2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting: Press Conference Schedule

Phone-in to participate in press conferences

Contents of This Message

1. Press Conference Schedule
2. Participate by Phone: Dial-In Instructions
3. Attention PIOs: Sending Press Releases to Ocean Sciences Meeting
4. News Media Registration Information
5. News Media Registration Form
6. Who's Coming

Note: This advisory does not repeat important information from Media Advisory 3: http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/prrl/prrl0601.html

1. Press Conference Schedule

The following press conferences are planned for 2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting. There may be changes before, or during, the meeting: press conferences may be added or dropped; participants and/or emphasis may change. Any changes subsequent to this media advisory will be announced in the Press Room at the meeting.

Many research topics are presented in a series of sessions. At the end of each press conference description below, only the first session in the series is listed.

Climate Change Impacts on Ocean Ecosystems
Monday, 20 February

The Bering Sea supports vast populations of marine birds and mammals and provides almost half of the U.S. catch of fish and shellfish. As a subarctic sea, it is particularly sensitive to shifts in climate. During the last decade, scientists have observed a marked decrease in the amount of sea ice, an increase in ocean temperature, and shifts in the distribution of various biota, e.g., a northward shift in spawning locations for snow crab and feeding grounds of gray whales, a delay in timing of the spring bloom, and declines in zooplankton biomass. The biological effects of ocean acidification resulting from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide are not completely understood. Scientists have found a synergistic effect between light and elevated carbon dioxide that can have biocidal effects to marine phytoplankton. The effect appears to be due to carbon dioxide itself, not to increased ocean acidification.

Phyllis Stabeno, Oceanographer, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Washington, USA
+1 206-526-6453
[email protected]

Nick Welschmeyer, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, California, USA
+1 831-771-4439
[email protected]

James C. Orr, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l'Environnement (LSCE), CEA Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
+33 (0) 1 69 08 77 23
[email protected]

Session OS13B

Enlisting Top Marine Predators to Report on Their Environment
Monday, 20 February

SEaOS (Southern Elephant Seals as Oceanographic Samplers) is an international interdisciplinary program aimed at increasing our understanding of how southern elephant seals interact with their physical environment. These animals can dive to 2000 meters [7,000 feet], providing unprecedented access to these depths throughout the remote Southern Ocean. Specially developed instruments deployed on seals have provided accurate temperature and salinity data and identified the oceanographic characteristics important to their success. Marine tagging data are also being used to compare with a computer model simulation currently in development. The research goal is to develop a predictive model of the physical environment of these marine animals, as well as their food supply and ultimately their behavior.

Michael A. Fedak, Sea Mammal Research Unit, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
[email protected]
+44 (0)1334 463218

Lars Boehme, Sea Mammal Research Unit, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
+44 (0)1334 462677
[email protected]

Martin Biuw, NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sea Mammal Research Unit, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
+44 (0)1334-462677
[email protected]

Yi Chao, Principal Research Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
+1 818-354-8168
[email protected]

Session OS13D

Coastal Impacts of Hurricane Katrina
Monday, 20 February

Hurricane Katrina left indelible images of human suffering associated with the flooding of New Orleans and the near-total destruction of many coastal communities along the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coasts. This special session begins the creation of a scientific legacy by documenting the physical processes of this hurricane and how they interacted with the region's geological and ecological framework to produce profound, and perhaps lasting, coastal change. This change is likely to play a critical role in the design of future coastal restoration projects and will impact policy regarding protection of coastal communities. Participants will discuss the physics of the storm itself, including how storm surge and waves interacted with this unique section of the U.S. coastline; how cyclonic storms like Katrina affect the incredibly rich marine ecosystem off the Mississippi delta region; and the role of barrier islands and marshes in protecting inland regions and how they were altered by Katrina.

Hans C. Graber, Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA [email protected]

Steven E. Lohrenz, Chair and Professor, Department of Marine Science, University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, USA
+1 228-688-3177
[email protected]

Asbury (Abby) H. Sallenger, Jr., Oceanographer, Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies, U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
+1 727-803-8747 x3015
[email protected]

Session OS11K

Oceans and Human Health
Monday, 20 February

Oceans and Human Health (OHH) is a research program funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Much of the research has focused on three general areas: harmful algal blooms, pathogens found in fish or shellfish or in marine recreational waters, and pharmaceuticals derived from marine organisms. Participants will discuss new methods for rapid detection of pathogens that can be used to determine whether recreational waters are safe for swimming and shellfish safe for consumption (Stewart), the discovery and preclinical development of anticancer agents that show selective inhibition of certain types of cancer (Fenical), and the discovery of a neurotoxic amino acid found in certain marine algae that has been implicated in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex (ALS/PDC) in humans and is suspected of being responsible for the recent decline of bald eagle populations in the southeastern United States (Bidigare).

Jill Stewart, Microbiologist, NOAA Center for Coastal Environmental Health & Biomolecular Research, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
+1 (843) 762-8609
[email protected]

William Fenical, Distinguished Professor of Oceanography; Director, Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
+1 (858) 534-2133
[email protected]

Robert Richard Bidigare, Director and Professor, Center for Marine Microbial Ecology and Diversity, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
+1 (808) 956-8146
[email protected]

Session OS22E

Surprising Biodiversity at Great Depths
Tuesday, 21 February

The deep seafloor constitutes roughly 60 percent of Earth's surface, but scientists know less about it than about the surface of the Moon. Once thought to be lifeless, the deep seafloor and the water column above actually support a diverse array of organisms, including at least 3,800 fish species. Topics to be presented include: 1) mechanisms supporting high biodiversity in the deep sea; 2) food web interactions among the organisms of the deep; and 3) recent advances in deep-sea observing technology. Synopses of ongoing international exploration efforts (e.g. MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life) will be presented. Participants will also discuss issues relating to the monitoring, management, and protection of deep-sea floor habitats.

John D. M. Gordon, Honorary Research Fellow, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom
+44 1631 559222
[email protected]

Tracey Sutton, Biological Oceanographer, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Fort Pierce, Florida, USA
+1 (772) 465-2400 ext. 303
[email protected]

Franz Uiblein, Principal Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway
[email protected]

Session OS23A

Guided and Free-floating Robots Study the Ocean's Complexities
Tuesday, 21 February

Ocean robots have matured and offer the potential for shore-based humans to be "at sea" anywhere in the ocean at any hour. Off Puerto Rico, a series of Lagrangian, or untethered, floats are dropped from Hurricane Hunter aircraft in front of an approaching hurricane and transmit data ashore via satellite while the storm passes over the array. These provide critical data for predicting hurricane strength and impact on subsurface processes that would not be possible with ships. Off the coast of California, similar systems are configured to sense particle distributions in real time and monitor the nightly migration of zooplankton to the surface in search of food. A modification of the underwater floats are "gliders," with wings for horizontal movement, which now routinely "fly" through coastal waters of the United States, the Baltic, the Mediterranean, off Australia, and in Liverpool Bay for weeks while their controllers sit in New Jersey. These robots are revealing an ocean of astonishing complexity that cannot be described by satellites, ships, or radars, with material being transported and transformed. This complexity needs to be unraveled if we are to understand the potential impact of humans on the oceans. Recently, gliders have been instrumented with hydrophones and are able to record vocalizations of baleen whales and track their movement over periods of days.

Eric J. Terrill, Director, Coastal Observing Research and Development Center, Marine Physical Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA
+1 (858) 822 3101
[email protected]

Mark Baumgartner, Assistant Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
+1 (508) 289-2678
[email protected]

David M. Checkley, Jr., Professor, Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA
+1 (858) 534-4228
[email protected]

Oscar Schofield, Associate Professor, Coastal Ocean Observation Lab, Institute Marine and Coastal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
+1 (732) 932-6555
[email protected]

Session OS23E

Earth Observations: What does it take to Predict and Protect?
Tuesday, 21 February

NOAA Director Lautenbacher will give a preview of this evening's Agency Lecture: Reducing loss of life and property from disasters and monitoring our ocean resources are two of the nine societal benefits in both the U.S. and international plans for the Global Earth Observing System of Systems. A comprehensive global Earth observation system could lead to dramatic improvements in NOAA's ability to predict and protect. Improved data collection and management is a high priority requiring an integrated approach, such as that outlined in the U.S. Ocean Action Plan. Strengthened international cooperation in the collection of high-quality observations will provide the basis for sound decision-making. Linking the various observational systems for the benefit of society is a significant challenge; nevertheless, NOAA and its partners here at home and around the world are committed to leading this effort.

Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, Washington, D.C., USA
+1 (202)482-3436
[email protected]

Agency Lecture: Tuesday, 21 February, 1830h (Level 4, Ballroom)

Cruise Ships, Freighters, and Ferries as Research Vessels
Wednesday, 22 February

An expanding number of research programs have been working with volunteer observing ships ) to conduct critical upper ocean observations on a routine basis. While making observations from merchant marine vessels is far from a new concept, the advent of new technologies, fast computers, and inexpensive communications is allowing marine scientists to observe and report oceanographic conditions to a degree never before possible. These vessels are analogous to satellites skimming across the ocean, letting scientists probe the ocean's interior regularly and systematically. A major advantage of these platforms (especially cruise ships, ferries, and freighters) is that they cross the same swaths of ocean repeatedly for months or years, which oceanographic research vessels could never afford to do, and thereby develop more extensive databases than could be achieved in any other way. The cruise ship Explorer of the Seas is one such vessel. It is a unique government-industry-academic partnership that collects an extended time series of sophisticated biogeochemical and physical measurements in parts of the ocean that have been undersampled by traditional methods. Explorer's transects cross some of the most dynamic areas of the ocean and enable scientists to monitor critical aspects of global climate change, global and regional pollution, hurricane formation, fisheries populations, and more.

Rod G. Zika, Professor and Chief Scientist, Explorer of Seas Program, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, Florida, USA
+1 (305) 421-4715
[email protected]

Thomas Rossby, Professor of Oceanography, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA
[email protected]

Peter B. Ortner, Chief Scientist, NOAA Atlantic Ocean Marine Laboratory, Miami, Florida, USA
+1 (305) 361-43746
[email protected]

Session OS33J

Coral Reefs Are Dying: Several Causes Examined
Wednesday, 22 February

Rising sea level will impact fringing corals reefs. In particular, the predicted 0.5 meter [20 inch] rise in sea level by year 2100 will change the nature of physical processes on these reefs, the dominant type in the Hawaiian Islands. Increases in wave energy and current speeds will likely increase the transport of land-based pollution (sediment, nutrients, and contaminants) off the shallow reef flat onto the deeper fore reef, with an unknown impact to coral reef ecosystems.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef, considered the best protected reef system in the world, is one-quarter to one-third of the way to ecological extinction. Declining coastal water quality, caused by agricultural and urban pollution in river floods, is a primary cause of the long-term decline in coral diversity and abundance. Scientists are reporting the first direct evidence that land transformation along the Queensland coastline is causing unprecedented nutrient stress to coastal reefs and waters. Geochemical records reveal that recent lagoon nutrient enrichment is higher than at any time since 1945 and is causing degradation of coral reefs. Since the 1980s some researchers have hypothesized, but not proven, that nutrient pollution levels, rather than temperature, may in some cases determine the latitudinal bounds of coral reefs. New results from an extensive survey of reefs in South Florida strongly support this hypothesis and add to the controversial debate over the impacts of pollution on reefs. The research suggests that increasing nutrient pollution levels are reducing the areas where coral can survive, leading to regional extinctions, which scientists have documented in Florida and around the globe.

Curt Storlazzi, Research Oceanographer, Coastal and Marine Geology Team, U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Science Center, Santa Cruz, California, USA
[email protected]
+1 831-427-4721

Guy Marion, Graduate Researcher, Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[email protected]

Brian E. Lapointe, Division of Marine Science, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Ft. Pierce, Florida, USA
+1 772-465-2400 x276
[email protected]

Sessions OS12F/OS52O

Impacts of Manmade Acoustic Devices on Marine Wildlife
Thursday, 23 February

The ecological functioning of many marine mammals and fish (and some invertebrates) depends on their capability to perceive sound [acoustic signals] of specific frequencies, which are often those of man-made noise. The often much louder human noise risks disturbing natural ecological processes by distorting, blocking, or damaging the animals' hearing. The Army Corps of Engineers conducted pressure and sound monitoring while deepening the Port of Miami, Florida, in 2005. Construction required the use of confined explosives in an area with documented manatee and dolphin presence. After completing 40 shots in 37 days, the Corps concluded that marine mammals in the project area were not harmed by the blast detonations. Passive measurements of underwater sound provide quantitative measurements of physical processes, including wind speed and rainfall, as well as temporal patterns of biological and manmade activities. Long-term measurements from various marine environments will provide the data that are needed to assess the impact of human sound-producing activities in the ocean.

Cato C. ten Hallers-Tjabbes, CaTO Marine Ecosystems and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), den Burg, the Netherlands
+31-(0)222-369574 and +31-595-551772
[email protected]

Terri.L.Jordan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Jacksonville District, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
[email protected]

Jeffrey A Nystuen, Principal Oceanographer, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
+1 206-524-8414
[email protected]

Session OS53G

2. Participate by Phone: Dial-In Instructions

Reporters who are unable to attend the Ocean Sciences Meeting may listen in to press conferences on a conference call and participate in the question period. The following instructions apply to all press conferences listed in Item 1, above.

A. Call this number around five minutes prior to a press conference:
From USA (toll-free): 888-481-3032
From all other countries: +1 617-801-9600

B. When prompted, enter this Participant Passcode: 115139

C. You will be connected. You may hear music until the line is opened at the start of each press conference.

The phone numbers above are for press conference participation only. The regular number for the Press Room is +1 808-792-6624.

Note: The times listed for press conferences are Hawaiian Standard Time. This is two hours earlier than Pacific Standard Time, five hours earlier than Eastern Standard Time, and 10 hours earlier than UCT.

3. Attention PIOs: Sending Press Releases to Ocean Sciences Meeting

Public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions are encouraged to provide press releases about work their scientists are presenting at Ocean Sciences Meeting, regardless of whether they are participating in press conferences. We suggest about 10-15 copies of printed materials and up to three copies of videos in Beta format.

The easiest way to send press releases is for a scientist to hand-carry them to the Press Room, Room 325A of the Hawaii Convention Center, any time after 0730h on Monday, 20 February.

If hand delivery is not an option or you prefer to send the materials directly, please address them as follows, timed for delivery on Monday, 20 February:

Harvey Leifert
AGU Press Room - 325A
Hawaii Convention Center
1801 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
(Phone: 808-792-6629)

Please note that FedEx, UPS, and DHL may require an additional day for delivery to Honolulu, as compared with mainland North America.

4. News Media Registration Information

This paragraph revises information provided in Media Advisory 2. News Media registrants who have preregistered will pick up their badges in the Press Room (Room 325A), as in the past. Be prepared to show identification (see below). If you have not preregistered, you may fill out a News Media Registration Form, available in the Press Room, presenting appropriate identification. Your badge will be made on site.

International reporters: If you are neither a citizen nor a permanent resident of the United States, you need a visa to cover meetings in the U.S. This applies also to reporters from countries in the Visa Waiver Program, who do not need visas to visit the U.S. as tourists. For current information, see the official State Department web site: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1276.html. Please apply for your visa early.

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. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

Eligibility for News Media 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 2005 or 2006; or a letter from the editor of a recognized publication assigning you to cover 2006 Ocean Sciences 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 News Media 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/os06/?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, 10 February 2006. You may also register onsite in the Press Room (Room 325A).

6. Who's Coming

The following reporters and public information officers have registered for the meeting, as of the date of this message.

Last Name First Name Publication/Organization:
Altonn, Helen Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Cummins, Ryan Freelance
Dybas, Cheryl National Science Foundation
Johnson, Tara Hicks SOEST - University of Hawaii
Malakoff, David National Public Radio
McFarling, Usha Lee Los Angeles Times
McGrath, Matthew BBC Radio
Njikam, Mama Janvier La Nouvelle Vision
Powell, Hugh Oceanus Magazine
Reed, Christina Freelance
Speidel, Gisela Int'l. Pacific Research Center
Sullivant, Rosemary NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Tummons, Patricia Environment Hawai'i
Wakefield, Julie Freelance


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