UA to Present Nationally on OSIRIS-REx, U.S. Snowpack

Dec. 7, 2018

Media Advisory: UA Researchers to Speak on OSIRIS-REx, U.S. Snowpack at National Meeting

TUCSON, Ariz. — University of Arizona researchers will present new findings on Earth and space science topics during press conferences at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Dec. 10-14 in Washington, D.C. 

Presentations will be streamed live on the AGU press events webpage, where reporters can ask questions via an online chat. For more information and instructions, click the Webstreaming button on the AGU meeting website.

UA researchers will participate in the following press conferences:

What: Welcome to Bennu: First asteroid science data obtained by the OSIRIS-REx mission 
When: Monday, Dec. 10, 2 p.m. EST

In August, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft caught its first view of the asteroid Bennu. Since then, the UA-led mission team has been learning new information about this small world almost daily. This briefing will cover the first Bennu science discovered by the mission.


  • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator and Professor of Planetary Science and Cosmochemistry in the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory 
  • Michael Nolan, OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Geophysical Scientist and Senior Research Scientist in the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
  • Jeff Grossman, NASA Headquarters 
  • Amy Simon, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

In addition, on Dec. 11, from 3-4 p.m., three UA experts from the OSIRIS-REx team will answer questions on Twitter about the mission and the discoveries that have made about Bennu so far. Twitter users can submit questions using the hashtag #BennuChat. Participants in the chat include Lauretta; Carl Hergenrother, associate staff scientist at the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory; and Keara Burke, UA undergraduate student and image processing intern with the OSIRIS-REx mission.

What: The changing U.S. snowpack 
When: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 9 a.m. EST

Snowpack, or the total amount of snow and ice on the ground, is important for plants, animals and humans, especially in the western U.S. Snowpack builds up in the mountains in the winter, providing a surface for winter sports. Warmer temperatures due to climate change are expected to cause declines in snowpack in the U.S. over the coming decades. In this briefing, researchers will discuss new findings about the changes in snowpack and snowfall, and the effect these changes could have on wildfires in the western U.S.


  • Xubin Zeng, Director of the UA Climate Dynamics and Hydrometeorology Center 
  • Amato Evan, Scripps Institute of Oceanography
  • Donal O'Leary, University of Maryland College Park 
  • Sagar Tamang, Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory and University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Press events last 45 minutes and take place at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.

NOTE: Because the researchers will not be available for on-camera or Skype interviews after the news briefing, off-site media are advised to record the briefing using the live Webstream.


Media contacts:
Daniel Stolte (OSIRIS-REx)
UA Communications

Mari N. Jensen (U.S. snowpack)
UA College of Science

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state's super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $622 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.