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Science Meetings Resources Education About Us



Steve Clifford,
Lunar and Planetary Institute


Jack Farmer,
Arizona State University


Robert Haberle,
NASA Ames Research Center
Horton Newsom,
University of New Mexico


Tim Parker,
Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Sponsored by


Lunar and Planetary Institute,


National Aeronautics and Space Administration,


NASA Mars Program Office


Scientific Organizing Committee

Vic Baker, University of Arizona


David Beaty, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Michael Carr, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park


Benton Clark, Lockheed Martin


Robert Craddock, Smithsonian Institution


Dave Des Marais, NASA Headquarters


Michael Drake, University of Arizona


Francois Forget, University of Paris


James Garvin, NASA Headquarters


Matthew Golombek, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


John Grant, Smithsonian Institution


James Head III, Brown University


Alan Howard, University of Virginia


James Kasting, Pennsylvania State University


Laurie Leshin, Arizona State University


Ted Maxwell, Smithsonian Institution


Daniel McCleese, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Christopher McKay, NASA Ames Research Center


Bruce Runnegar, NASA Astrobiology Institute


Ken Tanaka, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff




Final Announcement — August 2004

Meeting Update

The response to the call for abstracts for the Second Early Mars Conference has been excellent, indicating a high level of interest in the meeting. However, due to the combination of the large number of submitted abstracts, an unexpectedly high percentage of requested orals, and our desire to preserve significant amount of time for discussion and debate, it was necessary to limit the number of oral presentations to about one-third of those requested. Selections were made to minimize duplication and maximize the diversity of views presented at the meeting. The resulting program (which consists of a mix of invited and contributed talks, panel discussions, poster presentations, several special sessions, a field trip, and a variety of social events) represents our best effort to balance the time available for discussion with the opportunities for individual participation.

In light of the above, we are placing a much greater emphasis on the poster sessions scheduled for Monday and Tuesday nights, combining them with evening socials that should greatly enhance the opportunities for interaction among the conference participants. In addition, all posters will remain on display throughout the duration of the meeting (additional details regarding poster preparation and these sessions are described later in this announcement).

To help capture the scientific output of the meeting, and help identify the highest priority questions and investigations for the Mars Exploration Program, "day-in-review" panel and moderated discussions will be held at the end of each afternoon session. This effort will culminate in a special summary discussion session (entitled "Early Mars: Implications of Latest Science for MEPAG Goals and Mission Planning") that will be moderated by Dave Beaty and Mike Carr on Friday morning. This will be the most important session of the meeting and all conference attendees are urged to participate. The meeting will adjourn promptly at noon on October 15.

A special issue is currently in the works for papers presented at (or inspired by) the meeting. Authors need not have attended the meeting to submit a manuscript. The due date for submission of manuscripts is expected to be around February 1, 2005. Further details will be announced at the conference.


If you are planning to attend the meeting, we ask that you register and reserve your room as soon as possible. Conference seating cannot be guaranteed beyond the first 125 registrants and the hotel room block consists of 80 rooms, which will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will also ensure that you will receive any reminders and late-breaking announcements related to the meeting via e-mail.


Purpose and Scope

The influx of new data received from the MER rovers, Mars Express, and other recent spacecraft missions to Mars; progress in early climate modeling; the growing evidence of the role of water in the planet's evolution; and the rapid pace of new discoveries about the origin and diversity of life on Earth have reinvigorated interest in both the conditions that prevailed on Mars during its first billion years of geologic history and their implications for the development of life.

The purpose of the conference is twofold:

(1) to consider how impacts, volcanism, and the presence of abundant water affected the physical and chemical environment that existed on Mars 4 G.y. ago, particularly as it related to the nature of the global climate, the existence of a primordial ocean, the origin of the valley networks, the geologic and mineralogic evolution of the surface, and the potential presence of local environments that may have been conducive to the development of life and the preservation of its signature in the geologic record; and


(2) to discuss the investigations that might be conducted by present and future missions to test the hypotheses arising from (1).

Conference Format

Special Sessions

  • Origin of Life on Earth (Wednesday evening)
  • Exploration Strategies and Future Missions (Friday morning)
Poster Sessions and Evening Socials:
  • Session I (Monday evening, first author last names A-L)
  • Session II (Tuesday evening, first author last names M-Z)
Mid-Conference Field Trip:
  • Tour of hydrothermal sites in Yellowstone National Park (Wednesday)
Conference Dinner (Thursday evening)

Panel Discussions:

  • Day-in-Review Panel Discussions (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday)
  • Evolution of Martian Habitability (Friday)
  • Early Mars: Implications of Latest Science for MEPAG Goals and Mission Planning (Friday)

Oral and Poster Presentations

Contributed oral presentations are scheduled to allow 10 minutes for speaking and 5 minutes for discussion. Invited presentations vary in length and speakers should plan their talks to conform to the times specified in their invitation letters. Audio-visual equipment available for oral presentations includes two slide projectors and a laptop PC with an LCD projector. Dual projection will NOT be available for electronic presentations. Please read carefully the instructions for electronic presentations.

All speakers with electronic presentations must upload their presentations onto the conference laptop before their session starts. Use of personal laptops for presentations will not be permitted. To ensure sufficient time for uploading your presentation, morning presenters are urged to contact the projectionist to upload their files the day before. To assist those who have presentations scheduled for Monday morning, the conference laptop will be available for uploads Sunday evening at the registration desk.


Poster presentations will be on display throughout the entire week of the conference. Posters may be installed from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 10, or Monday morning beginning at 8:00 a.m., and will remain up through Friday noon. Poster display space available to authors is 44" × 44". In the event that inclement weather forces a cancellation of the mid-conference field trip on Wednesday, poster presenters will have an opportunity to present five-minute summaries of their posters, using up to two visual aids to support their remarks.

Abstract Volume

The abstract volume will be in CD-ROM format and distributed to the participants at the conference. You can view the program with abstracts or download abstracts in alphabetical order.

Travel to jackson Hole

The Snake River Lodge & Spa is conveniently accessible through the Jackson Hole Airport with service on four major carriers from six hubs around the country. Convenient connections are available via American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and United.

The Snake River Lodge & Spa in Teton Village is located a scenic 22 miles from the Jackson Hole Airport and 12 miles northwest of the town of Jackson. It is one mile from the southwest entrance of Grand Teton National Park and 60 miles south of Yellowstone National Park. Shuttle fees from Jackson Hole Airport to Teton Village are approximately $20.00 one way or $35.00 round trip, and taxi fare is approximately $45.00.

In October the daytime highs average 58°F (14°C) and the average early-morning low is 23°F (–5°C).

More information on the Jackson Hole area can be found at the following Web sites:


A block of rooms will be held at the Snake River Lodge & Spa until September 10, 2004. A special daily rate of $89.00 plus applicable surcharges and taxes (currently 4.24% resort fee and 6% tax = $98.11), single or double occupancy, for double or king lodging will be available for the meeting dates. Conference-rate lodging is also available three days prior to and after the meeting dates. To ensure a room, reservations must be made by September 10, 2004. After that date, any unsold rooms will be released back to the hotel inventory. Guests who register after that date will be charged according to available rates. However, only a limited number of rooms are available (80 each night). Participants are encouraged to make their hotel reservations early to ensure availability.

Room Deposit:  When reservations are made, a deposit equal to the room rate, surcharge, and taxes for two nights is required to ensure a room.

Cancellations: The deposit (minus a $25.00 fee) is refundable if cancellation is made at least 72 hours prior to scheduled arrival. The deposit will be forfeited if cancellation is made within 72 hours prior to arrival.

Room Reservations: Guests may reserve a room in one of three ways:
1. Toll-free number:  Call the Snake River Lodge at 1-800-445-4655 and identify yourself as part of the Conference on Early Mars.

2. Web registration:  Go to and under reservations click on "advanced options." In this screen enter the dates for your reservation. In the "I.D. Code" box enter MAR. Select the appropriate room rate, and complete the form. (NOTE: Reservations can be made on the Web for up to three days prior to or after October 10–16, 2004. If you plan to stay longer, then you will need to make your reservation by calling 1-800-445-4655.)

3. Downloadable reservation form: Fax the downloadable hotel reservation form to 307-732-6039.

Based on availability at the time of booking, junior suites (single or double occupancy) can be reserved at a special daily rate of $99.00 plus applicable surcharges and taxes (total of $109.14).


Parking: Complimentary self-parking is available at an adjacent lot operated by Teton Village. Valet parking at the hotel will be available for $5.00 per day.

Field Trip

A guided, full-day mid-conference field trip to the hydrothermal sites at Yellowstone National Park has been organized for Wednesday, October 13, including visits to both Lower and Upper Geyser Basins. Following a continental breakfast, the tour buses will leave the lodge early in the morning and return by early evening. A boxed lunch will be provided for all participants. A downloadable field guide, describing the various stops, will be available at the meeting Web site by Monday, September 27.

IMPORTANT NOTE: No other conference activities are scheduled during the day of this trip and the cost is included in the registration fee. It is anticipated that conditions will be extremely cold (with strong winds and expected temperatures of 20°F or below). Participants should bring a warm parka, scarf, hat (with covering for the ears), gloves, and well-insulated boots.

Note that the tour may be modified or canceled in the event of inclement weather. In the event that the field trip is canceled, the meeting will be reconvened to provide those participants who presented posters on Monday and Tuesday evenings with an additional opportunity to present more formal remarks. Poster presenters will be allowed to give five-minute summaries of their posters, supporting their remarks with up to two visual aids per talk.



A fee of $425.00 ($300.00 for students) will be assessed each participant to cover conference services. The fee includes conference admission, printed materials, coffee breaks, two poster receptions, the Wednesday trip to Yellowstone National

Park, and the conference dinner on Thursday evening.

A fee of $275.00 is assessed each accompanying guest, and includes the two poster receptions, the Wednesday field trip, and the conference dinner on Thursday evening.

Please return the downloadable registration form with your payment before September 10, 2004, to avoid a $75.00 late fee, or you may use the electronic registration form if paying by credit card. Foreign participants who state on the registration form that they have a currency exchange problem may pay in cash (U.S. dollars) at the meeting (and avoid a $75.00 late fee) if they return the form by September 10, 2004.

Please note: Registration fees are based on the average cost per participant or guest and cannot be prorated by individual attendance at events, by facility usage, or by other line items. Guest fees include the two poster receptions, Wednesday field trip, and conference dinner, but do not include printed materials, coffee breaks, and meeting facility costs. Guests must be registered and accompanied by a professional or student participant.

Cancellations with requests for refunds will be accepted through September 17, 2004. Please note that a $25.00 fee will be charged on all cancellations.


Sunday evening registration will be available in the Sundance Lobby from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Registration will resume on Monday morning, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Contact Information

For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the conference, please contact

Steve Clifford
phone: 281-486-2146;
e-mail: [email protected].

For further information regarding conference logistics, contact


Kimberly Taylor
phone: 281-486-2151;
fax: 281-486-2125;
e-mail: [email protected].


September 10, 2004 Deadline for booking hotel reservations and preregistration deadline
October 11-15, 2004 Second Conference on Early mars in jackson Hole, Wyoming