12th Mars Crater Consortium Meeting

Sept. 29-30, 2009

US Geological Survey, 2255 N. Gemini Drive, Flagstaff, AZ



The 12th Mars Crater Consortium Meeting will be held in the Building 6 (Shoemaker Center for Astrogeology) Roddy conference room at the US Geological Survey in Flagstaff, AZ, Sept. 29-30, 2009.  We anticipate that the meeting will run from 8:30 AM to 5 PM on Tuesday and from 8:30 AM to about noon on Wednesday.  The meeting will include time for contributed oral and poster presentations and sufficient time for general discussion topics.  You do not have to present an oral or poster presentation in order to attend the meeting. 

We strive to keep the MCC meetings informal and set aside much of the time for general discussion.  Dress is casual (as it is throughout Flagstaff), so leave the neckties and nylons at home.  As noted below, temperatures can be on the cool and windy side in Flagstaff in late September, so plan accordingly.

Additional Events:

The 1st Annual Lunar Crater Consortium meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 28, 2009, at the USGS.  More information will be available soon.

The Flagstaff Festival of Sciences, a 10-day event highlighting the science conducted in Flagstaff, will take place Sept. 25-Oct. 4.  There are numerous free lectures and open houses associated with the Festival.  This year's theme is "Launch into Science!" and part of the festival is a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the International Year of Astronomy.  The schedule of events will be posted here as soon as it is available, but the preliminary schedule includes the Shoemaker Keynote Presentation by Apollo XII astronaut Alan Bean on the evening of Friday, Sept. 25, Ken Herkenhoff (USGS) giving a talk about MER at 4 PM on Monday, Sept. 28, Lisa Gaddis (USGS) talking about "Return to the Moon" at 7 PM on Monday, Sept. 28, and (if you still around long enough) Nadine Barlow (NAU) speaking about "Searching for Water on Mars" at 4 PM on Thursday, Oct. 1.  There will also be several open houses throughout the 10 day Festival.

An optional field trip around the rim of Meteor Crater can be arranged for Sunday, Sept. 27.  Please contact Nadine Barlow no later than August 1, 2009, if you are interested in the field trip.


There is no registration fee for the MCC meeting.  However, please email Nadine Barlow by September 21, to let us know if you will be attending so we can plan accordingly for refreshments, etc.


All participants are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract to the meeting. ABSTRACT DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009, 5:00 PM PDT/MST.  Abstracts should be 2-page, single-spaced, LPSC style format.  Please submit your abstract in PDF (preferred) or Microsoft Word format to Nadine Barlow.  Please indicate whether you are requesting an oral or a poster presentation.  Abstracts will be posted on the MCC website by Friday, Sept. 25.



Flagstaff's Pulliam Airport is serviced by Mesa Airlines for US Airways with small propeller planes out of Phoenix and by Horizon Air (Alaska Air) with small propeller planes out of Los Angeles.  Alternately you can fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (which is serviced by all major airlines), rent a car, and make the ~2.5 hour drive up to Flagstaff, or use the Open Road Tours shuttle service between Sky Harbor Airport and Flagstaff (928-226-8060; toll-free 877-226-8060).   Be forewarned that there is considerable road construction on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix which can add to your transit time.  Even if you fly into Flagstaff, you will probably want to rent a car since there are no hotels within easy walking distance of the USGS.  Most major car rental companies can be found at Pulliam Airport or provide shuttle service to downtown offices. 

Flagstaff is also served by Amtrak and Greyhound Bus. 

Map of Flagstaff.



Flagstaff is a major tourist destination and as such has a large selection of hotels to choose from.  One of the biggest considerations when choosing a hotel in Flagstaff is how close it is to the train tracks, which run through the middle of town.  Flagstaff has ~100 trains passing through town each day (and night) and all of them sound their horns at the many street-RR crossings.  So unless you want to be awakened several times during the night, we locals recommend staying away from hotels along Route 66, where unfortunately many of the hotels are located. 

Please note that the meeting dates will overlap with the Flagstaff Festival of Sciences.  While we do not anticipate that this event will draw a large out-of-town crowd, it is advisable to make your hotel reservation as early as possible.

Flagstaff lies at the intersection of Interstate 17 (north-south artery between Flagstaff and Phoenix) and Interstate 40 (one of the main east-west routes across the country).  Flagstaff's Pulliam Airport lies off of I-17, just south of the intersection with I-40.  To reach the hotels along Butler Avenue, take I-40 east (towards Albuquerque) and exit at Butler Avenue (exit 198).  The rest of the hotels are located along or a block or two off of Milton Road, which is what I-17 turns into when you enter Flagstaff.  The first stoplight as you come into Flagstaff is at Forest Meadows Street.  Turn left there for any of the hotels along Forest Meadows, Beulah Blvd (the next light you come to once you have turned onto Forest Meadows), or Woodlands Village Blvd (turn left onto Beulah from Forest Meadows; pass the WalMart on your right and turn right at the next stoplight onto Woodlands Village).

Hotels Along Butler Avenue, near I-40 (still prone to railroad noise, but not as bad as along Route 66):

    Econo Lodge Lucky Lane, 2480 E Lucky Lane, 928-774-7701 or 877-424-6423

    Holiday Inn Express, 2320 E Lucky Lane, 928-714-1000  or 800-533-2754

    Howard Johnson Inn and Suites, 2520 E Lucky Lane, 928-779-5121

    Little America, 2515 E Butler.  928-779-7900 or 800-865-1399

    Quality Inn East, 2500 E Lucky Lane, 928-226-7111 or 866-520-7111

    Ramada Limited, 2350 E Lucky Lane, 928-779-3614 or 800-272-6232

    Super 8 Motel, 2540 E Lucky Lane, 928-773-4888 or 888-577-9779

    Travelodge Flagstaff, 2200 E Butler, 928-779-6944

Hotels Along South Milton Road (not as much railroad noise, but lots of traffic noise from Milton):

    Econo Lodge University, 914 S Milton Road, 928-774-7326 or 800-553-2666

    Embassy Suites, 706 S Milton Road, 928-774-4333 or 866-774-4333

    Fairfield Inn by Marriott, 2005 S Milton Road, 928-773-1300 or 800-574-6395

    Quality Inn I-40 & I-17, 2000 S Milton Road, 928-774-8771 or 877-424-6423 (This is the hotel with the "Welcome Martians" sign!)

Hotels a block or two off of South Milton Road (these are the quietest):

    Comfort Inn of Flagstaff, 2355 S Beulah Blvd.  928-774-2225 or 877-424-6423

    Days Inn I-40, 2735 S Woodlands Village Blvd., 928-779-1575 or 800-523-5534

    Hampton Inn and Suites, 2400 S Beulah Blvd., 928-913-0900 or 800-869-7619

    Hilton Garden Inn, 350 W Forest Meadows St., 928-226-8888 or 800-333-0785

    La Quinta Inn and Suites, 2015 S Beulah Blvd., 928-556-8666 or 800-531-5900

    Ramada Inn West, 2755 S Woodlands Village Blvd., 928-773-1111 or 877-703-0291

    Sleep Inn Flagstaff, 2765 S Woodlands Village Blvd., 928-556-3000 or 877-424-6423


More lodging suggestions, including Bed and Breakfasts, can be found at Flagstaff Convention and Visitor's Bureau


Directions to USGS from the Hotels:

From Hotels Along Butler:  Turn right from Butler onto Enterprise Road.  Cross over the railroad tracks and turn left onto Route 66.  Follow Route 66 into downtown Flagstaff.  Turn right onto San Francisco Street.  Stay in the right lane on San Francisco until you see Flagstaff Medical Center on your left.  Turn right onto Forest Avenue at the next stoplight.  Follow Forest up the hill and around the curve (where it turns into Cedar Avenue).  You will see a brown sign for Buffalo Park and the USGS; turn left onto Gemini Drive.  The USGS is the set of buildings on the left.  Turn left into the 2nd driveway and park in any open parking space.

From Hotels Along/Near South Milton:  Follow Milton into downtown Flagstaff, following the road as it curves to the right just past the railroad overpass.  You are now on Route 66.  The third stoplight after the curve is at San Francisco Street.  Turn left onto San Francisco and stay in the right lane until you see Flagstaff Medical Center on your left.  Turn right onto Forest Avenue at the next stoplight.  Follow Forest up the hill and around the curve (where it turns into Cedar Avenue).  You will see a brown sign for Buffalo Park and the USGS; turn left onto Gemini Drive.  The USGS is the set of buildings on the left.  Turn left into the 2nd driveway and park in any open parking space.

You will not need parking permits.  A map of the USGS campus can be obtained here.



Flagstaff lies at an elevation of 7000 ft (2134 m) on the south side of the San Francisco Mountains, the remnants of a stratovolcano which blew its top about 400,000 years ago.  These mountains, commonly just called "The Peaks" by locals, include Humphrey's Peak, which at 12,633 ft (3850 m), is the highest mountain in Arizona.  Cinder cones are common in the area, including Sunset Crater which last erupted in 1064 AD.  Flagstaff is bordered by the Coconino National Forest, which means you will see lots of pine trees and none of the saguaro cacti for which Arizona is famous.  Because of its high elevation, Flagstaff does experience four seasons, including snow during the winter.  In late September, you may see colorful leaves on the aspen trees but probably no snow on the Peaks.  Average daytime high in late September is 74F (23C) while the average nighttime low is 42F (5C).  Wind is common during the fall.  We recommend you bring a warm jacket. 

There are many things to see and do in the Flagstaff area, so we encourage you to spend extra time before or after the meeting to see what this area offers.  The historic downtown area (bordered by Route 66 to the south, Cherry Avenue on the north, Humphrey's Street on the west, and Agassiz Street on the east) offers numerous unique shops and restaurants, as well as many red sandstone buildings dating from the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Northern Arizona University (south of Butler, north of Pine Knoll, east of Milton, and west of San Francisco) is home to the High Altitude Sports Facility (where many Olympic athletes train), Cline Library, Clifford White Theater, Ardrey Auditorium and Music Hall, and NAU Skydome (athletic and other events).  The NAU campus observatory (the site of the first IR observations from Earth's surface) is open for free public viewing on Friday nights, weather permitting.  Also within Flagstaff city limits are Lowell Observatory (where Pluto and the expansion of the universe were discovered, not to mention the center of the Martian canal controversy), the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Pioneer Historical Museum, and the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park.  Within about an hour's drive of Flagstaff are Grand Canyon National Park, Sunset Crater National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Meteor Crater, the red rock country of Sedona, and Oak Creek Canyon.  Flagstaff is crisscrossed with a multitude of hiking trails--Nadine will be happy to recommend her favorites. 

More information about Flagstaff and the surroundings can be obtained from the Flagstaff Convention and Visitor's Bureau


For More Information About the Meeting, Contact:

Nadine Barlow, Dept. Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, Box 6010, Flagstaff, AZ  86011-6010   928-523-5452; FAX: 928-523-1317; Nadine.Barlow@nau.edu.  Note that Nadine is on sabbatical this year at USGS, but will be checking her NAU email and voice mail on a regular basis.


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