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Union Events
Section & Focus Group Events
Public Lectures
Field Trip
Town Hall Meetings


Union Events

Sunday, 4 December

Ice Breaker
MC, Level 2, Foyer
1700h – 1830h

Tuesday, 6 December

Frontiers of Geophysics
U22B: The 2004 Sumatra Mega–Earthquake: Lessons From a Monster
Presented by Emile Okal, Northwestern University
Marriott, Yerba Buena, Salon 9

The Sumatra–Andaman earthquake of 26 December 2004 was the largest one in 40 years, and perhaps since the great Chilean earthquake of 1960. The death toll due to the Indian Ocean tsunami is unparalleled in recorded, and probably absolute, human history. Most significantly, it was the first mega–earthquake to occur since the explosion of information technology revolutionized both instrumentation and dissemination of data. The tsunami was recorded by technologies as diverse as satellite altimetry, broadband seismometers, infrasound, and hydroacoustic sensors, none of which was designed for that purpose. The location of the earthquake caught most of the seismological community by surprise, and has led to a humble reassessment of our vision of the seismic potential of subduction zones. The size of the earthquake was difficult to fully assess, especially in real or quasi–real time, simply because most software had never been designed to consider the relevant source durations and frequency bands. This has led to critical reviews of operational tsunami warning algorithms, and to innovative suggestions for the synergetic use of multiple technologies in this respect. From the social and engineering points of view, data gathered in the course of a comprehensive, and still ongoing, program of field surveys have revealed intriguing patterns in the delayed response of distant harbors, as stressed by the need for the continued education of communities worldwide to the hazards inherent in living in, or simply visiting, coastal areas.

Agency Lecture
The Vision for Space Exploration: The Moon and Beyond—NASA's New Direction
Presented by Michael D. Griffin, NASA Administrator
Marriott, Yerba Buena, Salon 8

Wednesday, 7 December

AGU Honors Evening

The Honors evening will highlight the accomplishments of scientists in all fields of geophysics. Pay tribute to the 2005 AGU medalists honored at this event.

Honors Ceremony
Marriott, Yerba Buena, Salon 7

Reception immediately follows ceremony.

Honors Banquet
Marriott, Yerba Buena, Salon 9
Ticketed event: $55 per person

Thursday, 8 December

Publications Open Forum
MC Level 2, Room 2002
1230h – 1330h

Meet with the AGU Publications Committee to discuss your opinions on AGU plans for open access, the future of AGU print journals, use of dynamic content, and more.

Friday, 9 December

AGU Council Meeting
Argent Hotel, Metropolitan I
1815h – 2000h

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Section & Focus Group Events

Monday, 5 December

Hydrology Section Luncheon
Marriott Hotel, Golden Gate A1–A3
1230h – 1330h
Ticketed event: $30 per person, $10 per student

Seismology and Tectonophysics Sections (Joint) Luncheon
Marriott Hotel, Golden Gate C1–C3
1230h – 1330h
Ticketed event: $30 per person

Business Meetings and Receptions

Marriott Hotel

  • Atmospheric and Space Electricity
    Yerba Buena, Salon 3
  • Biogeosciences
    Golden Gate C2
  • Geodesy joint meeting with UNAVCO
    Golden Gate C3
  • Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism
    Yerba Buena, Nob Hill A–D
  • Global Environmental Change
    Golden Gate A3
  • Mineral and Rock Physics and Study of the Earth's Deep Interior (Joint)
    Golden Gate B3
    —Sponsored by Almax Industries, Digital Technology, Technodiamant and Oxford Instruments
  • Nonlinear Geophysics
    Golden Gate C1
  • Ocean Sciences and Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
    Golden Gate A1–A2
  • Polar Reception
    Golden Gate B1–B2
    —Co-sponsored by the AGU Cryosphere Focus Group, the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS), Arctic Institute of North America (AINA), U.S. Permafrost Association (USPA), and Polar Research Board (PRB)
  • Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology
    2005 Bowen Award presented to Paul R. Renne
    Yerba Buena, Salon 9

Planetary Sciences Reception
Thirsty Bear Restaurant
661 Howard Street
Ticketed event: $12

Sponsored in part by The Aerospace Company, Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., Orbital Sciences Corp., and The Deutches Zentrum Für Luft-und Raumfahrt.

Space Physics and Aeronomy and Atmospheric Sciences (Joint) Dinner
Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom I–II
1930h – 2230h
Ticketed event: $50 per person, $30 per student

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Public Lectures

Sunday, 4 December

The 1906 Earthquake—Lessons Learned, Lessons Forgotten, and Future Directions
Presented by Mary Lou Zoback, USGS—Menlo Park
Marriott Hotel, Yerba Buena, Salon 9

At the beginning of the 20th century, San Francisco was the "most cosmopolitan city outside of New York," the financial center of the west, and the eighth largest city in the country. Overnight, everything changed. Following a rousing performance of Caruso in Carmen the previous evening, the city was violently shaken awake at 5:12 AM on 18 April 1906. The 1906 magnitude 7.9 earthquake and resulting firestorm over the next 3 days left San Francisco devastated. There was also significant damage throughout northern California. More than 3000 persons lost their lives and in San Francisco alone, 225,000 of the city's 400,000 citizens were left homeless. The centennial of this major natural disaster affords an opportunity to commemorate the cultural and social response to this historic event and to highlight a century of progress in understanding earthquake hazards and reducing the risks they pose.

Thursday, 8 December

Hurricane Katrina: How and Why Did This Calamity Happen?
Presented by Hugh E. Willoughby, Florida International University
Marriott Hotel, Yerba Buena, Salon 9

Katrina's landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi this fall caused destruction of more than $100B in property and ending of over 1300 lives, giving it dimensions of a catastrophe from the early 20th century, or before. In retrospect, the meteorological reasons for the disaster were straightforward. Katrina's path crossed ocean currents with elevated heat content and a surrounding wind field that favored the rapid intensification to Category 5 over the Gulf of Mexico. When Katrina made landfall east of New Orleans as a Category 3 storm, the combination of wind, 10 foot storm surge, and levee failure overwhelmed structures that had survived Camille a generation earlier. Accurate forecasts—that significantly outperformed the state of the art—enabled substantial evacuation of New Orleans before the storm struck.

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Field Trip

Sunday, 4 December

Jaspar Ridge
Bus boards at Moscone West, 0830h
0830h – 1700h
Tickets: $45

Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve covers 1200 acres of grassland, shrubland, and forest in coastal, central California. Since 1998, Jasper Ridge has been the site of a major global change experiment, in which grassland plots experience elevated temperature, atmospheric CO2, precipitation, and N deposition in a wide range of different combinations. Using techniques from molecular biology to remote sensing, the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment is testing hypotheses about basic mechanisms of ecosystem function and about ecosystem responses to realistic global changes. This tour will give participants a close look at the experiment's infrastructure, approach, and results. It will also provide an introduction to Jasper Ridge and the ecosystems of central California.

Contact: Chris Field (cfield@globalecology.stanford.edu) for more information.

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Town Hall Meetings

Thursday, 8 December, 1815h
DUSEL—Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory  [Full description]
Federal Research and Development to Address the Science and Technology of Water Availability and Quality  [Full description]
NASA Science Organization and Direction  [Full description]
ORION/OOI Ocean Observatories: Advanced Planning and Opportunities  [Full description]
Progress on the State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR): Integrating Scientific Synthesis and Assessment with Stakeholder Interests and Issues  [Full description]
Strategic Guidance for NSF's Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report  [Full description]

Thursday, 8 December, 1900h
COMPRES: Planning Meeting for Renewal Proposal to NSF  [Full description]
EarthScope Project Town Hall Meeting  [Full description]
Integrated Ocean Drilling Program: A New Era of Scientific Investigation of Earth, Oceans, Life  [Full description]
SPA Agency Night  [Full description]

EarthScope Project Town Hall Meeting

Host: EarthScope
MC, Level 3, Room 3018

In solid Earth science, the EarthScope Project is an unprecedented undertaking, both in its interdisciplinary approach to geoscience and in its scope. With approximately $200 million in funding from the NSF's Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account, the EarthScope Project is developing a comprehensive systems approach to understanding the tectonics of the North American continent at all scales—from the active nucleation zone of earthquakes, to individual faults and volcanoes, to the deformation along the plate boundary, and to the structure of the continent. EarthScope's science and educational activities will contribute to the mitigation of risks from geologic hazards, the development of natural resources, and the public's understanding of the dynamic Earth and the forces that shape our landscape. The EarthScope project will present its current status, activities, and future plans while creating a forum for the broad community to provide feedback, comments, and suggestions.