— December 2003 —


Conveners —
Paul Schenk,
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Francis Nimmo,
University College, London
Louise Prockter,
Johns Hopkins University,
Applied Physics Laboratory

Hosted by —
Lunar and Planetary Institute

Sponsored by —
Lunar and Planetary Institute
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Scientific Organizing Committee
Adam Showman,
University of Arizona
William McKinnon,
Washington University
Simon Kattenhorn,
University of Idaho
Jeffrey Kargel,
U.S. Geological Survey
Paul Schenk,
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Francis Nimmo,
University College, London
Louise Prockter,
Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory

  The Workshop on Europa's Icy Shell: Past, Present and Future will be held on February 6–8, 2004, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). The LPI is housed in the Center for Advanced Space Studies, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas.

The large jovian satellite, Europa, is believed to have a subsurface ocean. This ocean could harbor organic chemistry or even biological organisms and is second only to Mars as a target for future exploration. It is also a prime focus of the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) program currently in development. Europa's ocean is covered by an icy shell of uncertain thickness; it is this icy shell that controls how the ocean and any biological agents within it interact with the surface of Europa.

The purpose of this three-day workshop is to discuss our current understanding of the icy shell, its physical state and evolution, and its interaction with the putative subsurface ocean. Our aim is to bring together divergent and diverse viewpoints to assess the limits of our current knowledge, to advance our collective understanding of this unique environment, and to foster new ideas and future strategies. All aspects of the icy shell will be considered, including composition, physical state (e.g., thickness, rheology), geologic history, present-day activity, biology, and exploration goals. Observational, theoretical, and speculative presentations are encouraged from the planetary and terrestrial communities.

  The workshop will open with an invited overview of the major questions and our current understanding of Europa's icy shell. The first two days are divided into major themes, including Composition, Physical Properties, Stratigraphy, Tidal Deformation and Tectonics, and Thermal Evolution. Each thematic session will include invited reviews and contributed talks, and is concluded with 30-minute extended discussion periods. Saturday evening will feature the workshop banquet. Sunday morning will include talks focused on the ocean and future exploration, concluding with an extended panel discussion of the workshop results, hosted by distinguished members of the community.

A poster session and reception is scheduled for Friday afternoon, with posters remaining on display throughout the course of the meeting.

The workshop banquet will be held Saturday evening at Fisherman's Wharf in Galveston. Reservations (not included in the workshop registration fee) are recommended. Bus transportation will be included in the cost of the banquet. After dinner, participants are invited to sample the local wares at several of the fine establishments located within walking distance in Galveston's Historic Theatre District.

The preliminary program and abstracts are now available for viewing. Participants can either browse through the program in session order, or can download the entire set of abstracts in alphabetical order.

  An LPI report that includes workshop overviews and a synopsis of the results will be produced and distributed in electronic format within three months of the conclusion of the workshop. It is anticipated that transcripts of workshop discussions will be included. Authors may submit revised versions of their abstracts (two-page format) through February 28, 2004. A synopsis of the workshop will be submitted to EOS for publication.

Participants, both invited and contributing, are invited to submit manuscripts for peer-review publication to Icarus (or JGR-Planets) in a Europa special issue. Details will be discussed at the workshop.

  A fee of $130.00 ($75.00 for students) will be assessed each participant to cover various workshop expenses. You must preregister and prepay by January 8, 2004, to avoid a $25.00 late fee.

Please return the downloadable registration form with your payment before January 8, 2004, to avoid a $25.00 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 at the meeting (and avoid a $25.00 late fee) if they return the form by January 8, 2004.

Cancellations with requests for refunds will be accepted through Friday, January 16, 2004. Please note that a $10.00 fee will be charged on all cancellations.

  Participants are responsible for making their own travel and hotel reservations. For your convenience, we have provided a list of local hotels and a local area map showing their locations.

  For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the meeting, contact
    Paul Schenk
    Lunar and Planetary Institute
    phone: 281-486-2157

For information regarding meeting logistics, contact
    Sue McCown
    phone: 281-486-2144;
    fax: 281-486-2125;

January 8, 2004 Preregistration deadline
February 6–8, 2004 Workshop on Europa's Icy Shell:
Past Present, and Future
at the LPI in Houston, Texas

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