Public Release: 

AGU 1999 Fall Meeting -- Information for media representatives

American Geophysical Union

The annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union takes place from Monday, December 13, through Friday, December 17, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. A special press field trip is planned for Sunday afternoon, December 12 (see Item 5, below).

Media representatives are encouraged to register in advance, using the form at the end of this message. The first 50 who do will receive an advance copy of the Abstract volume, which will help you navigate through the 6,900 oral and poster presentations at the meeting. (Others will receive their copy at the meeting, where on-site press registration is also possible.)

In addition to saving and reviewing this advisory, please check the AGU web site for detailed information about the meeting and especially to reserve a hotel room. The URL for general Fall Meeting information is [].
The URL for hotel information and reservations is [].

1. Venue
Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.

2. Sponsor
American Geophysical Union. AGU is a society of over 35,000 members in 115 countries with the purpose of advancing progress in the Earth, atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic, and space and planetary sciences. AGU is dedicated to fostering high-quality scientific research, disseminating the results of that research, enhancing educational opportunities in science, and encouraging international cooperation in geophysics.

This year, two new themes have been added to Fall Meeting: Biogeosciences, and Education and Public Policy. Several hundred papers were received on these themes and have been organized into a number of special sessions.

3. Press facilities
The Press Room will be Room 111, and the Briefing Room will be Room 112, in the Moscone Convention Center (same rooms as in 1998). A subsequent advisory will provide phone and fax numbers for the Press Room.

Press Room hours of operation:
Sunday, December 12: 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon (for registration only)
Monday, December 13: 7:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Tuesday, December 14 to Friday, December 17: 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

The room will be equipped with telephones (no charge for business calls), fax machine, copier, and a computer with Internet access. Press releases relevant to the meeting will be available, as will a message board. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided daily, starting Monday.

The Briefing Room will be the site of press conferences and can also be used for individual interviews and live feeds. Press conferences pertaining to newsworthy sessions are being developed and will be the subject of a subsequent advisory.

4. Press Registration
Press registrants receive a badge that allows access to any of the scientific sessions of the meeting, as well as to the Press Room, Briefing Room, and other events specifically for media representatives. No one will be admitted without a valid badge. A registration form will be found at the end of this message.

Eligibility for press registration is limited to the following persons:

  • Working press representing bona fide news media with a press card, business card, or letter of introduction from the publication.
  • Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, NCSWA (or other regional affiliate of NASW), or evidence of work pertaining to science intended for the general public and published in 1998 or 1999.
  • Public information officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.
Note: Representatives of the business side of news media, publishing houses, and of for-profit corporations must register at the main registration desk and pay the appropriate fees.

5. Press Field Trip on Sunday, December 12
The U.S. Geological survey is graciously providing its research vessel, Polaris, for a cruise on San Francisco Bay, on Sunday, December 12, during which USGS scientists will discuss water resources research.

This field trip will take place rain or shine! Please arrive at Moscone no later than 11:30 A.M. for check-in, badge issuance, etc. We will depart the Moscone Convention Center by chartered bus at 12:00 Noon sharp. AGU will provide box lunches aboard the bus, as we head down the Peninsula to Redwood City. On the way, USGS scientist Ken LaJoie will discuss the last 20,000 years of the Bay's history. As the present Bay is only 12,000 years old; we will be cruising where mastodons and camels once grazed on a great meadow.

Before boarding Polaris, we will visit the USGS Marine Facility for a talk on the vessel's colorful history. It started life on the Bay as an engineer's base when the levee system was under construction, saw service in World War II as a spy ship, and was rescued from demolition by USGS in the 1960s for $3,000.

During our 90 minute cruise, scientists will discuss their research projects, and participants may assist them in retrieving water and mud samples. These will be analyzed on board for the presence of invasive species.

Back at the Marine Facility, we will see equipment that has mapped the floor of the Bay and Pacific Ocean to a depth of five miles. We then motor to Menlo Park, where we will visit USGS water resources laboratories and learn about research in progress.

We plan to conclude at a reasonably priced restaurant for an early no-host dinner and then return by bus to the Convention Center and downtown hotels.

Space on this field trip is strictly limited. The limiting factors are the seating capacity of the bus and space aboard Polaris, which is a relatively small vessel. We will advise in advance whether you have a guaranteed spot.

Please indicate on the Press Registration form at the end of this advisory whether you would like to participate. A standby list will be maintained in the event of oversubscription beyond the capacity of the bus. There may be cancellations or no-shows.

6. Breakfast and Meeting Overview, Monday, December 13, 8:00 AM
Make your way to the Press Room in the Moscone Center for breakfast and then to the Briefing Room. Prof. Robert A. Duce of Texas A&M University will provide an overview of the five day meeting, highlighting sessions and special events of interest, to help you make the most efficient use of your time. As Chairman of AGU's Fall Meeting Program Committee, Prof. Duce has a broad multidisciplinary view of the meeting as a whole. (We will also provide some advance highlights in subsequent advisories.)

7. Joint dinner program with NCSWA, December 13
We are working with the Northern California Science Writers Association (NCSWA) to participate in their annual dinner on Monday evening, December 13. It is planned for a restaurant in the new (since last Fall Meeting) Sony Metreon complex, close to Moscone. Details, including name of the restaurant, names of the speakers, and cost will appear in a subsequent advisory.


This form may be submitted online at []. If you prefer, it may be copied and returned to Harvey Leifert by email or by fax (202-328-0566). While supplies last, an advance copy of the Fall Meeting Abstract Book will be sent to registrants. (Others will receive a copy in the Press Room.)

(to be printed on badge)

Media Affiliation:
(Freelancers: Describe your eligibility per criteria in Media Advisory 99-32 of October 14, 1999.)

Mailing address:




Abstract Book (Check one line below):

    __Send Abstracts to me at the above address by USPS First Class Mail.
    __Send Abstracts to me at above address (no P.O. boxes!) via express service.

    Name of company (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.)

    Class of service (e.g., next morning, 2nd day, 3rd day, etc.)

    My Account Number

    __Do not send Abstracts in advance; hold for me in the Press Room.

Press Field Trip on San Francisco Bay, Sunday afternoon, December 12:
Do you wish to participate?
(If left blank, response will be treated as "no.")


Press pre-registration deadline is Friday, November 24, 1999.
(Form must be received at AGU by that date for your badge and Program Book to be available upon arrival, avoiding delay. You may also register in the Press Room.)


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