The sheer size of the scientific progam can be overwhelming; use these recommendations as a guide. Credit: Ebbi Roe Yovino/

This year’s AGU Fall Meeting has a packed schedule with more than 20,000 oral and poster presentations, as well as many other events each day. It’s thrilling to be surrounded by so much cutting-edge science, but it can be difficult to navigate such a large program of events. We asked the editors of AGU’s journals for their top picks, particularly those which should be accessible to non-specialists. The AGU Publications staff also added a few of their highlights.

As many of the events comprise multiple sessions across different days, the recommendations are grouped by broad topic. This first post covers Interdisciplinary, Science Communication and Publishing, Space, Planets, Solid Earth, Atmosphere, and Oceans. The second post covers Climate, Paleoclimatology, Hydrology, Earth Surface and Biogeosciences, and Geohealth.

Each recommendation includes the session code (with a link to the details in the scientific program), the day, time and room. All rooms are located within the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. For more information see the full Fall Meeting schedule.


  • Data Fair Kickoff Panel on Emerging Sources of Scientific Data – Drones, CubeSat, and Citizen Science – This panel marks the start of this year’s AGU Data Fair. Find out how the community is using these emerging data sources and the challenges they bring. This will be followed by a series of events and town halls on data planning, data capacity building, and author and reviewer data management best practices. This year we are partnering with ESIP to host a Data Help Desk in the Poster Hall that includes a Data Reference Desk, demos and workshops. The full schedule can be found in the mobile app. (Shelley Stall, Director of AGU Data Programs) – Special panel session (TH15B), Monday, 18:15-19:15, Room E2
  • The New Generation of Scientists – Young and early career scientists who are recipients of the 2017 AGU James B. Macelwane Medal and the Africa Awards for Research Excellence in Earth and Space Science will present their vision and challenges of the future for their respective fields. (AGU Publications staff) – Union Session (U43A), Thursday, 13:40-18:00, Room E2
  • American Geophysical Union Literature Review – A panel of AGU journal editors will highlight the most noteworthy themes in Earth and space science over the past year and preview emerging research topics. (AGU Publications staff) – Union Session (U52B), Friday, 12:30-13:30, Room 203-205

Science Communication and Publishing

  • Fighting for Science: Methods to Engage the Public in Productive Discussion About Science – A panel on science communication. (Ankur Desai, JGR: Biogeosciences) – Session (ED33B), Wednesday, 13:40-15:40, Room 238-239
  • Publish or Perish: Publishing for Promotion – A Town Hall meeting aimed at early career scientists featuring a panel of scientists and editors. (AGU Publications staff) – Town Hall (TH45J), Thursday, 18:15-19:15, Room 280-282


  • Solar Eclipse Effects on the Upper Atmosphere – The total solar eclipse in North America in August 2017 gave a new opportunity for observing the response of the upper atmosphere to an eclipse. (Jens Oberheide, JGR: Atmospheres) – Session (SA11B), Monday, 08:00-10:00, Room 252-254; Posters (SA21B), Tuesday 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F
  • Assessment of Space Environment Models and Data: Validation Metrics, Frameworks, and Applications – How good is a space weather forecast? Is all our new knowledge helping? One thing is certain, if we don’t think about these things, and if we don’t develop good forecast verification tools and metrics, we will neither succeed nor know we haven’t. What a good session to start out with at 8am on Monday morning. This set of really interesting presentations, culminating in a discussion session, is an excellent way to get started this Fall Meeting. I encourage everybody to arrive early for the scintillation paper and stay on for the discussion. Be prepared to participate! (Phil Wilkinson, Radio Science) The talks address the challenges of applying research models to real-world problems. (T. Paul O’Brien, Space Weather) – Session (SM11E), Monday, 08:00-10:00, Room 243-244
  • Past, Present, and Future of Active Experiments in Space – Since the 1960s space active experiments have been performed to probe basic plasma physics phenomena, elucidate aspects of magnetospheric and ionospheric physics, and understand how to control the effects of the environment on space assets. There is currently renewed interest in such active experiments, and early career staff in particular are encouraged to learn more about the history of such experiments, current planned experiments such as the DSX mission, and planning for future ideas. (Misa Cowee, JGR: Space Physics) – Session (SM11G), Monday, 08:00-10:00, Room R06-R07; Posters (SM23B), Tuesday, 13:40-18:00, Poster Hall D-F
  • Applications of Space Weather Research – Space Weather has an impact on our increasingly technological society. This session showcases new and ongoing efforts connecting space weather research with real-world applications and societal needs (Jens Oberheide, JGR: Atmospheres) – Session I (SA12B), Monday, 10:20-12:20, Session II (SA21C), Tuesday, 08:00-10:00, and Session III (SA22A), Tuesday, 10:20-12:20 all in Room 252-254; Posters (SA23A), Tuesday 13:40-18:00, and Posters (SA31A), Wednesday 08:00-12:20 both in Poster Hall D-F
  • Monitoring Geospace Variations Through Remote Sensing – This is interesting because of upcoming/new NASA satellite missions (GOLD, ICON) and ISS data. (Jens Oberheide, JGR: Atmospheres) – Session I (SA13B) Monday, 13:40-15:40, and Session II (SA14A) Monday, 16:00-18:00, both in Room R01; Posters (SA21A) Tuesday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F
  • Space Weather Forecasting: Science, Operations, Future Missions, Missing Information, and the Economic Case This is a multi-session review of the economic assessments status and paths forward in making the economic case for Space Weather research and operations. It has a fascinating collection of retrospective and forward-looking papers. (Delores Knipp, Space Weather) – Posters (SH21A), Tuesday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F; Session I (SH31D), Wednesday, 08:00-10:00, and Session II (SH32B), Wednesday, 10:20-12:20, both in Room 243-244


  • Pluto and Charon in the Rear View, MU69 Dead Ahead off the Starboard Bow – These sessions present the latest interpretations of the astounding and perplexing data returned by New Horizons flybys of the Pluto system. (Andrew Dombard, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session (P13F), Monday, 13:40-15:40, Room R04-R05; Posters (P11C), Monday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F
  • A Persistent Habitable Environment in Gale Crater, Mars: How 5 Years of Exploration with the Curiosity Rover Have Changed Our View of Mars and Its Potential for Life – Have we already explored a (once) habitable environment on Mars? (Andrew Dombard, Geophysical Research Letters) – Posters (P31A), Wednesday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F; Session (P33F), Wednesday, 13:40-15:40, Room R02-R03

Solid Earth

  • New Insights into the Earth’s Core – This session brings together a wide range of disciplines to address the most pressing questions on the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s core. (Arnaud Chulliat, JGR: Solid Earth) – Session (DI33B), Wednesday, 08:00-10:00, Room 203-205; Posters (DI33B), Wednesday, 13:40-18:00, Poster Hall D-F


  • Observations and Modeling of the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere – This will highlight some very new results from an aircraft campaign in the Asian monsoon UTLS region that happened this summer. This is exciting to our community, as people have been trying to organize a campaign in this region for many years, and it finally happened. (Bill Randel, JGR: Atmospheres) – Session I (A11R), Monday, 08:00-10:00, Session II (A12E), Monday, 10:20-12:20, Room La Nouvelle AB, and Session III (A13M), Monday, 13:40-15:40, all in Room La Nouvelle AB; Posters (A21I), Tuesday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F
  • Microphysical and Macroscopic Properties of Ice Clouds and Mixed-Phase Clouds and Interactions with Aerosols: Linking in Situ, Remote Sensing Observations and Multiscale Models (Joel Thornton, Geophysical Research Letters) – Posters (A11I), Monday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F; Session (A13K), Monday, 13:40-15:40, Room 398-399
  • Gas-Phase and Aerosol Processes and Characteristics in the Remote Troposphere – (Joel Thornton, Geophysical Research Letters) – Posters (A11G), Monday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F; Session (A14D), Monday, 16:00-18:00, Room 398-399
  • Atmospheric Oxidation Capacity Constraints: Laboratory Investigations, Field and Remote Sensing Observations, and Modeling Studies – (Joel Thornton, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session (A12A), Monday, 10:20-12:20, Room 392; Posters (A13B), Monday, 13:40-18:00, Poster Hall D-F
  • Transformations and Fate of Organic Gases and Particles in the Atmosphere – (Joel Thornton, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session (A12G), Monday, 10:20-12:20, Room 393-394; Posters (A13G), Monday, 13:40-18:00, Poster Hall D-F
  • Processes of (Sub) Cloud Scales: Modeling, Observation, and Parameterization for Larger-Scale Models – These sessions all focus on processes of (sub-) cloud scales, including cloud microphysics, convection, turbulent entrainment and mixing processes, radiation, etc (Yangang Liu, JGR: Atmospheres; Joel Thornton, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session I (A21O), Tuesday, 08:00-10:00, Session II (A22E), Tuesday, 10:20-12:20, and Session III (A23L), Tuesday, 13:40-15:40, all in Room 398-399; Posters (A31E), Wednesday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F


  • Altimetry in the Coastal Zone: Techniques, Applications, and Synergies with Models – This session addresses important developments in extending satellite altimetry measurements to the coastal zone. (Meghan Cronin, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session (OS13A), Monday, 13:40-15:40, Room 278-279; Posters (OS11A), Monday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F
  • Ocean Salinity and Its Role in Ocean Dynamics and the Water Cycle – This session focuses on salinity variations on a range of scales: from eddies, to interannual variability, to long-term trends. (Meghan Cronin, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session (OS24B), Tuesday, 16:00-18:00, Room 288-290; Posters (OS31B), Wednesday, 08:00-12:20, Poster Hall D-F

—Jenny Lunn, Director of Publications, AGU; email:


Lunn, J. (2017), AGU editor picks for 2017 Fall Meeting, part I, Eos, 98, Published on 01 December 2017.

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