Press Release

NASA Highlights At American Association For The Advancement Of Science Annual Meeting

By SpaceRef Editor
February 17, 2011
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WASHINGTON — NASA researchers will discuss a wide range of scientific
and space exploration topics at the 2011 annual meeting of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The
meeting takes place Feb. 17-21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention
Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW, Washington.

Media registration is open on site at the AAAS Newsroom Headquarters,
Convention Center Room 204A. For registration information, call
202-249-4004. NASA scientists and their colleagues who use NASA
research capabilities will discuss:

Parks from Space: The Big Picture and New Initiatives Help Manage
Protected Areas
Gary Geller, deputy manager, NASA Ecological Forecasting Program,
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Friday, Feb. 18, 8 a.m., Convention Center Room 159AB.

Managers of parks around the world have access to new tools that use
remote-sensing data from satellites and aircraft to address
challenges they are facing from ecological stresses such as climate
change. This talk highlights two new initiatives designed to allow
managers to more easily solve problems and make more informed

Climatic Effects of Regional Nuclear War
Luke Oman, research physical scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight
Center, Greenbelt, Md., Friday, Feb. 18, 8:30 a.m., Convention Center
Room 145B.

Scientists using climate models estimate that a hypothetical war
between emerging third-world nuclear powers would significantly cool
the planet and decrease precipitation for years. The impact on global
climate would not, however, be as severe as those from “nuclear
winter” scenarios involving a massive nuclear exchange between

Science in Space: Five Agencies Operating in Zero Gravity
Sunita Williams, astronaut, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston
Friday, Feb. 18, 3:30 p.m., Convention Center Room 145A.

Williams talks about international science programs from the
perspective of spending more than 195 days aboard the International
Space Station, where she worked on several science experiments from
the many international partners who contribute to the orbiting

Kepler: Looking for Other Earths
William J. Borucki, Kepler principal investigator, NASA’s Ames
Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Martin D. Still, director, Kepler Guest Observer Program, NASA’s Ames
Research Center
Saturday, Feb. 19, 8:30 a.m., Convention Center Room 146C.

Kepler is NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets
in or near the “habitable zone,” the region where liquid water can
exist on the surface of a planet. This talk highlights new
discoveries and the accomplishments of the Kepler Guest Observer

Between Sound Bites and the Scientific Paper: Communicating in the
Gavin Schmidt, climatologist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space
Studies, New York
Saturday, Feb. 19, 9 a.m., Convention Center Room 147A.

A tiny fraction of climate change scientists contribute to the public
debate on climate change, leaving the discussion largely in the hands
of non-experts. This talk asks why this occurs, what it means for a
fuller public understanding of climate science, and what the
scientific community might do to encourage more involvement in the
public discourse.

Greatest Hits and Grand Challenges in Astrobiology
Michael Meyer, lead scientist, Mars Exploration Program, NASA
Saturday, Feb. 19, 3 p.m., Convention Center 146C.

Recent findings in astrobiology have helped clarify our thinking in
the search for extraterrestrial life. This talk discusses major
results and the leading questions driving the search for evidence of
life on Mars and other solar system bodies. The astrobiology
investigations on the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory mission also
will be presented.

Preserving the Planets, Ours and Others: Planetary Protection in Space
Cassie Conley, planetary protection officer, NASA Headquarters
Saturday, Feb. 19, 3:30 p.m., Convention Center Room 146C.

NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer explains the importance of
preventing harmful contamination of other planetary bodies and
adverse changes in the Earth’s environment because of returned
material from space in accord with international agreements.

Exploring the Planet Mercury: The MESSENGER mission
Sean C. Solomon, MESSENGER principal investigator, Carnegie
Institution of Washington, Washington
Sunday, Feb. 20, 12 p.m., Convention Center Room 207A.

NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging
(MESSENGER) spacecraft is the first space probe to visit Mercury in
more than 30 years. This topical lecture will present what has been
learned from the mission’s two flybys and the mission’s upcoming
observations from orbiting around the planet.

Limiting Near-Term Climate Change While Improving Human Well-Being
Drew Shindell, climatologist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Sunday, Feb. 20, 1:30 p.m., Convention Center Room 101.

Emissions control measures using existing technology or behavioral
changes could substantially mitigate near-term global warming,
increase food supplies and reduce premature deaths caused by air
pollution. This talk outlines the measures contained in a new United
Nations Environmental Program assessment.

International Discoveries of Exoplanets
Wesley A. Traub, chief scientist, NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Sunday, Feb. 20, 1:30 p.m., Convention Center Room 147A.

With more than 1,000 exoplanets on the books, we now have glimpses of
worlds where nature is showing off its ability to make possible the
impossible. This talk discusses ongoing international discoveries and
future space missions that will expand our ability to detect and
characterize exoplanets.

Impacts of Black Carbon Pollution on Himalayan Glaciers
Teppei Yasunari, research associate, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Sunday, Feb. 20, 2 p.m., Convention Center Room 101.

Solar radiation absorbed by black carbon can lead to increased melting
rates of some Himalayan glaciers. It is not clear how much black
carbon is reaching these glacier surfaces. This talk discusses
efforts to improve Himalayan black carbon observations.

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SpaceRef staff editor.