Second Announcement — January 2014

Meeting Location and Date

The Workshop on Planetary Volcanism will be held May 28–30, 2014, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), located in the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) building, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston TX 77058.

Purpose and Scope

Over the last few years we have had a revolution in our understanding of the surface of Mars, Mercury, and the Moon through a variety of robust orbital, landed in situ, and rover missions. Recent imagery has identified for perhaps the first time the existence of lavatubes, skylights, and pit craters on the surfaces of Mars, Mercury, and the Moon. Skylights, tubes, and pits are unique in that they are relevant to all aspects of the space initiative — exploration, potential habitability, resources, human ops, and habitation. Furthermore, the role of volatiles has been a major breakthrough in mare volcanism.

The goal of this workshop is to summarize what we know as well as what we need to know about the origin, evolution, structure, and astrobiological significance of planetary volcanism — specifically as it relates to the newly discovered lavatubes, skylights, and pit craters. This is critical to understanding the role of mantle processes in shaping the planetary surface, as well as similarities and differences in evolutionary pathways that shaped the terrestrial planets. We hope to gain insights into future mission concepts and to stimulate cross-discipline interactions.

Meeting Format

The workshop will consist of plenary sessions and a poster session over a period of 2.5 days. There will be morning and afternoon oral sessions organized around topical themes, and possibly a few invited presentations. Ample time will be reserved for questions and discussion. A poster session will be held in the evening.

Five plenary sessions are scheduled:

  • Latest research/imagery of planetary lavatubes, pits, skylights
  • Technology:  robotics, sensors, communications, access systems
  • Major science and exploration questions that need to be addressed by robotic precursor missions and/or sample return, and connections into the strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs)
  • Mission concepts
  • Role of analog sites to verify/validate technology and mission concepts and serve as models for habitability

Call for Abstracts

Abstract Deadline — Thursday, March 13, 2014, 5:00 p.m. U.S. Central Daylight Time (GMT -5)

  • Late abstracts will NOT be accepted, regardless of the reason.
  • Abstracts are limited to one page, and must be submitted in PDF format.
  • All abstracts must be submitted in U.S. letter size format (8.5" × 11") and must include a one-inch margin on all four sides; A4 submissions will be rejected by the system.
  • Abstract file sizes must be no larger than 1.5 MB; larger files will be automatically rejected by the system.
  • If not using the template provided, leave a one-inch margin on all four sides of your document.

Authors are encouraged to start the submission process early so the USRA staff will have time to provide assistance in the event of technical problems. For technical assistance, contact Katy Buckaloo (281-486-2106), or send an e-mail message to [email protected].

Unable to Produce PDF Files?  Authors who are unable to produce a PDF file may send their source files (must be in Word or PostScript format) to USRA no later than March 7, 2014. A PDF file will be created and returned to the author, but it is the author’s responsibility to submit that PDF file by the time of the abstract deadline. Source files should be sent to [email protected].

Preparation and Submission of Abstracts

Step 1:   Download the appropriate template

Step 2:   Write the abstract (no more than one page) using the format shown in the template

Step 3:   Create a PDF file (no larger than 1.5 MB)

Step 4:   Fill out the electronic abstract submission form and upload the abstract file


The registration fee is $15.00 per attendee through May 27, 2014.

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, traveler’s check, or wire transfer) must contact the USRA Meeting Registrar for detailed instructions.

Third-Party Payments:  Participants required to register using a third party (e.g., SATERN for NASA civil servants) should still register in advance using the electronic registration form. The confirmation e-mail you receive after registering will include payment instructions to submit to the third party. Please be aware, however, that your registration will not be considered complete until the funds have been received.

Cancellations:  Requests for cancellation with a fee refund (less a 10% processing fee) will only be accepted through May 14, 2014. Those who fail to attend and do not notify USRA prior to the May 14 deadline will forfeit their full fee.

Check-in:  The workshop registration desk at USRA/LPI will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, May 28 and 29, and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday, May 30.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations. For a list of hotels in the area, refer to the Bay Area Houston Hotel Information. The location of the hotels in relation to the USRA building is shown on the area map.


Important Note About Parking — Limited visitor parking is available at the USRA building for workshop participants, so once the visitor parking section is full, workshop participants are asked to park in the University Baptist Church (UBC) parking lot. A shuttle bus will run continually throughout the workshop to take participants to and from their cars.

Directions to UBC from Bay Area Blvd.:  Turn left on Middlebrook Drive and continue 0.4 miles. The UBC parking lot will be on the right, just past Glenshannon Drive. There are plenty of parking spaces available for workshop participants, and signs will be posted at the shuttle pickup and drop off location at the north side of the lot.


For further information regarding the scientific content of the meeting:

Clive Neal
University of Notre Dame
E-mail:  [email protected]

For further information regarding meeting details or abstract submission:

Katy Buckaloo
Meeting and Publication Services
USRA Houston
Phone: 281-486-2106
E-mail: [email protected]

For further information regarding registration:

Linda Tanner
Meeting and Publication Services
USRA Houston
Phone: 281-486-2142
E-mail: [email protected]


Abstract deadline Thursday, March 13, 2014
Final announcement with program and abstracts posted on this website Monday, April 14, 2014
Workshop on Planetary Volcanism Wednesday, May 28, 2014


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