Eighteenth Annual WAIS Workshop

September 21 - 23, 2011
Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, Loveland Colorado

The 2011 WAIS Workshop meeting will take place in the Denver-Boulder area, at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch near Loveland, Colorado. This multidisciplinary Earth system science workshop will focus on the unique glaciological, geological, oceanographic, and climatic aspects of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and related regions elsewhere in the cryosphere. The theme for this year's meeting is Music of the Spheres, underscoring the need to look across disciplines (atmospheric, cryospheric, biospheric, hydrospheric) to understand this system.

The main agenda will begin on Wednesday morning, September 21, and is organized in topics, with 30-minute keynote talks leading some sessions, followed by contributed talks, and a panel discussion at the end of the sessions with the speakers. The meeting concludes at 2pm Friday, September 23. There is ample time for discussion and interaction in the retreat style of the meeting, and extended time for poster presentations. This characteristic of WAIS meetings has made them very effective for information exchange and idea sharing. Poster presentations will get a brief introduction by their authors prior to the poster sessions.

There will also be some time devoted to the future of WAIS science and the WAIS Workshop, in an open discussion of how to better integrate the disciplines and encourage multidisciplinary data and knowledge exchange in studying the cryosphere.

This year saw the passing of two important figures in glaciology, Barclay Kamb and Keith Echelmeyer. One session, New Ideas in Ice Dynamics - pushing the boundaries, is dedicated in honor of these and other colleagues.

About Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

The center is a private recreational ranch that has hosted many retreats and conferences for organizations in the Front Range. Set in a small valley just east of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, it will give you a real feel for this part of Colorado. There is one late afternoon period when no meeting activities are planned. Take advantage of the recreational opportunities here. We have reserved the entire space for the meeting days. For a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, wait for Friday after lunch or Saturday; it may look close, but it is a time-consuming drive into this US national treasure. See more on the Sylvan Dale Ranch Web site.


The agenda is organized as a series of sessions: eight speaking sessions and one poster session. The detailed agenda is available online.

  • Quadrophenia: Multi-discipline system science in WAIS: PIG—LARISSA—WISSARD—Ice2Sea
  • Both Sides Now: Modern Climate and WAIS
  • Back in Time: Climate, Ice Cores and WAIS
  • Signs: Poster session
  • Space Oddity: New Results from Satellite and Airborne Measurements, Satellite
  • Fly Like an Eagle: New Results from Satellite and Airborne Measurements, Airborne
  • The Logical Song: Hi Tech: Radar, Seismic, and Cosmogenic Results
  • New Ideas in Ice Dynamics: Pushing the Boundaries - Honoring Barclay Kamb and Keith Echelmeyer
  • Somebody to Love: Ice Sheet and WAIS system models

Following each set of oral presentations, a panel (the session's speakers) and the 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 WAIS system. This open, engaged discussion has been a very positive aspect of WAIS meetings.

The WAIS Workshop will have about 40 talks and about 30 posters. The poster venue is spacious, and posters will remain up throughout the meeting. 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 receive a great deal of attention at WAIS Workshops.

Registration closed on August 23 and the workshop is full. Note that registration includes lodging and meals, i.e. all basic costs besides transportation to/from the meeting, while lodging space at Sylvan Dale lasts. Those who stay at the hotel will receive meals and snacks at the Ranch and a reduced registration rate.

Lodging at the Ranch

Sylvan Dale Ranch has a variety of rooming types, all of them comfortable and rustic. There are several multi-room houses, several cabins, and single-rooms. We will try to accommodate people's choices and preferences. Lodging will be covered for three nights (September 20th, 21st, and 22nd). Sylvan Dale has set aside some of the rooms for Friday evening the 23rd at additional cost. Please contact the front desk attendants at Sylvan Dale Ranch at 877-667-3999 or 970-667-3915. Mention you want to stay an extra night after the WAIS Meeting. The nearby La Quinta Inn is also an option for Friday or Saturday nights.

This option will only become available if we reach the limit on Sylvan Dale Ranch; this will entail slightly reduced registration and separate, additional lodging charges paid to the hotel. This will not be as good a deal as staying at the ranch.

Sylvan Dale has a nice dining facility, and will be serving us our meals and break snacks. Dietary needs can be accommodated with prior notice.

Air Travel and Ground Transportation

Denver International Airport is about 50 miles away; fly there and no further. Sylvan Dale Ranch has an agreement with shuttle services from the airport to the ranch, at an extra charge. A taxi would be possible but exorbitant. A few parking spaces for rental cars are available at the ranch. We encourage carpooling in that case. We will also have one University of Colorado van available for the meeting.

Cost is approximately $53 roundtrip between the airport and Sylvan Dale Ranch. It is $37 per additional guest going to the same location. Please make your reservation online via the heading "Book SuperShuttle Service" on this page: http://www.sylvandale.com/contact_us/contact_us.html. When you book online through this link, the Sylvan Dale Ranch web site inputs the destination code for the ranch into the SuperShuttle form. Shuttles depart from Denver to Loveland at 6:05 am and they run every hour until 12:05 pm, then at 1:35 pm, 3:05 pm through 9:05 pm every hour, then 10:30 pm and the last van out 11:55 pm.

The Shamrock-Airport Express
The trip to Loveland takes about 1 hour and twenty minutes. Shuttle reservations are recommended to avoid the risk of having to wait and to confirm the latest schedule. The shuttle will bring you to a drop point close to the Ranch. The shuttle Leaves the airport 20 minutes after the hour and operates from 6 AM to 11 PM. Plan on a 30-minute ride to the Ranch from this drop point. At times Shamrock will take guests all the way to the Ranch, if the driver's schedule permits - be sure to ask! Call 970.482.0505 or reserve on-line at: http://www.rideshamrock.com/rs_ax.php

Registration and Abstract Submission

The deadline for registration and abstract submission was August 23, 2011.

Any questions? Contact us at waisworkshop2011@nsidc.org.