Geology & Geophysics Editors' Vox

Navigating the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting: Part I

AGU editors and staff provide recommendations if you are looking for exciting science or learning opportunities outside your normal discipline.

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The AGU Fall Meeting brings together more than 25,000 scientists presenting about 22,000 talks and posters, among many other events each day.  To help navigate this rich potpourri of science, we asked AGU editors and staff to provide recommendations for particularly interesting and accessible sessions and presentations.  These are broken into two posts, this one for Monday and Tuesday and a second one coming soon for the rest of the week.

First, some general tips and highlights.  Look at the Fall Meeting schedule for:

  • Named lectures—these are longer presentations, up to an hour, by a selected speaker or award winner.
  • Union Sessions—these include sessions of broad interest
  • These include The Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture, which this year is a panel discussion on “Shifting the Energy Mix in a Post-Paris World” on Tuesday.
  • Another special lecture is a Monday Evening Town Hall by Rebecca Moore, Director of Google Earth Engine on new tools and approaches for working with big data, especially from space:   Her talk will kick off a series of events and town halls on using data, best practices in reproducibility and creating data management plans, and more.
  • AGU On-Demand–these sessions will be live-streamed and available on-demand.  These sessions and talks were selected as being of general or broad interest and are organized by topic.
  • AGU Press Conferences:  A number of talks and sessions will be selected for press conferences at the meeting.  These will be posted about 1 week before the meeting.  Look for information here and find the related sessions.
  • Swirls provide paths connecting several topics (similar to the AGU on-demand topics) across sections and feature talks and sessions of broader interest and are listed here:

Other suggestions and recommendations are grouped as follows:
Energy and other policy, General issues in Science, and Professional Development
Space and Planets
Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate
Hydrology and Earth’s Surface
Solid Earth Geophysics and Tectonics

Energy and Other Policy, General Issues in Science, and Professional Development

A variety of sessions throughout the week cover broad aspects of ethics including:

And the sessions on data skills noted above, which are related to several other sessions throughout the week, including on Tuesday:

Others related broadly to policy and practice include:

  • PA14A Independent Science and the Role of Private Sector Funding in the Geosciences II Monday, 12 December 2016 16:00 – 18:00 Moscone South- 104  Alan Robock (Reviews of Geophysics)
  • U14A Determining Matured Science: Utility, Cases, and Formats Monday, 12 December 2016 16:00 – 18:00 Moscone West- 2020,   In the Anthropocene, we need to put all of the sciences, including the social sciences, together to understand the human predicament.  Indeed, I will argue that the historically more mature, i.e. physical, sciences interpreted our relation to nature and facilitated the design and implementation of technologies that drove the planet and people into the Anthropocene. Richard Norgaard (Earth’s Future)
  • U13A Earth’s Future: The Food-Water-Energy Nexus Monday, 12 December 2016 13:40 – 15:40 Moscone West – 2022/2024.  Food, water and energy are inextricably interlinked in modern society.  Given a growing human population and increased urbanization in the 21stC, this union session examines the state of food, water and energy availability and access, and associated human and ecosystem challenges.  Six presentations explore anticipated societal needs and impacts in these areas, and consider pathways for a future with 9+ billion people on planet Earth.  Considerations include impacts of non-renewable energy sources and opportunities for energy alternatives, food and water challenges in a warming world, meeting food, energy and water needs of expanding urban populations, food engineering in support of crop productivity, impacts of agricultural expansion, and freshwater resources and pollution.  Ben van der Pluijm (Earth’s Future)
  • ED23E Amazing Technologies and Capabilities that Contribute to STEM II Tuesday, 13 December 2016 13:40 – 15:40 Moscone South- 309 Mark Moldwin (Reviews of Geophysics). One of the hidden gems of AGU FM are the wealth of Education (ED) sessions. There are scores and scores of sessions (both oral and poster) that address the breadth of Earth and Space Science educational issues. One session discusses amazing educational technologies that AGU members are developing that impact STEM education. Come learn about some of the coolest ed tech that our community has to offer. Mark Moldwin (Reviews of Geophysics)
  • EP21D The Resurgence of Photogrammetry in Earth Science Applications I Posters Tuesday, 13 December 2016 08:00 – 12:20 Moscone South- Poster Hall Brandon McElroy (JGR: Earth Surface). This session reports on the growing combination of classic tools in photogrammetry (mapping the world through pictures) with drones and other cutting edge technology. Brandon McElroy (JGR: Earth Surface)

Space and Planets

Monday

  • P11E-05 First Gravity Traverse on the Martian Surface from the Curiosity Rover Monday, 12 December 2016 09:00 – 09:15 Moscone West- 2009.  First measurements of gravity on the surface of Mars and accomplished using navigation instruments. Provides important results for understanding the rocks up to ~100 meters below the rover. Steven Hauck (JGR: Planets)
  • P11B High-Silica Materials on Mars: Observations, Processes, and Analogs Posters Monday, 12 December 2016 08:00 – 12:20 Moscone South- Poster Hall. Mars was considered to be a basaltic world, like Hawaii, but a series of studies reveal more evolved compositions, like those existing on the ancient continental crust of the Earth. This session will shed new lights on the complexity and diversity of the volcanic rocks of Mars. Much remains to be understood about the geological contexts involved in the formation of this new type of crust, their extent in time and space, and their integration into a general framework of evolution of the crust-mantle system of Mars. David Baratoux (JGR: Planets)
  • Mars Upper Atmosphere, Ionosphere, Solar Wind Interactions, and Escape: P11D, P12A, P13D, P13A (posters). With a full Martian year’s of data from the MAVEN mission, as well as over a decade of data from Mars Express, coupled with modeling efforts, we are finally getting a better quantitative understanding of how the atmosphere of Mars is currently escaping and how that escape may have changed over the age of the Solar System. The “Mars Upper Atmosphere, Ionosphere, Solar Wind Interactions, and Escape” sessions on Monday will highlight the latest results. Matt Fillingim (JGR: Planets)
  • P11D Mars Upper Atmosphere, Ionosphere, Solar Wind Interactions, and Escape I Monday, 12 December 2016  08:00 – 10:00  Moscone West – 2007. The MAVEN mission to Mars has now been orbiting the Red Planet for 2 years.  After several other missions with one or two instruments observing the space environment around Mars, MAVEN finally did it right, with a full complement of instruments to make a robust measurement set that can answer many of the outstanding questions.  After 2 years in orbit, the elliptical orbit of the satellite has precessed across much of local time and latitude, providing a comprehensive view of the space environment around Mars.  While these are not the initial results from MAVEN (that was last year), these are the statistical results.  We are still learning many great things from this mission. Mike Liemohn (JGR: Space Physics)
  • GP12A PL-O Coupling: Connecting Planetary Lithospheres to Outer Cores  Monday, 12 December 2016 10:20 – 12:20 Moscone South- 309.  Interdisciplinary session on the history and motions of the interiors and particularly the connections between processes from the lithosphere all the way down to the beginning of the solid inner core. Steve Hauck (JGR: Planets)
  • SH14A Sun-to-Earth Evolution and Characteristics of Geoeffective Solar Eruptions II Monday, 12 December 2016   16:00 – 18:00 Moscone West 2009. Presentations addressing  the origins, interplay  and modeling of solar  events that drive severe space weather events  at Earth. Delores Knipp (Space Weather)
  • M13D Multiscale Structure and Dynamics of Earth’s Dayside Magnetopause:  Results from the First MMS Dayside Season I  Monday, 12 December 2016  13:40 – 15:40  Moscone West – 2018. The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission consists of 4 spacecraft bristling with some of the most sensitive and fast-operating sensors ever built.  They need it, too, to see the electron diffusion region and finally put an observational constraint on one of the biggest unresolved issues of space physics: magnetic reconnection.  This mission was carefully crafted to fly in the right location with a dense array of satellites to properly observe this phenomenon.  They have succeeded.  The data are amazing.  This session will be a good one.  Mike Liemohn (JGR: Space Physics)
  • P11D Mars Upper Atmosphere, Ionosphere, Solar Wind Interactions, and Escape I. Monday, 12 December 2016  08:00 – 10:00  Moscone West – 2007. The MAVEN mission to Mars has now been orbiting the Red Planet for 2 years.  After several other missions with one or two instruments observing the space environment around Mars, MAVEN finally did it right, with a full complement of instruments to make a robust measurement set that can answer many of the outstanding questions.  After 2 years in orbit, the elliptical orbit of the satellite has precessed across much of local time and latitude, providing a comprehensive view of the space environment around Mars.  While these are not the initial results from MAVEN (that was last year), these are the statistical results.  We are still learning many great things from this mission. Mike Liemohn (JGR: Space Physics)

Tuesday

Several session feature early results from Juno, which recently arrived at Jupiter. Steve Hauck and Matt Fillingim (JGR: Planets):

  • U22A: Juno at Jupiter: First Results Tuesday, 13 December  10:20 – 12:20 Moscone West – 2020. NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. This session will present some of the first results.

Also

Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate

Monday

  • A11O-06 A multi-model inter-comparison of a Category-5 typhoon in future, warmer climate by four 5-km mesh models Monday, 12 December 2016 09:15 – 09:30 Moscone West- 3008.  This presentation asks the following question: If the destructive Category-5 hurricane Typhoon Vera (1959) that hit Japan in 1959 would happen in a global warming climate, how would it look? The authors used four high-resolution numerical models to simulate and analyze the scenario. They found that a warmer climate would make the Category-5 hurricane even stronger. Minghua Zhang (JGR: Atmospheres)

An exciting set of presentations on controls on carbon sequestration in marine coastal systems – including management and novel scientific insights into processes that can result in net sinks for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Miguel Goni (JGR: Biogeosciences):

Also

Tuesday

  • GC21I Arctic Environmental Change: Local, Regional, Global Drivers and Impacts I Tuesday, 13 December 2016 08:00 – 10:00 Moscone West- 3005. This session brings together an interesting mix of observations, modeling studies, and socioeconomic considerations related to environmental change in the Arctic. The historical perspective provided by Mark Serreze in the opening talk is likely to be a particular treat!  Jim McClelland (Global Biogeochemical Cycles)

A comprehensive and transdiciplinary set of studies focused on understanding the connectivity between land and ocean in terms of biogeochemistry, climate and anthropogenic impacts:

Hydrology and Earth’s Surface

Monday

Tuesday

Solid Earth Geophysics and Tectonics

Monday

Tuesday

—Brooks Hanson, Director of Publications, AGU; email: [email protected]