VENUE AND ORGANIZATION
1. Where will the meeting take place?
The meeting would be held on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Fairbanks is well known to many geodesists as the location of long-term VLBI and GPS sites, but for most attendees it would be the first opportunity to visit Alaska. This would also be the first IAG Scientific Assembly in the Arctic or sub-Arctic.
2. What is the maximum capacity of the major conference hall?
There are two main halls that can seat several hundred people. The Davis Concert Hall seats 920 and would be used for plenary sessions. If the registration is small enough, we could use a smaller hall instead. There are several lecture halls of various sizes, from 100 to about 300 seats. We also have at least two clear options for a hall for poster sessions.
3. Will rooms for smaller meetings be available? If yes, which sizes?
Yes. There are several lecture halls of various sizes available, as well as poster spaces. Numerous smaller rooms are available for breakout meetings, working groups, etc. All of these are within easy walking distance of each other.
4. Have other geodetic meetings been organized in the same venue? If yes, which
How many participants?
The Alaska Satellite Facility previously hosted an IGARSS meeting (remote sensing), held in Anchorage (~1000 participants). The University has hosted several smaller conferences on a variety of topics, from seismology to auroral studies, to climate change and evolution, with up to 100-200 participants. To our knowledge, this would be the first specifically geodetic meeting held in Alaska.
5. Which time period(s) do you propose?
We propose two potential time periods. Our preferred time period would be within the first two weeks of August. An alternate time period would be in late September. Each offers distinct advantages and disadvantages. August will offer better weather, and more opportunities for attendees to enjoy a tourist or vacation opportunities before or after the meeting. University facilities and low-cost housing on campus will be easily available; in fact, most or all attendees could be housed on campus at this time, if needed or desired. However, hotel rooms in town will be difficult to book in large numbers at this time. In September, a large number of hotel rooms would be available quite easily, but the weather is colder with the possibility of early snowfall, and most tourist venues will have closed up for the winter. University facilities and low cost housing will be harder to find at this time.
August is within the University’s off-season, but it is within the summer tourist season. With this option, During the summer tourist season, most hotel rooms in local hotels are booked in advance by cruise ship tourist companies, which offer ground packages including Fairbanks and Denali National Park as an option to cruise ship passengers. These operators fill most of the hotel rooms in town. However, we have verified that housing for as many as 500 people (possibly more) could be provided on campus, mostly in student apartments but also with dormitory-style options available at lower cost. In addition, we expect that it would be no problem for 100-200 people to find rooms at local hotels if they wished a higher standard of amenities.
6. Who will be the organisation responsible for the meeting?
The University of Alaska Fairbanks would be responsible for organizing the meeting. Jeff Freymueller will be the chairperson of the LOC, and Nettie LaBelle-Hamer of the Alaska Satellite Facility will be vice chair. We have received support from higher levels of the University adminstration (up to the Vice Chancellor level thus far) for the submission of this bid, and we anticipate that all levels of the University administration will be enthusiastic about it.
7. Who will be the chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee?
Dr. Jeffrey T. Freymueller will be the chairman of the Local Organizing Committee.
8. Which other organizations will support and sponsor the meeting?
We believe that geodetic organizations and professional societies in the US will react to our proposed meeting with enthusiasm. We can work with the organizers of the annual Alaska Surveying and Mapping Conference (held in the winter) to coordinate with sessions of interest to the FIG, if IAG intends to continue sponsoring joint IAG-FIG sessions.
Locally, we will seek official sponsorship from the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau and Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. We also plan to seek sponsorship from Alaska Airlines, the major air carrier serving the region, and Condor Airlines, which operates weekly flights to Fairbanks from Frankfurt, with the aim of arranging special travel deals for participants.
9. Are there any specific aspects of geodesy you would like to emphasize at this
(The final decision on the technical program is made by the IAG Executive, but
your input would be very much appreciated)
We propose a special theme related to measurement of polar change and the cryosphere. Geodetic measurements of polar and other glacier and ice sheet mass balance, through altimetry, SAR/InSAR, gravity change, and measurement of elastic loading deformation and glacial-isostatic adjustment are key focus areas of present geodetic research, and have obvious ties to the International Polar Year, which will have concluded just before the meeting. We will approach the IUGG Commission for the Cryospheric Sciences (UCCS), which will soon become the 8th Association of the IUGG, for potential co-sponsorship or even a joint Scientific Assembly.
In addition, we anticipate that IAG will organize a full program of the usual IAG sessions. Through UNAVCO, we will seek out session conveners for a robust set of sessions related to crustal deformation, which is a strong focus of geodesy in the United States.
10. Any other information you would like to add?
Nothing more, although we anticipate that more information will be available by the time of the IUGG Assembly in Perugia, particularly with respect to coordination with the UCCS.
11. Which registration fees are you planning to charge? Please include a $ 20
IAG fee in this amount. (Although it is difficult to predict these fees
accurately, it is expected that the actual fee will not exceed the proposed fee
by more than 10%).
We anticipate the registration fee will be around $500, similar to past IAG meetings.
12. Do you expect major financial or in-kind sponsorship by government and/or
industry. If yes, indicate what they might be used for.
We do not expect major financial support from the government. We will make a request to the local government, which may be willing to provide some level of support. Support from higher levels of the government is unlikely. However, the US National Science Foundation will likely be receptive to a proposal to help support attendance by students and young scientists.
13. What are the price ranges of hotels within 3 km of the venue? What would be
an average price for hotel accommodation (current price)?
Fairbanks is more “spread out” than a typical European city, and most hotels are within the 5-10 km distance range from the University. Summer rates generally start at around $130-$150 per night,. The most expensive hotels do not exceed $250 per night. Taxes that are between 15-20% are in addition to these rates. Most hotel rooms have two beds.
Room availability may be the bigger challenge, because most hotels are near capacity during the summer, and we will stress the importance of booking ahead to all attendees. With our preferred timeframe of early August, we will also be able to provide the option of two bedroom apartment-style housing units on campus, for about $150 per night total ($75 each), plus taxes. In August, we could accommodate most or all meeting attendees in this housing.
14. Is low-cost (student) accommodation available? If yes, at what price? How
Rooms in student dormitories on campus are available for $46/night for a single room, and $30/night each person for a double room. Slightly lower rates may be available. Low cost housing for 100 people or perhaps more is feasible. However, in late September, this low-cost housing will probably be unavailable, although hotel rooms in town will also be cheaper, closer to $100 night or less.
15. Can the venue be easily reached by public transportation (bus,tram,subway)?
Public transportation in Fairbanks is limited, but the University is one of the hubs of the local bus system. Bus service is hourly. Buses pass by a number of the local hotels, although not all. We anticipate using University shuttle buses to provide additional transportation to some area hotels, as part of the conference fee.
Attendees who wish to have full freedom of movement are advised to rent a car (and to book ahead).