2022 WAIS Workshop

Deadlines Registration Agenda Meals Travel Harassment Policy Early-Career Support


Building at YMCA of the Rockies with scenic mountain background

Twenty-Ninth Annual WAIS Workshop
September 26–29, 2022
YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, CO, USA

The 2022 WAIS Workshop will be held in Estes Park, Colorado, at the YMCA of the Rockies, right next to Rocky Mountain National Park. This NSF- and NASA-sponsored meeting hosts transdisciplinary and societally critical science focused on marine ice-sheet and adjacent earth systems, with particular emphasis on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The 2022 meeting is hosted locally by Matt Siegfried (Colorado School of Mines) and the rest of WAIS Organizing Committee (Knut Christianson, Indrani Das, Brooke Medley, Peter Neff, Lauren Simkins). 

The meeting begins with an icebreaker pizza dinner on Monday evening, September 26. Sessions are organized by topic, with keynote speakers for some sessions, followed by contributed talks and concluding with a panel discussion. Poster sessions will be held separately. You can view the detailed agenda in our abstract booklet here. The formal meeting agenda will end at lunch on Thursday, September 29, followed by a workshop to bring together community college educators and the WAIS research community. We will also continue our opt-in mentoring program for any early-career WAIS Workshop attendees and a workshop-wide discussion about community health.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are embraced at the WAIS Workshop, and we are committed to creating and maintaining a workshop environment that is safe, inclusive, harassment-free, and welcoming to all genders, races, identities, self-expressions, ethnicities and cultures. Please see the WAIS Workshop policy on harassment for more information.

A note about COVID safety: In line with other scheduled meetings, our expectation is that if you are unvaccinated, you will opt to live stream the workshop. For those vaccinated and attending the WAIS Workshop, we will request all participants wear a mask that follows CDC guidelines (ideally an N95 or KN95; we will have spare masks in case anyone needs a new one for whatever reason). We will also provide rapid COVID tests for you to test yourself each morning of the Workshop. We would like to remind our whole community that a livestream will be available to view offsite. Please email wais@mines.edu if you have any questions. 


The deadline for abstract submission and early-career travel support has now passed. 


Registration for the 2022 WAIS Workshop is closed, but you can join the WAIS Workshop email distribution list to receive a link to live stream the workshop as it is happening. The $125 in-person registration fee includes Monday dinner, breakfasts, lunches and dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday, and breakfast and lunch on Thursday. Please indicate any dietary restrictions you may have on the registration form and the caterer will do their best to accommodate. There is no registration required to view the conference livestream. 

Lodging at the YMCA of the Rockies is in private or shared rooms. There are two options for rooms with different prices depending on career stage, location, and number of occupants: the Central Lodge, which is more "hotel like" with two beds and a full bath (pictures here), and the Eastside Lodge, which is more "dorm-like" with a bunk bed, a queen sized bed, and a (private) 3/4 bath (pictures here). All rooms will be double occupancy with a handful of single occupancy Central Lodge rooms. Staying on site allows interaction and collaboration among the meeting participants in an informal and beautiful setting. Although the lodging is not as limited at the YMCA of the Rockies compared to other WAIS Workshop venues, it will still be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. We will maintain a waitlist for on-site lodging; please email wais@mines.edu to join the housing waitlist. For anyone staying off-site, there is a $50 guest-pass fee in addition to the registration fee.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any lodging concerns you may have. 

Registration fees: 

The $125 registration fee for all WAIS Workshop participants includes meals for the 2.5 day meeting.

Lodging fees are for a three-night stay (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) and vary based on career stage, lodge, and number of occupants and is in addition to the registration fee:
$50 for a double occupancy, student/early career researcher (≤5 years from PhD) room in the Eastside Lodge
$100 for a double occupany, regular partipicant room in the Eastside Lodge
$100 for a double occupancy, student/early career researcher (≤5 years from PhD) room in the Central Lodge
$150 for a double occupancy, regular partipicant room in the Central Lodge
$325 for a single occupancy, regular participant room in the Central Lodge
$50 for all participants staying offsite

Refund policy:

Lodging types can be changed with any price difference refunded (or charged) to the attendee until August 26. Registration and lodging can be canceled and refunded with $25 fee until August 26 and a $75 fee until September 9, after which there will be no refunds. If there are any questions, please contact us

A note about the virtual livestream: The 2022 WAIS Workshop will have a free livestream option that will allow viewing all talks and discussions free of charge, with an opportunity to submit questions/comments for presenters and panelists digitally. Additional details, including links, will be sent to the WAIS Workshop email list. Like in years past, all sessions except our Community Health session will be recorded and archived on YouTube after the conference.

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View the 2022 WAIS Workshop agenda and abstract booklet here.

Plan to arrive Monday, September 26 for dinner and socializing; dinner is included in the registration fee and we ask for a small donation to cover drinks. The WAIS Workshop is 2½ days, concluding with lunch on Thursday, September 29. We will have around 40-50 talks that cover all aspects of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet system, including research from glaciologists, oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, biologists, computer scientists, and engineers at all career stages. We also enourage abstracts that discuss relevant aspects of communicating WAIS science beyond the research community as well as ideas to improve the diversity, inclusion, and equity of our field. Following each set of oral presentations, a panel of the session's speakers and a moderator will lead an open discussion about the general theme, and examine what the significance of new insights presented in the talks is for the West Antarctic system. For 2021, sessions themes will include: 

  • Observational and modeling gaps. Research that highlights data gaps that limit our ability to advance our understanding of any or all components of the Antarctic marine ice-sheet systems. What are the community needs for future satellite-, airborne-, ground-, and ship-based measurements? How do we access and analyze the growing volume of model output? 
  • Improving predictability. Research that aims to improve our ability to predict or understanding present and future behavior of ice sheets, ice shelves, and the surrounding ice-ocean system. We seek process modeling contributions as well as observation-driven analysis for model refinement and contextualization. The session is not limited to ice behavior, but rather is open to the predictability of driving processes and any other component of the system as well.
  • Atmospheric and oceanic drivers. New discoveries and insights relating to atmospheric drivers of change (such as surface mass balance, firn processes, extraordinary snow events, atmospheric rivers), oceanic drivers of change (such as grounding zone processes, ice-shelf stability, sea ice conditions, sub-ice-shelf processes), and feedbacks within the atmospheric-ice-ocean system.
  • Marine ice sheet sensitivity in the climate system. Research that highlights and/or integrates our evolving understanding of ice-sheet response to past, present, and future climate forcing, ice dynamics, and biogeochemical systems. We welcome submissions that include studies of ice cores, sediment cores, geology, topography, sub-/en-/supra-glacial hydrology, geomorphology, numerical models, and more. 
  • Antarctic Open Science. What does "open science" mean for the WAIS community? How do we achieve open science at the end of the Earth to leverage existing datasets, modeling frameworks, and model outputs to accelerate our science? What should our open science ecosystem look like, from proposal development to data collection and analysis to conference presentations, publication, and beyond? What are key technical, social, financial, or other barriers we encounter to adopt open science practices in our field? Do we need to rethink the "slide deck" model of conferences like WAIS Workshop to foster our open science goals? We seek contributions that identify concrete, actionable directions on which the community can build change and that explore the capabilities and challenges of open scientific collaboration.
  • WAIS and the Community. Actionable science requires civic engagement and co-production of knowledge with people out the confines of academic and research institutions. We week contributions that describe efforts to provide insight on and examples of community development that mutually benefit all parties involved as well as contributions that promote the development of inclusive and equitable research and learning spaces. 

In addition to talks, WAIS Workshop will have space for posters. There will be an opportunity to give a very brief overview of a poster topic to the audience just prior to the poster sessions. Posters have historically received a great deal of attention at WAIS Workshops.

Basic Agenda:

Monday: Afternoon arrival, 4:30pm Steering Committee Meeting, 6:00pm opening icebreaker with dinner and drinks (please bring cash or Venmo for drinks)
Tuesday: Meeting begins with breakfast followed by two morning sessions of presentations, then lunch, one session of presentations, followed by the first poster session, and dinner on-site.
Wednesday:  Similar schedule to Tuesday.
Thursday: Thursday morning will begin with breakfast, two morning sessions, then lunch. After lunch we will engage with the community college educators who were invited to attend the workshop in order to develop ideas for incorporating WAIS science into local community college curriculum.

Guidelines for Abstract Submission and Presentations

Abstract format and submission:

  • Abstract submission (and edits) are now closed. Please email wais@mines.edu if you have any questions.

Talk guidelines:

  • Talks will be 10 minutes long, including time for questions and switching presenters. Your presentation length will be assigned by the Organizing Committee and will be noted on the final agenda, which is now released. We have a full meeting so please be mindful of your time and courteous to the next presenter. A discussion period concludes each session where further questions can be addressed.
  • All presentation files will be loaded on one central laptop to expedite the transition between presenters. We request you provide us with your presentation the day prior to your assigned time. Dinner time is a good time for this. 
  • Powerpoint or PDF files are preferred. Keynote is available. Please email wais@mines.edu if you would like to use a different format.
  • After the conference, presentations will be posted with the agenda on the WAIS Workshop site. If you prefer we don't publish your presentation, e-mail the Organizing Committee at: wais@mines.edu.
  • For 2022, all talks will be livestreamed for those that cannot attend the conference. If you have concerns about livestreaming your talk, please contact the WAIS Workshop Organizing Committee. These livestreams will be recorded and archived on our website.

Poster guidelines:

  • Preceding the in-person poster session will be a brief opportunity for poster presenters to give a one-slide/one-minute pitch about their research.
  • For space efficiency, posters cannot exceed 4 feet in height or width.

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Registration fee includes Monday dinner, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday, and breakfast and lunch on Thursday. Snacks and coffee are also included. Please indicate any dietary restrictions you may have on the registration form and the caterer will do their best to accommodate. 

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Air Travel and Ground Transportation

We recommend you fly into Denver International Airport, which is an easy 90 minute drive from YMCA of the Rockies. As in years past, we have set up an electronic ride-sharing board for those wishing to carpool to or from the airport. In addition to carpooling, there are private transportation options from hire, such as the Estes Park Shuttle, that can be reserved ahead of time. Estes Park Shuttle costs $65 one-way and $115 roundtrip. 

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WAIS Workshop Policy on Harassment

The WAIS Workshop is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for participants regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion, or other protected status. The WAIS Workshop is a working conference intended for professional networking and collaboration for West Antarctic (and related) researchers. While attending the WAIS Workshop science program or related social events, any participants, including speakers, attendees, volunteers, and anyone else, should not engage in harassment or bullying in any form. All event participants are expected to behave according to professional standards and in accordance with their employer’s policies on appropriate workplace behavior. For issues or concerns during the conference, please contact any of the WAIS Workshop organizers or the local host, all of whom will be wearing WAIS pins. Additional contact information for our hosts and detalis about the reporting process will be available at WAIS Workshop check-in and posted online. This policy applies to all community situations online and offline, including the conference itself, mailing lists, social media, social events associated with the conference, and one-to-one interactions. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the event at the sole discretion of the conference organizers without any refund.

We hope that our policy will reflect the values of the WAIS community. To that end, this harassment policy will be refined and updated to make it represent our community as a whole as our community discussions continue.

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Early-Career Travel Support

The retreat format of WAIS Workshops provides a unique atmosphere where scientists at the start of their career can interact with senior researchers. We therefore strive to make WAIS Workshop accessible through early-career travel support to encourage attendence from a broad specturm of early-career researchers. To this end, our budget includes airfare registration fee support for a limited number of students and early-career researchers. We ask that interested people to submit an abstract on their recent research for consideration for the funding. We estimate that we have travel support for 10-15 students or recent post-doctoral researchers (≤ 5 years since degree, or ≤ 5 years in career in total if there was a break due to family obligations). Please highlight the relevance of your abstract to West Antarctica, ice sheet stability, ice-ocean or ice-biology interactions, or polar climate change and any other relevant information regarding your funding. Notifications for early-career travel support have been sent. Please email wais@mines.edu if you have any questions.

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Questions? Please contact us at wais@mines.edu