American Geophysical Union

Media Advisory – Science Policy Conference


20 June 2013

AGU Release No. 13-40

Researchers, Policymakers, Industry Leaders Gather for AGU’s Annual Science Policy Conference

Among the Issues Covered Will Be: Policies for Reducing Risk from Natural Hazards, Potential for Carbon Capture and Storage, and the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health

AGU Contact:

Peter Weiss

+1 (202) 777-7507

WASHINGTON, DC – Researchers from leading scientific research institutions, federal and state agency representatives, industry leaders, and NGO staffers will gather in Washington, DC on 24 – 26 June for the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) second annual Science Policy Conference. The event, which will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, will address a wide range of topics impacting the American economy and public safety, and how science can help solve these challenges and inform critical policy decisions. Conference highlights include:

–          Newly Confirmed Plenary: The Value of Science. The plenary will cover the impact investments in scientific research and development can have on the U.S. economy, and will feature:

  • Cora B. Marrett, Acting Director of the National Science Foundation
  • Bart Gordon, a partner at K&L Gates and former Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology

–          Plenary: Climate Change. The plenary will cover how a changing climate is already impacting our world and what is expected in the future, and will feature a panel including:

  • James Balog, Founder, Extreme Ice Survey
  • Richard Harris, Science Correspondent, National Public Radio

–          Session: Policies for Risk Reduction. The session will cover lessons from hazardous events, such as Hurricane Sandy, and how public policy can be modified to protect communities from future disasters, and will feature a panel including:

  • Dave Applegate, Associate Director for Natural Hazards, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Aliya Haq, Water and Climate Policy Advocate, Water Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Carl Hedde, Senior Vice President and Head of Risk Accumulation, Munich Re America
  • Robert Meyer, Gayfryd Steinberg Professor and Co-Director of Wharton’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, University of Pennsylvania
  • Gene Whitney, Committee on Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters at the National Academy of Sciences

–          Session: Potential for Carbon Capture and Storage. The session will cover economic incentives for carbon capture and storage development, as well as the large-scale commercial adoption of advanced carbon management technologies, and will feature a panel including:

  • Sean Brennan, Research Geologist, Eastern Energy Resources Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey
  • James Dooley, Senior Staff Scientist, Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Sean McCoy, Energy Analyst, Carbon Capture & Storage Unit, International Energy Agency
  • Edward Rubin, Professor, Engineering & Public Policy and Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Herbert Wheary, Senior Policy Consultant, Dominion Resources

–          Session: The Changing Ocean and Impacts on Human Health. The session will cover how ocean changes—such as swelling coastal populations, increased use of marine resources, and greater stress from climate change—can lead to several adverse health conditions that affect humans, and will feature a panel including:

  • Lora Fleming, Professor and Director, European Centre for Environment and Human Health; Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital, University of Exeter Medical School
  • Margaret Leinen, Associate Provost of Marine and Environment Issues; Executive Director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University
  • Paul Sandifer, Chief Science Advisor, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Fred Tyson, Scientific Program Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health
  • Jeff Watters, Associate Director, Government Relations, Ocean Conservancy

To see a full list of speakers and sessions, please visit the Science Policy Conference Web site. Members of the news media including print, broadcast and online journalists, as well as public information officers, may register onsite at the conference. Registrants will receive, at no charge, a badge that provides access to all of the scientific sessions of the meeting, as well as to the onsite press room.


The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with more than 62,000 members representing over 144 countries. AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs.

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