Home AGU Home  |  Meetings AGU Meetings   |  Join AGU Join AGU


Town Hall Meetings

Attending one of the lunchtime Town Halls? AGU has arranged for soups, salads, sandwiches and more to be available at the Moscone West Lobby 1 Espresso & Deli.

Tuesday, 14 December, 1815h–1915h

Space Physics and Aeronomy Agency Night

Moscone West, Room 2003
Sponsored by the Space Physics and Aeronomy section of AGU

The Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) Agency Night town hall meeting is a long-standing tradition at Fall Meeting. It takes place on Tuesday evening, before the SPA banquet. As the name implies, Agency Night is an important opportunity for the community to exchange information and ideas with key representatives from the primary funding agencies of SPA research: NASA, National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Defense (DOD). Speakers typically include the heads of the Heliophysics division of NASA (Richard Fisher) and the Geospace section of NSF (Richard Behnke). The target audience is the entire SPA research community.

Wednesday, 15 December, 1230h–1330h

A Proposed North American Hydroclimate Project

Moscone West, Room 3002
Cosponsored by A, C, ED, H

This town hall meeting will discuss a new Regional Hydroclimate Project (RHP) for the United States and North America. The idea is to build on the success of the GCIP/GAPP/CPPA legacy, while entraining the vast array of interdisciplinary observational and modeling resources available in this region. We hope that through smart coordination and integration, we can coalesce an interdisciplinary, interagency, and potentially international effort that will make significant contributions to continental-scale hydroclimate science and solutions. We see this as a contribution to not only GEWEX but also the broader climate, carbon, ecology, and applications communities.

Arctic Sciences at National Science Foundation

Moscone West, Room 2006
Cosponsored by ED, T

This town hall meeting is intended to provide information to the community concerning the state of the Arctic division's portfolio, guidance on proposal preparation for submission to the Arctic division's solicitations, and NSF funding opportunities outside the Arctic division, and to allow an opportunity for open discussion of the ongoing evolution of the Arctic division, its programs, and its foci.

Changing Climate, Changing Priorities: The Restructuring of the U.S. Global Change Research Program

Moscone West, Room 2004
Sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program
Cosponsored by ED

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their societal implications (www.globalchange.gov). The program is currently in the process of a strategic reorientation to better address societal needs for climate science information relevant to mitigation and adaptation policy and decision making. At this town hall meeting, the USGCRP leadership will provide an overview of the new strategic framework and directions for the program and engage in a dialogue with attendees to gather feedback and input on how to better address the challenges and opportunities of climate change and related research.

Deep Carbon Observatory Town Hall Meeting

Moscone West, Room 2020
Cosponsored by B, DI, MRP, VGP

The Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is a multidisciplinary, international initiative to achieve transformational understanding of carbon's roles in Earth's interior. The DCO is promoting innovative research strategies and collaborations as well as a network of analytical facilities. Insights from chemistry, physics, biology, and Earth sciences will merge to elevate our understanding of carbon's role in the complex interdependences of nonliving and living processes "from Earth's surface to great depth and from nano to global scales,” including the full range of Earth's 4.56-billion-year history. Join us to discuss the DCO, how it functions, getting involved, and future opportunities.

Earth and Space Science Informatics Governance

Moscone West, Room 2003
Cosponsored by IN

The Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI) Focus Group addresses data management and computational issues that facilitate the range of scientific topics of the Union. As such, ESSI membership spans the diverse disciplines of the Union. Governance under such diversity is challenging. In addition, several non-AGU entities have been formed in support of discipline-specific informatics governance. These include the Earth Science Information Partnership and the Geological Society of America's Geoinformatics division. This town hall meeting aims to bring the ESSI membership together with representatives of various national and international informatics groups. We aim to discuss large-scale organization and coordination.

Earth Stewardship Science: Building Research Networks in Africa

Moscone West, Room 2009
Cosponsored by S, T

The intention of this proposed town hall meeting is to raise awareness and encourage discussion about doing interdisciplinary Earth science with societal benefits and building international research networks, specifically in Africa. The organizers would like to provide information about a number of new activities including UNESCO's Initiative in Earth Science Education in Africa and the proposed expansion of AfricaArray to building successful Earth science networks in fields outside of seismic networks. The hope is that this session will facilitate the development of new synergies and provide an entry for AGU scientists into international research networks that are relevant to society.


Moscone West, Room 2011
Cosponsored by DI, G, S, T

The EarthScope town hall meeting provides an opportunity to update the community on significant EarthScope developments such as the joint EarthScope/MARGINS ARRA-supported facilities enhancement effort in Cascadia and the newly initiated EarthScope Institute workshop series. The meeting is also a means for community members to exchange ideas and to provide feedback and input to the EarthScope program.

Emerging Opportunities in the Geosciences

Moscone West, Room 2002
Sponsored by Directorate for Geosciences, National Science Foundation
Cosponsored by ED

The NSF Directorate for Geosciences will be holding a town hall meeting to discuss emerging research opportunities including NSF's agenda for coordination and expansion of its portfolio of research and education associated with climate, energy, and sustainability.

ESMF5: Fast, Free, and Friendly Community Software for Model Development and Coupling

Moscone West, Room 2007

This town hall meeting will introduce the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF) Version 5, a major new software release and an emerging standard in the Earth science modeling community. Capabilities include creating high-performance components and couplers, parallel remapping of structured and unstructured grids, parallel data communications, metadata handling, timekeeping, error handling, Web service options, and more. ESMF is used by operational centers, community models, research centers, and university groups and has been exhaustively ported and tested. The target audience for this town hall meeting is an Earth science modeler who is interested in leveraging community tools and partnerships.

MEPAG and Science of the MSR Campaign

Moscone West, Room 3007

The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) will hold a discussion of the preliminary results of the Mars Sample Return (MSR) End-to-End Science Analysis Group (E2E-SAG). The E2E-SAG will present their proposed key MSR campaign science objectives to the community. The community will then have a chance to provide feedback that the E2E-SAG can incorporate into their analysis.

Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions

Moscone West, Room 3005
Cosponsored by C, ED, GC, NH, PP

Ice sheets and ocean sediments hold important evidence on past cryosphere-ocean-atmosphere systems that is key to understanding current climate change. The need for national and international collaboration on both the science and logistics for scientific drilling in these remote regions requires strategic coordination between science, technology, and logistics, along with proposal pressure from the research community. This town hall meeting will report on recent planning by the IDPO/IDDO, IPICS, ANDRILL, IODP, SCAR-ACE, SHALDRIL, and WAIS initiatives, and will provide time to discuss current opportunities for community involvement in long-term interdisciplinary planning.

Strategies for Effective Education and Public Outreach (EPO)

Moscone West, Room 2008
Cosponsored by ED

Scientists are increasingly being asked to become more involved in communicating the broader impacts of their work. With the threat of a declining scientific workforce and an increase in public literacy on ocean and aquatic science issues, the time is now for connecting ocean science research and public education. Please join us for a workshop that includes discussions and demonstrations to address skills such as assessing prior knowledge of nonscientist audiences, understanding learning theories, and finding or developing simple, practical educational tools.

The European Space Agency's Earth Observation Program

Moscone West, Room 2018
Cosponsored by C, G, H, OS

At this meeting the leadership of the European Space Agency’s directorate of Earth observation programs will briefly present the directorate activities. Through direct interaction with the audience, there will be ample opportunity for questions. Topics to be addressed include scientific achievements and programmatic highlights; the present and future mission fleet; the evolution and future of ESA's Earth observation program; programmatic drivers and constraints; complementarity with the activities of other major space agencies; and ESA's Earth observation data policy (free access for all).

The National Climate Assessment: Preparing the Nation for Change

Moscone West, Room 2005
Sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program

Working Group on Light Absorbing Impurities in Snow and Ice

Moscone West, Room 3004
Cosponsored by A, C, H

Recent measurements and modeling demonstrate that radiative forcing by mineral dust, brown to black carbon, and biological mass in Earth's snow and ice can have profound impacts on climate and the water cycle. The Working Group on Light Absorbing Impurities in Snow and Ice (WG-LAISI) was formed recently to facilitate communication and catalyze progress in this growing field. The WG-LAISI envisions new instrumentation, modeling, and spaceborne missions that will take us beyond our present sparse measurements. This town hall meeting will present the WG-LAISI preliminary summaries and seek community involvement and discussion to inform national and international programmatic directions.

Update on NASA's Planetary Science Program and Review

Moscone West, Room 2016
Sponsored by NASA
Cosponsored by P, SPA

The status and plans for NASA's planetary science missions and programs will be presented. Prompted in part by recommendations from the National Research Council's report "An enabling foundation in Earth and space science missions" (2010), the NASA Advisory Council's Planetary Science Subcommittee is conducting a review of planetary programs that are "mission-enabling." The review will trace NASA's planetary science objectives through to specific research programs, facilities, and other activities and assess their relevance and balance and also provide recommendations to the planetary science division. Comments and input to this important review will be solicited.

Thursday, 16 December, 1230h–1330h

At the Frontier of Research: European Research Council Funding Opportunities

Moscone West, Room 2018
Sponsored by the European Research Council
Cosponsored by B, ED, G, GP, H, P, S, SA, T, V

The European Research Council (ERC) is a newly created funding body supporting investigator-driven frontier research across all fields of science and scholarship. Funding decisions are made purely on the basis of scientific excellence. ERC calls are open to researchers from around the world. They offer fantastic funding opportunities (grants worth up to 3.5 million euros) for individual scientists regardless of their nationality, for projects carried out at a host institution in one of the countries of the European Union or associated countries. In this town hall meeting, we will present the main features of ERC funding followed by a question-and-answer session.

Community Emissions Efforts: Addressing Science and Policy Needs

Moscone West, Room 2005
Cosponsored by A, B, ED

Accurate, quantitative emissions data are critical to air quality and climate science and policy. In this town hall meeting we will summarize ongoing activities in the international community to aggregate information on emissions, provide resources for emissions data evaluations, and facilitate the use of emissions information for research, assessment, and policy. We invite interested AGU members to attend this meeting for a discussion of emissions information needs and how these needs might be addressed by community efforts, including the Global Emissions Inventory Activity and the Community Initiative for Emissions Research and Applications.

NSF and the Atmospheric Sciences: Current Opportunities and Future Strategies

Moscone West, Room 2009
Cosponsored by A, AE, ED

The atmospheric sciences community is invited to meet with program officers from NSF’s atmosphere section (AS) and engage in the early stages of development of a new strategic plan. This plan will formulate AS priorities and directions over the next decade, and we particularly seek input and perspectives from both early- and middle-career researchers who will be actively engaged in research over the next 10 years. A brief overview of current activities and an introduction to the new AS strategic planning initiative will be followed by ample time for informal discussion and interaction.

Embarking on Geoengineering Research: National and International Perspectives on Research Programs and Research Governance

Moscone West, Room 2020
Sponsored by the National Commission on Energy Policy and The Royal Society

The National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP) and an international collaboration (including The Royal Society, TWAS, and EDF) are both conducting studies on the need for geoengineering research. The NCEP study examines the rationale, structure, and scope for research. Both studies focus on research governance because geoengineering is controversial and represents a significant risk. This town hall meeting will allow AGU members to learn and provide feedback about the proposed research and concepts of governance, including guiding principles, the required structure and functions of national and international research programs, research classification to determine levels of governance, public engagement, and review functions.

Intraterrestrial Life

Moscone West, Room 2002
Cosponsored by B

Unique opportunities now exist for microbiologists, geochemists, and geophysicists to study life underground. Newly funded programs provide paths to investigate the subsurface using novel instrumentation and sampling tools that provide unparalleled capacity for interrogating the Earth and intraterrestrial life. There is a critical need to understand the scale and consequence for the existence of deep life, and to develop solutions to energy and carbon issues that incorporate biogeochemistry. Join and help map how entities such as ANDRILL, C-DEBI, DCO, DUSEL, IODP, ICDP, ICoMM, and other national/international efforts can lead to a greater understanding of intraterrestrial life.

NASA Earth Science Division Town Hall Meeting

Moscone West, Room 2016
Sponsored by the NASA Earth Science Division
Cosponsored by A, B, C, GC, IN, OS, T

NASA's Earth Science Division (ESD) leadership team will present an update of ESD's status and plans, with significant time for audience discussion. Highlighted items include the status of its operating satellite missions and those under formulation and development; progress toward the satellite missions identified by the National Research Council in its 2007 decadal survey and other administration measurement priorities; recent selections and status of future solicitations for Venture Class activities; recent evolution of and planned augmentations to the research, applied sciences, and technology program elements; and new climate continuity missions to be initiated in coming years.

National Soil Carbon Network Database Development

Moscone West, Room 2011
Cosponsored by ED

The National Soil Carbon Network (NSCN) seeks to provide quantitative, spatially explicit assessments of soil C stocks and their turnover times and vulnerability in the United States. Synthesizing the vast amount of existing research on these topics into community-accessible databases is one of the primary tasks the NSCN must perform to achieve these goals. In this town hall meeting we will present overviews of a prototype database project (the Alaska Deep Soil C Project) and our vision for scaling this effort up to the national level. We welcome attendance and input from anyone interested in soil C research or data management.

NSF's Division of Antarctic Sciences: Funding Opportunities and Planning Activities

Moscone West, Room 3007

Many new funding opportunities and activities are under way in Antarctic sciences. At this session, ongoing Antarctic research opportunities and cross-directorate activities under NSF's Climate Research Investment (CRI) and Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) portfolios (Earth system modeling, ocean acidification, biodiversity, and climate change education partnerships) will be discussed. Also, updates will be provided on the new National Research Council Study, "Review of the U.S. Antarctic program: Future science opportunities in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean" (to inform a subsequent blue ribbon review of infrastructure), as well as the new UNOLS Polar Research Vessel Committee Science Mission Requirements Refresh Project


OpenSky at NCAR: Open Access in the Atmospheric and Geosciences

Moscone West, Room 2003

OpenSky is the institutional repository of NCAR, UCAR, and the UCAR Community Programs (UCP). Comprising the research conducted across these facilities, OpenSky aims to open research in the atmospheric and geosciences to educators and researchers across the globe. Jamaica Jones, special projects librarian at the NCAR library, will introduce OpenSky and solicit feedback from the AGU community regarding additional services the repository may soon provide. Tailored toward scientists, librarians, data managers, and other information professionals, this town hall meeting will strive to outline actionable next steps that will further free and open access to NCAR research.

Planning the Future of the U.S. Geological Survey Natural Hazards Mission Area

Moscone West, Room 3006
Sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey
Cosponsored by ED, NH, S, T, V

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seeks input from colleagues in academia and government at the start of the planning process for the next decade of investments in its natural hazards mission area. The USGS recently announced that it is realigning its senior leadership structure with the themes in its science strategy, one of which is hazards. As part of the realignment, teams of scientists are developing implementation plans for each strategic theme, and this listening session will inform the hazards team.

Projecting Future Sea Level Rise From Land-Ice Loss: Summary of a Science and Implementation Plan

Moscone West, Room 3005
Cosponsored by C, ED, NH

The purpose of this town hall meeting is to summarize a science and implementation plan on "Projecting future sea-level rise from land-ice loss" and to solicit community input and reaction prior to submitting the final report to NSF. The original draft of the plan was developed by 37 scientists attending a workshop held in Herndon, Va., in July 2010 and is intended to provide guidance for an integrated, interdisciplinary NSF or multiagency program aimed at improving projections of sea level rise from land-ice loss.

Science Opportunities and Workshop for Ocean Observatories Initiative Pioneer Array

Moscone West, Room 2008

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) will be constructing an oceanographic observatory at the shelf break south of New England in the near future. This town hall meeting will briefly describe components of the observatory and outline interdisciplinary science themes that can be addressed by the observatory. The primary emphasis will be to answer questions and get ideas from the community for discussion at a science workshop to be held early in 2011. The intended audience is scientists and engineers interested in both the Pioneer Array and the OOI program. General comments about science inputs to OOI will also be discussed.

Seeking Input on Best Practices for U-series Methodology, Data Reporting, and Interlaboratory Calibration

Moscone West, Room 2006
Cosponsored by A, GC, OS, PP, V

A significant fraction of our knowledge of Pleistocene chronology, particularly in areas related to climate and environmental change, relies on U-series dating. This dating method is also used to address magmatic processes. The purpose of this town hall meeting is to gather input from a broad scientific community about best practices for methodology and data reporting involving U-series geochronology and geochemistry, and the appropriateness of establishing a U-series data archive in conjunction with NSF EarthChem and EARTHTIME projects. Interest in U-series interlaboratory calibration efforts will also be sought.

The Future of NSF Funding for Paleobiology Research

Moscone West, Room 2004
Cosponsored by B, OS

We are in the process of developing an NSF initiative for a Deep Time Earth and Life Observatory Network (DETELON). The goal of the DETELON program is to study the interactions between environmental and biotic change in deep time. During this town hall meeting we will ask AGU researchers to suggest geological problems where pressing questions lend themselves to this approach. We also wish to hear suggestions as to the best structure for such a program: number of years of funding; size of teams/awards; ways to address broader impacts.

The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH): Current Activities and Community Input on Future Directions

Moscone West, Room 3004
Cosponsored by C, ED

The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is a multiagency effort to understand system-scale Arctic change. As SEARCH is entering the next phase of implementation, this is an opportune time for community input and involvement with the program. This town hall meeting will provide a forum for open exchange on SEARCH activities and future priorities. Specific topics to be discussed include the Arctic Observing Network, further development of "Understanding Change" and "Responding to Change" efforts, and the Sea Ice Outlook project, among others. Members of the Arctic science, education, and policy communities are encouraged to attend.

Thursday, 16 December, 1700h–1800h

Space Physics and Aeronomy Decadal Survey

Moscone South, Room 103
Cosponsored by SA, SH, SM

The NRC Space Studies Board is organizing a broadly-based assessment (a decadal survey) of the scientific priorities of the U.S. solar and space physics research enterprise for the period 2013–2022. In conducting this assessment, there will be an emphasis on developing a systems approach to the theoretical, ground-based, and space-based research programs of NASA and NSF and the complementary operational programs of other agencies such as NOAA. The survey will solicit and aggregate inputs from across the solar and space physics community. This AGU town hall meeting is an early venue for your input to the survey.