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Scientists Team Up in Houston to Tackle Global Challenges

More than 10,000 international scientists, professionals, educators, and students will gather at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on 5-9 October 2008 to discuss the latest research and trends in energy, water resources, climate change, agriculture, science education, earth sciences, and related disciplines.

This first-ever Joint Annual Meeting is a collaboration that showcases the sciences of the sponsoring organizations, the Geological Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, and Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. Also participating is the Gulf Coast Section of the Society for Sedimentary Geology and hosted by the Houston Geological Society.

We extend a very special welcome to members of the media to attend and cover this historic scientific exchange. Journalists will receive complimentary registration and are invited to use the Newsroom facilities while at the meeting.

Scientific Program Highlights

The scientific program of research presentations, lectureships, and plenary sessions are built around ten challenging issues set forth by the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) agenda. Celebrated from 2007-2009, IYPE is an initiative of the International Union of Geological Sciences and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, to raise awareness of the critical role of the geosciences. Visit for more information.

We are proud of the quality and scope of our 10 Joint Plenary Sessions that feature daily distinguished speakers and discussions. These sessions are designed to engage attendees across all disciplines and include:

"The Impending Global Water Crisis: Geology, Soils, Agronomy, and International Security"
Sunday, 5 Oct., 5:00-7:00 pm
Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security
Sandra Postel, Global Water Policy Project
Moderator: Joe Palca, National Public Radio
Two world-renowned experts of water resources will present moderated lectures on one of the most pressing challenges facing the global community: the availability of quality fresh water.
"Energy and the Global Market"
Monday, 6 Oct., 8:00-10:30 am
Peter J. McCabe, Petroleum Resources Division, CSIRO
Bruce McCarl, Texas A&M University
Douglas Durante, Clean Fuels Development Coalition
This session will bring together proponents from the fossil fuel and biofuel industries to realistically discuss the roles of fossil fuels and bio-based fuels in meeting the world's future energy needs.

View the full list of Joint Plenary Sessions, presenters, and abstracts:

Rounding out the ten overarching themes is an exciting collaboration showcasing the best of our sciences through 31 interdisciplinary joint sessions throughout the week. Topics include environmental challenges, biofuels production, climate change, soil and water contaminants, wetland management, digital mapping, and more. View the joint sessions at:

Beyond the joint programs, more than 5,500 technical oral and poster papers will shape this year's program. A host of daily lectures, symposia, sessions, workshops, and field trips are organized into topical and discipline sessions specific to each Society. Search the Joint Annual Meeting Program online at:

There will be a Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall on Sunday, 5 October, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. View demonstrations and displays from more than 400 booths featuring vendors of instruments, machinery, equipment, products, and services. View exhibitors at:

Special Events
Hear Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt present, "Questions about the Earth the Moon Told Us to Ask," at the all-convention luncheon on Monday, 6 October, 12:00-1:30 p.m., courtesy of the U.S. National Committee for the International Year of Planet Earth.

A public forum titled, "Understanding Evolution," will be presented on Tuesday, 7 October, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Speakers will present the science and facts that support the theory, and arguments on why intelligent design should not be considered science. An audience Q&A will follow. This presentation is non-technical and suitable for anyone who is interested in the science behind evolution.

The keynote symposium, "Breakthroughs in Paleontology," on Monday, 6 October, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. is a highlight of The Paleontological Society's centennial celebration during the Joint Annual Meeting. Find out more at

Onsite Newsroom & Media Registration
Journalists are invited to use our staffed Newsroom, including computers, wireless Internet access, a printer, telephones, and an interview area in Room 350-B of the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Newsroom hours (Central Daylight Time):

Saturday, 4 October, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Sunday through Wednesday, 5-8 October, 7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Thursday, 9 October, 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
The Newsroom phone number will be +1-713-853-8329 during hours of operation.
Media registration to the Joint Annual Meeting is now open to credentialed writers and Public Information Officers. Advance media registration by 26 September 2008 is encouraged. To register onsite, present a business card or other press credentials to the Newsroom. For media eligibility requirements and registration information, visit

Public Information Officers of companies, institutions, and agencies may request copies of abstracts related to their institution. We will distribute press releases in the Newsroom during the Joint Annual Meeting.

For information about the Joint Annual Meeting and the sponsoring scientific Societies, go to: or contact GSA's Christa Stratton or SSSA's Sara Uttech, 608-268-4948,

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) are educational organizations helping their 11,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy, crop, and soil sciences by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

The Geological Society of America (GSA), founded in 1888, is a broad, unifying scientific society with 21,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 85 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members, and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.

Sara Uttech | Newswise Science News
Further information:

Further reports about: Agronomy Climate change GSA Geological Geology agriculture earth sciences water resources

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