In only 5 days the AGU 1983 Fall Meeting in San Francisco accommodated more than 3100 attendees and more than 2100 papers. Each of the special, all-Union sessions attracted crowds of close to 1100 persons. Except for the 1982 Fall Meeting, which covered 8 days and included the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) Winter Meeting, 1983's was the largest AGU Fall Meeting ever.
The large number of presentaions at the 1983 meeting was handled efficiently by assigning more than 30% of the papers to poster sessions, which were to many participants the highlight of the meeting. Poster presentations are becoming extremely good, and some of the more spirited sessions make many oral presentations seem pale in comparison. The sight of some of the world's leading geophysicists chatting over a poster paper with a student attested to one of the advantages of this type of presentation.