Friday, March 4, 2011

LPSC 2011 Preview

My poster for this week's LPSC Conference. 
Come by for a chat on Tuesday Evening! 
Also, you can click here for a full-sized version with legible text!

In a few hours I will depart the snowy and windy hallows of Toronto for the warmth of Houston, TX and the annual LPSC Conference. This event is the premier meeting of the year for us Planetary Scientists involved with the study of the surfaces and atmospheres of terrestrial planets, in particular the Moon and Mars (DPS tends to skew more giant planet/satellites/extra-solar planets). This will be my first visit since my return to Canada, my first at the new Woodlands Waterway Marriott and my first since 2007. The last has been troubling me a little. I had a great run going with four straight years of attendance from 2004-2007, and as readers of my DPS Notebook entries from last year know, it was LPSC that settled the question of whether I had made the right decision to pursue a PhD in Planetary Science. But I've been away so long that I have to wonder whether the conference I return to today resembles the same gathering I last saw through the eyes of an ambitious grad student. A lot has changed in the interim with me. In the next week we'll see what has changed in the world of Martian Planetary Science.
As with DPS, I will be keeping a notebook of what I see. In particular, look for a post following the long-awaited-with-baited-breath Planetary Decadal Survey (TM) presentation on Monday evening. If you can't wait for my post, fear not! The formal presentation by MER P.I. Steve Squyres, followed by a response by NASA PSD Director Jim Green will be webcast live and carried on NASA TV starting at 6:30PM EST.

I should note, however, that due to the oncoming rush of the MSL Participating Scientist Program with proposals due on March 21, I don't expect to be able to write as much as I did at DPS. Here's to hoping that the CSA likes my LOI!

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