AGU Fall Meeting: News media registration and hotel booking now open
US Visa information for international reporters
1. Fall Meeting to attract over 12,000 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, 11-15 December 2006. Over 12,000 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 preliminary program lists 479 sessions, which are described at http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm06/?content=search (click on "Search" for full list of topics, including descriptions). Note: some of these proposed sessions may be dropped or modified, and others added, depending upon abstracts received by the 7 September deadline.
For public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions, Fall Meeting is an opportunity to present your research to over one hundred reporters, through press releases, participation by your scientists in 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.
A full program of press conferences is in development and will be announced in later advisories. Press conferences may be held on all five days of the meeting this year.
We are planning a field trip for News Media registrants on Sunday, 10 December, so if you are coming from afar, plan to arrive on Saturday, 9 December. Subsequent advisories will provide details.
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 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.
3. Book hotel rooms now for the best selection
With over 12,000 scientists and at least 150 news media registrants expected at Fall Meeting, it makes sense to book your hotel room now at preferential rates. Cancellations are possible without penalties up to 72 hours prior to arrival. By booking now, you are more likely to get your preferred location or rate, whichever is your top priority.
A wide range of hotel options are available with varying rates, levels of service, and locations. Limited, round-trip shuttle service from most hotels to Moscone West is provided. Shuttle schedules will be posted at hotels and Moscone West.
Fourteen hotels offer rooms at rates ranging from $95 to $153 per day, plus tax. Hotel reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Special AGU room rates are subject to availability after the 6 November reservations deadline.
To see the list of available hotels, their rates and amenities, as well as a map ("CC" is Moscone West Convention Center), and an online booking form, go to http://www.cmrhousing.com/agu_1u/welcome.asp
4. News Media registration information
News Media 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 one of the following: 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 2005 or 2006; 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.
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/fm06/?content=media&show=pressReg_online
The last day for advance News Media registration, assuring that your badge will be waiting for you when you arrive, is Friday, 1 December 2006. You may also register onsite in the Press Room.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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