Twentieth Annual WAIS Workshop

September 29 to October 2, 2013
Algonkian Meeting Center, Sterling, Virginia, U.S.A.

The 2013 WAIS Workshop will be held near Washington, DC, at the Algonkian Meeting Center in Sterling, Virginia. This multidisciplinary Earth system science workshop will focus on the distinctive glaciological, geological, oceanographic, and climatic aspects of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The meeting begins with an Icebreaker on Sunday evening, September 29. Sessions are organized by topic, with keynote speakers for some sessions, followed by contributed talks and concluding with a panel discussion by the speakers. Poster session(s) will be held separately. The meeting adjourns before lunch on Wednesday, October 2 to allow for afternoon departures.

Registration and Abstract Submission

Registration fees:
$200 - workshop with on-site lodging at the Algonkian
$100 - workshop, staying off-site at your own expense
See the Lodging section for more information.

Registration is now closed!

Abstract deadline is Friday, August 16
Registration deadline is Friday, September 6

Abstracts and Presentations

You can find all the abstracts for this meeting here.

You can find all the presentations for this meeting here.


The agenda is organized as a series of sessions. Themes, denoted by horror flicks and their tag lines, are:

  • Land Of Oz - "The land you know, the story you don't..."
    Subglacial environments, lakes, grounding lines
  • Hurricane - "There is only one safe each others' arms"
    Policy, preparedness, outreach
  • Ice Quake -  "Nature unleashed"
    Ice and solid-earth interactions
  • Titanic -  "Collide with destiny"
    Ice/ocean interactions
  • The Thaw "Extinction will find you:"
    Mass balance and processes of the Amundsen Sea Sector
  • Zoolander 
    Models of ice, ocean, sediments, water...

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.

WAIS will have about 50 talks and about 25 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 receive a great deal of attention at WAIS.

Talk guidelines:

  • Talks are 15 minutes, which includes time to switch presenters. We have a full meeting so please be mindful of your time and courteous to the next presenter. There are a few invited talks that are 20 minutes; these are noted on the agenda.
  • All presentation files will be loaded on one central laptop to expedite the transition between presenters.
  • Power point or PDF files are preferred. Keynote is acceptable as well.
  • Please find Kiya Riverman or Nick Holschuh at the meeting and give them your presentation - preferably the day before your assigned time. For those speaking Monday, be sure to give them your presentation at Sunday's check in or Icebreaker.
  • 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 Betsy at:

Poster guidelines:

  • The poster session is Monday, 30 September from 4:40 p.m to 6:30 p.m., and again on Tuesday from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Set up is during lunchtime on Monday
  • Posters will remain on display through Wednesday. You are your poster’s keeper – please remember to remove it yourself.
  • Poster size is a maximum of 32” H x 40” W, limited by the size of the poster boards at the venue. Feel free to have your poster at the best size to suit your work. For reference, posters at AGU are often 36” H x 48” W.

Lodging at the Algonkian

Lodging at the Algonkian is in comfortable cabins and the workshop will be held in a large modern meeting room. Staying on site allows interaction and collaboration among the meeting participants in an informal setting. The registration fee of $200 includes lodging for three nights (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) and meals for Monday, Tuesday and breakfast only on Wednesday. Sunday night will be a pizza and beer dinner with contributions requested. We encourage participants to stay at the Algonkian. Should you prefer a hotel, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Marriott Courtyard Dulles Town Center. Hotel rooms will be at your own cost and are not part of the registration fee.

Check-in time is no earlier than 4:00 p.m. Sunday, September 29, and check-out is no later than 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 2.  Cabin keys can be picked up inside the Conference Center between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  After this time, you may proceed to Cottage #7 and meet with Sridhar to collect your keys.  Please note: There is one key per cabin.  The main gate to the park is locked at 10:00 p.m.  If you plan to arrive after 10:00 p.m., please be sure to call Sridhar in his cottage (814-531-5109) so he can unlock the gate for you.  Upon departure, cabin keys can be returned to the Park office or left in the cabin.

Please open the Microsoft Excel file for your cabin assignment.

Hotel Accommodations

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Marriott Courtyard Dulles Town Center at a rate of $139 per night. Reserve there by calling the reservation number of 1-888-236-2427 and mention room block name "WAIS;" reserve by Thursday, September 5 for the special rate.


A group dinner of pizza and beer is offered on Sunday evening and we are accepting donations to cover the cost. Registration fee includes three on both Monday and Tuesday, and breakfast on Wednesday. Please indicate any dietary restrictions you may have on the registration form, and the Algokian will do their best to accommodate.

Air Travel and Ground Transportation

The Algonkian is located near the Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington, DC.

For those staying at the Marriott Courtyard Dulles Town Center, it is about 10 minutes from Algonkian Regional Park. They offer complimentary shuttle service from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on a first come first served basis. Their shuttle will hold eight people maximum. Requests can be made to the front desk to schedule a drop off or pick up. They will be able to transport you to the meeting in the morning and back to the hotel in the evening. There will be several people with cars and we recommend you consider carpooling to the venue.

For persons staying at Algonkian, the most convenient transportation from Dulles is The Washington Flyer Taxicab: 703-685-1400, metered fare, always available near baggage claim. 

Student Support

The WAIS group supports early career scientists, encouraging interaction between early-career and established Antarctic researchers. To this end, our budget includes airfare support for a limited number of students. We ask that interested students propose a talk on their recent research for consideration for the funding. Please indicate on the registration form how much travel funding you are requesting and the topic of your presentation.

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