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AGU Fall Meeting: News media registration opens; book hotels now

Contents of this message:

  1. Find out what's new (and important) in the Earth and space sciences
  2. U.S. visa regulations for international reporters
  3. Book hotel rooms now for the best selection
  4. News Media registration information
  5. News Media Registration Form

1. Find out what's new (and important) in the Earth and space sciences

The American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting returns to the Moscone Convention Center, located at 747 Howard St. in San Francisco, California. The dates are MondayFriday, 5-9 December 2011. More than 19,000 scientists from all over the world are expected to assemble for this premier meeting of the Earth and space sciences. The meeting will take place in the convention center's West, North and South buildings.

For journalists, Fall Meeting is an opportunity to learn about the latest research in fields as diverse as climate change, space weather, planetary exploration, volcanism and seismology, and Earth's magnetic fieldjust for starters. The preliminary program lists over 880 scientific sessions, which are described at . Note: Some of these proposed sessions may be dropped or modified, and others added.

For public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions, Fall Meeting is an opportunity to present your research to more than 150 reporters through press releases, participation by your scientists in press conferences, and of course one-on-one contact with the media. Please get in touch with us if you are interested in pitching us press conference ideas.

A link to our online News Media Registration Form for use by both reporters and PIOs is at the end of this message.

A full program of press conferences is in development and will be announced in later advisories.

NOTE: We will not be organizing a field trip for News Media registrants this year.

2. U.S. visa regulations for international reporters

All journalists who are not United States citizens or permanent residents need a visa to cover scientific meetings in the U.S. This applies equally to journalists from "Visa Waiver Program" countries (e.g., Western Europe), who do not normally need visas to enter the U.S. as tourists. This is not a new requirement, but it is now being enforced strictly.

The visa for journalists is an "I" visa, issued by the American Embassy or an American Consulate in your home country. If you are planning to cover Fall Meeting, please apply early for your "I" visa. The procedure is not complicated, but depending on the volume of total visa applications, it may take some time to be issued.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a fact sheet about visas for journalists on its Web site, which you are urged to consult:

3. Book hotel rooms now for the best selection

With over 19,000 scientists and some 200 journalists and press officers expected at Fall Meeting, it makes sense to book your hotel room now at preferential rates. Cancellations are allowed without penalties up to 72 hours prior to arrival. By booking now, you are more likely to get your preferred location or rate, whichever is your top priority.

Thirty-eight hotels offer rooms at rates starting as low as $97 per day, plus tax. Hotel reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Special AGU room rates are subject to availability after the 1 November reservations deadline.

To see the list of available hotels, their rates and amenities, as well as a map (red circle with a white "C" is Moscone Convention Center West and South), and an online booking form, go to

NOTE: AGU will not be providing shuttle service from the hotels to Moscone Center this year.

4. News Media registration information

News Media registrants receive, at no charge, a badge that provides access to any of the scientific sessions of the meeting, as well as to the Press Room and Press Conference Room. The locations of these rooms have not yet been finalized. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

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 one of the following: a current membership card from NASW, CSWA, ISWA, SEJ, or one of the 38 other associations of science journalists recognized by the World Federation of Science Journalists; or evidence of bylined work pertaining to science intended for the general public and published in 2010 or 2011; or a letter from the editor of a recognized publication assigning you to cover Fall Meeting.
  • Public information officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies: must present a business card.

Note: 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 any of the above documents; they will not be accredited as News Media at the meeting.

Scientists who are also reporters and who are presenting at this meeting (oral or poster session) may receive News Media credentials if they qualify (see above), but must also register for the meeting and pay the appropriate fee as a presenter.

5. News Media Registration Form

The News Media Registration Form is set up for online submission only. Go to:

The last day for advance News Media registration, assuring that your badge will be waiting for you when you arrive, is Monday, 28 November 2011. You may also register onsite at Moscone Center.


Contact: Maria-Jos Vias
American Geophysical Union

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