Third International WOrkshop on Mars Polar Energy Balance and the CO2 Cycle - July 21-24, 2009, Seattle Washington




Lunar and Planetary Institute
U.S. Geological Survey

Timothy Titus
   U.S. Geological Survey

Scientific Organizing Committee
Timothy Titus,
   U.S. Geological Survey
Joshua Bandfield,
   University of Washington
Anthony Colaprete,
   NASA Ames Research Center
Thomas Prettyman,
   Planetary Science Institute






The Third International Workshop on Mars Polar Energy Balance and the CO2 Cycle will be held July 21–24, 2009, at the Best Western Executive Inn in beautiful downtown Seattle, Washington. The hotel is adjacent to the Space Needle and Seattle Center, which offers numerous dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The workshop will include a one-day field trip to study the glaciers at Mount Rainier National Park.


July 21–24, 2009
Seattle, Washington


The seasonal polar caps of Mars consist of CO2 that condenses from the atmosphere to form surface ice at high latitudes following the autumnal equinox in both hemispheres. The seasonal caps are prominent features of Mars, first viewed by Herschel in 1784. They extend as far as 40ºS in the southern hemisphere and 55ºN in the northern hemisphere. Approximately 25% of the martian atmosphere is cycled annually into and out of the seasonal caps. Consequently, the seasonal CO2 cycle plays a primary role in general circulation. Questions about the seasonal caps that remain unresolved concern local cap properties (column abundance, volumetric density, geometric thickness, albedo, and emissivity), energy balance terms, and CO2 condensation mechanisms. The rate of seasonal deposition and sublimation of CO2 ice is determined by the local energy balance, which depends on insolation, atmospheric properties (for example, dust optical depth), emissivity and albedo of the surface, advection of energy by the atmosphere, and energy storage within the regolith. 

Since 1997, five spacecraft have observed Mars polar processes, resulting in an unprecedented amount of data at spatial and spectral resolutions and ranges not available from prior missions in the 1960s and 1970s. These datasets provide a view of the seasonal caps in five dimensions:  three spatial, one temporal, and one spectral (compositional). The vast amount of new data and the complex nature of the Mars polar processes necessitate the bringing together of Mars polar scientists from around the world into a small group environment where the data, models, and emerging theories and understandings can be discussed. 

The Third International Workshop on Mars Polar Energy Balance and the CO2 Cycle will consist of 30-minute invited keynote presentations, 15-minute contributed oral presentations, time for extended discussion, and a dedicated poster session. Each oral presentation will be followed by a 15-minute discussion period, to encourage interaction among attendees by providing a generous amount of time for questions, clarification, and suggestions. On Wednesday, July 22, there will be a one-day field trip to glaciers at Mount Rainier National Park. The field trip will be led by researchers active in the area and will be an integral part of the workshop.

This workshop will bring together approximately 35–50 scientists from the international community to discuss all aspects of the polar energy balance and how this affects the CO2 cycle. A small group setting will facilitate intensive discussion of problems and issues in an attempt to identify the most promising approaches to understanding these polar systems and to develop a collaborative interdisciplinary research agenda.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 Oral presentations
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 Field trip to Mount Rainier
Thursday, July 23, 2009 Oral presentations and evening poster session
Friday, July 24, 2009 Oral presentations; workshop will conclude at 1:00 p.m.

The program and abstracts are now available. Author notification letters will not be sent out, so authors should check the index to see when their presentation has been scheduled.


Oral presentations are scheduled to allow 15 minutes for speaking and 15 minutes for discussion. Discussion will be encouraged during and after each presentation. To maximize discussion time and keep the meeting on schedule, presenters should limit their presentations to 20 slides or less. Audio-visual equipment will include an LCD projector and a Sony Vaio PC laptop computer equipped with the following software:  Windows XP operating system, Microsoft Power Point 2003, and Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0. You may bring your presentation on a CD-ROM or USB memory drive to use with the meeting room PC, or you may connect your own laptop computer to the LCD projector for your presentation.




A dedicated poster session is scheduled on Thursday, July 23, at 5:30 p.m. Authors must be present to discuss their posters. Posters will remain on display throughout the workshop. Each poster display space is 44" x 44". Posters should be designed to attach to the panel with push pins, which will be provided. Poster presenters will also have an opportunity to give a brief synopsis of their posters during the oral sessions. Synopses should be limited to one or two slides. There will be a limited number of extra poster spaces available. Please contact Tim Titus to arrange for an extra poster space.

    We are still working on plans for the one-day field trip to Mount Rainier. Details including itinerary, expected weather conditions, and a list of helpful items to bring will be posted in the coming weeks. Transportation will be provided by a climate-controlled motor coach equipped with a restroom. Boxed lunches and water will also be provided.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the host hotel, the Best Western Executive Inn, 200 Taylor Avenue N., Seattle, Washington, 98109-5016, USA, at the rate of $149.00/night plus tax for single or double occupancy. This rate is below the federal per diem rate of $158.00/night for Seattle and is very competitive in the downtown area of the city. Your accommodation includes complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access throughout the hotel and a complimentary daily deluxe hot buffet breakfast served in Brella’s Restaurant, which is located in the lobby level of the hotel. 

Participants must make their own reservations. To receive the group rate of $149.00/ night plus tax, please call the Best Western Executive Inn at 800-351-9444 or 206-448-9444 and request the MPEB2009 group discount.  All reservations must be guaranteed with a credit card.  A credit card must be presented at the time of check in for room charges, tax, and incidental charges.  The deadline to receive the $149.00 group rate is June 21, 2009. 

Seattle is served by Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). The Best Western Executive Inn is accessible via the Downtown Airporter Bus Service with connector service. The Downtown Airporter Bus Service provides inexpensive, convenient access from Sea-Tac Airport to downtown destinations, eliminating the need for costly car rental and parking.


   Deadline for $149.00
group rate is June 21, 2009. 


A registration fee will be assessed each participant to cover meeting costs including field trip transportation, daily lunches and breaks, and an evening poster session reception.  The registration fee schedule is as follows:

Through June 30, 2009
$375.00 Professional / $300.00 Student
July 1–July 13, 2009 $400.00 Professional / $325.00 Student
July 14–July 21, 2009 $425.00 Professional / $350.00 Student

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, or traveler’s check) must use the downloadable registration form.

Cancellations:  A $25.00 cancellation fee will be charged on any cancellations received before July 13, 2009. No refunds will be given after July 13.




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

Timothy Titus
U.S. Geological Survey
phone: 928-556-7201

For further information regarding workshop logistics, announcements, and accommodations, contact

Elizabeth Wagganer
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2164

For further information regarding registration, contact

Linda Tanner
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2142

June 21, 2009
Deadline for hotel reservation at group rate
June 30, 2009
Deadline for registration at reduced rate
July 21–24, 2009
Third International Workshop on
Mars Polar Energy Balance and the CO2 Cycle
in Seattle, Washington


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