The high level of interest generated in response to the announcement of the conference, and the call for abstracts, has allowed us to assemble an outstanding program for what promises to be the largest gathering of expertise ever assembled to address the search for water or geophysical exploration of Mars.
The program consists of a mix of invited and contributed talks; panel and open discussions; special sessions; and several major social events, including a poster session and reception on Monday evening and conference dinners scheduled for each of the next three nights. While it is hoped that everyone will enjoy the culinary experience offered by dining at several of the area's outstanding restaurants, the conference dinners (whose cost is included in the registration fee) have been planned as an integral part of the program, offering the opportunity to continue formal and informal discussions well beyond the normal daytime sessions.
To promote the exchange of new ideas and rigorously assess the potential scientific return offered by the geophysical exploration of Mars, approximately 40% of the conference program has been set aside for Q&A and moderated discussion. Because of this emphasis on discussion and debate, it was necessary to substantially restrict the number of oral presentations significantly heightening the importance of the poster session and reception scheduled for Monday evening. For this reason, all posters will remain on display throughout the duration of the conference (additional details for poster preparation are described later in this announcement). The resulting program represents our best effort to maximize the time available for discussion and to offer the broadest range of opportunities for participating in the meeting.
Finally, in recognition of the broad scope, interdisciplinary nature, and strong international interest in this topic, we have made a concerted effort to go beyond the traditional Mars research community and encourage the participation of terrestrial scientists engaged in various areas of geophysical exploration and permafrost research. This effort has been tremendously successful, with terrestrial scientists accounting for roughly half the indications of interest and a third of the submitted abstracts.
It must be emphasized that the conference schedule contained in this mailing is preliminary and will likely undergo some minor revisions. For this reason, potential participants are strongly advised to access this conference Web site on a regular basis to check on any late-breaking news, access the growing library of "Resource and Background Documents," and view the most recent update of the schedule and detailed program (with links to individual abstracts).
We look forward to seeing you in August!
The primary goal of the conference is to identify the most direct, unambiguous, and cost-effective approach to assessing the three-dimensional distribution and state of water within the martian crust at a resolution sufficient to permit reaching any desired volatile target by drilling.
The presentations and discussions are intended to:
- Clarify the reasons why a global geophysical reconnaissance for water on Mars is needed (and to what desired depth and spatial resolution)
- Identify the specific types and capabilities of potential investigations and platforms, as well as determine the most effective manner in which they might be employed (i.e., orbital, global surface network, and high-resolution local missions)
- Assess the diagnostic limitations and potential environmental complications associated with such investigations
- Determine what other areas of Mars science would benefit from the acquisition of this proposed suite of geophysical data
As an aid to potential participants, a number of downloadable reference and background documents are now available. These include discussions and evaluations of various geophysical and drilling investigations, volatile and geophysical models of the martian subsurface, and discussions of possible exploration strategies. New documents will continue to be added to this resource page, right up through the time of the meeting. The opinions and information contained in these documents are neither definitive nor infallible, but convey some of the current thinking related to the search for water on Mars. Challenges and alternatives to these ideas are strongly encouraged and will be discussed at the meeting.
Although the climate of present-day Mars may be cold and dry, the climate of Houston in the middle of August is generally hot and humid. In recognition of this fact, conference attire (for both the daytime sessions and evening dinners) should be comfortable and casual.
Standard support for oral presentations includes dual-screen projection of slides and overheads. An LCD projector with 800 × 600 resolution and a Toshiba satellite laptop (64 MB of RAM, CD-ROM drive, running Windows 98 and Microsoft Office) will also be available.
Poster presentations will be held Monday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Poster display space available for authors is 44" × 44". Requests for tables, computers, video equipment, etc., cannot be honored due to space limitations. Posters may be put up beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning and remain up through Friday morning.
The preregistration fee for the conference is $250.00 for professionals and $200.00 for students. The deadline for registering at this rate is July 6, 2001. Beginning July 7, 2001, all registrations will be assessed a $20.00 late fee. The fee includes a social event accompanying Monday night's technical poster session, group dinner outings Tuesday through Thursday, daily continental breakfasts, and conference services. A guest fee of $125.00 will allow guests who will not be attending or participating in conference technical sessions to join conference participants in nightly dinners and social functions.
Please return the downloadable preregistration form with your payment before July 6, 2001, to avoid the $20.00 late fee, or you may use the electronic preregistration form if paying by credit card. Foreign participants who state on the preregistration form that they have a currency exchange problem may pay in cash at the meeting and avoid the $20.00 late fee if they return the preregistration form by the July 6, 2001, deadline.
Cancellations with requests for refunds will be accepted through July 25, 2001.
Walk-in registration will be allowed at the fees shown above plus the $20.00 late fee beginning on Monday, August 6, 2001, at 7:30 a.m. in the Great Room of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Walk-in registration will continue throughout the conference.
Participants are responsible for making their own travel and hotel reservations. For your convenience, we have provided a list of local hotels and a map showing the location of area hotels and LPI.
Participants should be aware that there is a shortage of parking space at the LPI. To mitigate this difficulty, we encourage participants to carpool when traveling between the hotels and the LPI.
You may be reached during the conference by telephone at 281-244-2083 and by fax at 281-486-2160. All messages will be posted on the message center board near the conference registration staff desk. Sessions will not be interrupted to deliver messages, except in the event of an emergency.
For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the meeting, please contact one of the conveners:
Questions concerning meeting logistics should be addressed to the LPI meeting coordinator:
- Stephen Clifford (281-486-2146; firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jeffrey George (281-483-5962; email@example.com)
- Carol Stoker (650-604-6490; firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Kimberly Taylor (281-486-2151; email@example.com)
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