12th Planetary Crater Consortium Meeting

The 12th Planetary Crater Consortium (PCC) Meeting was held virtually from August 11–13, 2021. The meeting was convened by the Planetary Crater Consortium and hosted by USRA/LPI. A total of 52 individuals were registered, with more than 40 active participants at any given time, spanning time zones from India to Hawaii.

The PCC annual meeting is open to all planetary and terrestrial scientists interested in any aspect of impact cratering on solar system bodies, including observational, theoretical, experimental, and numerical modeling studies of impact craters on planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets, or other small solar system objects. The annual meeting is designed to encourage and provide adequate time for an in-depth discussion of crater-related issues and research topics to enhance collaborations. A primary goal is to provide feedback on works in progress in a relaxed and friendly environment, discuss potential new avenues of collaborative crater research, and present new work and applications of impact crater studies and related topics. Most talks had longer, 30-minute slots, and discussion times were set aside in the schedule every day.

The scientific program consisted of 22 talks spanning 6 different topical sessions: computer applications to impact crater studies, crater-based surface ages, lightning, crater studies via remote sensing datasets, field and laboratory studies, and laboratory and computer modeling of impact craters. The new lightning session was designed to give some speakers shorter talks but still be able to fit them into the schedule, and it appeared to be well received.

Under the PCC charter, the PCC annual meeting also contains several business items. This included committee reports and the election of a new PCC council member (Margaret Landis, Colorado University/Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics) to replace one of three who rotates off each year (this year, Lillian R. Ostrach, U.S. Geological Survey). This year, the PCC chair was also up for election for a three-year term. A new charter was presented for potential adoption based on new issues and contingencies that have arisen over the past few years. A new position was created (and filled) called the documentarian. The intent of the documentarian position is to help manage PCC communications and take minutes of PCC executive council meetings. The position is intended to give an early-career individual experience in leadership in a professional society. The PCC executive council selects the documentarian based on anyone who has volunteered prior to the end of the meeting (Rachael H. Hoover, Southwest Research Institute).

This year also featured a memorial for one of the three PCC co-founders, Nadine G. Barlow, who died the week after the 2020 PCC meeting. This featured an open-audio invitation for anyone who wished to say something about their memories of Barlow, her accomplishments, mentorship, or anything else. The event lasted nearly an hour and featured over a dozen speakers, some of whom shared relevant photographs, such as of Barlow leading field trips to Meteor Crater, where her ashes were scattered.

The annual PCC meeting was a success, thanks to the hard work of the conveners, organizers, and hosts, and we look forward to the lucky thirteenth meeting, which will hopefully be held in person in August 2022 in Flagstaff, Arizona, with a virtual component.

For more information about the meeting, including links to the program and abstracts, visit https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/crater2021/.

— Text provided by Stuart J. Robbins (Southwest Research Institute)