Third International Conference on Early Mars

National Aeronautics and Space

Universities Space Research Association
NASA Science Mission Directorate Divisions:
Earth Science
Planetary Science

Lunar and Planetary Institute

Southwest Research Institute
International Commission on Planetary Atmospheres and their Evolution/ International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences/International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG)
Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group
Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG)
The Planetary Society

Mark A. Bullock
Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute

Waleed Abdalati
Chief Scientist, NASA

Richard S. Eckman
Earth Science Division, NASA

Lori S. Glaze
Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Jim Green
Planetary Science Division, NASA

David H. Grinspoon
Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Madhulika Guhathakurta
Heliophysics Division, NASA

James E. Hansen
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Sanjay S. Limaye
Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin

Stephen Mackwell
Lunar and Planetary Institute

Adriana Ocampo
Planetary Science Division, NASA

Mario R. Perez
Astrophysics Division, NASA

Suzanne E. Smrekar
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Final Announcement — May 2012

Meeting Location and Date

The conference on Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets will be held June 25–28, 2012, at the Hotel Boulderado, located at 2115 Thirteenth Street, Boulder CO 80302.


Each of the rocky planets with atmospheres in our solar system has a distinctly different climate. Initial conditions, solar input, climate forcing, and climate feedbacks are all different on these worlds, resulting in environments that are radically different from Earth's. An even wider range of conditions are possible on terrestrial planets around other stars. While the physical and chemical principles that operate are the same, different climate processes dominate on different planets.

Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets will explore the differences and similarities between the climates of terrestrial planets in the solar system and beyond. With an emphasis on experimental methods and models, the synergies between Earth science, planetary science, heliophysics, and exoplanet studies will be exploited to identify objectives for future research and missions.

Purpose and Scope

The goal of this conference is to look at climate in the broadest sense possible — by comparing the processes at work on the four terrestrial bodies, Earth, Venus, Mars, and Titan (Titan is included because it hosts many terrestrial processes), and on terrestrial planets around other stars. These processes include the interactions of shortwave and thermal radiation with the atmosphere, condensation and vaporization of volatiles, atmospheric dynamics and chemistry, and the role of the surface and interior in the long-term evolution of climate. Conference talks will compare the scientific questions, methods, numerical models, and spacecraft remote sensing experiments for Earth and the other planets, with the goal of identifying objectives for future research and missions. The conference is an opportunity for planetary scientists to survey current work on the best-studied terrestrial planet, and for climate scientists to reflect on how familiar processes on Earth produce such different outcomes in other “laboratories.”

General circulation models include ocean-atmosphere coupling, geochemical and biological impacts, the cycling of most important elements between atmospheric, surface and interior reservoirs, and isotopic fractionation. Accurate modeling of all these processes is supported by detailed in situ observations, measurements from orbit, and laboratory studies. In comparison, missions to the planets have produced sparse datasets, and only the broadest understanding of the climates of Venus, Mars, and Titan has been possible. Many of the questions that drive the study of Earth’s climate, however, are equally applicable to the other terrestrial planets in the solar system. The conference has four themes:

  • Climate and atmosphere
  • Clouds, hazes, and precipitation
  • Geology and climate
  • Solar-atmosphere interactions

Meeting Format

The conference program consists of invited and contributed oral presentations and contributed posters. Talks in the sessions will provide input for the panel discussions. The broad issues that come out of the panel discussions will form the basis of the conference summary and guide the development of the edited University of Arizona Press volume, Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets.

For more details, view the complete program and abstracts. Authors should refer to the author index to see where their abstract has been scheduled.

Oral Presentations

The meeting is structured with morning and afternoon oral sessions organized around topical themes. Each oral session includes invited talks and a limited number of contributed oral presentations with ample time for questions and discussion.

Audio-visual equipment available for oral presentations will include one LCD projector and one PC laptop.

Poster Presentations

A poster session is scheduled for Wednesday evening, June 27, at Rembrandt Yard, 1301 Spruce Street. The poster session venue is within walking distance from the conference hotel. Posters may be installed on Wednesday evening at 4:00 p.m. and must be removed by 10:00 p.m. Any posters remaining after that time will be discarded. Authors must be present at their poster during the scheduled session for discussion.

Each poster will have a space 44” x 44” (1.1 m x 1.1 m) for display. Posters will be displayed on free-standing panels that are 4’ x 8’ (122 cm x 244 cm) (inside frame). Two presenters will share one side of one panel, so it is important that displays do not exceed the size limits. Due to space limitations, tables, computers, video equipment, etc., cannot be accommodated as a part of a poster display.

Evening Public Event with Bill Nye the Science Guy

On Tuesday evening, Bill Nye will speak at The Boulder Theater, located at 2032 14th Street in Boulder. The public event venue is within walking distance from the conference hotel. The event will begin at 8:00 p.m. and end at 10:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased through the Boulder Theater website.

The public event, which is sponsored by The Planetary Society, will also include a panel of distinguished climate scientists that will answer questions from the audience and lead a discussion on Earth's climate and comparisons with other solar system planets. The panel will be moderated by Bill Nye.

About the Speaker

Bill Nye, scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor, is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been doing most of his life.

Bill has served as Vice President, and is currently the Chief Executive Officer, of The Planetary Society, the world's largest space-interest group. He recently spoke on behalf of the Society at the International Astronautical Federation Congress in Glasgow, Scotland. He has also spoken in Hyderabad, India, and Beijing, China. Unlike during the days of the Cold War, space exploration has become an international undertaking.

Bill Nye is a graduate of Cornell with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He holds three Honorary Doctorate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Goucher College, and The Johns Hopkins University (JHU). He has delivered commencement addresses at the University of California Santa Barbara, RPI, Goucher, JHU, Harvey Mudd College, and the California Institute of Technology.

For a complete biography of Bill Nye, please visit


Registration Fees:


Through May 25, 2012

May 26–June 8, 2012










*Onsite registration must be paid by credit card or check. No cash will be accepted.

The registration fee for professionals and students includes a reception, technical sessions, coffee breaks, and a printed program booklet.

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 transfer) must contact the LPI Meeting Registrar for detailed instructions.

Note:  We now have a third-party payment page available. Participants required to register using a third party (e.g., SATERN for NASA civil servants) may still register in advance using the electronic registration form. The confirmation e-mail you receive after registering will include payment instructions to submit to the third party. Please be aware, however, that your registration will not be considered complete until the funds have been received.

Cancellations: Requests for cancellation with a fee refund (less a $25.00 processing fee) will only be accepted through June 8, 2012. Those who fail to attend and do not notify the LPI prior to the cancellation deadline will forfeit their full fee.


The Hotel Boulderado is holding a block of 75 rooms for this meeting. Available room types include traditional (one queen), deluxe (two queens), and Boulderado (one king). Special rates (available up to three days before and after the meeting) are $179.00 plus applicable taxes (12.30% hotel occupancy tax), single or double occupancy, for a traditional room, $202.00 for a deluxe room, and $217.00 for the Boulderado. (Note:  The 2012 GSA rate for lodging in Boulder, Colorado is $109.00.)

There is no charge for children 18 years old and younger when they share a room with parent(s) and utilize existing beds. There will be an additional charge of $15.00 plus tax for a third child or adult (18 or older) and an additional $30.00 plus tax for a fourth child or adult (18 or older) in a room. A maximum of four people is allowed per room.

Check-in time is 4:00 p.m.; check-out time 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 5:00 p.m. local time on June 3, 2012.

** After June 3, 2012, any unsold rooms will be released back to the hotel inventory, and guests who register after that date may be charged according to available rates. **

Cancellations:  Reservation cancellations or changes made by June 1, 2012 will be without penalty.

Hotel room rates include:

Local and toll free calls
Morning lobby newspapers (Monday–Friday)
Access to One Boulder Fitness
Wireless Internet access
Use of hotel's 24-hour business center

Parking at hotel:  The hotel has valet parking. The charges are $1.25 per hour (with a two-hour minimum) and $10.00 per day for overnight guests (fees are subject to change without notice).

Early and late departure fee:  Guests will be required to advise the hotel at or before check-in of any change in the reserved length of stay. If you depart early, you are responsible for all nights under your reservation unless the hotel is able to sell your room night. The hotel charges 50% of the room rate for check-outs between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and a full night's rate for check-outs after 1:00 p.m.

Room reservations:  To reserve a room, call 1-800-433-4344 and reference the USRA room block, Universities Space Research Association room block, Comparative Climatology Conference room block, or Booking I.D. Number 10336.

To reserve a room via e-mail, contact [email protected] and reference any of the room blocks mentioned above.


The Boulder area is served by the Denver International Airport, which is located approximately 50 minutes from the Hotel Boulderado. There are shuttle services and a public bus service (RTD SkyRide) that provide ground transportation between Denver International Airport and the Boulder Area.

Driving directions to the Hotel Boulderado:

From the airport (with tolls):

Drive north on Pena Blvd.
Turn slight left toward Terminal West.
Stay straight to go onto Pena Blvd.
Take the E-470 TOLLWAY N exit, EXIT 6B, toward Boulder / Fort Collins.
Merge onto E-470 N (Portions toll) (Electronic toll collection only).
E-470 N becomes Northwest Pky W (Portions toll) (Electronic toll collection only).
Northwest Pky W becomes Storage Tek Dr.
Take the US-36 W ramp.
Merge onto US-36 W.
Turn left onto CO-119 S / Canyon Blvd / CO-7 N.
Turn right onto 13th St.
The Hotel Boulderado is on the left.

From the airport (without tolls):

Drive north on Pena Blvd.
Turn slight left toward Terminal West.
Stay straight to go onto Pena Blvd.
Merge onto I-70 W / Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Hwy / US-36 W via the exit on the left.
Take the I-270 W exit, EXIT 279A, toward Fort Collins / Boulder.
Merge onto US-36 W.
Turn left onto CO-119 S / Canyon Blvd / CO-7 N.
Turn right onto 13th St.
The Hotel Boulderado is on the left.


For further information regarding the scientific content of the meeting:

Dr. Mark Bullock
Southwest Research Institute
E-mail:  [email protected]


Dr. Lori Glaze
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
E-mail:  [email protected]

For further information regarding meeting logistics or announcements:

Katy Buckaloo
Meeting and Publication Services
Universities Space Research Association (USRA)/
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Phone:  281-486-2106
E-mail:  [email protected]

For further information regarding registration:

Linda Tanner
Meeting and Publication Services
Universities Space Research Association (USRA)/
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Phone:  281-486-2142
E-mail:  [email protected]


Deadline for registration at the reduced rate May 25, 2012
Deadline for hotel reservations at the group rate June 3, 2012
Conference on Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets June 25–28, 2012

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