AGU 2005 Fall Meeting - media advisory 1

07/07/05

Visa information for international reporters; earthquake centennial field trip; registration form

Contents of this message

1. Fall Meeting to attract over 11,000 scientists
2. U.S. visa regulations for international reporters
3. Field Trip previewing the centennial of San Francisco earthquake planned
4. News Media registration information
5. News Media Registration Form

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1. Fall Meeting to attract over 11,000 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, 5-9 December 2005. Some 11,000 scientists from all over the world are expected to assemble for this premier meeting of the Earth and space sciences, equaling or surpassing last year's record attendance.

For journalists, Fall Meeting 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. The program will include hundreds of special sessions, along with public lectures, tutorials, and other special events.

For public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions, Fall Meeting 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 News Media Registration Form for use by both reporters and PIOs is at the end of this message.

We will be using the same Press Room as at 2004 Fall Meeting. A full program of press conferences is in development and will be announced in later 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 previewing the centennial of San Francisco earthquake planned

The California earthquake of April 18, 1906 ranks as one of the most significant earthquakes of all time. Today, its importance comes more from the wealth of scientific knowledge derived from it than from its sheer size. Rupturing the northernmost 430 kilometers of the San Andreas fault, the earthquake confounded contemporary geologists with its large, horizontal displacements and great rupture length. Indeed, the significance of the fault and recognition of its large cumulative offset would not be fully appreciated until the advent of plate tectonics more than half a century later.

At almost precisely 5:12 a.m., local time, a foreshock occurred with sufficient force to be felt widely throughout the San Francisco Bay area. The great earthquake broke loose some 20 to 25 seconds later, with an epicenter near San Francisco. Violent shocks punctuated the strong shaking which lasted some 45 to 60 seconds. The earthquake was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada.

[Above text excerpted from http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/info/1906/index.html]

As the centennial of the San Francisco earthquake approaches, our colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey are preparing an all day field trip for journalists and public information officers who are covering Fall Meeting. It will take place the day before the meeting, Sunday, 4 December. We will visit key sites along the San Andreas Fault and elsewhere in and around the city. Details of the itinerary will be provided in later advisories, but plan to arrive in San Francisco by Saturday, 3 December, if you would like to take part.

Space on the field trip will be limited. You may indicate your interest in participating on the News Media Registration Form (below).

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4. News Media 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 2004 or 2005; 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.

Scientists who are also reporters and who are presenting at this meeting (oral or poster session) may receive News Media credentials if they qualify (see above), but must also register for the meeting and pay the appropriate fee as a presenter.

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5. News Media Registration Form

The News Media 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/fm05/?pageRequest=press_reg

The last day for advance News Media registration, assuring that your badge will be waiting for you when you arrive, is Wednesday, 23 November 2005. You may also register onsite in the Press Room.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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