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USGS scientists present findings at AAAS annual meeting
Released: 2/18/2010 5:45:07 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
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Reston, VA 20192
Leslie Gordon 1-click interview
Phone: 650-793-1534

San Diego, Calif. – U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt will deliver a plenary lecture on ocean science February 21 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego. Three USGS scientists will be recognized as AAAS fellows, and several other USGS scientists will be presenting key findings at the meeting. USGS presentations include:


Plenary Lecture


Science under the Sea: How Ocean Research is Helping Solve Societal Challenges

USGS Director Marcia McNutt

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Room 6AB - San Diego Convention Center


Elected AAAS Fellows


Owen P. Bricker

For seminal contributions to the field of aqueous geochemistry and for unstinting support and mentoring of young scientists in the field of watershed biogeochemistry.


Joan J. Fitzpatrick

For national and world leadership in the science and communication of paleoclimatology, and as developer and technical director of the National Ice Core Laboratory.


Tom Hermann

For advancing biological science and its communication, overseeing the USGS-National Biological Information Infrastructure Program.


USGS Presentations (in chronological order)


The Geologic Record of Dust Deposition

Daniel R. Muhs

Press Conference: Friday, February 19, 2010, 9:00 AM

Newsroom, Room 15B, Mezzanine Level, San Diego Convention Center

Presentation: Friday, February 19, 2010: 1:50 PM

Room 8 - San Diego Convention Center

Dust sediments preserved as early as the last glacial period provide new insight on how dust in the atmosphere affects the Earth. Changes in dust trajectories and amount of deposition over the last glacial-to-interglacial period has varied, and records of these changes are found in ice sheets, lakes, ocean basins, and soils, which have captured dust sediments over space and time. Studying these records allows USGS scientists to better understand how dust has affected Earth processes, such as climate and vegetation growth.


Airborne Matter "Geotoxicology:" Public Health, Policy, and Environmental Security

Geoffrey S. Plumlee

Press Conference: Friday, February 19, 2010, 9:00 AM

Newsroom, Room 15B, Mezzanine Level, San Diego Convention Center

Presentation: Friday, February 19, 2010: 3:10pm

Room 8 - San Diego Convention Center

Dusts from the World Trade Center collapse and ash and smoke produced by the recent southern California wildfires will be used as research examples to illustrate the role that earth scientists can play in helping health scientists understand the health effects of airborne particulate matter. The air we breathe, depending upon where we are, what we are doing, the time of year, and many other factors, can contain a complex variety of airborne PM from many different human and natural sources, and workplace and environmental exposures to different types of PM have been linked to a variety of adverse health effects ranging from increased asthma and heart attack risk to scarring of the lungs and cancers.


The Great Southern California ShakeOut: From Science to the Community and Back Again

Lucile M. Jones

Friday, February 20, 2010, 1:30pm

Room 10 - San Diego Convention Center

Panelists describe the ShakeOut experience and how it brought science to the public to improve resiliency after large earthquakes.  Lucy will focus on the scenario creation and the science used to develop it.  


Gene Expression, Pathology and Contaminants in Pacific Sea Otters

Keith Miles

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 10:50 AM

Room 6D - San Diego Convention Center

Gene expression technologies have the potential of providing methods for monitoring long-term effects of contaminants and disease on free-ranging marine wildlife species. These methods may explain the mechanisms by which these stressors can affect an individual over a long period, and aid in the design of therapeutic and preventative strategies to treat and protect susceptible individuals and populations at risk from oil exposure. Using evidence from captive animals and recent captures, scientists are developing an understanding of gene expression as it relates to the immune system of the sea otter and other marine megafauna, and the potential effects of contaminants or disease.

The Invisible Tax on Reef Building: Carbonate Loss Through Dissolution

Kimberley Yates

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 2:50 PM

Room 6D - San Diego Convention Center 

Coral reefs are vital to the long-term viability of coastal society, providing economic, recreational, and aesthetic value from which coastal communities thrive. Coral reef communities develop over thousands of years as calcifying organisms form skeletons that result in the 3-dimensional structure of reefs, and carbonate sediments as their skeletons degrade after death. Recent studies indicate that changes in seawater chemistry resulting from ocean acidification reduce calcification rates of marine organisms. Implications for carbonate sediment accumulation rates on reefs will be discussed.


Extended Satellite Crop Monitoring in Response to the Global Food Crisis

James Verdin

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 4:10 PM

Room 8 - San Diego Convention Center

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a decision support system sponsored by the Office of Food for Peace of the U.S. Agency for International Development. FEWS NET identifies the times and places where aid is required by the most food insecure populations of the developing world. During 2009 and 2010, USGS, NOAA, and NASA are establishing expedited procedures for processing of satellite data and model runs, and web delivery of results.  The components of this new system will be described, and progress to date reported. Examples from Central America, Africa, and Afghanistan will be reviewed and highlighted.


Science under the Sea: How Ocean Research is Helping Solve Societal Challenges

USGS Director Marcia McNutt

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Room 6AB - San Diego Convention Center

USGS explorations in marine science – from gas hydrates to ocean acidification to sea-level rise to undersea landslides – both anticipate and inform public policy in many fields of highest concern to society, whether on land or at sea: for example, energy, climate change, human health, and natural hazards.  


More information about the AAAS meeting is online at http://www.aaas.org/meetings/2010/

USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.

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