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2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting -- media advisory 2

1. Press Conference Schedule

The following schedule of press conferences is subject to change, before or during the Ocean Sciences Meeting. Press conferences may be added or dropped, their titles and emphases may change, and participants may change. All updates to this schedule will be announced in the Press Room (W307D, West Building, Orange County Convention Center). Press conferences take place in the Press Room. The times listed below are Eastern Standard Time.

Human impacts on coastal ecosystems
Monday, 3 March

Ecosystems that encompass watersheds and their coastal receiving waters are under particular threat from human impact. New findings show how nutrient inputs from rivers into the most productive areas of the global ocean, called marginal seas, make those seas vulnerable to damming, land-use practices, and increasing world population. Other research indicates that the long-term sustainability of deltas is generally compromised more by large-scale engineering projectswhich result in shoreline erosion, threatened mangroves and wetlands, and increased salinization of cultivated landthan by sea-level rise. New studies of bays offer insights about phosphorus ranging from why Florida Bay has seagrass-killing algal blooms despite extremely low phosphorus from the Everglades to evidence from the Chesapeake Bay watershed that 90 percent of the human-related phosphorus inputs are retained in the watershed.


Christophe Bernard, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

Marguerite Koch, Professor, Department of Biology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

Christopher J. Madden, Lead Scientist, Southern Everglades/Florida Bay, SFWMD-Everglades Division, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

Marc Russell, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf Breeze, Florida, USA

James Syvitski, Professor & Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS), University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Session: 192

Ocean Acidification: Causes and Impacts on Biogeochemical Processes, Biota and Climate
Monday, 3 March

As the worlds oceans become more acidic, many calcifying marine organisms will be negatively impacted, which could lead to cascading effects throughout marine food webs. Increasing amounts of dissolved anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in oceans intensifies acidity and reduces carbonate-ion levels. A new look at field measurements from Bermudas coral reefs, where models have predicted early effects from ocean acidification, reveal a seasonal correlation between carbonate ion levels and how fast those reefs calcify. Other laboratory work mimicking future ocean-acidification conditions finds a marked decline in phytoplankton growth when pH decreases by more than 0.25 units. By using models in other studies, research teams are anticipating when detectable global declines in calcification by marine organisms will occur and exploring how much acidification would result from specific levels of human-generated CO2 emissions.


Nicholas R. Bates, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Ferry Reach, St. George's, Bermuda

Zbigniew S. Kolber, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, California, USA

Richard E. Zeebe, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Session 003

Diving deeper into coral-reef health
Tuesday, 4 March

Coral reefs face threats from increasing seawater temperatures, ocean acidification, and alterations of seawater organic carbon chemistry. Temperature increases can result in an unhealthy, often fatal condition called bleaching. Newly presented findings indicate that coral recovery from bleaching depends on corals ability to utilize zooplankton as a primary food source to support tissue healing and growth and to regain photosynthetic capabilities necessary for calcification. Another study shows that, under ocean acidification scenarios caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, coral reef community structure could change dramatically, portending future reef ecosystems markedly different from current ones. Other research looks at consequences of altered chemical conditions of waters surrounding coral reefs as a result of coastal landscapes rapidly changing from increasing human populations. Findings discussed here suggest that variations in the water column pool of dissolved organic matter may alter bacterial communities associated with corals and adversely affect coral health.


Andrea G. Grottoli, Assistant Professor, School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Dr. Ilsa B. Kuffner, Center for Coastal & Marine Geology, U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Chris Shank, Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Science, University of Texas at Austin, Port Aransas, Texas, USA

Session: 144

River plumes sequester carbon in tropical oceans
Tuesday, 4 March

Independent teams of researchers studying the basins and plumes of major tropical rivers find significant and surprising drawdown of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere into the ocean by microorganisms in large plumes that can cover an ocean area more than twice the size of Texas. Carbon sequestration comes as a surprise because, in warm tropical oceans, CO2 usually outgasses. Researchers find that the specific organisms responsible for carbon drawdown may differ between the various river plumes, but that these organisms are regulated by the biogeochemistry of the river and are sensitive to human activity. New evidence shows that the land and water use in the drainage basin of great rivers such as the Amazon and the Mekong control river biogeochemistry and that activities such as dam construction and changing agricultural practices alter conditions at various scales. A team studying the Mississippi and Orinoco Rivers, finds much greater productivity, CO2 drawdown, and carbon-uptake gene expression near the mouth of the Mississippi than in the Orinoco, possibly due to anthropogenic nutrient loading in the Mississippi. Other scientists studying the Amazon plume find that its rates of carbon drawdown can almost equal the outgassing of CO2 from the rest of the tropical North Atlantic.


Dr. David John, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Jeffrey Richey, Professor, River Systems Research Group, School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Patricia Yager, Associate Professor, School of Marine Programs, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA

Session: 124

Aquacultures impact on water quality and sediments
Thursday, 6 March

Worldwide, fish supply from capture fisheries has been flat or in decline for the last twenty years. Fish farming, or aquaculture, is increasingly meeting the growing demand for protein in human nutrition. The 'burning issues' surrounding aquaculture concern the effects of the farms on the environmentfor instance, on water quality and sediments. Panelists will discuss new findings regarding the impact of waste from marine farms, how bottom-living organisms respond, and how habitats can recover.


M. Robin Anderson, Marine Habitat Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. John's, Canada

Jeffrey R. Koseff, The William Alden Campbell and Martha Campbell Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, USA

Catriona K. Macleod, Researcher, University of Tasmania & Aquafin CRC, Hobart, Australia

Session 045

Iron overboard! Profound idea or shallow scheme?
Thursday, 6 March

Island systems in the Southern Ocean naturally release iron on a large scale and may act as a model to examine hotly debated iron-fertilization proposals. In such proposals, adding iron to ocean zones where a lack of the element limits plant growth helps stimulate uptake of carbon dioxide by marine plants. Proponents of the approach argue that large-scale manipulation of such areas as the Southern Ocean can help alleviate man's present excessive release of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. However, an important unresolved question is: Will this large-scale geo-engineering really lead to efficient transport of carbon to the deep ocean, where it should be locked away for hundreds of years, or will that carbon be rapidly recycled in the upper ocean and released back to the atmosphere? Recent research shows the efficiency of the carbon transfer to deep waters in one of these Southern Ocean island systems appears much less than assumed in the geo-engineering plans.


Stphane Blain, Laboratoire dOcanographie et de Biogochimie, Centre Ocanologique de Marseille, CNRS, Universit de la Mditerrane, Marseille, France

I. Salter, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom

Peter J. Statham, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom

Session 112

2. Participate by Phone: Dial-In Instructions

Reporters who are unable to attend the Ocean Sciences Meeting may listen in to press conferences on a conference call and participate in the question period. The following instructions apply to all press conferences listed in Item 1, above.

A. Call this number around five minutes prior to a press conference:
From USA (toll-free): 888-481-3032
From all other countries: +1 617-801-9600

B. When prompted, enter this Participant Passcode: 115139

C. You will be connected. You may hear music until the line is opened at the start of each press conference.
The phone numbers above are for press conference participation only. The regular number for the Press Room is +1 407-685-4050.

3. Press Room Information

The Press Room is Room W307D, on Level 3 of the West Building of the Orange County Convention Center, at 9860 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida. The Press Room will be open each day from 0800h, Monday-Thursday, 3-6 March. The Press Room will be closed Friday, 7 March. The phone number of the Press Room is +1 407-685-4050. The room will be equipped with one computer with Internet access and printer. The computer/printer is intended for use by reporters and Press Room staff only. There will be also one network cable to allow Internet access for reporters with laptop computers. The Press Room will have two telephones and NO wireless access to the Internet. Journalists should not expect to use Press Room phones to do their reporting.

Complimentary coffee service will be provided in the Press Room each morning and afternoon.

4. Abstract Search Engine

Online search engines at provide the ability to use key words to search 2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting abstracts and the meetings web pages.

5. Attention PIOs: Sending Press Releases to Ocean Sciences Meeting

Public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions are encouraged to provide press releases about work their scientists are presenting at Ocean Sciences Meeting, regardless of whether those scientists are participating in press conferences. We suggest about 15-20 copies of printed materials and up to three copies of videos.

The easiest way to send press releases is for a scientist to hand-carry them to the Press Room, Room W307D, on the Third Level of the West Building of the Orange County Convention Center, any time after 0800h on Monday, 3 March.

If hand delivery is not an option or you prefer to send the materials directly, please address them as follows, timed for delivery no earlier than Friday, 29 February:

Peter Weiss
c/o Howard Johnson Plaza and Suites Convention Center
9956 Hawaiian Court
Orlando, FL 32819
(Phone: 407-351-5100)

6. Special Events & Lectures

This year, the Ocean Sciences meeting offers Special Events, including:

  • A Wednesday (5 March) evening panel discussion about science communication featuring filmmaker and former marine biology professor Randy Olson (Flock of Dodos), Washington Post environment reporter Juliet Eilperin, and scientists in oceanography, ecology, and aquarium work. (Time & place: 20:00-22:00, Chapin Theater)

  • A Thursday (6 March) evening talk by the scientist-turned-filmmaker Olson about his movies and videos and the pitfalls of mass communication. (Time & place: 20:00-22:00, Room W109B)

  • The Tuesday (4 March) afternoon Sverdrup Award lecture on ocean acidification. (Time & place: 13:00, Room W110)

For more information about Special Events, see:

The meeting also features a series of daily (11 am-noon) plenary lectures, including talks on Grand Canyon ecosystem restoration, ancient climate and what it might tell us about Earths future, ocean biogeochemistry, the future of ocean sciences, and Europes aquatic ecosystems

For more information about plenary lectures, see:

7. Updated Registration Information for News Media and Public Information Officers

Public Information Officers: This paragraph revises information provided in Media Advisory 1. Public information officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, or government agencies are eligible for complimentary registration for the 2008 Ocean Sciences meeting. To register, please contact the ASLO business office (email:, phone: +1 (800) 929-2756 or +1 (254) 776-3550. Ask for Susan.).

News Media:

NOTE: Online preregistration for news media is closed. Please register on site.

International reporters: If you are neither a citizen nor a permanent resident of the United States, you need a visa to cover meetings in the U.S. This applies also to reporters from countries in the Visa Waiver Program, who do not need visas to visit the U.S. as tourists. For current information, see the official State Department web site:

News Media registrants receive a badge that provides access to any of the scientific sessions of the meeting, as well as to the Press Room. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

News Media registrants who have preregistered will pick up their badges at the Exhibitors/News Media registration window in the main registration area on Level 1 (street level) of the West Concourse (thats in the West Building). Please be prepared to show identification (see below).

If you have not preregistered, you may fill out a News Media Registration Form, available at the Exhibitors/News Media window, presenting appropriate identification. Your badge will be made on site.

Registration hours are: Sunday, 2 March: 13:00 - 21:00, Monday-Friday, 3-7 March: 07:00 17:00.

Eligibility for press registration is limited to the following persons:

  • Working press employed by bona fide news media: must present a press card, business card, or letter of introduction from an editor of a recognized publication.

  • Freelance science writers: must present a current membership card from NASW, a regional affiliate of NASW, CSWA, ISWA, or SEJ; or evidence of by lined work pertaining to science intended for the general public and published in 2007 or 2008; or a letter from the editor of a recognized publication assigning you to cover 2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting.

Representatives of publishing houses, for profit corporations, and the business side of news media must register at the main registration desk at the meeting and pay the appropriate fees, regardless of possession of press-eligibility documents mentioned above. They are not accredited as News Media at the meeting.

8. Whos Coming

The online list of journalists who have preregistered for the Meeting may be seen at . (Scroll down to see list.)


Contact: Peter Weiss
American Geophysical Union

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