Final Announcement — May 2014

Meeting Location and Date

The Eighth International Conference on Mars will be held July 14–18, 2014, at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California. To assist with long-range travel planning, the meeting will begin the morning of Monday, July 14, and is expected to end around noon on Friday, July 18.

Purpose and Scope

As of 2014, we will have completed a remarkable and unparalleled 15 years of concentrated scientific exploration of the Red Planet. This period includes nine successful missions [1996 Mars Global Surveyor, 1996 Mars Pathfinder, 2001 Mars Odyssey, 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity), 2003 Mars Express, 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, 2007 Mars Phoenix, and 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity)], as well as telescopic observations from Earth, studies of martian meteorites, and a variety of numerical and laboratory modeling activities. Two additional missions will be en route to Mars at the time of the conference (NASA’s 2013 MAVEN and ISRO’s 2013 Mars Orbiter Mission), and several other missions are actively under development for launch during the period 2016–2020. The Eighth International Mars Conference will be an ideal time to step back and summarize our current understanding of Mars, consolidate our primary paradigms for martian processes and history, and refocus the primary scientific questions that remain in front of us.

Meeting Format

The first four days of the conference will be structured with morning and afternoon oral sessions organized around topical themes, along with late afternoon poster sessions of broader scope. The final half-day will consist of presentations and discussion focused on the synthesis of the ideas presented, and on discussion of the future of Mars exploration. The oral sessions will be conducted in a single track, with the goal of giving all Mars scientists the chance to hear what is happening in other lines of scientific inquiry — this is key to reaching the multidisciplinary understandings we are seeking. The oral sessions will be held in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus, and the poster sessions will be conducted nearby in Caltech’s Dabney Hall and Garden (buildings #91 and #40 on the Caltech campus map, respectively).

Additional Events

There will be a free public lecture entitled “Curiosity’s Flat Tire on Mars, and What We did About it.” John Grotzinger, the Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist and Chris Roumeliotis, Curiosity Rover Planner Team Lead will be speaking. The lecture is scheduled for Wednesday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium.


There will be no registration fee charged for this conference. This decision was reached
in large part to help enhance attendance by the Mars exploration community on a global basis. Although we will have the capability for walk-up registration the day of the conference, we request that everybody please consider June 30, 2014, to be the registration deadline —
we will base our final logistical preparations, including the printing of conference materials, based on the count at that point. Participants can register using the secure electronic registration form.

Conference materials can be picked up either Sunday, July 13, from 7:00–8:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Westin Pasadena, or before the start of the oral program during each conference day (July 14–18) at the Beckman Auditorium.

Information For Presenters

Oral Presentations —

Oral papers have been allotted a total of 15 minutes, including three minutes for discussion. Both PCs and Macs will be available. Presenters will provide their electronic presentation files on a USB flash drive to the conference staff members at Beckman Auditorium, who will upload it prior to the morning or afternoon session. Monday morning presenters should provide their talk for upload at the Westin Pasadena lobby on Sunday evening (7:00–8:30 p.m.) or at the Beckman Auditorium on Monday morning (7:00–7:30 a.m.). After the first day, morning presenters should upload their talk at the close of the previous day's afternoon session, and the afternoon presenters should provide their presentations for uploading immediately following the morning session (prior to lunch).

Poster Presentations —

The poster sessions are scheduled from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Monday–Thursday in Dabney Hall and Garden. Authors must be present to discuss their poster during their scheduled session. Posters will remain up only during the day on which they are scheduled. Dabney Hall and Garden will be accessible from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Presenters are encouraged to put up their posters in the morning for maximum visibility, and should take them down at the conclusion of the poster session. Poster display space is 36" H × 40" W. Posters must be designed to be attached to the panel with push pins.


We are pleased to offer you the option to upload an electronic file of your poster (e-poster). Our interactive e-poster system will provide additional exposure by allowing your fellow attendees, as well as others, the ability to view your poster online. The e-poster site upload option will be available on May 30. Below are instructions on uploading your e-poster.

1. Login to the abstract submission page of the Meeting Portal.
2. Next to the listing for any of your abstracts that was assigned to a poster session, you’ll see an  link in the ACTION column
3. Click on this link to go to the e-poster upload page
  1. All e-posters must be submitted in PDF format
  2. The maximum file size allowed is 4.0 MB
4. After using the browse button to locate the file containing your e-poster on your machine, and selecting an appropriate copyright statement, click the “Submit” button ONCE and WAIT for the confirmation screen
5. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with a direct link to your e-poster, or you can view any e-posters that have been submitted by:
  1. Visiting the Index Page of the conference website and clicking on ”View E-Posters
  2. Using our abstract search function to find a particular abstract; those with e-posters will have an additional link in the search result that allows you to view the associated e-poster


NOTE:  The room block for the group rate at the Westin is now sold out; some rooms may still be available, but at the higher regular rate. Refer to the information below for other hotel options.

We have made special arrangements for a large block of rooms at the Westin Pasadena. The group rate is $133/night + taxes, and this is valid until June 13, 2014, or until the block is sold out. To reserve a room in this block, visit

We have arranged for a shuttle between the hotel and Caltech. This will run each morning before the start of the oral program, and Monday–Thursday after the poster sessions. We encourage attendees to utilize the shuttle or to carpool, to help us with potential parking issues at Caltech. Additionally, the hotel has small conference rooms available for team meetings during the conference week or the bracketing weekends. For more information about meeting room availability, please contact Serina Diniega.

There are several other hotels near Caltech, including the Vagabond Inn (within walking distance), the Saga and the Howard Johnson (within longer walking distance), and the Sheraton (in downtown Pasadena).

A Facebook group has been set up to help conference attendees find roommates, carpool partners, etc. All arrangements are the sole responsibility of the people involved. To join the group, please request an invite from Serina Diniega (or someone who is already a member).

Travel and Maps —

Driving and shuttle directions to Caltech from Los Angeles International Airport, the Bob Hope Airport (formerly the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport), and the Ontario Airport can be found at Alternatively, the Flyaway bus can be taken from LAX to Union Station, and then the Metro Gold Line can be taken into Pasadena (Lake Station is 1.2 miles north/west of Caltech and Memorial Park Station is half a mile west of the Westin Pasadena).

Meals —

Breakfast, lunch, and snacks can be purchased through one of the Caltech dining services. (NOTE:  None of these venues accept credit cards, only cash or Caltech Dining Cards.)

Additionally, numerous eateries can be found on Lake Avenue, which is approximately a half-mile (10-minute) walk west from Beckman Auditorium, or on Colorado Avenue, which is approximately a half-mile (10-minute) walk north.

Parking at Caltech —

Parking is available at several locations on the Caltech Campus, as discussed here; more information can be found at Approved parking is scattered in and around the campus, but recommended at the California Boulevard (#3) and North Wilson Avenue (#1) parking structures, as shown on the parking map:

To park on campus between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., conference attendees will need to purchase a parking pass. The parking fee is $6.00 per day or $18.00 per week, and permits may be purchased from the automated pay stations located in each parking garage. To avoid a rush on the automated machines Monday morning, conference attendees can instead place this printout in their windshield in lieu of a parking pass until 2:00 p.m. on Monday.

Please note the following:

  • JPL employees can park on campus for free with their JPL parking tag (either a regular or colored JPL parking tag or a temporary tag can be acquired anytime from the JPL Parking Office, B310-125, east side entrance, 1st floor).
  • Parking by visitors is only allowed within unmarked/unlabeled stalls (e.g., parking is NOT permitted in spaces identified as "carpool" or reserved for an individual or department).
  • Parking on the streets within the Caltech perimeter (Holliston, San Pasqual, Chester, and Michigan) requires a relevant parking permit.

For more information please refer to the Caltech Visitor Parking Instructions.

Additional Resources and Special Accommodations —

For information about options regarding additional resources/special accommodations, such as child care arrangements, assistance getting to the poster session, or holding a peripheral meeting, please contact Serina Diniega.

If you are traveling and anticipate needing childcare near Caltech during the meeting, a limited number of small grants are available to reimburse a portion of the costs. Please contact Serina Diniega for more information.


For further information regarding the scientific content of the meeting:

David Beaty
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology

For further information regarding meeting logistics or announcements:

Amy Hale
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology
Phone: 818-393-1186

Serina Diniega
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology
Phone: 818-393-1487

For further information regarding registration:

Katy Buckaloo
Universities Space Research Association
Phone: 281-486-2106


Final date for online registration — strongly encouraged for planning purposes! June 30, 2014
Deadline for hotel reservations at group rate June 13, 2014
Eighth International Conference on Mars July 14–18, 2014


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