2006 Joint Assembly: Final press conference schedule

Contents of this message:

  1. Final Press Conference Schedule
  2. Attention PIOs: Sending press releases to Joint Assembly
  3. News Media Registration Information
  4. News Media Registration Form
  5. Who's coming

Note: This advisory does not repeat important information from previous advisories. For links to these advisories, please go to http://www.agu.org/meetings/ja06/?content=media

1. Final Press Conference Schedule

The following list of topics and participants is accurate as of the time of sending this advisory, but it is subject to change. Press conferences may be added or dropped; subject emphases may change; and participants may be added or dropped. Any changes subsequent to this message will be announced in the Press Room (Room 322) at Joint Assembly.

Session numbers at the end of each press conference listing may show only the first in a series of related sessions on the topic.

Tuesday, 23 May

Measuring Earthshine to Illuminate Earth's History, Climate Change, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Earthshine continues to shed light on climate variables, and scientists are using Earthshine data to search for life on distant planets. Goode will describe the worldwide network of inexpensive ground-based robotic telescopes he is developing to measure Earthshine and better understand climate variables. Scientists also use Earthshine models to search for complex life on distant planets. Other Earthshine models illustrate what Earth looked like in the distant past.


  • Philip R. Goode: Distinguished Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, USA, and Director, Big Bear Solar Observatory, Big Bear City, California, USA;
  • Pilar Montanes-Rodriguez: Research Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, USA, and Big Bear Solar Observatory, Big Bear City, California, USA;
  • Wesley A. Traub: Chief Scientist, NASA's Navigator Program [search for extrasolar planets], and Project Scientist, NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph mission, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA.

Session: A21A

Tuesday, 23 May

Baltimore and Phoenix: How Urbanization Affects the Nitrogen Cycle for Good and Ill

Studies in Baltimore and Phoenix under the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program have begun to reveal how urban activities change the cycling of nitrogen, a critical element in ecosystems that can also become a pollutant. Nitrogen from human activity that enters watersheds is exceptionally sensitive to climate variability and therefore to climate change, according to new analyses conducted by scientists in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. Delivery of this critical pollutant to coastal waters such as the Chesapeake Bay occurs at moderate to high flows, a finding with significant implications for the design and implementation of restoration activities. Work from the Central Arizona-Phoenix urban LTER site shows that restoration activities can create "hotspots" of nitrogen removal in retention basins and artificial lakes, restoring nitrogen removal functions that used to occur in natural streams now degraded by urbanization. Work in both Phoenix and Baltimore has also found that residential areas have surprisingly significant capacity for storage of carbon in soil and vegetation, removing from the atmosphere some of the carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming.


  • Lawrence E. Band: Voit Gilmore Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;
  • Sue Grimmond: Professor, Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Group, Department of Geography, King's College London, London, United Kingdom;
  • Sharon J. Hall: Faculty of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Science, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA.

Sessions: U31A/B23A

Tuesday, 23 May

New Discoveries at the Edges of the Solar System

Voyagers 1 and 2, launched in 1977, are approaching the edge of the solar system, the first manmade objects to do so. Heading in different directions, they are reporting a large north-south asymmetry in the shape of the heliosphere, the "bubble" within which the Sun dominates, that could be caused by an interstellar magnetic field pressing inward on the southern hemisphere. Voyager 2 could cross the termination shock at any time during the next year or two. Beyond the termination shock, there are large holes and bumps in the magnetic field, and the speed of the wind is lower than expected, and possibly inward sometimes. Voyager 1 has found a new source of low energy particles coming from the shock but, contrary to predictions, did not find the source of higher energy anomalous cosmic rays.


  • Leonard F. Burlanga: Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA;
  • Edward C. Stone: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA;
  • Robert B. Decker: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, USA.

Session: SH21A

Wednesday, 24 May

Sharing information about distant skies

One of the biggest challenges for scientists who study global climate patterns is obtaining detailed information about local atmospheric conditions around the world. This press conference will highlight a data distribution system that is beginning to connect meteorologists and weather observers in the United States and Latin America, providing scientists with unprecedented amounts of information in near-real time. The system, created by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's Unidata program, uses the Internet to distribute real-time observations and forecasts for educational and research purposes. Professors, students, and others who watch the skies can enter their observations, enabling researchers to track highly localized changes in atmospheric conditions from thousands of kilometers [miles] away. This system will be made available to additional continents and may eventually incorporate ecological and other types of observations, strengthening both data flows and international collaborations.


  • Mohan Ramamurthy, Director, Unidata Program Center, UCAR Office of Programs, Boulder, Colorado, USA;
  • Pedro Dias, Professor, Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics, and Atmospheric Science, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil;
  • Vilma Castro, Professor, Department of Physics, University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica.

Session: IN34A

Wednesday, 24 May

Global Data Interchange and Next Generation Science

Understanding the Earth system is crucial to enhancing human health, safety and welfare, alleviating human suffering including poverty, protecting the global environments, reducing disaster losses and achieving sustainable development. Increasingly, the geosciences draw on ever-larger, more complex, and data sets coming from an ever-increasing range of disciplines to develop and test its hypotheses on how our world works. When developing a new model for predicting weather patterns or trying to increase warning times for flood-prone areas, our reliance on information and its accessibility requires that data systems not be "home grown," but rather conform to internationally adopted standards and provide the infrastructure to maintain them. The upcoming international science years offer extraordinary examples of how supporting data infrastructure in the geosciences leads to a new level of data integration and knowledge discovery to support these goals.


  • Daniel Baker: Executive Director, Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY), and Director, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA;
  • Mark Parsons: International Polar Year (IPY) Data and Information System, and National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDS), Boulder, Colorado, USA;
  • Eliot Christian, United States Geological Survey, Reston Virginia; USA;
  • Josť Achache, Secretariat Director, Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Geneva, Switzerland.

Session: U33A

Wednesday, 24 May 1100h

Biogeophysics Debuts: First Look at Recent Research

Biogeophysics is a new sub-discipline that bridges the gap between geophysical monitoring and biogeochemical activities. In this press conference, panelists present some of the most recent advances in biogeophysical research: (a) in the clean up of contaminated soils using electrokinetics (application of an electrical field), (b) in planetary exploration and biomedical issues (use of geophysical methods to detect living organisms), and (c) in nanotechnology and the better understanding of microbial activity in soils.


  • Ian P. Thompson: Head of Environmental Biotechnology, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom;
  • Yuri Gorby: Senior Research Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA;
  • John H. Miller, Jr.: Professor, Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.

Session: NS34A

Wednesday, 24 May 1300h

Early Warning From Space of Deadly Floods and Landslides

Landslides and floods claimed over 300,000 lives between 1985 and 2005, mainly in parts of the world without extensive flood and rainfall monitoring networks. Using advanced new observations from space, scientists are beginning to build early warning systems with potentially global reach. Researchers will discuss cutting-edge efforts to turn satellite observations of rainfall, rivers, and surface topography into warning systems. Specifically, scientists can now detect floods using satellite microwave sensors to gauge discharge from rivers by measuring changes in river widths. With heavy rainfall as a primary cause of flooding around the world, they can now use satellite-based precipitation estimation to improve warning systems. Lastly, the panel will detail how scientists are using satellite observations to map and detect rainfall conditions that may trigger landslides and debris flows, which are responsible for thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in destroyed property each year.


  • Robert Brakenridge: Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA;
  • Kwabena O. Asante: Senior Scientist, Hydrology and Geospatial Analysis, Science Applications International Corporation, Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (USGS/EROS) U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA;
  • Yang Hong: Research Scientist, Goddard Earth Science and Technique (GEST), and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA;
  • Robert Adler: TRMM [Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission] Project Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA.

Session: H23A

Thursday, 25 May

Revolutionizing Space Exploration With Onboard Computers

Recent developments in onboard decision-making software are making possible revolutionary new space missions. This press conference will present highlights of current missions using this software, as well as a look ahead to future missions. The Autonomous Sciencecraft aboard the Earth Observing One spacecraft processes imagery to actively track volcanic eruptions, flooding, and freezing and thawing of snow and ice. These concepts are also being deployed on planetary missions. Software will enable the Mars Exploration Rovers to track dust devils and detect clouds, increasing the efficiency of study of the Martian atmosphere. Software has also been developed for the Mars Odyssey mission to enable onboard detection of polar frost changes, thermal events, dust storms, and water ice clouds.


  • Steve Chien: Principal Investigator, Autonomous Sciencecraft, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
  • Pasadena, California, USA;
  • Rebecca Castano: Principal Investigator, Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA;
  • Ralph Lorenz: Assistant Research Scientist, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Session: IN43A

Workshop on AIM and THEMIS for Science Writers

Whether it's taking a baby picture of the universe with Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), or detecting the brightest explosions in the universe with Swift, NASA's Explorer program has made some of the biggest scientific discoveries. This fall, NASA plans to launch two new Explorer missions, Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) and Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM). The THEMIS mission plans to unravel the tantalizing mystery behind auroral substorms, an avalanche of magnetic energy powered by the solar wind that intensifies the northern and southern lights. THEMIS will help scientists understand how and why these space storms create havoc with satellites, power grids, and communication systems The AIM mission seeks to explain why mysterious brilliant silvery blue clouds keep appearing at the edge of space in the mesosphere. To what extent does the Sun control the dramatic variability seen in these clouds? Are these clouds, which did not exist a century ago, a temperature gauge for climate change? This science writer workshop will explain why these missions are so important to understanding how solar activity affects the Earth. Participants

  • Joseph. A. Dezio: Deputy Program Manager, NASA Explorer Program, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA;
  • Vassilis Angelopoulos: THEMIS Principal Investigator, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA;
  • James Russell: AIM Principal Investigator, Hampton University, Hampton Virginia, USA.

Sessions: ED33A/SM41A/IN43A/SA52A

2. Attention PIOs: Sending press releases to Joint Assembly

Public information officers are urged to work with scientists from their institutions to produce press releases and other materials for the media, related to their research, regardless of whether the scientists will be participating in press conferences. We suggest around 40 copies of printed materials and three copies of any video for broadcast, which should be in commercial Beta format.

The simplest way to send such materials is with the scientists themselves, asking them to drop them off in the Press Room (Room 322, Baltimore Convention Center). If that is not feasible, you may send them by overnight express service, for delivery on Monday, 23 May or after.

Harvey Leifert
Joint Assembly Press Room (Room 322)
c/o Business Center
Baltimore Convention Center
1 West Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(Phone: 410-649-7373)

Remaining copies of press materials may be collected up to 1300h on Friday, 26 May, after which they will be scrapped.

3. The Press Room

The Press Room is Room 322 of the Baltimore Convention Center. Its phone number is +1 410-649-7373; give this number to anyone who may have to call you there. There are additional phones for outgoing calls, at no charge to you for business calls.

If you preregistered, your News Media badge will be waiting for you in the Press Room. You may also register onsite in the Press Room (not at the main registration booths in the lobby).

The Press Room is equipped with wi-fi for use with your own laptop and also has two Internet-connected computers for shared use, with a shared printer.

Continental breakfast and lunch are served daily, Tuesday-Friday, for News Media registrants. Breakfast is 0730h. Lunch is 1130h.

4. News Media Registration Information

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 and Briefing Room. No one will be admitted to press conferences, sessions, or the exhibition hall without a valid badge.

News Media registrants who have preregistered will pick up their badges in the Press Room (Room 322) upon arrival at the convention center. Be prepared to show identification (see below).

If you have not preregistered, you may fill out a News Media Registration Form in the Press Room (Room 322), presenting appropriate identification (see below). Your badge will be made while you wait.

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 2005 or 2006; or a letter from the editor of a recognized publication assigning you to cover 2006 Joint Assembly.
  • 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 and faxed or mailed. Go to: http://www.agu.org/meetings/ja06/?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 Monday, 15 May 2006. You may also register onsite.

6. Who's coming

The following have registered for News Media credentials as of the date of this message. If you have submitted the News Media Registration Form, but your name does not appear below, please resubmit the form (see Item 6, above).

Last Name, First Name Publication/Organization
Achenbach, Joel The Washington Post
Amato, Ivan Chemical & Engineering News
Amos, Jonathan BBC News Interactive
Barnes, Ramon ICP Information Newsletter
Berardelli, Phil SciXpress.com
Boyd, Robert Knight Ridder
Buckley, Michael Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab
Camera Operator WJLA-TV 7 Washington
Castelvecchi, Davide Inside Science News Service
Chandler, Lynn NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Chimes, Art Voice of America
Chohan, Rani NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Cole, Steve NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Corsiglia, Jon Joint Oceanographic Institutions
Dewar, Heather Freelance
Dimick, Dennis National Geographic Magazine
Dominguez, Alex Associated Press
Dybas, Cheryl National Science Foundation
Foust, Jeff The Space Review
Gutro, Rob NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Hansen, Amy Freelance
Hansen, Kathryn Geotimes
Hansgardh, Agnetha Discoveries & Breakthroughs
Hanson, Brooks Science
Heineman, Karin Inside Science TV
Hotz, Robert Lees Los Angeles Time
Hyder, James LF Newsletter
Jones, Nancy Neal NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Kerr, Dick Science
Krieger, Kim Freelance
Leck, John NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Lee, Carolyn Freelance
Lorditch, Emilie Discoveries & Breakthroughs
Lubick, Naomi Environmental Science & Technology
Maran, Sally Smithsonian magazine
Maran, Steve American Astronomical Society
Monastersky, Rich Chronicle of Higher Education
Nijhuis, Michelle High Country News
Perkins, Sid Science News
Pratt, Sara Freelance
Rankin, Moira Soundprint Media Center
Reed, Christina Freelance
Revkin, Andrew The New York Times
Roylance, Frank Baltimore Sun
Sawyer, Kathye Freelanc
Schleifstein, Mark The Times-Picayune
Schoonmaker, Davidt American Scientis
Sever, Megans Geotime
Siegfried, Tom Freelance
Sisler, Wade NASA Television
Skirble, Rosanne Voice of America
Smith, Jesse Science
Stein, Ben Physics News Update
Vergano, Dan USA Today
Wald, Chelsea Science Update
Wilson, Mark Physics Today
Witte, Joe WJLA-TV 7 Washington
Witze, Alexandra Nature
Yauck, Jennifer Johns Hopkins Univ. Journalism Student


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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