Lunar and Planetary Institute

40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 23-27, 2009, The Woodlands, Texas



   Lunar and Planetary Institute

Steve Mackwell,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute





The 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, The Woodlands, Texas, March 23–27, 2009.   

This conference brings together international specialists in petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, geology, and astronomy to present the latest results of research in planetary science. The five-day conference will be organized by topical symposia and problem-oriented sessions.

The Woodlands Waterway Marriot Convention Center provides more than ample space for the ever-expanding Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Multiple ballrooms, each seating more than 500, enable the scheduled program to expand to more than four parallel sessions in the future. The Town Center Exhibit Hall provides approximately 40,000 square feet for poster and trade show exhibits.


When:  March 23–27, 2009
Where:  The Woodlands, Texas


The five-day conference will be organized by parallel sessions of topical symposia and problem-oriented categories.  Selection of contributed abstracts will be based on the relevance of the subject matter to the conference and the quality of the science.  All abstracts for special sessions, whether invited or contributed, must be submitted by the advertised deadlines for consideration by the program committee.

Mode of Presentation:  First authors may indicate a preference for oral, poster, or print-only presentation. The program committee will make final decisions on the mode of presentation to ensure a balance of as many important new research results as possible.

First-Author Policy:  Two abstracts per first author, for contributed oral or poster submissions.  (Invited presentations are the only exception.)  Print-only submissions are allowed only under specified conditions and are limited to one request per first author.  Read the abstract submission policies below for more information.

Oral Presentation Format:  10 minutes for speaking and 5 minutes for discussion and speaker transition.

Audio-Visual Equipment:  Laptop PCs and Macs and an LCD projector. NO option for dual-screen presentations. For more information, read the instructions for electronic presentations.

Poster Presentation Format:  Poster size is 44" × 44" (1.1m × 1.1m), to be affixed with pushpins to an 4’ × 8’ (122cm × 244cm) (inside frame) free-standing panel. Two presenters share one side of one panel, so displays must be confined to the specified limit.

Poster Viewing:  Posters may be viewed any time between noon on Monday and 10:00 a.m. on Friday. Two separate evening sessions will be scheduled, at which time authors will be present at designated timeslots for presentations.

The final announcement will contain poster installation and removal instructions and poster session details.

Conference Program and Abstracts:  The conference program and abstracts will be available on this website by February 9, 2009.


Authors submitting abstracts for special sessions should select the appropriate “Special Session:” topic on the abstract submission form. Submission to a special session constitutes one of the two abstracts allowed for contributed requests, unless a presenter is an invited speaker.

The special sessions at the 40th LPSC will include:
      — Lunar Missions:  Results from Kaguya, Chang’e-1, and Chandrayaan
      — Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn
      — MESSENGER at Mercury:  A Global Perspective on the Innermost Planet
      — Near-Earth Objects (in development)
      — Venus Atmosphere (in development)



** NEW FOR THIS YEAR:  All abstracts must be submitted in PDF format **

Deadline:  5:00 p.m. (CST) Thursday, January 8, 2009 (see U.S. time zone map).  ** NO exceptions for late abstracts.** Those having technical difficulty must contact us immediately (phone:  281-486-2142 or -2188) so we will have time to assist you.

Unable to Produce PDF Files?  If you are unable to produce a PDF file, you may send your source file (must be in Word or PostScript format) to the LPI no later than January 2, 2009. We will create the PDF file and send it back to you, but it will still be your responsibility to submit that PDF file by the time of the deadline. Source files should be sent to

Abstract Limitation:  First authors are limited to TWO abstracts for oral or poster presentation requests.

Authors may request any combination of two — but no more than two — oral and poster presentation formats (i.e., two orals, two posters, or one oral and one poster).

Authors submitting two abstracts for oral presentation will be asked to rank them in order of preference.

Invited Presentations:  Invited presenters may submit an invited abstract in addition to their two contributed abstracts.

Print-Only Abstracts:  Authors requesting a print-only abstract cannot submit an abstract for an oral or a poster presentation.

First authors are limited to ONE print-only request. Print-only abstracts are allowed only under the following conditions:  (1) from members of the community who will not be able to attend the meeting or (2) from authors who are NOT submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation

Use of Meteorite Names:  Information regarding the acceptable use of meteorite names is contained in the detailed instructions for authors. A representative of the Meteorite Nomenclature Committee will be reviewing the LPSC abstracts to make certain all authors comply with these policies. The program committee reserves the right to reject any abstract found to be in violation of these rules.

File Sizes:  Abstracts file sizes can be no larger than 1MB. Larger files will be automatically rejected by the electronic submission form.

The program committee will strictly enforce the above policies. Abstracts submitted in violation of these policies will be rejected.

Abstracts can ONLY be submitted in PDF format. Read the instructions above if you are unable to create a PDF file. Templates and detailed instructions are provided. After preparing your abstract file, you will use the electronic abstract submission form to upload the file containing your abstract (instructions are provided on the form).

Abstracts sent by e-mail will NOT be considered.

Abstract files must be RECEIVED at the LPI by 5:00 p.m. U.S. CST. Authors are encouraged to start early so our staff will have time to provide assistance in the event of technical problems.

Because of the number of abstracts received and the time required to process them, exceptions cannot be made for anyone, regardless of the reason.


Abstract Deadline:
   5:00 p.m. (CST) Thursday,
   January 8, 2009
(see time zone map)

All abstracts MUST be in PDF!


Description:  Each year the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America (GSA) gives the Stephen E. Dwornik Planetary Student Paper Awards for the best student research presentations, one for an oral presentation and one for a poster presentation. The purpose of these awards is to provide encouragement, motivation, and recognition to outstanding future planetary scientists who are U.S. citizens, as specified by the benefactor and GSA policy.

Eligibility:  The awards are open to U.S. citizens currently enrolled as students at any degree level (undergraduate or graduate) in the field of planetary geosciences. Recent graduates, pre-college students, and postdoctoral fellows are not eligible. * New for 2009:  An additional award will be given for the best presentation by an undergraduate student, either oral or poster.

Criteria:  Only one abstract per student will be considered for the award. The student must be the senior author of the abstract, and the material must not have been previously presented at another meeting. The student submitting the application must give the presentation at LPSC. Judging will be based on both the written abstract and the presentation.

Application:  To apply for the award, students MUST complete the student award application form and send the application form to LPI on or before the abstract deadline of January 8, 2009.

Judging:  The Dwornik committee is looking for volunteers to serve as judges for this year’s competition. Those willing to serve as a judge should write a note to that effect in the comments box of the abstract submission form. If you are volunteering, please provide a brief description of your area of scientific research (e.g., lunar geology, impact cratering, etc.).

Awards:  Winners will be introduced and awarded a plaque and a cash prize of $500.00 at the following years’ LPSC. The winners of the 2008 Dwornik competition will be honored in the Monday afternoon plenary session (see below).


Sunday Night Registration and Reception:  Sunday evening, March 22, 2009, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Convention Center.

NASA Headquarters Briefings:  5:30 p.m., Monday, March 23, Waterway Ballroom. Open to all interested members of the community.

Plenary Session Featuring Masursky Lecture:  Monday, March 23, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. S. Alan Stern will be the featured speaker.

Education/Public Outreach Forum:  This year’s pre-LPSC education forum will be held on Sunday, March 22, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Woodlands conference venue.

“Reaching Audiences through New Media:  Lessons We Are Learning from the International Year of Astronomy” will explore how immersive new media technologies such as collaborative web environments, social networks, virtual worlds, and inexpensive and accessible production tools are changing the way that people interact, work, learn, and teach. These technologies provide high-impact opportunities for reaching an audience of young adults that largely is not accessed by, or accessing, NASA. What have we learned about these tools of interaction and communication? Join us to explore new media pathways, and to reflect on what we are learning from employing new media during the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).

Participants will:
      — learn about paths for involving audiences in IYA through new media;
      — discover challenges and benefits in using various new media technologies;
      — share their own experiences and explore new directions and collaborations; and
      — actively use new media venues during the forum to share their LPSC experiences.

Participants should bring computers and/or hand-held mobile devices to participate.

The registration fee for the forum, which will include continental breakfast and lunch, will be $65.00. To register, please fill out the electronic E/PO Outreach Forum registration form.

Student/Scientist Reception:  Monday, March 23, immediately following conclusion of Headquarters Briefing. Reception will honor the Masursky Lecturer, 2008 Dwornik award winners, and all students presenting at this year’s LPSC.

    With our move to The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Convention Center, the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference is now offering a special opportunity for exhibitors to participate and interact with conference participants. A limited number of draped exhibit booths will be available.  For more information, including a description of the booths and fee schedule, please read the Exhibitor Showcase Information flyer.

Through February 15, 2009: $185.00 professionals; $100.00 students
February 16–March 22, 2009: $210.00 professionals; $125.00 students
After March 22, 2009: Onsite registration only
$235.00 professionals; $150.00 students

Credit card registrations:  Participants registering by credit card MUST use the secure electronic registration form.

Other methods of payment:  Those registering using any other method of payment (check, money order, or traveler’s check) MUST use the downloadable registration form.

Cancellations:  Requests for cancellation with a fee refund (less a $25.00 processing fee) will only be accepted through February 28, 2009. Those who fail to attend and do not notify the LPI prior to the February 28 deadline will forfeit their full fee.

Check-in:  The conference registration desk at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Convention Center will be open from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel is holding a block of rooms at a special rate for LPSC. The hotel and convention center is located at 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Texas, just north of Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). A map of the local area is provided for you.

The hotel is located in a beautiful wooded landscape on the The Woodlands Waterway, which connects The Woodlands Town Center with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for performing arts. As the name of the area suggests, there are many trees and pleasant outdoor spaces for walking and visiting.

Located nearby are many restaurants and taverns, shops, and entertainment venues. Shops and restaurants at Market Street and at The Woodlands Mall are located within walking distance from the hotel. Attendees may also access these two areas via trolley and water taxi services.

Special LPSC Room Rate —
The special LPSC rate is $179.00 per night, single or double occupancy, plus applicable taxes (currently 13%). For an occupancy tax exemption, guests are required to show an occupancy tax exemption form in addition to proper government identification at check-in.

There is no charge for children 18 years and younger when they share a room with parent(s) and utilize existing beds.

To accommodate guests who wish to share the cost of a room with a roommate, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott has set aside all two-double-bed guest rooms in the LPSC block. These rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis as inventory allows. A maximum of four adults is allowed per room.

Please note:   When making a reservation for two double beds, the Marriott reservation system will issue a standardized response indicating that the request cannot be guaranteed, or that the room configuration is not available. However, as long as the reservation is guaranteed with a credit card or a first night’s deposit, the request will be honored. 

Check-in is 4:00 p.m.; check-out is 11:00 a.m. Guests arriving prior to check-in will be accommodated as rooms become available. The hotel will accommodate late check-outs subject to space availability.

To ensure a room at the special rate, reservations MUST be made by February 27, 2009.  Participants are encouraged to make their reservations early.  

Room Reservations —
Reservations may be made by one of the following ways:

  • The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Online Reservations
    The group code (LPSLPSA) has already been entered in the far right column. Upon submission of the requested dates, the next page will indicate the special rate of $179.00.

  • Marriott telephone reservations at 1-800-262-1509
    Specify “Lunar Planetary Science”.

Reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card or accompanied by a first night’s deposit. All reserved guest rooms are guaranteed until 6:00 p.m. on day of arrival. Guests planning to arrive after 6:00 p.m. should notify the hotel at the time the room is booked. If travel plans should change due to delayed flights or other circumstances, guests should contact the hotel directly at 281-367-9797.

Cancellation Policy —
Cancellations may be made without penalty by contacting the hotel directly at 281-367-9797 prior to 6:00 p.m. on the day of arrival.

“No Show” Policy —
Guests who do not check in by 6:00 p.m. on the day of arrival without prior notice to the hotel risk forfeiture of room in addition to forfeiture of deposit.

Please note:  The hotel is a non-smoking property, which includes all public areas and guest rooms. 

There are numerous other Woodland area hotels located nearby, some of which offer rates of less than $100.00 per night. Conference shuttle service will be provided to all the area hotels shown on this list.


Attendees staying at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott can take a Super Shuttle (713-523-8888) from either Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) or Hobby Airport (HOU). The cost from IAH is $23.00 one way; Yellow Cab service from IAH to the hotel is $50.00 one way. The hotel does not provide shuttle service.

Information about other shuttle transportation from the airports will be included in the final announcement.

The Woodlands Waterway Marriot Hotel and Convention Center has two garages for guests and conference attendees. Complimentary self-parking is available in the West Garage (Town Center Garage) located on Six Pines Drive. The West Garage offers easy access to the hotel and convention center via a climate-controlled Sky Bridge.  Parking is also provided in the East Garage located at the front of the hotel; rates are $10.00 per day for self-parking and $13.00 per day for valet parking.

Driving Directions —
From George Bush Intercontinental Airport:
  Follow airport exit signs to Hardy Toll Road North. Proceed on Hardy Toll Road. The toll road will merge with I-45 North. Proceed on I-45 North to the Woodlands Parkway exit. Continue to Woodloch Forest Drive. Turn right. Go to the second stop light (Lake Robbins Drive). Turn left and proceed 0.25 miles to hotel on left.

From Hobby Airport:  Take Airport Blvd. to I-45 North. Turn left, enter the freeway, and proceed on I-45 North to the Woodlands Parkway exit. Continue to Woodloch Forest Drive. Turn right. Go to the second stop light (Lake Robbins Drive). Turn left and proceed 0.25 miles to the hotel on the left.




For further information regarding meeting logistics and announcements, please contact

Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2143

For further information regarding abstract submission or registration, please contact

Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2142


Thursday, January 8, 2009,
5:00 p.m. (U.S. CST)

Deadline for abstract submission
(PDF format ONLY this year)

February 9, 2009
Final announcement with preliminary program
and abstracts available on this website
February 15, 2009
Deadline for registration at reduced rate
February 16–March 22, 2009
Registration with late fee
March 22, 2009
Registration and reception from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at
the Woodlands Waterway Marriott
March 23–27, 2009

40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
in The Woodlands, Texas



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