Third International Workshop on the Mars Atmosphere: Modeling and Observations  November 10-13, 2008   Williamsburg, Virginia



Sponsored By

Lunar and Planetary Institute
NASA Mars Exploration Program
Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
NASA Mars Program Office

Conference Co-Chairs
Francois Forget,
    Laboratoire de Meteorologie
    Dynamique, France
Joel S. Levine,
    NASA Langley Research Center,
    United States

Workshop Scientific Committee
Francois Forget,
    Laboratoire de Meteorologie
    Dynamique, France
Joel S. Levine,
    NASA Langley Research Center,
    United States

Steven W. Bougher,
University of Michigan, United States
Marie-Christine Desjean,
    Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales
    (CNES), France
Therese Encrenaz,
    Observatoire de Paris, France
Robert M. Haberle,
    NASA Ames Research Center,
    United States

James W. Head,
    Brown University, United States
Oleg Korablev,
    Space Research Institute of Russian     Academy of Sciences (IKI), Russia
Steve Lewis,
    The Open University, United Kingdom
Miguel Lopez-Valverde,
    Instituto de Astrofisica de
    Andalucia, Spain

Daniel J. McCleese,
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States
Michael A. Mischna,
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States
Franck Montmessin,
    Service D'Aeronomie, France
Scott Rafkin,
    Southwest Research Institute,
    United States

Peter Read,
    University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Michael D. Smith,
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,
    United States

John Wilson,
    Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory,     United States
Olivier Witasse,
    European Space Technology Centre,
    The Netherlands

Richard W. Zurek,
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States





The Third International Workshop on the Mars Atmosphere:  Modeling and Observations will be held November 10–13, 2008, at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Conference Center in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, at 105 Visitor Center Drive, (757) 220-7960.

The Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Conference Center, nestled on the edge of a 40-acre pine forest, is conveniently located adjacent to the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center for the 301-acre Historic Area. All workshop sessions will be held in the Conference Center that overlooks a stream and waterfall.  The hotel and conference center are part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Colonial Williamsburg is the largest outdoor living history museum in the United States, with almost 500 public buildings, homes, stores, and taverns meticulously restored to 18th-century glory when Williamsburg was Virginia’s capital city during the time of the American Revolution. A website with more historical information on Colonial Williamsburg has been provided.

Visitors may approach the Historic Area via a short walk on the Nature Trail or may take a shuttle bus from the Visitor Center. A map of the Woodlands Hotel and Conference Center in relation to the Historic Area has been provided.

Access to the Historic Area is free; however, for access to selected buildings and museums in the Historic Area trade sites and museums, the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel is extending the option of purchasing a special pass, good for the duration of the conference, at the rate of $15.00 per ticket.


November 10–13, 2008
    Williamsburg, Virginia


The unique interest that we have in Mars is due in large part to its atmosphere, which has shaped its history and surface and may have created climatic conditions that were suitable for sustaining surface liquid water and possibly life in the past. The study of the martian atmosphere is also of great interest for studies of comparative meteorology, in order to better understand Earth's atmosphere and to improve our knowledge of the martian environment for future robotic and human missions. 

The goal of the workshop is to bring together experts in modeling and observations of the Mars atmosphere and climate system.


The four-day workshop will cover the following session topics:

  • nature of the atmospheric structure, circulation and chemistry (up to the neutral thermosphere)
  • dust cycle
  • water cycle (vapor, clouds and frost)
  • carbon dioxide cycle (polar caps and clouds)
  • photochemistry of the Mars atmosphere
  • the early atmosphere of Mars
  • the evolution of the atmosphere of Mars

The first five topics above were also focal points of the first two Mars Atmosphere workshops in 2003 and 2006.

The workshop will include invited and contributed talks and contributed poster presentations.

Oral sessions will begin on Monday, November 10, and continue through the close of Thursday, November 13. There will be a poster reception Monday evening and a banquet on Wednesday evening.


Researchers in scientific disciplines appropriate to the purpose and scope of this workshop are invited to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentation.

All abstracts, whether invited or contributed, must be submitted electronically to the Lunar and Planetary Institute via the electronic submission form by 5:00 p.m. (CDT) on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 (see timezone map). Abstracts will be limited to four pages, including graphics, tables, and references. Templates and detailed instructions for authors for formatting and submitting your abstract are provided.

Note:  It is in your best interest to submit early to allow for possible technical problems or delays in transmission. Please do not wait until the last minute to access the system; access to the web form will terminate at 5:00 p.m. CDT.

The program and abstracts will be available in electronic format and accessible via the meeting website by September 22, 2008. These files will be in PDF format. Authors should check the online program to find out where their abstract has been scheduled.


Abstract Deadline:
Tuesday, August 26, 2008,
     5:00 p.m. CDT

    (see timezone map)


The NASA Mars Program Office has announced that travel funding will be made available for a limited number of students who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, with Mars-related interests, to attend the workshop. The application form must be submitted by September 11, 2008, to be considered for this funding. NASA Headquarters will make the selections and students will be notified no later than October 3, 2008.

Reimbursable costs include transportation (airfare, mileage to/from airport, parking, rental car) and lodging/per diem. In most cases, actual expenses will exceed the funding provided.

Note:  Students who are depending on travel assistance should not make travel arrangements until they have been notified that they have received an award. If you are requesting funds to travel to the meeting from outside the U.S., you should also wait to register until you have successfully completed NASA's foreign travel approval process. Failure to comply with this requirement may prohibit reimbursement.

Travel costs up to $1000.00 will be reimbursed according to JPL/government-specified allowances. For reference, hotel/per diem rates can be found at


  • Students must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
  • Students must be enrolled at a university at the time of the workshop or the semester immediately following the workshop (if during break).
Students who want to apply for this assistance must submit the electronic Student Travel Application Form by September 11, 2008. Interested students with questions are encouraged to contact Charles Budney (Mars Program Office, [email protected] or 818-354-3981).

Student Travel Application Deadline:
September 11, 2008

The workshop registration fee is $300.00 for professionals and $250.00 for students. The registration fee will include morning and afternoon breaks, poster session reception, and a banquet.

Early registration will close October 2, 2008. From October 3 to October 24, the registration fees will be $350.00 (professional) and $300.00 (student). The registration website will close October 24, 2008.

On-site registration fees will be $400.00 (professional) and $350.00 (student).

Participants registering by credit card must use the electronic registration form; those registering using any other method of payment (check, money order, or traveler's check) must use the downloadable registration form. Foreign participants who state on the registration form that they have difficulty with currency exchanges may pay in cash at the meeting (and avoid a late fee) if they submit the form by October 2, 2008.

Cancellation Policy:  A $25.00 cancellation fee will be charged on any cancellations received before October 24, 2008. No refunds will be given after October 24.


Early Registration :
$300.00 / $250.00
   through October 2, 2008


   $350.00 / $300.00
   October 3–24, 2008

Onsite Registration:
   $400.00 / $350.00
   after October 24, 2008


The Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel is holding a block of 125 rooms for this workshop. A special daily rate of $125.00 plus applicable taxes (10% Virginia state sales tax and $2.00 per room per night occupancy tax) will be available for three days prior to and three days after the meeting dates. The room rate includes a continental breakfast in the hotel lobby.

To ensure a room at the special rate, reservations must be made prior to October 9, 2008. Reservations made after October 9 are subject to availability and rate increase.

Check-in time is after 4:00 p.m. Checkout time is 11:00 a.m.

Room Reservations:  Lodging reservations can be booked in one of two ways:

  • Make a reservation online through the secure website

  • Call the hotel directly at 800-261-9530 or 757-229-1000, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. Please specify Booking Code THIK08A when making your reservation.

Guarantee Policy:   A credit card is required at the time of reserving a room for guarantee.  All individual reservations must be accompanied by one night’s deposit for room and tax. Credit card deposits are charged at the time the reservation is made.

Cancellation Policy:  Individual deposits are refundable, provided notice of cancellation is received by the hotel by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, at least three (3) days prior to arrival.


Norfolk International Airport and Richmond International Airport, each located about 45 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg, serve all major air carriers. The Newport News-Williamsburg Airport is approximately a 20-minute drive and also serves the area. Connections to Colonial Williamsburg are available daily from all airports.

Driving Directions:
From Interstate 64, take exit 238 onto Route 143 East. Follow Route 143 to the second traffic light and bear right onto Route 132. Continue on Route 132, following signs to the visitor’s center. At the second left, turn onto the concrete aggregate road, Route 132Y. Turn at the first left. The Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel is at the top of the hill. The hotel is located at 105 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia, 23185.


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

Science Directorate, NASA Langley Research Center  and
Mars Scout 2013 Program Scientist, Mars Exploration Program
NASA Headquarters
Phone:  757-864-5692
Fax:  757-864-6326
E-mail:  [email protected]

Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique
Universite Paris
Phone:  (33) 1 44274763
Fax:  (33) 1 44276272
E-mail:  [email protected]

For further information regarding meeting logistics and announcements, please contact

Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2143
e-mail:  [email protected]

For further information regarding abstract submission or registration, please contact

Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2142
e-mail:  [email protected]

  Tuesday, August 26, 2008
5:00 p.m. (CDT)
Deadline for abstract submission
  September 22, 2008  
Final announcement with program and
abstracts available on this website
  October 2, 2008  
Deadline for registration at reduced rate
  October 9, 2008  
Deadline for hotel reservations at special rate
  November 10–13, 2008  
Third International Workshop on the Mars Atmosphere:
Modeling and Observations
in Williamsburg, Virgina


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