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Lunar and Planetary Institute

University of Alaska–Fairbanks

NASA Mars Program Office
International Association of
Cryospheric Sciences
Centre for Research in Earth and
Space Sciences, York University



Stephen Clifford
Lunar and Planetary Institute

Kenji Yoshikawa
University of Alaska–Fairbanks

David Beaty
NASA Mars Program Office–
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Shane Byrne
University of Arizona

David Fisher
Geological Survey of Canada

Francois Forget
Université Paris 6

Michael Hecht
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Peter Smith
University of Arizona

Leslie Tamppari
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Timothy Titus
U.S. Geological Survey–Flagstaff




Jean-Pierre Bibring
Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale
Wendy Calvin
University of Nevada
Francois Costard
IDES Université Paris-Sud 11
Peter Doran
University of Illinois at Chicago
William Durham
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ralf Greve
Hokkaido University
Robert Haberle
NASA Ames Research Center
Candy Hansen
Planetary Science Institute
Jim Head
Brown University
Ken Herkenhoff
U.S. Geological Survey
Vicky Hipkin
Canadian Space Agency
Jack Holt
University of Texas
Alan Howard
University of Virginia
Christine Hvidberg
Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
Ralf Jaumann
Institute of Planetary Research
Denis Lacelle
University of Ottawa
Chris McKay
NASA Ames Research Center
Sarah Milkovich
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Gian-Gabrielle Ori
International Research School of 
Planetary Sciences
Roger Philips
Southwest Research Institute
Jeff Plaut
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Nathan Putzig
Southwest Research Institute
James Rice Jr.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
David Smith
NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
Ken Tanaka
U.S. Geological Survey
Peter Thomas
Cornell University
Lonnie Thompson
Ohio State University
Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson
Icelandic Meteorological Office
Aaron Zent
NASA Ames Research Center
Maria Zuber
Massachusetts Institute of Technology





Final Announcement — August 2011


Purpose and Scope

The Fifth 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 current and future missions; and identify the potential science objectives, platform options, and instrument suites for future robotic missions to investigate the martian poles. 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.

Science Background

Over the past 12 years, our understanding of the martian polar regions has been greatly advanced by the analysis of data acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor (1999), Mars Express (2003), Mars Odyssey (2001), and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2006) spacecraft as well as the Phoenix Lander (2008).


This data has yielded the first high-resolution topographic maps of the north and south polar layered deposits; submeter-scale images of the stratigraphy exposed in the polar troughs and reentrants; radar sounding investigations of the internal structure and basal topography of the polar deposits; year-round coverage of the thermophysical, radiative, and compositional properties of the polar atmosphere and surface; and in situ investigations of the near-surface volatiles stratigraphy, soil composition, geology, and meteorology of the martian high arctic.


Some of the specific issues and questions that will be addressed at the meeting include the key questions identified at the fourth conference (Fishbaugh et al., 2008, Icarus, 196, 305–317):


  • What are the physical characteristics of the polar layered deposits (PLD) and how are the different geologic units within, beneath, and surrounding the PLD related?
  • How old are the PLD, and what are their glacial, fluvial, depositional, and erosional histories?
  • What are the mass and energy budgets of the PLD, and what processes control these budgets on seasonal and longer timescales?
  • What chronology, compositional variability, and record of climatic change is expressed in the stratigraphy of the PLD?
  • How have volatiles and dust been exchanged between polar and nonpolar reservoirs, and how has this exchange affected the past and present distribution of surface and subsurface ice?

Dates and Location

This five-day meeting will be held September 12–16, 2011, at the Pike's Waterfront Lodge, 1850 Hoselton Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 (phone: 907-456-4500). Fairbanks was chosen as the site of the fifth conference because of its relative accessibility; the expertise in permafrost, glacial, and polar research at the University of Alaska–Fairbanks; and its proximity to many examples of cold-climate geomorphology, such as pingos, ice wedges, and patterned ground, which will provide many interesting destinations for the mid-conference field trip (as they did for the Third and Ninth International Conferences on Permafrost, which were also held in Fairbanks in 1983 and 2008 respectively).


To take full advantage of the opportunities the Fairbanks area provides, the conference technical sessions will be held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with a mid-conference field trip on Wednesday (discussed in further detail below).

Conference Format

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.


More information is available by browsing through the detailed program and abstracts. Author notification letters will not be mailed out, so authors will need to check the author index to see where their abstract has been scheduled.

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 the program. Audio-visual equipment for oral presentations will be limited to a single LCD projector. Dual projection, overhead projection, or 35-mm slide projection will NOT be available.


All speakers with electronic presentations must upload their presentations onto the conference laptop before the beginning of the session — 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 and upload their files the day before. For those who have presentations scheduled for Monday morning, the conference laptop will be available for uploads Sunday evening at the registration desk from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.


Two presentation laptops are available. 1) PC configured with Windows XP Pro, Microsoft Office 2003, Windows Media Player and QuickTime Player, 2) a Macintosh


Poster presentations will be on display throughout the entire week of the conference. Posters may be installed beginning on Monday morning, September 12, at 7:30 a.m. and may remain up through Friday noon. Poster display space available to authors is 44" x 44" (1.1 m x 1.1 m).

Field Trip

A mid-conference field trip is planned for Wednesday, September 14, 2011. The field trip will last from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., making stops to observe examples of cold-climate landforms (such as pingos, ice-wedges, and polygonal ground) in the Fairbanks area, which were previously featured in field trips for the Third and Ninth International Conferences on Permafrost. The charge for the mid-conference field trip, which includes a sack lunch and refreshments, is included in the conference registration fee. Note that the field trip may be modified or canceled in the event of inclement weather.


Pike's Waterfront Lodge is located on the Chena River in Fairbanks, just minutes from the Fairbanks International Airport and fifteen minutes from downtown and the Alaska Railroad station.


All rooms are equipped with a microwave and refrigerator, flat-screen television with free cable, free wireless Internet, private bathroom, Aveda aromatherapy bath amenities, hair dryer, magnifying mirror, iron and ironing board, telephone, clock with alarm, coffee/tea maker, and individual controls for heating and air conditioning.


A block of standard rooms is being held at a special rate of $79.00, plus tax, single or double occupancy. To ensure a room at this rate, reservations MUST be made by August 8, 2011. Participants are encouraged to make their reservations early.


Room Reservations –

To qualify for the special rate, reservations must be made by phoning the hotel directly at 907-456-4500, ext. 0. (Do not use the toll-free number listed on the hotel's website.) Refer to group code #360699.


The online reservations page on the hotel's website does not offer a group code option, but you can contact the reservations desk by e-mail at


Fairbanks is served by the Fairbanks International Airport, which is located less than four miles from the Pike's Waterfront Lodge. The hotel provides shuttle service from the airport. To call the Pike's shuttle to pick you up at the airport, use the free direct connect phone located at the bottom of the escalator when exiting to the baggage claim area. The hotel is #3 on the phone. (You will also see the Pike's ad with the phone number on the ad.)


Mapquest Link


Driving directions to Pike's Waterfront Lodge:


From the airport: 

Take Airport Way 1/2 mile to Hoselton Rd.
Turn left on Hoselton Road.
Pike's Waterfront Lodge is on the left.


From Anchorage:

From the Parks Highway, take the Fairbanks exit.
This exit becomes Airport Way.
Take Airport Way 1/8 mile to Hoselton Rd.
Turn right on Hoselton Road.
Pike's Waterfront Lodge is on the left.


Through August 12, 2011

$475.00 professionals; $375.00 students; $250.00 guests

August 13–August 26, 2011

$525.00 professionals; $425.00 students; $300.00 guests

After August 26
Onsite registration only
$575.00 professionals; $475.00 students; $350.00 guests


The guest registration fee will include all conference sessions and social events, including the banquet on Thursday evening and the field trip on Wednesday. Guests must be an accompanying person of a fully paid conference registrant.


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, traveler's check, or wire transter) must contact the LPI Meeting Registrar for detailed instructions.


Cancellations: Requests for cancellation with a fee refund (less a $25.00 processing fee) will only be accepted through August 29, 2011. Those who fail to attend and do not notify the LPI prior to the August 29 deadline will forfeit their full fee.


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


Stephen Clifford 
Lunar and Planetary Institute 


For further information regarding meeting logistics, contact


Kécia Mallette
USRA/Lunar and Planetary Institute 


For further information regarding registration, contact


Linda Tanner
USRA/Lunar and Planetary Institute 


Deadline for hotel reservations at group rate August 8, 2011

Deadline to register at reduced rate

August 12, 2011

Fifth International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration in Fairbanks, Alaska

September 12–16, 2011