Lunar and Planetary Institute
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Canadian Space Agency
International Glaciological Society
Geological Survey of Canada

Stephen Clifford, Lunar and Planetary Institute
Peter Doran, University of Illinois at Chicago
David Fisher, Geological Survey of Canada
Christopher Herd, University of Alberta

Terrestrial Members
Walter Ammann, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, University of Copenhagen
Sigfus Johnsen, University of Copenhagen
Shawn Marshall, University of Calgary
John Nye, University of Bristol
Wayne Pollard, McGill University
Todd Sowers, Pennsylvania State University
Lonnie Thompson, Byrd Polar Research Center
Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, National Energy Authority and University of Iceland
Eske Willerslev, University of Copenhagen

Planetary Members
Alain Berinstain, Canadian Space Agency
William Boynton, University of Arizona
Mike Carr, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park
Frank Carsey, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
William Durham, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Jack Farmer, Arizona State University
James Garvin, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
Rejean Grard, European Space Agency/ESTEC
Robert Haberle, NASA Ames Research Center
Ken Herkenhoff, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff
Hugh Kieffer, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff
Pascal Lee, NASA Ames Research Center
Daniel McCleese, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Christopher McKay, NASA Ames Research Center
Jeffrey Plaut, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
James Rice Jr., Arizona State University
David Smith, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
Ken Tanaka, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff
Peter Thomas, Cornell University
Maria Zuber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


The response to the first announcement of the third Mars Polar Conference has been outstanding, with indications of interest received from researchers in 14 countries in fields as diverse as glaciology, climatology, planetary geology, planetary atmospheres, geophysics, spacecraft design and instrumentation, remote sensing, astrobiology, and life in extreme environments. This strong interdisciplinary interest is underscored by the fact that more than half the respondents are members of the terrestrial polar research community.

If you are interested in attending the meeting, we ask that you submit an electronic Indication of Interest form (if you have not already done so) as soon as possible - thus insuring that you will receive any reminders and special announcements related to the meeting via e-mail.


The Third International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration is the latest in a continuing series of meetings that are intended to promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas between planetary and terrestrial scientists interested in Mars polar and climate research. In recognition of the broad scope, interdisciplinary nature, and strong international interest in this topic, the participation of any interested scientist with relevant theoretical, experimental, or polar field experience is strongly encouraged.

The purpose of the conference is to assess the current state of Mars polar and climate research; discuss what might be learned from investigations of terrestrial analogs and the data returned from upcoming missions; and identify the potential science objectives, platform options, and instrument suites for robotic missions to the martian poles within the next decade. This meeting is intended to advance such missions and to serve as an important resource for those scientists wishing to develop instruments, propose spacecraft, or participate as a member of a science team in response to any future Announcement of Opportunity.


In the last four years, our understanding of the martian polar regions has been greatly advanced by the analysis of data acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. This data has yielded the first high-resolution topographic maps of the north and south polar ice caps, meter-scale images of the polar layered stratigraphy, and year-round coverage of the thermophysical, radiative, and compositional properties of the polar atmosphere and surface.

This influx of new data has recently been augmented by the arrival of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, whose Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) are providing dramatic new insights into the nature of the poles. Within the next three years, a variety of additional investigations will be conducted by the upcoming Mars Express (2003) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2005) missions — including our first look at the internal structure and basal topography of the polar deposits (obtained from the orbital radar sounders that will be flown on both spacecraft).

Some of the specific issues and questions that will be addressed at the meeting include:


This five-day meeting will be held from October 13–17, 2003, at the Fairmount Chateau at Lake Louise, near Banff National Park, in Alberta, Canada. This location was chosen as the site for the third conference because of Canada's active programs in permafrost, glacial, and polar research, as well as its growing interest in Mars exploration. The Lake Louise/Banff area also offers an ideal venue for the meeting because of its scenic location, its close proximity to many excellent destinations for field trips (including alpine glaciers and other examples of cold climate features and terrains), and its ready accessibility to international travelers.

To take full advantage of the opportunities the Lake Louise/Banff area provides, the conference technical sessions will be held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with optional field trips to local sites of geologic and glacial interest on Wednesday and Saturday (additional details about the field trips will be included in the second announcement). Participants are encouraged to take advantage of the availability of conference-rate lodging (for the weekends before and after the meeting) to explore this extraordinarily scenic area with their spouse or family.


The conference program will consist of invited and contributed talks, panel discussions, and poster presentations, and will be supplemented by several special sessions and social events that will be held throughout the meeting.

Any scientist with relevant theoretical, experimental, or polar field experience is strongly encouraged to participate and to submit an abstract. Contingent upon review and acceptance by the Program Committee, abstracts will be published as part of an LPI abstract volume that will be distributed to conference participants at the meeting. The abstracts and preliminary program will also be available in electronic format and accessible via the conference Web page by August 22, 2003.

Abstracts may address any relevant aspect of terrestrial or martian polar research, including, but not limited to,


To encourage the participation of student researchers, some travel assistance (covering as much as ~20–50% of anticipated total expenses) will be provided on a competitive and as-available basis. Further details regarding this assistance will be included in the second announcement.


For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the meeting, please contact
Stephen Clifford
Lunar and Planetary Institute

For further information regarding meeting logistics, please contact
Kimberly Taylor
Lunar and Planetary Institute


Further details regarding the program, topics for discussion, opportunities for participation, as well as guidelines for abstract and poster preparation, will be included in the second announcement that will be posted on this LPI Web site by May 9, 2003.


To subscribe to a mailing list to receive electronic reminders and special announcements relating to the meeting via e-mail, please submit an electronic Indication of Interest form by April 11, 2003.

Please submit the Indication of Interest even if you do not care about electronic notification of future announcements. The number of e-mails tallied will also serve to facilitate meeting planning.


April 11, 2003Indication of Interest due at LPI
May 9, 2003Second announcement posted on the LPI Web site
July 16, 2003Abstract submission deadline
August 22, 2003Final announcement, preliminary program,
and abstracts posted on the LPI Web site
October 13–17, 2003Third International Conference on
Mars Polar Science and Exploration

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