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Town Hall Meetings

Monday, 14 December, 1945h–2045h

A Forward Look at the Hydrologic Sciences

Moscone West, Room 2007
Sponsored by the National Research Council
Cosponsored by H

The National Research Council (NRC) seeks to discuss with AGU membership current and future issues in hydrologic sciences. The goals of the town hall meeting are to engage the community on topics that the NRC Committee on Hydrologic Sciences could address and to solicit information from a broad cross section of the community in support of a new study of Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences. This study will review the field of hydrologic sciences and will be the first comprehensive assessment of the field by the NRC since publication of "Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences," in 1991.

Energy-Water Interdependence

Moscone West, Room 2004
Cosponsored by B, GC

Societal sustainability, security, and public/economic health depend on continuous supplies of interdependent energy and water. Energy production requires large volumes of water; treatment and distribution of water interdependently requires low-cost energy-both are experiencing increasing demand. Can going green, combined with traditional energy sources and new technologies, foster joint energy/water policy development and research? As an example, bioenergy/biofuels provide the opportunity to immediately increase U.S. energy/water security by creating energy and producing fuels, reducing oil dependence. This session solicits scientists, policy makers, and others in resource sustainability and development for interaction between joint water/energy research and policy development.

The Global Atmosphere: An Overview of Current Research and Assessment Activities

Moscone West, Room 2005
Cosponsored by A, GC

In this town hall meeting we will review several activities aimed at advancing and communicating our understanding of the changing global atmosphere; in particular, how air pollution is transported intercontinentally and how it influences and is influenced by climatic changes. Activities to be discussed include the Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate (AC&C) initiative, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (TF-HTAP), a National Academy of Sciences study of long-range pollution transport, and a United Nations Environment Programme assessment of climate and air quality impacts of black carbon and and tropospheric ozone precursors.

Google Earth in Geoscience Education: A Meeting of Programmers, Publishers, and Professors

Moscone West, Room 2003
Cosponsored by C, ED, G, GC, GP, H, IN, MR, NH, NS, OS, P, PP, S

This town hall meeting aims to bring together professors, teaching assistants, Google engineers, program directors, bloggers, textbook publishers, pedagogists, and interested others. There will be no lengthy speeches, just brief introductions and graphic demonstrations. Audience members will be invited to text or tweet their questions and comments to a scrolling display and to vote with clickers and/or flashcards. A panel of experts will respond. Possible topics include classroom experiences (what works and what doesn't); the Google Earth APP versus the API; introducing Google Earth into existing labs; KML-savvy textbooks; dynamic KML; and requests for new features.

Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise (PACE): Bridging Climate Science and Societal Decisions

Moscone West, Room 2011
Cosponsored by U, A, GEC, OS, PA

A national postdoctoral fellowship program, launched in 2007, embeds recent climate Ph.D.s within decision-making and resource management institutions. Each postdoctorate is teamed with a decision-making and a climate research institution. Given the unconventional nature of this program, several logistical aspects have limited our engagement of known societal demands most notably, a difficulty in attracting appropriate institutional partners. This town hall meeting seeks to inform the community about the program and to solicit feedback on how we might improve the process and draw more projects.

Renewable Energy: Cross-Disciplinary Needs Within the Geophysical Sciences

Moscone West, Room 2009

As society focuses on renewable energy, the challenges and needs for the shift in energy sources span a broad range of geophysical areas of research. Expertise to support hydrokinetic, geothermal, wind, and solar energy needs to shift attention and work in a cross-disciplinary way. How the educational system, federal agencies, and private industry can meet the needs will be addressed in a dynamic group meeting.

SciDB and Geoscientific Data Management Requirements

Moscone West, Room 2008
Cosponsored by IN

We are building SciDB, a new open source data management system optimized for storing and analyzing large-scale scientific data. SciDB will natively support arrays of values with appropriate operations like regrid, provide in situ data access to HDF5 or NetCDF files, and furnish intuitive interfaces for both user-defined functions and client application programs. This meeting will provide a forum for describing the features of SciDB and discussing what other capabilities should be added to ensure its usefulness for geoscientists.

Talking Climate

Moscone West, Room 2006
Cosponsored by GEC

The public has significant gaps in its understanding of climate change. Naturally, scientists are best equipped to fill these gaps. However, many scientists are unaware or untrained in how to best convey their ample knowledge to non scientists. Because they're already experts in their field, they can make inaccurate assumptions about other people's understanding of weather, climate, and human-caused warming. Our goal is to cultivate an educated public that can make informed decisions. In this town hall meeting, communications professionals will provide the basics of delivering accurate yet easy-to-understand science to the public and the media.

Tuesday, 15 December, 1815h–1915h

Space Physics and Aeronomy Section Town Hall

Moscone West, Room 2003

The 2009 Space Physics and Aeronomy town hall meeting will provide the AGU SPA membership an opportunity to hear from its NSF, NASA, and other agencies leadership. In keeping with this annual event, agency representatives will provide information on current and future activities, programs, and opportunities, with highlights of recent milestones and successes. In response to a solicitation for questions from the SPA membership, the representatives will be asked to address your questions. The meeting will provide the SPA membership an update on the AGU reorganization.

Thursday, 17 December, 1815h–1915h

ARM Climate Research Facility: New Measurement Capabilities for Climate Change Research

Moscone West, Room 2002

Sponsored by the Department of Energy, the ARM Climate Research Facility (www.arm.gov) is a global scientific user facility for the study of climate science. This session will familiarize the research community with the capabilities of the facility and summarize recent field campaigns, including the current deployment in the Azores. We will describe the many instruments, such as scanning cloud and precipitation radars, which will come online as a result of the Recovery Act. Finally, we will invite discussion on potential science applications for existing and new instrumentation in anticipation of the upcoming call for proposals to use the facility.

Emerging Research Opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico Region

Moscone West, Room 2008
Cosponsored by EP, S, T

The Gulf of Mexico and adjacent coastal plain offers challenges regarding past and present patterns and rates of subsidence, and the tectonic, magmatic, and ancient and modern sedimentological evolution. These challenges concern the basin's rift history, coastal and deep water processes, and hydrocarbon resources. In the next 2 years the NSF-funded EarthScope program will target the Gulf Coast region. This provides an opportunity to develop cross-disciplinary studies that will dramatically advance understanding of Gulf of Mexico geology and natural resource utilization. This town hall meeting is focused on discussion of research opportunities related to these issues.

Great Earthquakes and Their Asperities: Kanto Asperity Project

Moscone West, Room 2003
Cosponsored by MR, S, T

The Kanto region is one of the most densely populated urban areas and has been devastated by repeated great earthquakes over the past several thousand years. To reveal the geological backgrounds, historical great earthquakes, and properties and mechanics of asperity/nonasperity regions (slow slip event regions), proposals for a drilling and geophysical monitoring project (Kanto Asperity Project) have been submitted to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. In this meeting, we will show recent updates and discuss the concept and strategy of the project.

NASA Earth Science Division Town Hall Meeting

Moscone West, Room 2007
Cosponsored by A, GC, MR

This town hall meeting will provide an opportunity for the Earth science community to interact with the leadership of the Earth Science Division (ESD) of NASA's Science Mission directorate. Brief presentations by the ESD leadership will precede a longer opportunity for audience questions. Topics to be addressed include scientific accomplishments and programmatic milestones from the past year, current programmatic directions, and NASA's progress toward implementing foundational missions and those identified by the National Research Council's 2007 Decadal Survey for Earth Science, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond.

Ocean Observatories Update: OOI, MARS, NEPTUNE Canada, and VENUS

Moscone West, Room 2006
Cosponsored by OS

This meeting will update the progress, current status, and upcoming activities of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS), the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS), and the North-East Pacific Time-Series Undersea Networked Experiments (NEPTUNE) Canada programs. All four programs have made great strides this past year, including the installation of science nodes and instrument platforms on NEPTUNE Canada, plans for expanding the capabilities of VENUS, the successful deployment of experiments on MARS, and the start of the construction phase of the OOI network.

Prediction in Ungauged Basins (PUB): Fourth Biennium Meeting

Moscone West, Room 2009
Cosponsored by H

PUB, the IAHS Decade for Prediction in Ungauged Basins, is entering its fourth biennium with specific goals to reduce predictive uncertainty by reducing hydrological model calibration, increasing hydrological understanding, completing the PUB Benchmark Report, and developing integration and demonstration project teams to develop local solutions for prediction in regional ungauged basin situations. PUB will also develop a practical handbook on "How to Predict in Ungauged Basins" to engage PUB in practice. Input is requested on implementation of these goals through broad participation. New and existing efforts in support of PUB will be identified and planned. All are welcome.

The Water Research Community and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems "Finding Common Ground"

Moscone West, Room 2004
Cosonsored by H

The GEO Water Cycle Community of Practice needs to gain a better understanding of effective ways for GEO and the hydrometeorological science community to interact. Recently, the Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership and GEO merged and the activities of the Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations (IGWCO) theme became part of the GEO Water Societal Benefit Area. In addition, the IGWCO Science Committee now functions as a Community of Practice. This town hall meeting will inform AGU members about these developments and seek feedback on ways to better coordinate activities among the groups that deal with water issues and Earth observations.

Thursday, 17 December, 1930h–2030h

Antarctic Scientific Drilling

Moscone West, Room 2009
Cosponsored by C, GP, MR

The importance of understanding the long-term response of the Southern Hemisphere cryosphere-ocean-atmosphere systems to climate change requires high-quality paleorecords provided by sediment cores recovered from around Antarctica. Because of the long planning horizons and intense logistical requirements for conducting scientific drilling in these remote regions of the world, strategic coordination of activities is required, along with proposal pressure from the community. This town hall meeting is meant to report on recent planning discussions related to ANDRILL, SHALDRIL, IODP, SCAR-ACE, and WAIS initiatives, and to discuss opportunities for community involvement in developing an integrated Antarctic scientific drilling plan.


Moscone West, Room 2003
Cosponsored by DI, S, T

This year's EarthScope town hall meeting will focus on a discussion of the updated EarthScope Science Plan that will be developed at the WESP workshop in Snowbird, Utah, on 7–8 October 2009. A draft of the plan should be distributed to the community by AGU. This meeting will also provide an opportunity to update the community on other important EarthScope initiatives such as the Joint EarthScope/MARGINS ARRA-supported facilities enhancement effort in Cascadia and new opportunities for outreach and education.

Earth System Data Records (ESDRs)

Moscone West, Room 2005
Cosponsored by A, B, C, EP, G, GC, H, IN, OS

NASA has a long history of collecting data from spaceborne instruments and in situ data relevant to modeling long-term phenomena such as climate change in the Earth System. While similar measurements may be made from multiple instruments over time, it is essential to build long time series of consistently calibrated and validated data. Such long time series are called Earth System Data Records (ESDRs). NASA has an active program called MEaSUREs for producing ESDRs. This town hall meeting will seek inputs from the MEaSUREs project teams and potential users of ESDRs on strategies to enhance usability of ESDRs by a broad user community.

NASA's Applied Sciences Program and Decadal Survey Missions

Moscone West, Room 2007
Cosponsored by A, B, G, GP, H, MR, OS, T, VGP

NASA's Applied Sciences Program strives to bring NASA research capabilities in the area of spaceborne and airborne platforms and observations, higher level data products, and modeling and analysis to operational tools. The upcoming Decadal Survey missions provide an opportunity to engage the applications communities early in the design process. This town hall meeting will describe the Decadal Survey mission and related applications, discuss upcoming workshops and activities, and provide opportunities for questions and answers about the missions.

Peer-Reviewed Data Publication and Other Strategies to Sustain Verifiable Science

Moscone West, Room 2008
Cosponsored by EP, IN

Objective, verifiable science requires formal, reviewed publication of both data and research results. Data publication facilitates essential scientific processes including transparency, reproducibility, documentation of uncertainty, and preservation. The AGU Council reaffirmed this fundamental responsibility in a revised position statement. Nonetheless, data publication lacks established cultural practices and quality standards for modern, complex, digital data sets. This town hall meeting will present the AGU position statement and evolving international data publication mechanisms. We seek input from all disciplines on state-of-the-art approaches for data peer-review, peer-recognition, citation, and other verification practices. The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners will publish discussion results.

Refreshing Our Ocean Research Priorities

Moscone West, Room 2006
Cosponsored by OS

In 2007, the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST) wrote "Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy." JSOST has begun the process of refreshing the priorities in Charting the Course. During the summer of 2009, public comments were solicited through a Dear Colleague Letter and a Federal Register notice. This town hall meeting will give members of the ocean science and technology community an opportunity to provide input into the refresh process and to discuss progress to date with the chairs of JSOST.

The Role of NSF's Environmental Observatories in Ecology and Earth Systems Science

Moscone West, Room 2002
Cosponsored by A, B, H, EP, OS

The nation needs a long-term, comprehensive strategy to collect and analyze data on the impacts of large-scale environmental changes on oceanic, atmospheric, and terrestrial systems. To facilitate decision support at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels, these data must be turned into credible forecasts and information products that are easily accessible to resource managers. This town hall meeting brings together leaders from emerging environmental observatories to discuss how the nation's climate-change mitigation and adaptation needs can be met through the collective efforts of federal and nonfederal entities. Timothy Killeen (NSF assistant director for geosciences) is slated to present opening remarks.

Toward a Global Geoscience Initiative

Moscone West, Room 2004
Sponsored by Geological Society of America, Geological Society of London, American Geological Institute, and British Geological Survey
Cosponsored by H, MR

The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) is coming to a close. There have been many notable successes in its outreach program. Representatives of several Earth science institutions are exploring whether there is scope to launch a global geoscience initiative, in response to the "call to arms" embodied in the Tsukuba Declaration put forward by participants in IYPE and three other international years, International Polar Year (IPY), Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY), and International Heliophysical Year (IHY). This initiative, while independent of IYPE and the other international years, would constitute a fitting legacy, contributing to global scientific understanding and international capacity building, and complementing the outreach achievements of IYPE.