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NASA at 2012 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting: Press Briefings
 
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This list details 2012 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.

Unless otherwise noted all press briefings will take place at the press briefing room in Moscone West 3001A. The meeting requires registration for official media credentials.

To request interviews with NASA scientists, please contact:

Steve Cole
NASA Headquarters
202-358-0918
stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov
John Yembrick
NASA Headquarters
202-358-1584
john.yembrick-1@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


Mars Rover Curiosity's Investigations in Gale Crater
Dec. 3, 9 a.m. PST

Voyager Press Availability
Dec. 3, 12:30 p.m. PST

New Findings, New Enigmas: NASA’s Van Allen Probes Begin their Exploration of the Radiation Belts
Dec. 4, 8 a.m. PST

Fire in a Changing Climate and What We Can Do About It
Dec. 4, 9 a.m. PST

Mars Rover Opportunity’s Investigations at Endeavor Crater
Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m. PST

NASA's Lunar Twins: GRAIL First Science Results
Dec. 5, 9 a.m. PST

Earth at Night
Dec. 5, 10:30 a.m. PST

At 40, Apollo Lunar Samples Still Yielding New Data
Dec. 6, 8 a.m. PST



Mars Rover Curiosity’s Investigations in Gale Crater
Dec. 3, 9 a.m. PST

NASA's newest Mars rover, Curiosity, has been investigating past and modern environmental conditions in Mars' equatorial Gale Crater since August. This briefing will offer findings from examining the composition and textures of targets touched by the rover's robotic arm. Curiosity is the car-size rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission. At the time of the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, it will be four months into a two-year prime mission.

NOTE: This meeting will be in Moscone North, Hall E, Rooms 134 and 135.

Participants:
  • Michael Meyer, program scientist for Mars Science Laboratory, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • John Grotzinger, project scientist for Mars Science Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator for Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM), NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Ralf Gellert, principal investigator for Curiosity's Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • Ken Edgett, principal investigator for Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, Calif.
Session: U13A

› Watch this briefing live on Ustream
› Related release




Voyager Press Availability
Dec. 3, 12:30 p.m. PST

Scientists with NASA’s Voyager mission will present the latest findings from the mission to the edge of the solar system, and will be available to answer questions from journalists.

Participants:
  • Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Leonard Burlaga, Voyager magnetometer team scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Stamatios "Tom" Krimigis, Voyager low-energy charged particle instrument principal investigator, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

› Watch this briefing live on Ustream
› Link to presentation materials
› Related release




New Findings, New Enigmas: NASA's Van Allen Probes Begin their Exploration of the Radiation Belts
Dec. 4, 8 a.m. PST

The twin Van Allen Probes (formerly the Radiation Belt Storm Probes), launched by NASA on Aug. 30, are already delivering data of unprecedented detail, gathered from within our planet's dynamic radiation belts. The mission is the first to send two spacecraft to reside within the incredibly hostile environment of the belts, which are named for their discoverer, James Van Allen. Almost immediately following launch, the probes began to reveal fascinating new structures and surprising dynamics of the radiation belt region that have never before been observed.

Participants:
  • Daniel Baker, principal investigator, Van Allen Probes Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope (REPT, part of the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma Suite), Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder
  • John Wygant, principal investigator, Van Allen Probes Electric Field and Waves Suite (EFW), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Joseph Mazur, principal investigator, Van Allen Probes Relativistic Proton Spectrometer (RPS), Aerospace Corporation, Chantilly, Va.
Sessions: SM24A, SM31C, SM34A, SM42B, SM43E, SM44A

› Link to press kit



Fire in a Changing Climate and What We Can Do About It
Dec. 4, 9 a.m. PST

Land area burned by fires has increased in the United States over the past 25 years, consistent with a trend toward climate conditions more conducive to fire. In contrast, fires for agricultural and forest management show declining trends in the western United States despite overall increases in wildfire activity and associated carbon emissions. Looking ahead, new IPCC climate projections offer insight into potential changes to U.S. fire activity over the next 30-50 years based on the climate sensitivity of fires in recent decades. Scientists will present new data on which regions of the U.S. might see fire seasons become longer and more intense.

Participants:
  • Louis Giglio, research associate professor, University of Maryland, College Park; physical scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Christopher Williams, assistant professor of geography, adjunct assistant professor of biology, Clark University, Worcester, Mass.
  • Doug Morton, physical scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; adjunct assistant professor, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Hsiao-Wen Lin, graduate student researcher, Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine
Sessions: NH52A, B22B, B41B, B23F

› Presentation feature story
› Press briefing Powerpoint presentation (in PDF)




Mars Rover Opportunity’s Investigations at Endeavor Crater
Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m. PST

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, working on Mars since January 2004, has spent recent months examining outcrops in an area on the rim of Endeavor Crater. There, the rover has found unusual textures and orbital observations have suggested the possible presence of clay minerals. This briefing will offer an update about what has been found so far during these rover investigations at “Matijevic Hill” on the crater’s western rim and outline plans for continuing work by Opportunity.

Participants:
  • Steve Squyres, principal investigator for Opportunity, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Diana Blaney, deputy project scientist for Opportunity, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Sessions: P14A, P14B, P21C

› Watch this briefing live on Ustream



NASA's Lunar Twins: GRAIL First Science Results
Dec. 5, 9 a.m. PST

First science results from NASA’s GRAIL moon gravity mapping mission. Launched on Sept. 11, 2011, the mission’s twin washing-machine-sized spacecraft, named Ebb and Flow, entered lunar orbit on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. During the prime mission science phase, which stretched from March 1 to May 29, the two GRAIL spacecraft orbited at an average altitude of 34 miles (55 kilometers). The data collected during GRAIL’s primary mission has generated the highest resolution gravity map of another celestial body.

Participants:
  • Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • Mark Wieczorek, GRAIL co-investigator, University of Paris, France;
  • Jeff Andrews-Hanna, GRAIL co-investigator, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Co., USA;
  • Sami Asmar, GRAIL project scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Sessions: G32A, G33B, P33E

› Watch this briefing live on Ustream



Earth at Night
Dec. 5, 10:30 a.m. PST

A new cloud-free view of the entire Earth at Night, courtesy of a joint NASA-NOAA satellite program called Suomi NPP, will be unveiled at the press conference. This image is an order of magnitude more detailed than the wildly popular earlier Earth at Night image, and reveals new information scientists are using to study meteorology, natural and human-caused fires, fishing boats, human settlement, urbanization and more. Scientists will discuss the advancements now possible with these new images and detail a few examples of the features mentioned above -- plus present images of Earth on moonless nights, lit only by "airglow" and starlight, as well as the vast difference moonlight makes on Earth's surface.

Participants:
  • James Gleason, NASA Suomi NPP project scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Christopher Elvidge, lead of the Earth Observation Group, NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, Colo.
  • Steve Miller, senior research scientist and deputy director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.
Sessions: A54F, IN33C

› Watch this briefing online



At 40, Apollo Lunar Samples Still Yielding New Data
Dec. 6, 8 a.m. PST

With the 40th anniversary of the final Apollo moon launch approaching on Dec. 7, scientists report that new results continue to emerge from research on the rocks and dust collected four decades ago. One of the last men to leave a footprint on the moon will talk about the continued relevance of the Apollo data. Though collected 40 years ago, technological advancements mean more is still being uncovered about the data generated by the missions. In one case, the digitization of data from two Apollo missions has revealed unstudied data previously thought to be lost. Now, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission continues to scrutinize the surface of the moon, putting the Apollo samples into context and expanding our understanding of the moon's evolution. Participants:
  • Harrison H. Schmitt, engineering physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Bradley L. Jolliff, Scott Rudolph professor of Earth and planetary sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Marie McBride, physics and space science, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Sessions: P42A, P43B