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DPS-EPSC meeting in Nantes, France, October 2011

The Division for Planetary Sciences (i.e., solar system astronomy) has an annual meeting, usually in the US. In October 2011 it was in Nantes, France (a few hours by train west of Paris), combined with the European equivalent of the same meeting (the EPSC). 1600 attendees, 6 parallel sessions, and one gigantic elephant.

I took some pictures of the meeting and the people who make up our field. Thank you to everyone who let me stick a camera in their face.

See also my DPS 2009 photos from Puerto Rico.

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The amazing arrivals board at Charles de Gaulle.
Joanie and Marc Buie, Scot Rafkin, Michelle Kirchoff, and Tim Michaels (all SwRI) gather at Charles De Galle waiting for the TGV to Nantes.
Michelle Kirchoff.
Scot Rafkin.
Getting off that beautiful French TGV!
Poster tubes, maps, passports. . . where do we go now? Bea Muller (PSI) and ??
Ravit Helled (Tel Aviv U.) keeps the LA shades, even though she has recently moved back to Europe.
David Nesvorny (SwRI) has made the long trek from Nice.
Mitch Gordon (PDS Rings Node), 2 days before being a new grandparent.
Leslie Young (SwRI), Paul Starkis, and Thomas Widemann (Obs. Paris) perform an all-sky survey of the Kuiper Belt from inside the conference center.
Bill Merline (SwRI) may still have some brats left to sell you.
Doug Hamilton (U. Maryland) zooms.
Nick Schneider (CU) doesn't know his way around Nantes, but his data plan does.
Cesare Grava (U. Padova) at one of the best meals I had in France.
Don Blankenship (U. Texas) and David Grinspoon (DMNS) attempt nocturnal navigation.
Heading to the Cite de Congress in the early morning. The conference center is just to the left; the train station is off on the far right.
Esther Tallifet and Sebastien Charnoz (U. Paris) discuss orthogonality.
Amara Graps (SwRI) with Vija, making their first joint DPS appearance.
Diane Wooden (Ames), with Vija and Amara Graps.
Rumor has it that one of Vija's books has been appropriated for Amara's figures -- check out that title box. . .
Jason Cook (Ames) is definitely headed to Pluto.
Agata Rozek (AMU Poznan, Poland).
Melissa Trainer (GSFC) discusses organic molecules.
Chas Miller (NMSU).
Justin Erwin (UVa) has seriously cut back the beard from last year's DPS. The bow tie was probably under there the whole time, invisible to the world...
Matija Cuk (SETI).
Poster session on the main floor.
Frank Spahn (Potsdam).
Cesare Grava (U. Padova, Italy).
Jurgen Schmidt (Potsdam).
Matt Tiscareno (Cornell) at the rings poster session.
Olivier Poch (U. Paris Diderot) discusses MSL.
Valeria Mangano (INAF-Rome)
Valeria Mangano and Amara Graps.
Jason Cook (Ames) and Cathy Olkin (SwRI) show off that spectrum!
A PSI iPad is used for language translation. So useful!
Jeff Morgenthaler (PSI). Jeff and the rest of the PSI group had dinner in the old LU biscuit factory building.
Susan Conway (U. Nantes, but with a British accent).
Nalin, Bea, and Susan at the PSI dinner.
Jeff Morgenthaler (PSI).
Keith Holsapple (PSI).
Keith Holsapple's wife Younghee Kim.
Julie Rathbun (PSI).
Two men fight over Juliie Rathbun! Who will win - husband Tyler Nordgren, or newcomer Paul Abell?
Nalin Samarasinha (PS.I)
Pasquale Tricarico (PSI).
Tommy Grav (PSI).
Tyler Nordgren (U. Redlands) with some art he did for his 14-month trip doing astronomy at 14 US national parks (cool!).
Paul Abell (PSI).
The PSI crowd at DPS. L-R: Nanin Samarasinha, Joe Michalski, Candy Hansen, Susan Conway, Henry Throop, Bea Muller, Bill Hartmann, Julie Rathbun, Tyler Nordgren, Paul Abell, Keith Holsapple, Jeff Morgenthaler, Pasquale Tricarico, Tommy Grav, Carol Raymond (JPL)

Not seen: Faith Vilas, Tom Prettyman.

Dave O'Brien would have made it, but he was off riding his bike 508 miles through the desert.

Looking down the Loire in Nantes.
Melissa McGrath (NASA-Marshall) introduces. . .
Bill Ward (SwRI) is the winner of the 2011 Kuiper Prize.
Melissa McGrath gives Bill Ward the 2011 Kuiper Prize.

Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of the award winners earlier in the week, Emily Lakdawalla, Jim Bell, and Ben Clark, but I'm sure someone else did!

Bill Ward.
Bill Ward.
Sandy Ward and their daughter watch, as Bill gives a very appreciative thank you.
Bill Ward explains his love for orbital precession.
Bill Bottke (SwRI) awaits his award.
___ and Andrea Milani give Bill Bottke the 2011 Paolo Farinella Prize.
Bill Bottke (SwRI).
Bill Bottke (SwRI) talks inspiration...
Bill Bottke.
Main lecture hall at DPS, after the talks of Bill and Bill.
Bill Bottke with Renu Malhotra (LPL). "But my time can't be over yet -- I am certain I have a least five minutes left!"
Yuk Yung (Caltech), surrounded by previous and current grad students Randy Gladstone (SwRI) and Josh Kammer.
Guido Sonnabend (U. Cologne) and Kelly Fast (HQ /GSFC).

Me: You look familiar -- I think we've met at, uh. . .

Kelly: [Mentions a dozen labs and conferences I've never heard of.]

Me: Hmm, no, no . . .

Kelly: Oh! Uh, maybe YouTube? Hotel Mauna Kea?

Me: Ahhhhh!

Yuk Yung.
Pat Beauchamp (JPL).
David Grinspoon (Denver Museum of Nature and Science) wishes his glasses had more flowers on them too.
David Grinspoon has found the Nantes elephant, and attempts to lead it outside!
Tom Prettyman (PSI).
OK, hang on. We're at the banquet reception, held at Les Machines de L'Ile in Nantes. This is totally out of control. It's like run by a crazy guy who had 20 billion dollars and decided to invest it all into the burgeoning market of steam-powered, mechanical, wood-and-iron sea creatures and elephants. It was utterly crazy and unbelievable..

Jen Grier (PSI) is operating the squid.

One of the Frenchman who runs the workshop. As if to clarify his role, he tells me "I am merely a magician. I join the machines, to the people. But I do not create them in my mind. This is a crankshaft, which drives the squid. May I show it to you?"
Seth Jacobson (CU Boulder) accelerates to high speed.
Andy Rivkin (APL) drives the gigantic mechanical . . . thing.
Bill McKinnon (Wash U.), with a disembodied arm.
'The Magician' told me to follow him and offered me a ride on their Storm Boat. So here I am, after the rocking is on but before the wind, rain, and lightning have kicked in. That's Justin Erwin (UVa) across from me, blocked by the sail.
The magicians at their controls. Lightning and rain have kicked in here.
Erika Barth (SwRI).
Chad Trujillo (Gemini) at the helm of the Nautilus. The creature he is driving is actually in the shape of a nautilus, and Nantes is the birthplace of Jules Verne, so he's clearly in the right place.
Chad Trujillo (Gemini) inside the Nautilus.
Carlos Chavez (UNAM - Ensenada, Mexico) drives the turtle. My understanding is that the turtle is designed to go on an amazing underwater-themed carousel currently being built in Nantes.
Bill Bottke (SwRI) and Doug Hamilton (U. Maryland).
Holy moly. OK, now the elephant rolls out. What the heck? The elephant is the most amazing creature in the whole world!! It's steam powered, and it grunts, and it walks, and it squirts water out its nose. You can see the driver here.
We walked slowly with the elephant. It was about a 1/2 km from the workshop to the banquet location, or about half an hour at top speed.
Oh my god! He gets to drive it. This elephant was based in part on an earlier British elephant which had 22 drivers (several for the nose alone) -- no joke.
Another shot of the elephant driver. Nice that he's got a rear-view mirror, but I think he's got a significant blindspot in that vehicle he's operating.
You can see a passenger here. The elephant can take up to 49 people on board, but I think there were just two on our trip. (Anybody know who this is?)
Jani Radebaugh (BYU) gives me tips on visiting the Ethiopian lava lake, while the elephant moves behind her.
Jani Radebaugh.
The elephant has started spraying! John Spencer (SwRI) ducks!
Matt Chojnacki (UTK).
Nathaniel Lust (UCF) in between courses at the banquet. Amanda Zangari (MIT) is behind.
David Polishook (MIT).
Bill Ward, KL Jessup, Sandy Ward.
Larry Molnar (Calvin College).
Kartik Kumar (TU Delft; Berkeley).
Roderik Koenders (TU Delft).
Mike Roman (Cornell).
Patrick Taylor (Arecibo).
Luke Dones (SwRI). 'Christine says that I go to conferences, and she never sees any photos of me there -- just everyone else.' Happy to correct the situation!
Definite proof that Luke was at the conference!
Luke Dones, Carlos Chavez, Mike Roman, Roderik Koenders, Patrick Taylor, and Kartik Kumar walking home through Nantes.
Luke Dones underpasses the graffiti.
In the morning, Matt Burger (GSFC / UMBC) and Rachel Osten (STScI) are particularly happy, as am I, because they sold me their extra banquet ticket.
Matt Hedman (Cornell) loves Saturn's G ring. But who doesn't?
Bruno Sicardy discusses the 2006 Pluto occultation with me.
Jim Green (NASA HQ) at NASA/ESA Night.
Larry Esposito (CU).
Jim Green: "Do you support the Decadal Survey? I can't hear you. . ."
Luigi Colangeli (ESA).
Roger Clark (USGS).
Luigi Colangeli (ESA), Jim Green (NASA), and Manuel Grande (University of Wales Aberystwyth).
Alan Delamere (Delamere Support Services, previously Ball).
Jim Green and Manuel Grande (University of Wales Aberystwyth).
Melissa McGrath (NASA-Marshall), outgoing DPS Chair, who has done an amazing job of getting people involved with the DPS.
Rosaly Lopes (JPL), incoming DPS Vice-Chair.
Joe Harrington (U. Central Florida).
Tom Spilker (JPL), moments before I corner him with a question regarding his encyclopedic knowledge of stereographic images.
Discussions with Tom Spilker often take on that extra dimension. . .
Joe Spitale (PSI), is rarely seen without his hat.
Jason Barnes (U. Idaho) discusses commute times in Moscow.
Joe Spitale (PSI) and Jani Radebaugh (BYU), with a bit of night-time Nantian gelato.
Ross Beyer (Ames) cites a classic quote from a French organist, perhaps useful to our field:

"I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. Your paper is in front of me. Soon it will be behind me."

Rachel Mastrapa (Ames).
Dan Tamayo (Cornell) and Eric Larson (SwRI) are heading out in Nantes.
Whoa! OK, here I am out eating one of the famous Nantes buckwheat crepes, and I open up a local paper only to find this on page two! Fabulous news -- a new mechanical hippo is to be built!
Downstairs, bunches of French students visit a very large solar system exhibit set up.
Which end?
Kids launching model rockets during an EPO program.
Go, Lego Mindstorms NXT Mars Rover!
French reporter Gabrielle Hess-Fern asks me my opinion!
The organizers of the EPO components really did a great job here -- tons of students and a huge and cool exhibit.
Check out that mockup MSL!
Driving the MSL!
Con Tsang and Carly Howett scout on how to expand the British invasion at SwRI.
Marc Buie and Carly Howett walk past the Nantes castle. They appear unconcerned about the moat below!
Alyssa Rhoden (Berkeley, but soon GSFC) inspects gargoyles on the Nantes castle ramparts.
Alyssa Rhoden contemplates her escape from the Nantes castle. One of the rooms near here had very ornate carvings deep into the wall -- apparently done by Middle-Age prisoners as they too contemplated their future.
OK, Nantes' history is based on the biscuit. Inside the castle, there was a display of old biscuits. These here are somewhat over 100 years old. The 'LU' (Lefevre-Utile) company -- baker of these here -- is still based in Nantes, and was until recently one of the contract bakers for Girl Scout cookies in the US. You can buy their classic 'Petit Beurre' biscuits and the 'Petit Ecoliers' easily in the US. Though as can be seen here from the box in the middle, the Petit Ecoliers did not apparently use to feature a chocolate relief schoolboy. Hmm. . .
The old LU biscuit factory, complete with a giant biscuit!
Catherine Niesh (APL).
Mike Wong (Berkeley) and Daniel, before heading to Paris.
Zoe Leinhardt (Cambridge).
Stan Peale (UCSB).
Stan Peale (UCSB) and Imke de Pater (Berkeley).
Stan Peale. Note the camera strap; he was showing me some nice venomous plants (flytraps, etc.) that he found in the Jardin de Plantes next to the Nantes train station.
Derek Richardson (U. Maryland) dreams of aggregates.
Matt Burger shows off his locally purchased fashion accessory.
Rachel Osten.
Matt Burger.
Me: Pierce, what's your favorite letter of the alphabet?

Pierce: Q!!

Me: What's your least-favorite letter?

Pierce: A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z!!

Pierce's dream comes true!
Matt gives up! No nose!
Tom Prettyman (PSI) searches for crepes.
Jenny Meyer (UCSB).
Seth Jacobson (CU Boulder).

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Henry Throop

Last modified Thu Nov 17 12:48:39 2011