2019 AGU Fall Meeting: Deep Carbon Science Looks to the Future

Hundreds of DCO scientists shared their recent research at the 2019 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, which attracted 28,000 Earth and space scientists to San Francisco on 9-13 December.

The annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has been a great place for members of the DCO community to connect and share their deep carbon science research with colleagues and collaborators. 2019 was no exception. It was a year that marked both the AGU Centennial and ten years of DCO research and discovery. The AGU Fall Meeting, which ran from 9-13 December, included nearly 150 presentations by DCO scientists, including three medal lectures. 

AGU Posters
The AGU poster hall. Credit: AGU

Deep Carbon Science at AGU 2019

As always, attendees at AGU 2019 had to make difficult decisions about which sessions to attend, with myriad concurrent sessions spanning DCO’s scientific communities (Extreme Physics and Chemistry, Reservoirs and Fluxes, Deep Energy, and Deep Life) and cross-cutting activities (Data Science, Modeling and Visualization, Field Studies, and Instrumentation). Collectively, these sessions provided a solid overview of recent research advances made by the deep carbon science community. 

DCO scientists convened two sessions on the “Quantities, Movements, Forms, and Origins of Carbon and Other Volatile Elements in Earth and Planetary Bodies,” with oral and poster presentations by many members of the DCO community. Executive Director Robert Hazen, who also participated in AGU centennial sessions throughout the week, paid particular homage to DCO, acknowledging the incredible contributions of 1200 scientists from 55 countries. 

DCO colleagues organized and/or gave presentations in many other sessions, including:

Three DCO scientists who were honored at the 2019 Fall Meeting delivered special lectures during the week. Marie Edmonds presented the 2019 Reginald Daly Lecture, Beth Orcutt received the Asahiko Taira International Scientific Ocean Drilling Research Prize, and Graham Pearson was one of two Norman L. Bowen Lecturers

Community Engagement

A DCO booth in the Exhibit Hall served as a hub for members of the community to gather, while showcasing many of the synthesis products released in 2019. These products included special issues of journals, books, and DCO’s Decadal Report. Members of the DCO community convened at the booth on Thursday afternoon and toasted the first decade of discovery in the new field of deep carbon science. Past, present, and future members of DCO’s leadership also met on Wednesday evening. 

DCO Booth at AGU 2019
The DCO booth at the 2019 AGU Fall Meeting. Credit: Katie Pratt

2020 and Beyond

For DCO staff, AGU 2019 symbolized an end to their role in building the DCO community with seed funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. But, with a strong foundation of interdisciplinary collaboration, the community will carry on with its own momentum. 2020 offers several opportunities for international DCO community members to meet in person, including the JpGU - AGU Joint Meeting 2020, the Gordon Research Conference and Seminar on Deep Carbon, Goldschmidt 2019, and the 2020 AGU Fall Meeting. In total, these and other opportunities portend a bright future for the continuation of the DCO community as well as investigations into deep carbon science. 

Main image credit: AGU

More photos from the meeting are available here.

Further Reading

DCO at AGU 2019
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DCO at Goldschmidt 2019
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