— February 2006 —

Conveners —
Dr. Stephen Mackwell,
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Dr. Eileen Stansbery,
NASA Johnson Space Center

Sponsored by —
National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
Lunar and Planetary Institute,
NASA Johnson Space Center




  The 37th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held March 13–17, 2006. All technical sessions, both oral and poster, will be held at the South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center, 2500 South Shore Boulevard, League City, Texas 77573 (phone: 281-334-1000 or 800-442-5005).

  Technical Sessions
The five-day conference will be held at the South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center. Parallel sessions for oral presentations will be held in Crystal Ballroom A, Crystal Ballroom B, the Marina Plaza Ballroom, and the Amphitheater. Poster sessions will be held at the South Shore Harbour Fitness Center in the gymnasium and indoor tennis courts.

NOTE:  Photography, videography, and audio recordings are NOT allowed in either the oral or poster sessions. This policy will be strictly enforced.

The program and abstracts are now available in PDF format and are viewable in Acrobat version 6.0 or higher, available free of charge at the Adobe Web site. Please note that author notification letters will NOT be mailed out, so authors need to check the program index to determine when and where their presentation has been scheduled.

Oral presentations will be scheduled during the conference to allow 10 minutes for speaking and 5 minutes for discussion and speaker transition; the program includes specific times for each talk. Audio-visual equipment available for oral presentations will include laptop PCs and Macs and an LCD projector. There will NOT be an option for dual-screen presentations.

Please note that, at the 36th LPSC, 97% of the speakers utilized electronic presentations. Because of the additional costs and personnel associated with continuing to support presentation methods that are no longer a critical requirement, speakers at the 37th LPSC who wish to use overhead transparencies to support their talks MUST notify us in advance, and we will make every effort to accommodate these requests.

Speakers should be aware, however, that the 37th LPSC will be the LAST conference at which we will offer to accommodate requests for the use of overhead projectors. Beginning with the 38th LPSC in 2007, electronic presentations will be the only audio-visual support allowed for oral presentations.

We will offer two options for electronic presentations. Please read carefully the instructions for electronic presentations. Presenters for Monday's session must have their presentations and, if appropriate, their laptops tested on Sunday evening, March 12, in the LPI Lecture Hall during registration and open house.

Poster presentations will be on display ONLY for the time they are scheduled, either on Tuesday OR Thursday evening. Posters scheduled for presentation on Tuesday may be installed any time on Monday but MUST be removed at the conclusion of the poster session on Tuesday. Posters scheduled for Thursday presentation may be installed any time after 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday but MUST be removed at the conclusion of the poster session on Thursday. Any remaining posters will be discarded.

Authors of papers scheduled for poster presentations must be available to display and discuss their results in the poster area from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the designated evening of their presentation. Poster display space available to authors is 44" × 44" (1.1 m × 1.1 m). Posters will be displayed on free-standing panels that are 4' × 8' (including frame). Two presenters will share one side of one panel, so it is important that displays are confined to the 44" × 44" limit. Posters must be designed to be attached to the panel with pushpins. Due to space limitations, computer demonstrations, VCR players, or tables for handout materials cannot be accommodated as a part of a poster display.

Location for Computer Stations
The location of e-mail stations, the LPSC-supported WiFi area, and the area for submission of CDs for electronic presentations and laptop validation will be located in the Poolside Salon on the lower level of South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center. (Refer to the conference center map for the location of the Poolside Salon.)

  Plenary Session — Masursky Lecture
The Masursky Lecture will be given during a special plenary session that will be held Monday afternoon from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Crystal Ballroom A. The lecture, entitled "Beyond the Asteroid Belt: What to Do Next in the Outer Solar System, and Why?," will be presented by Dr. Jonathan I. Lunine of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona.

GSA Stephen E. Dwornik Student Awards
The presentation of the 2005 GSA Stephen E. Dwornik U.S. Citizen Student Award winners will be announced during the Monday plenary session, preceding the Masursky Lecture.

Special Session on the Hayabusa Asteroid Mission
In September 2005, the Japanese Hayabusa spacecraft began to rendezvous with near-Earth asteroid (25143) Itokawa, a 600-meter-sized, potato-shaped asteroid. Although the primary objectives of the Hayabusa mission, the first asteroid sample return mission, are to test new technologies, the mission will also provide a wealth of scientific returns. For the three-month period from September through November 2005, the science instruments onboard the Hayabusa spacecraft undertook an intensive study of Itokawa. This session will feature the first results obtained from these observations.

Special Session on the Deep Impact Mission
On July 4, 2005, Deep Impact's copper-headed impactor spacecraft made history when it successfully impacted the surface of Comet Tempel 1, blasting material into space. The data from the mission is expected to provide invaluable information on the composition and history of comets, where the materials from the formation of the solar system may remain relatively unchanged since the formation of our planet. Current results from the data analyses performed so far will be presented in this session.

Special Session on the Bosumtwi Meteorite Impact Crater Drilling Project
The Bosumtwi meteorite impact crater in Ghana, West Africa, is the youngest and best-preserved large complex impact crater on Earth and was the subject of an international and multidisciplinary research drilling project in 2004, funded mostly by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). The crater is also the source of the Ivory Coast tektite strewn field. The drilling project was aimed mainly at solving questions related to impact crater studies, tektite origin, astrobiology, and paleoclimatology. After about one year of intense studies on the drill cores, this special session will provide the opportunity to present the first scientific results to the planetary science community.

  2007 Mars Exploration Program Phoenix Lander Mission Site Selection
In June 2008, the Mars Exploration Program Phoenix Lander will touch down on the northern plains of Mars (between 65° and 72° latitude) and begin experiments focused on detailed characterization of soil and ice deposits, surveying the terrain using color stereo imaging systems, and making a suite of atmospheric measurements. Landing site selection has focused on finding safe and scientifically interesting locations. Three broad regions are under study, with a downselect to one region to be done during the summer of 2006. A special session to describe the mission and site selection results will be held in the Marina Plaza Ballroom on Tuesday, March 14, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and will be chaired by Dr. Ray Arvidson (Washington University). The community is invited to participate and provide input on site selection results to date.

Planetary Cartography and Its Importance to the Planetary Researcher
Planetary cartography is an essential tool for the planetary science research community. No serious extraterrestrial geology can be accomplished in the absence of good cartography, because a geologist simply must know where they are on a planetary body for the rocks (or surfaces) they are studying to have a context. Yet the planetary community as a whole does not have a comprehensive recognition of what cartography is or what the science of cartography does for the planetary researcher. An interactive session discussing the importance of planetary cartography will be held on Thursday, March 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Marina Plaza Ballroom and will be chaired by Dr. Tracy Gregg (University at Buffalo, State University of New York).

  Education/Public Outreach Workshop
The Education/Public Outreach pre-LPSC workshop "Public Understanding of Planetary Science" will take place on Sunday, March 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

        How many stars are in our solar system?
        Which is closer, Pluto or the stars?
        How many times each year does the Earth go around our Sun?

This year's workshop will focus on what the public knows — or believes they know — about planetary science. Presentations explore where the public gleans its knowledge about our solar system, results from recent surveys of the public's understanding of planetary science, and what research tells us about the best way to present science — and tackle misconceptions — for a lay audience. Participants will brainstorm approaches to presenting scientific results and concepts during interactive sessions.

The workshop, designed to support NASA's goal to make its science content available to all educators and students, is hosted by the South Central Organization of Researchers and Educators and the Structure and Evolution of the Universe Forum, part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate's Education Support Network. Scientists, E/PO leads, and formal and informal educators are invited and encouraged to participate. The workshop is free. Attendees must register using the electronic registration form provided. For more information, contact Dr. Stephanie Shipp.

NASA Early Careers Workshop
Program scientists from NASA Headquarters will host a grant writing workshop on Sunday, March 12, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Oasis Room at South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center. This workshop is open to all senior graduate students as well as to interested planetary scientists who have completed their doctoral studies within the last ten years. The morning session will focus on understanding NASA's research programs and will include information on writing a research proposal, funding sources, and expectations for feedback. Funding opportunities such as participating scientist programs and education/public outreach add-on awards will also be discussed. The afternoon session will be a "mock peer review" for participants who are ready to apply for grants and who want to understand the outcome of their proposal after it has been submitted. For more information and to register, please send an e-mail message with your name, affiliation, and current position to Dr. Curt Neibur.

Open House Displays of Outreach Programs and Activities
On Sunday evening, March 12, in conjunction with LPSC's open house and registration, the LPI will host displays of educational outreach activities and programs. The displays are intended to showcase programs that have an interactive component and/or associated products. Displays will be set up at 4:30 p.m. and will be on display from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

NASA Headquarters Session
The NASA Headquarters briefing, led by Dr. Mary Cleave, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, will be held on Monday, March 13, at 5:00 p.m. in Crystal Ballroom A of the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center.

Student/Scientist Reception
A special reception will be held on Monday, March 13, to honor the Masursky Lecturer, the winners of the GSA Stephen E. Dwornik Student Awards for 2005, and all students who are making presentations at the 37th LPSC. The reception, to be held in the Marina Plaza Ballroom at the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., will provide opportunities for students to meet and interact with scientists.

NASA Headquarters R&A Program "Meet and Greet"
On Tuesday, March 14, discipline scientists from NASA's Solar System division in the Science Mission Directorate will host an informal open house from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Harbour Club at South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center. This opportunity will provide a time for scientists to meet the people who manage the programs that provide funding for research efforts and to talk with the program scientists on an individual basis. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Special Meeting on Return to the Moon
A special meeting on Return to the Moon, to be chaired by Drs. Pascal Lee and Chris McKay, will be held on Wednesday, March 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Marina Plaza Ballroom. The session will feature talks on the vision for space exploration and ways the science community can help shape the vision, and will include a 30-minute question-and-answer session.

Wednesday Night Social Event
Tickets for the Wednesday evening social event are NOT included in the registration fee. The conference social event will be held at South Shore Harbour on Wednesday, March 15, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

A cash bar with cocktails will be available starting at 6:00 p.m. at poolside, to be followed by a gourmet buffet dinner with wine and beer from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Buffet tickets (including two drink tickets for wine, beer, or soft drinks) are $20, and can be purchased using the registration form. Vegan plates will be available by special order only. To reserve a vegan plate, send a mail message to no later than March 10.

A limited number of buffet tickets will be available for purchase at the conference registration desk ONLY on Sunday evening at the LPI and on Monday at South Shore Harbour.

Combined Publishers' Exhibit
A Combined Publishers' Exhibit will be held in conjunction with the 37th LPSC. This conference exhibit provides an opportunity for LPSC participants to review new publications in the fields of lunar and planetary sciences, astronomy, astrophysics, geology, geophysics, atmospheric sciences, mathematics, computer science applications, remote sensing, and image processing applications. Publishers and authors are invited to submit materials related to these fields for display at this exhibit. Previous exhibits have featured books, journals, maps, globes, posters, images, slide sets, videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, along with advertising materials, catalogs, and order forms. A comprehensive exhibit catalog listing all participating publishers, all items on display, and contact information will be made available to conference participants at the exhibit.

There is no charge to display items at the exhibit; however, materials sent for the exhibit will not be returned. All materials submitted for display should be sent by February 17, 2006. For more information about the exhibit, contact Linda Chappell, Combined Publishers Exhibit Coordinator, at 281-486-2103 or

Please note that this is NOT a book sale.
All submitted exhibit items are for DISPLAY ONLY and become property of the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

A fee of $65.00 ($40.00 for students) will be assessed each participant to cover conference services. You must preregister and prepay by February 10, 2006, to avoid the $25.00 late fee. Foreign participants who state on the registration form that they have a currency exchange problem may pay in cash at the meeting and avoid the $25.00 late fee if they return the form by February 10, 2006.

Participants registering by credit card MUST use the secure electronic registration form; those registering using any other method of payment (check, money order, or traveler's check) MUST use the downloadable registration form. Requests for cancellation with a fee refund (less a $10.00 processing fee) will only be accepted through February 24, 2006.

NOTE: Those who fail to attend and do not notify the LPI Publications and Program Services Department prior to the February 24 deadline will forfeit their full fee.

Advance tickets for the Wednesday evening social event ($20.00) may be purchased via the registration form.

Sunday Night Registration and Reception
Sunday evening, March 12, 2006, registration and a reception will be held at the LPI from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The location of the LPI is shown on the area map. Shuttle buses will operate from selected hotels to LPI on Sunday night. Participants arriving after Sunday night will be able to register on site at South Shore Harbour.

  South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center is an award-winning hotel on the shores of Clear Lake (phone: 281-334-1000; fax: 281-334-1157), approximately a 20-minute drive from the LPI. The LPI has negotiated with the hotel to offer standard rooms (single or double occupancy) for $104.00 per night. While this rate is higher than the GSA rate for this area, it is substantially less than the normal corporate rate for this hotel. To qualify for these rates, you must identify yourself as an LPSC participant. The numbers of rooms are limited, so we encourage participants to make their reservations early. Participants looking for a roommate to share housing expenses may use the roommate search form.

Registered guests will have access to the following amenities: complimentary covered parking, marina with rentals for water sports, a 185-foot tropical pool with heated jacuzzi, 70,000-square-foot fitness center, and golfing privileges at South Shore Harbour Country Club (green fees extra). There are also a number of area babysitting services that will provide childcare at the hotel for a fee; a list of these services is available upon request from the hotel.

There are a number of other hotels in the area, and we have negotiated special rates at most of them. Remember to ask for the LPSC rate when you make your reservations. The local area map shows the locations of the LPI, South Shore Harbour, and other local hotels.

Participants should be aware that the ONLY hotels that are on the LPSC shuttle route are listed below. Participants staying at any of the other hotels will have to provide their own transporation.

  • South Shore Harbour
  • Best Western-Webster
  • Brentwood Inn
  • Days Inn and Suites
  • Extended Stay America
  • Hilton Houston NASA/Clear Lake
  • Microtel Inn
  • Motel 6
  • Oxford Inn and Suites
  • Quality Inn
  • Super 8

  Galveston Limousine Service provides continuous shuttle service from both George Bush Intercontinental Airport ($60.00 round trip per person) and Hobby Airport ($50.00 round trip per person). Reservations for Galveston Limousine may be made via their Web site at or by calling 1-800-640-4826.

Clear Lake Shuttle (281-334-3873), located in the lobby of South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, is available to provide transportation to or from George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Hobby Airport. Contact them directly for current rate information.

  For further information regarding conference logistics, contact
Mary Cloud
phone:  281-486-2143;
fax:  281-486-2125;

For further information regarding abstract submission and registration, contact
Linda Tanner
phone:  281-486-2142;
fax:  281-486-2125;

February 10, 2006Pre-registration deadline at reduced rate
March 12, 2006Reception and registration at LPI
from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
March 13–17, 200637th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

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