American Geophysical Union Moves Annual Event Out of San Francisco to New Orleans and D.C.

February 11, 2016

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has announced that its annual Fall Meeting, an event that regularly attracts more than 25,000 Earth and space scientists and other participants from  around the world, will move to New Orleans in 2017 and in Washington, D.C. in 2018.

For nearly 50 years, the AGU Fall Meeting has been held in San Francisco. 

During that time, it has grown  from a gathering of a few hundred researchers to the largest Earth and space science event in the world.

In 2015, it included more than 23,000 poster and oral presentations; hundreds of networking, education  and social events; lectures from prominent speakers like Elon Musk and Dr. France Cordova, director of the National Science Foundation; and the launch of a new XPRIZE for ocean discovery.

Construction associated with a major renovation of San Francisco’s Moscone Center that would impact needed space for the meeting prompted the move.

“The Fall Meeting is a major force in advancing the Earth and space sciences. If you look back over the last 50 years, the number of discoveries that were first reported during one of our sessions or in our poster hall is staggering,” said AGU’s Executive Director/CEO Christine McEntee.

She added, “Maintaining that level of excellence is a significant responsibility for AGU, and we are committed to finding new and innovative ways to help our attendees share their science with one another and with the world. I believe the opportunities that await us in New Orleans and Washington will contribute greatly to the achievement .

The event draws scientists from around the globe and across the spectrum of the Earth and space sciences, including areas such as hydrology, climate science, ocean research, space physics,  planetary science, seismology, tectonophysics, volcanology, atmospheric science and Earth and space  science informatics.

Attendees come from academia and the public and private sectors, and typically represent nearly 100 different countries. In 2015, more than 7,600 students attended the meeting. The  event also draws hundreds of exhibitors and vendors, ranging from equipment manufacturers and  technology companies, to academic institutions and government agencies.

Before making the decision to move the meeting, AGU solicited feedback from a variety of groups,  including a survey of its members, to learn what factors had the biggest impact on an attendee’s  experience during a meeting. That feedback was used to help narrow down the list of possible locations.

The meeting will remain in San Francisco in 2016, and plans are underway to return to the City by the Bay in 2019, when AGU hopes to celebrate its Centennial in the newly renovated Moscone Center.

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