For over 75 years, the American Geophysical Union has provided a focal point for those who are expanding the frontiers of the geophysical sciences. For six days in December, geoscientists from across the globe gathered in San Francisco to share geoscience research and ideas about where the geosciences are headed.
The meeting's design allowed for different perspectives to be heard and for an interdisciplinary attendance at each session. Approximately 90 percent of SCEC's scientists and graduate students attended. Many presented their latest findings. Most SCEC scientists were listed as authors of research papers.
David Jackson, SCEC science director, led a half-day session called "Seismic Hazards and Earthquake Prediction," in which he presented his findings along with SCEC researchers Ned Field, James Dolan (both of USC) and scientists from Greece, Hawaii, and Japan.
Ralph Archuleta (UC Santa Barbara), Thomas Heaton (Caltech), and John Anderson (University of Nevada, Reno) presented posters in a session addressing strong ground motions.
Special sessions included the Bowie Lecture Series, one of which was a presentation on the geophysical implications of precarious rocks given by SCEC researcher Jim Brune. Brune (University of Nevada, Reno) spoke on "Constraints on Dynamic Stress-Drop and Energy Radiation from Great Earthquakes Provided by Precarious Rocks in the Mojave Desert." (See issue 4.1 of this newsletter for more on that topic.)
Other events included two educational workshops attended by SCEC Outreach Specialist Sara Tekula. The first, co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, focused on identifying innovative and effective techniques for teaching geosciences at the undergraduate level.
The second was a two-day workshop put on by the Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) program and hosted by AGU Education Director Frank Ireton. For these two days, K-12 teachers from the San Francisco Bay Area were invited to hear presentations from scientists conducting relevant research in the earth sciences.
Katrin Hafner (SCEC Data Center) and Tekula represented SCEC at the workshop and demonstrated the resources available to teachers through the SCEC Data Center and the SCEC DESC Online program.
On December 6, a special one-time seminar for scientists and science writers was held as a part of the AGU meeting. "Publish and Perish?" gave an opportunity for scientists and the people who write about their research to "clear the air" about relations between them. Science writers from the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Week served on a panel to foster communication between the often opposing disciplines.
The spring AGU meeting will be held May
31June 4 in Boston. More information is on the AGU web site-WWW.AGU.ORG.