, December 6 Time: 3:00 p.m. Description: Life is no more (and no less) than a special type of organic chemistry. Any chemical system having the capability to spontaneously combine and to self-replicate will undergo natural selection, evolving in structure to replicate faster through more efficient use of molecular resources and energy. Chemical transformations that might support energy and chemical metabolisms are known in environments as acidic as the aerosols in the atmosphere of Venus, or as basic as the atmosphere of Jupiter. Sparse microbial populations, relying on hydrogen and sulfur for "currency" in deep South African mines seem able to sustain themselves without the benefit of the surface world and its photosynthesis. It implies the possibility of life independent of surface processes, as in a Martian aquifer, for instance. Under the sea, the recent discovery of the Lost City Hydrothermal Field (LCHF) raises the possibility that such systems may have existed, or currently exist, elsewhere in the solar system. The LCHF is unlike any previously known hydrothermal field in that it, for example, hosts at least 30 active and inactive carbonate-brucite chimneys that tower up to 60 meters above the seafloor. Participants:
Tullis C. Onstott, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey;
Deborah Kelley, School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington;
Steven Benner, Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Relates to Session: B62A
***** Day: Saturday, December 7 Time: 8:00 A.M. Description: On the eve of the launch of NASA's newest SeaWinds scatterometer instrument this month, this press conference looks at the significant contributions QuikScat data is making to numerical weather prediction, helping to save lives and property, and also presents some of the ever-broadening applications of scatterometer data. Researchers will share their findings and offer a glimpse of future possibilities in such areas as flood detection, monitoring the growing season in northern forests, and the surprising effects typhoons have on creation of new marine life. Participants:
Son V. Nghiem, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California;
W. Timothy Liu, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California;
Kyle McDonald, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California;
Bob Atlas, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.
Relates to Session: OS62D
***** Day: Saturday, December 7 Time: 9:00 a.m. Description: Every hour, the Sun ejects a billion tons of its atmosphere toward Earth at a speed of 1-2 million miles per hour, driving shock waves. These shocks can cause large increases in radiation levels, affecting satellites, the space station, and data/voice communication. Scientists are convinced that shock acceleration is the cause of the strongest Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) event. Huge amounts of observational data are collected with the help of Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) and other spacecraft. Recent model calculations have revealed and confirmed some observed features of particle intensities and spectra, but fundamental questions remain unclear. For example, it is still not known exactly which particles are energized -- the relatively slow "solar wind" or the much rarer, but faster, particles called "suprathermals." Participants:
Gary P. Zank, Director of Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Professor of Physics, University of California, Riverside, California;
Glenn Mason, Professor of Physics, Department of Physics and I.P.S.T., University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland;
Allan J. Tylka, Research Scientist, High Energy Solar Radiation Section, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington D.C.
Mihir I. Desai, Assistant Research Scientist, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
Relates to Session: SH61A
***** Day: Saturday, December 7 Time: 11:00 a.m. Description: Evidence of climate change is already becoming apparent in the higher latitudes of the globe. Snow, ice and frozen ground dominate the polar latitudes, and climatic warming yields dramatic changes and substantial impacts. There are many reasons why changes occur. For parts of the year, large areas of the Arctic and Antarctic have temperatures near zero Celsius. As temperatures become warmer or remain warmer for longer periods, glaciers melt, sea ice degrades, permafrost thaws, and the ecosystem responds to these changes in the physical environment. This Union session has drawn experts from many specialties and from around the world to present evidence of rapid change. Although any individual indication of change may not be proof of global warming, the conclusion from the combined evidence may be that the Arctic and Antarctic are entering a state not seen in recorded history. Participants:
Larry Hinzman, Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska;
Jean O. Dickey, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California;
Konrad Steffen, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado;
James Morison, Applied Physics Laboratory, Polar Science Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington;
F. Stuart Chapin, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska;
Mark C. Serreze, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Relates to Session: U71A
***** Day: Saturday, December 7 Time: 2:00 p.m. Description: On March 17, 2002, the twin GRACE satellites were successfully launched from Plesetsk, Russia. GRACE is a joint NASA/DLR/GFZ mission, whose purpose is to provide pioneering observations of the Earth's gravity field and its changes over time, by precisely measuring the distance between the satellites at the micron level. These gravity field measurements will enable significant improvements in our understanding of ocean circulation and will provide first of a kind observations of mass variations associated with land surface hydrology and polar ice sheets. In the first six months of the mission, the project team activated the science instrumentation, performed initial calibrations, and generated the first prototype gravity fields, which significantly improve on pre-GRACE knowledge. Further improvements are expected. Current mission status and future science applications will be described at this press conference. Participants:
Michael M. Watkins, GRACE Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California;
Byron D. Tapley, GRACE Principal Investigator, Center for Space Research, University of Texas, Austin, Texas;
John M. Wahr, GRACE Science Team Member, University of Colorado and Cooperative Institute for Research in Enviromental Sciences, Boulder, Colorado.
Relates to Session: G72A
***** Day: Saturday, December 7 Time: 4:00 p.m. Description: EarthScope is a planned assemblage of geophysical instruments that will provide direct measurement of the current structure and motion of the continental United States at a scale that has never before been attempted. The EarthScope Instrument and its accompanying science program will allow examination of the connection between the long-term, large-scale, forces that have shaped North America, the structures in the continent that control the movement caused by these forces, and their interaction, which occasionally instigate the catastrophic expressions of the dynamic Earth: earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The AGU session will examine recent results of small-scale projects that follow similar approaches as EarthScope, including results from a recently drilled two kilometer deep hole near the San Andreas fault, and give a flavor of what can be expected as the EarthScope observatory is constructed and operated over the next decade. Participants:
David W. Simpson, President, The IRIS Consortium, Washington, D.C.;
William L. Ellsworth, Chief Scientist, Earthquake Hazards Team, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California;
Paul Segall, Department of Geophysics, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Relates to Session: T71D
***** Day: Sunday, December 8 Time: 8:00 a.m. Description: Initial results will be presented from studies of the 3 November 2002 M 7.9 earthquake, and the 23 October M 6.7 foreshock. Haeussler will provide an overview of geologic studies, including the mapping of urface faults that ruptured during the earthquake including discovery of a previously unknown thrust fault, the distribution of slip along the fault, and landslides and liquefaction features caused by the earthquake. Hansen will provide an overview of the earthquake seismology, including focal mechanism studies, analysis of slip along the fault trace, strong ground motions, and stress transfer before and after the earthquakes. Freymueller will provide an overview of geodetic studies conducted before, during, and after the earthquakes. The geodetic data should provide some of the best information to date on how the Earth's crust deforms between, during, and after earthquakes along strike-slip faults. Participants:
Peter Haeussler, Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, Alaska;
Roger Hansen, State Seismologist, University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, Alaska;
Jeff Freymueller, Geodesist, University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, Alaska.
Relates to Session: S72F
***** Day: Sunday, December 8 Time: 10:00 a.m. Description: The North American Carbon Program (NACP) is a multi-agency attack on questions relating to the sources and sinks of carbon in North America. The NACP is a major component of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program and addresses important issues of the U.S. Climate Change Research Initiative. In particular, its primary goal is to reduce the uncertainty in the magnitude of the North American carbon sink and thus provide useful scientific information for future carbon management. The research focuses on the three most abundant atmospheric carbon gases: carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide. Integration among diverse disciplines, combinations of new research techniques and monitoring, and numerical modeling will be used to delineate the mechanisms controlling these gases. The press conference will present current plans for carbon observing systems, field campaigns, along with recent studies related to the North American carbon budget. Participants:
Richard Feely, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, Washington;
Pieter Tans, Climate Monitoring & Diagnostics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado;
Steven Wofsy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Relates to Session: A11E
***** Day: Sunday, December 8 Time: 11:00 a.m. Description: The large number of seismic stations deployed globally to monitor earthquakes or underground testing of nuclear weapons also record an extraordinary variety of other natural and man-made phenomena. This information can be useful to investigative agencies, insurance companies, and governmental organizations, and the results are often scientifically interesting in their own right. Terry Wallace will provide a brief introduction to forensic seismology. Steve Taylor will talk about the challenges of monitoring underground testing, especially identifying small and potentially evasive tests, in the present environment of a defacto moratorium on testing. David McCormack is an expert on the seismic waves generated by impacts of objects on the Earth's surface. Modeling of the seismic signals has been shown to provide information about the source process; examples include aircraft crashes. Keith Koper will describe how forensic seismology provided crucial evidence in a trial. following a natural gas pipeline explosion in southern New Mexico that killed 12 people. Participants:
Terry Wallace, Professor of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona;
Steve Taylor, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico;
David McCormack, Geophysics Division, Geological Survey Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada;
Keith Koper, Saint Louis University; Saint Louis, Missouri.
Relates to Session: S11D
***** Day: Sunday, December 8 Time: 2:00 p.m. Description: The 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft has been collecting data in Mars orbit since February 2002. Odyssey scientists will be presenting exciting new results based on observations by the three instrument suites: the Gamma Ray Spectrometer, the Thermal Emission Imaging System and the Martian Radiation Environment Experiment. New data on the presence of water ice in the soils of the northern Martian hemisphere will be presented. New color images of Mars in both the thermal infrared and visible portions of the spectrum will be presented by the imaging system team. The radiation experiment team will report on the detection by Odyssey of solar flares that are not seen by detectors on Earth. Participants:
Jeffrey Plaut, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California;
William Boynton, Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona;
Philip Christensen, Department of Geological Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona;
Cary Zeitlin, National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Houston, Texas, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California.
Relates to Session: P11B
***** Day: Sunday, December 8 Time: 3:00 p.m. Description: Historic earthquakes are those that occurred during historic times, but for which no instrumental data are available. Because modern seismology is scarcely a century old, the database of historic earthquakes represents an extremely important, and in many cases underused, resource. By developing increasingly sophisticated methods to analyze old earthquakes, scientists are able to learn not only about the earthquakes themselves, but also to address current issues at the forefront of both seismology and hazard assessment. Panelists will discuss recent results that shed important light on past earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault, including a magnitude ~8 earthquake in 1857, as well as studies that contribute to our understanding of hazards in two regions, India and Japan, that are now heavily urbanized and exposed to very high earthquake hazard. In both of these regions, ingenious "seismosleuthing" techniques have been developed to investigate earthquakes that occurred over 1,000 years ago. Participants:
Susan Hough, U.S. Geological Survey, Pasadena, California;
Roger Bilham, Professor of Geological Sciences University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado; Tousson Toppozada , Senior Seismologist, California Geological Survey, Sacramento, California;
Kenji Satake, Seismologist, Leader of Earthquake Hazard Assessment Team, Active Fault Research Center, Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, Tsukuba, Japan;
Dawn Martindale, Natural Disaster Historian, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.
Relates to Session: S11B
***** Day: Monday, December 9 Time: 8:00 a.m. Description: Societies of the 21st century will increasingly use a more diverse mix of energy sources, possibly including nuclear power, as petroleum supplies diminish. Scientific understanding and vision will be needed if global society is to be able to assess objectively the future of nuclear energy. Topics to be addressed by panel members at this press conference and by additional presenters at the session include the status of, and potential future trends in, the use of nuclear energy; challenges associated with power plant security; the storage, disposal and transportation of nuclear waste; climate impacts associated with energy mix changes; and the role and responsibility of the geoscientist in influencing public opinion and debate about highly charged societal issues. Participants:
Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York; former Chair, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C.;
Ernest J. Moniz, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts; former Undersecretary for Energy, Science, and Environment, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.
Relates to Session: U11B
***** Day: Monday, December 9 Time: 9:00 a.m. Description: Understanding the origin and internal evolution of outer planet satellites is key to understanding their geological and, in the case of Titan, atmospheric evolution. This session highlights observational, experimental, and theoretical progress in this field, incorporating the latest results of the Galileo mission to Jupiter and looking forward to the Cassini-Huygens encounter with Titan. Prof. Schubert will discuss the emerging evidence for internal liquid water oceans on all large icy satellites, as well as their overall internal structures. Dr. Canup will discuss new theories of satellite origin that both solve long-standing problems about the formation of satellite families and show how dynamical migration has created the resonances that lead to tidal heating in bodies like Io and Europa. Dr. Anderson will discuss the final satellite encounter of the Galileo mission, with Amalthea, which took place in November. Participants:
Gerald Schubert, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, California;
Robin M. Canup, Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado;
John D. Anderson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
Relates to Session: P12C
***** Day: Monday, December 9 Time: 11:00 a.m. Description: Are the ice sheets that still blanket the Earth's poles growing or shrinking? Will global sea level rise or fall? NASA's Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission will provide answers to these and other questions. ICESat's primary goal is to quantify ice sheet mass balance and understand how changes in the Earth's atmosphere and climate affect the polar ice masses and global sea level. The ICESat mission will provide multi-year elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance as well as cloud property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas. It will also provide topography and vegetation data around the globe, in addition to the polar-specific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. ICESat is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on December 19. Participants:
Waleed Abdalati, ICESat Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.;
Jay Zwally, ICESat Project Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland;
Bob E. Schutz, Science Team Leader, University of Texas-Austin, Austin, Texas.
Relates to Session: None
***** Day: Monday, December 9 Time: 2:00 p.m. Description: Participants will provide a status of the Mars Exploration Rover mission, which is scheduled to launch two rovers to Mars in 2003, landing on January 4 and 25, 2004. The discussion will include landing site characterization and selection, and the planned science investigations associated with the mission. The science team has learned valuable lessons about carrying out effective science operations, using a remote robotic vehicle on Earth, as a part of the training for operation of the Mars vehicles. Scientists have also learned about new aspects of the science and safety characteristics of the potential landing sites for the mission. Participants:
Professor Steven W. Squyres, Athena Principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York;
Dr. Mark Adler, Mars Exploration Rover Deputy Mission System Manager, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California;
Dr. Matthew P. Golombek, Mars Program Landing Site Scientist and Athena Science Team Member, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
Relates to Session: P21C
***** Day: Monday, December 9 Time: 3:00 p.m. Description: Dr. James Mahoney will discuss the results of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Planning Workshop, held December 3-5, 2002 (i.e., immediately prior to Fall Meeting), in Washington, D.C. The Workshop has been developed to provide a comprehensive review of the discussion draft of the Strategic Plan for U.S. climate change and global change research. When finalized, it will guide U.S. climate and global change research during the next several years. The Workshop responds to the President's directive that U.S. global change and climate change science programs must be objective, sensitive to uncertainties, and well documented for public debate. The Climate Change Science Program is jointly sponsored by 13 U.S. government agencies and includes representatives of each of the sponsoring agencies. Participant:
James R. Mahoney, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, U.S. Department of Commerce; Director U.S. Climate Change Science Program, Washington, D.C.