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Press Events At Spring Meeting

12:15 PM. Cleaning up polluted ground water: can nature outdo technology? Press conference. Engineered methods of cleaning up contaminated aquifers are expensive, yet often ineffective. Kathryn M. Hess, Research Hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Marlborough, Massachusetts, describes experiments in which natural processes have restored polluted ground water at low cost. One local example concerns sewage contamination on Cape Cod. Other projects elsewhere cover groundwater contamination from hydrocarbons, explosives, synthetic organic compounds, and landfills. (Meeting sessions on this and related topics will be held all day Thursday.)

1:30 PM. Do auroras recognize coastlines? Press conference. A phenomenon first reported in 1839 but given little credence at the time has now been confirmed by cameras aboard the Polar spacecraft. Aided by spectacular images, Dr. Louis A. Frank of the University of Iowa's Department of Physics and Astronomy will describe how some auroras follow the coastline for hundreds of miles and how the coastline may deflect or dim the auroral arc. At present, no theory satisfactorily explains this relatively rare occurrence. (Meeting sessions on auroral phenomena will be held Friday afternoon.)

3:30 PM. Gathering scientific data in the harshest climate on Earth. Press conference. Automatic Geophysical Observatories (AGO's) are unstaffed stations working year round in Antarctica, where they study upper atmospheric flows, aurora, and the "weather" in outer space. Dr. Louis J. Lanzerotti of Bell Laboratories will describe the enormous technical difficulties scientists had to overcome to assure that AGO's, which are in many ways analogous to spacecraft, work properly year round in Earth's harshest environment. (Meeting sessions on AGO will be held Friday.)

Friday, May 29

9:30 AM. TRACE: The latest news from the Sun, available to everyone. Press conference. Just recently la
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Contact: Harvey Leifert
hleifert@kosmos.agu.org
(202) 939-3212
American Geophysical Union
15-May-1998


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