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NASA at 2011 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting: Press Briefings
 
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This list details 2011 American Geophysical Union press briefings that include NASA research. Briefing information and multimedia will be posted online (if available) by the time of each briefing. You may access that information using the links tied to each press briefing title.

General information for news media provided by AGU can be viewed here. Information from AGU regarding viewing the briefings online is available here.

Reporters requesting interviews with scientists at the AGU Meeting should contact the AGU Press Room. To request interviews with NASA scientists, please contact one of the following NASA officials.

Steve Cole
NASA Headquarters
On-site: Dec. 5-8
Phone: 202-657-2194
stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov
Alan Buis
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab
Onsite: Dec. 5-7
Phone: 818-653-8339
alan.d.buis@jpl.nasa.gov
Susan Hendrix
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
On-site: Dec. 5-7
Phone: 301-356-7702
susan.m.hendrix@nasa.gov

PLEASE NOTE: Relevant links (if any) will be added to the summaries below just prior to each scheduled media briefing.


Press Briefing Summaries


New Territory for Voyager at the Solar System's Border
Mon. Dec. 5, 9 a.m. PST

Ancient Dry Spells Offer Clues About The Future Of Drought
Mon. Dec. 5, 11 a.m. PST

The 11 March 2011 Japan Tsunami (No. 2)
Mon. Dec. 5, 1 p.m. PST

Dawn Mission Update: Viewing Vesta
Mon. Dec. 5, 5 p.m. PST

Getting Ready for Solar Max: Separating Fact from Fiction on Impacts of Space Weather Workshop
Tues. Dec. 6, 10 a.m. PST

Paleoclimate Record Points Toward Potential Rapid Climate Changes
Tues. Dec. 6, 11 a.m. PST

Opportunity at Endeavour: Latest Findings from the Surface of Mars
Wed. Dec. 7, 3 p.m. PST



New Territory for Voyager at the Solar System's Border
TIME:
Mon. Dec. 5, 9 a.m. PST
RELATED SESSION: SH1C3

Voyager 1 is now in a new zone of the bubble around the sun that scientists are calling the "stagnation zone," where the legendary spacecraft is making new discoveries about the behavior of the solar wind, magnetic field intensity and energetic particles at the edge of the solar system. This is a different zone than Voyager 1 was in for the past five years – the spacecraft has reached a point where the sun's influence seems to diminish, but has not yet reached true interstellar space.

Panelists:
  • Edward Stone, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Rob Decker, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
  • Eugene Parker, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
› Related feature



Ancient Dry Spells Offer Clues About The Future Of Drought
TIME:
Mon. Dec. 5, 11 a.m. PST
RELATED SESSIONS: H24E, PP51A, GC11C

As parts of Mexico and the Southwest endure historic droughts, scientists have unearthed new evidence about ancient dry spells that suggest the future could bring even more serious water shortages. Scientists will present new evidence that deforestation-amplified droughts affected Mayan and Aztec civilization, that past megadroughts have struck the Northeast and that climate change will leave famine-prone sub-Saharan Africa and other regions of the world thirsting for fresh water.

Panelists:
  • Ben Cook, climatologist, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies/Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, New York, N.Y.
  • Dorothy Peteet, paleoclimatologist, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies/Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, New York, N.Y.
  • Eric Wood, hydrologist, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
› Briefing materials
› Related feature



The 11 March 2011 Japan Tsunami (No. 2)
TIME:
Mon. Dec. 5, 1 p.m. PST
RELATED SESSIONS: NH11A, NH14A, NH51C

Since the 11 March 2011, magnitude 9 Tohoku megaquake and tsunami in Japan, scientists have gained new insights into the behavior of the tsunami and its effects from Japan to sites thousands of kilometers away, including the Galapagos Islands. A previously unknown doubling of tsunami height and amplified destructive power may help explain why damage varies so greatly from place to place along an inundated coastline. In the Galapagos, the tsunami caused widespread physical and ecological damage. Field surveys of Japanese coastal areas hit by the tsunami assess the waves' impacts on buildings, gauge the performance of protective structures, and reveal rapid, natural rebuilding of beaches severely eroded by the tsunami.

Panelists:
  • Kazuhisa Goto, Research Associate, Planetary Exploration Research, Chiba Institute of Technology, Narashino, Japan and Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
  • Patrick Lynett, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Y. Tony Song, Research Scientist, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Costas Synolakis, Professor, Hellenic Center of Marine Research, Anavissos, Athens, Greece and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.
› Briefing materials
› Related feature




Dawn Mission Update: Viewing Vesta
TIME:
Mon. Dec. 5, 5 p.m. PST
RELATED SESSIONS: U21B-01, U21B-02, U22A-01, U22A-02, U22A-04 and U23B-03

The Dawn panel at AGU will review reveal never-before-seen geologic maps that will show the diversity of features on the surface of Vesta and the north-south dichotomy in characteristics such as crater density, mineralogy and morphology. NASA Dawn team members will give the public an inside look at the science of Vesta. They'll see, for the first time, the maps that scientists are using to determine Vesta's geologic history, what the interior of Vesta is made of and how it relates to the HED meteorites.

Panelists:
  • Vishnu Reddy, Framing Camera Team Associate, Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg, Germany
  • Eleonora Ammannito, VIR Team Asociate, ASI (Italian Space Agency), Rome, Italy
  • Dave Williams, Dawn Participating Scientist, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
› Related feature



Getting Ready for Solar Max: Separating Fact from Fiction on Impacts of Space Weather Workshop
TIME:
Tues. Dec. 6, 10 a.m. PST
RELATED SESSIONS: SM21C-01, SM24B-01, SA43B-01, IN13C-01

The number of solar flares and coronal mass ejections are becoming more frequent as the sun moves toward solar maximum over the next ~20 months -- and there is a corresponding increase in public interest and media coverage in the effects of the radiation and particles that impact Earth, collectively known as space weather. But space weather is a relatively new research area and the complexity of the dynamic sun-Earth system make it a difficult subject to understand. It's easy to overhype fears about incoming solar radiation, but also easy to oversimplify the vast number of ways solar activity can affect Earth, humans, and technology. This workshop will provide participants with information in three crucial areas: the current understanding of the sun-earth system; the details of the valid threats space weather can bring, including particle radiation exposure for airplane travelers, GPS failure, disruption of satellite electronics, and power grid overload; and insights into the newest space weather observing and early-warning techniques.

Panelists:
  • Daniel Baker, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Co.
  • Louis Lanzerotti, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, N.J.
  • Antti Pulkkinen, Catholic University and Goddard Space Flight Center, Washington D.C./Greenbelt, Md.
  • Michael Hesse, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
› Briefing materials
› Related feature
› Panelist Bios




Paleoclimate Record Points Toward Potential Rapid Climate Changes
TIME:
Tues. Dec. 6, 11 a.m. PST
RELATED SESSIONS: PP32A-08

Even if we are able to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, Earth could likely see drastic and rapid climate change this century, new research by NASA's Jim Hansen suggests. Detailed analysis of the Earth's paleoclimate history of recent interglacial periods reveals we are less than a degree Celsius away from equaling a time when sea level was several meters higher than today. In all, paleoclimate data paints a different picture than models about the sensitivity of the climate system, and indicates that a popular warming mitigation target -- limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius -- would not be sufficient to avoid dramatic climate changes.

Panelists:
  • James Hansen, Director, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, N.Y.
  • Ken Caldeira, Senior Scientist, Department of Global Ecology Carnegie Institute of Washington, Stanford University, Stanford, Cal.
  • Eelco Rohling, Professor of Ocean and Climate Change, Southampton University, Southampton, U.K.
› Briefing materials
› Related feature




Opportunity at Endeavour: Latest Findings from the Surface of Mars
TIME:
Wed. Dec. 7, 3 p.m. PST
RELATED SESSIONS: P34C-04, P31D-1720

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been examining selected targets on the rim of Endeavour Crater since reaching that destination in August after three years of driving from the mission's previous major destination. The findings are adding to information about the history of water's influence in environments of ancient Mars. The rover team is preparing for Opportunity's fifth Martian winter as the eighth anniversary of Opportunity's January 2004 landing approaches.

Panelists:
  • Steve Squyres, principal investigator for NASA Mars Exploration Rovers, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator for NASA Mars Exploration Rovers, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Bruce Banerdt, project scientist for NASA Mars Exploration Rovers, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
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