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NASA at 2013 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting: Press Events

This list details 2013 American Geophysical Union press events that involve NASA research. Any additional information and multimedia associated with briefings will be posted online by the time of each event. You may access that information using the links tied to each press event title.

General information for news media provided by AGU, including instructions on how reporters can register to participate in the briefings online, can be viewed here.

Unless otherwise noted all AGU press events will take place at the press briefing room in Moscone West, Room 3000. The meeting requires registration with official media credentials.

To request interviews with NASA scientists, please contact: Steve Cole, NASA Headquarters, 202-358-0918, stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov.

First Results from NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Mission
Time: Monday, 9 Dec., 8 a.m. PST

NASA's small explorer IRIS was launched on June 27, 2013.  Its images and spectra of the solar chromosphere and transition region reveal a new window into the dynamics and energetics of the low solar atmosphere that play a pivotal role in heating the solar atmosphere, accelerating the solar wind, and driving solar eruptive events. The IRIS observations reveal a wealth of violent solar eruptive events in unprecedented resolution and are making it possible for the first time to study these explosive phenomena in enough detail to determine their role in heating the outer solar atmosphere.   › Associate Feature Story


  • Alan Title, IRIS Principal Investigator, Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Bart De Pontieu, IRIS science lead, Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Mats Carlsson, Professor, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Scott McIntosh, Section Head: Solar Transients & Space Weather, National Center for Atmospheric Research, High Altitude Observatory, Boulder, Co. 

Related AGU Sessions: SH12A, SH23B, SH31D, SH32A, SH33A

Related Links:

› Associate Feature Story
› IRIS Presentation
› Video: Solar Prominence - Sept 24, 2013
› Video: Solar Atmosphere Simulation - AGU Dec. 9, 2013

Update from Gale Crater: Results from NASA Mars Rover Curiosity
Time: Monday, 9 Dec., 9 a.m. PST

NASA Mars rover Curiosity is examining evidence about ancient Martian environmental conditions that were favorable for microbial life. Findings are also pertinent to future searches for Martian biosignatures and for future human missions to Mars.  › Associate Feature Story


  • John Grotzinger, Project Scientist for Curiosity, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Joel Hurowitz, Curiosity Science Team Member, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y.
  • Jennifer Eigenbrode, Participating Scientist for Curiosity, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Laurel, Md.
  • Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, Co-investigator for Radiation Assessment Detector on Curiosity, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany
  • Kenneth Farley, Participating Scientist for Curiosity, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

Related AGU Sessions: P13B, P14B, P21D, P23B, P23C, P24A

NASA Discusses Mars Curiosity Radiation Findings
Time: Monday, 9 Dec, 10 a.m. PST

NASA will host a media teleconference to discuss the new findings from the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) aboard the rover Curiosity presented at the AGU meeting. For dial-in information, media should e-mail their name, affiliation and telephone number to Rachel Kraft at rachel.h.kraft@nasa.gov by 8 a.m. PST on Dec. 9. Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA's website at http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio.



  • Jason Crusan, Advanced Exploration Systems Division Director, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • Dan Dumbacher, Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • Donald M. Hassler, RAD Principal Investigator and Program Director, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
  • Rich Williams, Chief Health and Medical Officer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. 


NASA Snow Mapper Reaps Big Benefits for California
Time: Monday, 9 Dec., 10:30 a.m. PST

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and participating universities and water management agencies in California and Colorado have completed the first year of operations using a prototype airborne system that maps the snowpack of major mountain watersheds to more accurately determine how much water as snow they hold and how fast melt water will come out of the watersheds. In 2013, NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory performed unprecedented mapping of the Tuolumne River Basin and its Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Sierra Nevada, the primary water supply for 2.6 million San Francisco Bay Area residents; and the Uncompahgre watershed, part of the Upper Colorado River Basin that supplies water to much of the western United States. In this briefing, scientists will discuss how the City of San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy operation used the data to optimize reservoir filling and hydroelectric generation at its O’Shaughnessy Dam this year during California’s severe drought. Scientists will also discuss how the technology is improving understanding of snow and its melt, and how it can be applied worldwide.  › Associate Feature Story


  • Thomas H. Painter, Scientist and Principal Investigator, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Bruce McGurk, Hydrologist, McGurk Hydrologic Associates, Oneida, Calif.
  • Jessica Lundquist, Associate Professor, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Bradley Doorn, Deputy Program Manager, Applied Sciences, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Related AGU Sessions: C11C-02, C13D-02, H13J-1505, G22A-08, IN32A-04, C41B-0606, C43B-0675, C51D-01

› News conference presentation

Taking Landsat to the Extreme
Monday, 9 Dec., 2:30 p.m. PST

With remote sensing satellites including Landsat 8, researchers have recorded new measurements of the Earth's coldest temperatures. The satellite imagery not only allows scientists to take the temperature of these inhospitable locations, but figure out what sort of weather brings on the record-breaking cold.


  • Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado Boulder
  • James Irons, Landsat 8 project scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Related AGU Sessions: C21D, B53G

Media Availability with NASA’s Top Scientists
Time: Monday, 9 Dec., 6:30 p.m. PST

From the coldest place on Earth to the surface lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan, NASA research being presented at the AGU meeting reveals amazing new stories about life in our solar system. The results shed light on how life evolved, how human activities on Earth can impact life on a planetary scale, and how human life might extend beyond Earth in the not-so-distant future. Reporters are invited to an interview opportunity with NASA's top scientists to discuss agency findings and programs across the Earth and space sciences. NASA Booth (#325), AGU Exhibit Hall, Moscone Center North.



  • Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist, Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • John Grunsfeld, NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.


Improved Warnings for Natural Hazards: A Prototype System for Southern California
Time: Tuesday, 10 Dec., 9 a.m. PST

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have developed new systems to improve real-time warnings of natural hazards like earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events. The enhanced systems have been used by weather forecasters in Southern California to issue flood warnings and are being integrated into emergency warning systems in San Diego, including monitoring of hospitals and bridges. There are plans to expand the system throughout the western United States.
› Associate Feature Story


  • Yehuda Bock, Research Geodesist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
  • Angelyn Moore, Research Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Mark Jackson, Meteorologist in Charge, National Weather Service, Los Angeles/Oxnard, Calif.

Related AGU Sessions: IN11B-1533, S21A-2371, IN23E-07, NH43A-1731, S44A-05, G53B-0922, G53A-0901

› News conference presentation

Science From Juno's Earth Flyby
Tuesday, 10 Dec., 10:30 a.m. PST

Juno's AGU briefing will present data acquired by NASA's Juno spacecraft during its Earth flyby and will describe the scientific goals of Juno at Jupiter. A low-resolution Earth flyby movie will be released, as well as results from the mission’s outreach campaign inviting amateur radio operators to “Say Hi to Juno” as it passed Earth.


  • Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio
  • John Jorgensen, Juno star-camera team lead, Danish Technical University, Copenhagen
  • Bill Kurth, Co-Investigator for the Juno Waves Investigation, University of Iowa, Iowa City

Related AGU Sessions: SM21E / SM33B

Related Links:

› Associate Feature Story
› Presentation


Dynamic Mars from Long-Term Observations
Time: Tuesday, 10 Dec., 11:30 a.m. PST

There has been a continual spacecraft presence at Mars since 1997. The longevity of spacecraft missions examining the Red Planet has enabled detection and examination of changes on multiple time scales. Active processes include planet-encircling dust storms about every three to four Mars years, evolution of the polar caps, fresh impacts, migrating sand, and a suite of processes on slopes, some of which may involve liquid water. The distribution of shallow ice is much better known, with implications for recent climate change. The longer the observations continue, the deeper the understanding grows about active processes on Mars. › Associate Feature Story


  • Alfred McEwen, Principal Investigator for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Colin Dundas, Science Team Member for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, United States Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Robert Haberle, Co-Investigator for Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Related AGU Sessions: P31C, P41A


The Battle of Fire and Ice: New Scientific Results from Comet ISON
Tuesday, 10 Dec., 1:30 p.m. PST

Scientists will report on observations of Comet ISON both before and during its closest approach to the Sun on Nov. 27-29, 2013. The comet was clearly visible in the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), and changes in brightness throughout the passage can help scientists determine what the comet was made of. The panel will share data from these results, as well as from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), to present a picture of ISON’s trip around the Sun, which appears to have led to its demise. The panel will also report on why ISON was not seen in images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).  › Associate Feature Story



  • Dean Pesnell, project scientist for the Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA GoddardSpace Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Karl Battams, Comet ISON Observing Campaign, Naval Research Lab, Washington, D.C.
  • Geraint Jones, UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory and The Centre for Planetary Sciences, University College London, Birkbeck, United Kingdom
  • Alfred McEwen, principal investigator for HiRISE on MRO, Arizona State University, Tucson, Ariz.

Related AGU Sessions: P24A, P31A

Observations and Consequences of Solar Cycle 24
 Wednesday, 11 Dec., 9 a.m. PST

 Panelists will discuss 12 years of results using the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry, or SABER, aboard the NASA's TIMED spacecraft. SABER results of the upper atmosphere, and the two-peaked solar cycle we now see in the atmosphere and how this data is critical to understanding the natural variability of the atmosphere as the requisite first step in understanding trends in temperature, composition, and energetics due to increasing CO2.


  •  Nat Gopalswamy, astrophysicist, Solar Physics Laboratory, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Martin Mlynczak, senior research scientist, Climate Science Branch, NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
  • Joe Giacolone, professor, Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona
  • Leif Svalgaard, solar physicist, Stanford University


Related AGU Sessions: SH23D, SH24A, SH33E

New Results From Inside the Ozone Hole
Time: Wednesday, 11 Dec., 1:30 p.m. PST

More than 20 years after the Montreal Protocol agreement limited human emissions of ozone-depleting substances, the question remains: is the stratospheric ozone hole over Antarctica recovering? Scientists will present new observations from under the hood of the ozone hole, revealing the internal workings of the annual phenomenon. Why were the holes of 2006 and 2011 so large, and why was the hole of 2012 so small? Drawing from the new observations and analyses, the researchers will provide an update on the status of the ozone hole as well as projected trends.


  • Anne Douglass, Aura project scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Natalya Kramarova, atmospheric scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Susan Strahan, atmospheric scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Related AGU Sessions: A41K, A43E
› Briefing slides related to this presentation

New Observations of Europa from the Hubble Space Telescope
Time: Thursday, Dec. 12, 8 a.m. PST

Previous spacecraft missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa revealed complex patterns adorning the surface and generated a scientific debate about its icy outer shell and subsurface ocean. New observations from the Hubble Space Telescope present a surprising twist to our understanding of this unusual planetary satellite.


  • Lorenz Roth, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
  • Joachim Saur, Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Kurt D. Retherford, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
  • James Green, NASA’s Planetary Sciences Division, Washington, DC.

Related AGU Sessions: P42A, P35A

Related Links:

› Associate Feature Story
› Presentation


Titan as You've Never Seen it Before: New Results from NASA's Cassini Mission to Saturn
Time: Thursday, Dec. 12, 11:30 a.m. PST

Saturn's moon Titan is the only place in our solar system other than Earth known to have a surface dotted with stable bodies of liquid, which take the form of hydrocarbon lakes and seas. With additional flybys of Titan completed this year by NASA's Cassini spacecraft and the development of a new way to analyze data from the radar mapper, Cassini's science team has put together new views of Titan's northern land of lakes. The new results have given Cassini scientists a better understanding of this Earth-like region and its history.


  • Steve Wall, Cassini acting radar team lead, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Randolph Kirk, Cassini radar team member, U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center, Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Marco Mastrogiuseppe, Cassini radar team associate, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
  • Jeff Kargel, senior associate research scientist, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.,

Related AGU Sessions: P52B

Related Links:

› Associate Feature Story
› Presentation

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Page Last Updated: December 26th, 2013
Page Editor: Rob Garner