Media Advisory 1 - AGU Fall Meeting

08/27/04

U.S. visa regulations for international reporters; Viticultural field trip planned; Press registration form

Contents of this message

1. Fall Meeting to attract over 10,000 scientists
2. U.S. visa regulations for international reporters
3. Field Trip on geophysics of winemaking planned
4. Press registration information
5. Press registration form

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1. Fall Meeting to attract over 10,000 scientists

The American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting returns to the Moscone Convention Center West, located at 800 Howard Street in San Francisco, California. The dates are Monday-Friday, 13-17 December 2004. Some 10,000 scientists from all over the world are expected to assemble for this premier meeting of the Earth and space sciences.

For journalists, it is an opportunity to learn about the latest research in fields as diverse as climate change, space weather, planetary exploration, volcanism and seismology, and Earth's magnetic field--just for starters. For public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions, it is an opportunity to present your research to one hundred or more reporters, through press releases, press conferences, and of course, one-to-one contact. A Press Registration Form for both reporters and PIOs is at the end of this message.

We will be using the same Press Room as at 2003 Fall Meeting, but it has been renumbered as Room 2024. The Briefing Room will this year be directly opposite, in Room 2026. A full program of press conferences is in development and will be announced in subsequent advisories.

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2. U.S. visa regulations for international reporters

All journalists who are not United States citizens or permanent residents need a visa to cover scientific meetings in the U.S. This applies equally to journalists from "Visa Waiver Program" countries (e.g., western Europe), who do not normally need visas to enter the U.S. as tourists. This is not a new requirement, but it tended to be lightly enforced in the past. It is now being enforced strictly.

The visa for journalists is an "I" visa, issued by the American Embassy or an American Consulate in your home country. If you are planning to cover Fall Meeting, please apply early for your "I" visa. The procedure is not complicated, but depending on the volume of total visa applications, it may take some time to be issued.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a fact sheet about visas for journalists on its Web site, which you are urged to consult: http://travel.state.gov/visa/tempvisitors_types_media.html

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3. Field Trip on geophysics of winemaking planned

You have been reading (perhaps even writing) about it Science News, The Washington Post, Geotimes, and other publications: good wine depends on good geophysics. Climate, geology, and hydrology--AGU sciences!--are among the crucial factors affecting where vineyards can be planted, which grapes will do best in a given location, and whether the resulting wines are great or barely drinkable.

Enough reading--it's time for in situ observations! We are in the process of organizing a Press field trip for Sunday, 12 December, the day before Fall Meeting begins. We are working with several scientists and leading vineyards and hope to announce the specifics in our next advisory. Space will be limited, so if you would like to participate, please so state on the Press Registration Form (below).

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4. Press registration information

Press registrants receive a badge that provides access to any of the scientific sessions of the meeting, as well as to the Press Room and Briefing Room. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

Eligibility for press registration is limited to the following persons:

  • Working press employed by bona fide news media: must present a press card, business card, or letter of introduction from an editor of a recognized publication.
  • Freelance science writers: must present a current membership card from NASW, a regional affiliate of NASW, CSWA, ISWA, or SEJ; or evidence of by-lined work pertaining to science intended for the general public and published in 2003 or 2004; or a letter from the editor of a recognized publication assigning you to cover Fall Meeting.
  • Public information officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies: must present a business card.

Note: Representatives of publishing houses, for-profit corporations, and the business side of news media must register at the main registration desk at the meeting and pay the appropriate fees, regardless of possession of any of the above documents. They are not accredited as Press at the meeting.

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5. Press Registration Form

The Press Registration Form is set up for online submission, but includes a link to a version that can be printed out and faxed or mailed. Go to: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm04/?pageRequest=press_reg.

The last day for advance press registration is 3 December. You may also register onsite in the Press Room (Room 2024).

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