2017 GeoPRISMS Theoretical & Experimental Institute for the RIE Initiative – Apply now!

The Theoretical and Experimental Institute (TEI) for the Rift Initiation and Evolution (RIE) initiative is now open for applications. The TEI will be held over three full days from February 8-10, 2017 and is intended to summarize progress and recent scientific advances related to the RIE initiative, and to identify high-priority science for future GeoPRISMS RIE efforts. (Please see the Science and Implementation plan available at http://geoprisms.org/research/science-plan/). Applicants do not need to have worked on projects funded by GeoPRISMS. We expect a broad and diverse audience drawn from domestic and international research communities, including graduate students and early career scientists, who are interested in the initiation and evolution of rifts.


The TEI is funded by the National Science Foundation through the GeoPRISMS Office at The Pennsylvania State University. There is no registration fee. We will be able to cover most on-site expenses (venue costs, hotel expenses based on double occupancy, and breakfast & lunch) for approximately 80 participants. Most participants will have to cover their travel to and from the meeting; partial funding for travel is available for students and postdocs. We will not be able to provide dinners on-site, but there are several restaurants nearby. Confirmed participants whose on-site expenses are covered are expected to arrive on Tuesday evening and leave on Saturday morning.

Organizing Committee

Tobias Fischer (University of New Mexico), Donna Shillington (LDEO/Columbia University), Estella Atekwana (Oklahoma State University), Rebecca Bendick (University of Montana), Juliet Biggs (University of Bristol), Esteban Gazel (Virginia Tech), Liz Hajek (Pennsylvania State University), Luc Lavier (University of Texas, Austin). Ex officio: Demian Saffer (GeoPRISMS Office/Pennsylvania State University).

Important Dates

October 4: Applications are invited via the meeting webpage at : http://geoprisms.org/tei-rie-2017/
November 7: Application deadline
December 9: Successful applicants are invited to confirm participation
December 22: Deadline for confirmation of attendance
Late January: Final meeting agenda is released


The Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM (http://www.hotelabq.com). The hotel is located 8 miles from Albuquerque airport. Cab service is available.

Student and Postdoc symposium

On Tuesday before the TEI we will hold a student and postdoc symposium which will feature short presentations by attendees and discussion with the conveners and NSF program managers. The symposium runs from 1:00 – 5:00 and will be followed at 5:00 – 7:00 by student posters and cash bar. We encourage all students and postdocs to attend and to arrange their travel accordingly, after confirmation of attendance.

Draft agenda

The agenda will develop as the list of participants is completed. We will have four sessions focused on different aspects of rift initiation and evolution (each featuring keynote speakers and invited and contributed presentations). There will also be a session on international collaborations and opportunities. There will be several break-out sessions for discussions of current science and data gaps and strategies to address these. We will have dedicated poster sessions in the afternoons.

Planned Sessions

Rift evolution from initiation to post rift architecture
Magmatism and Volatile Exchanges
Faulting and Strain
Climate and surface processes
Geohazards at rifts and rifted margins
Geodynamics of rifting

Saturday: Field trip to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

We will organize an optional field trip to the nearby (~1 hour drive from Albuquerque) Kasha-Katuwe National Monument in the Jemez Volcanic field to look at pyroclastic volcanic deposits and get an overview of the Rio Grande Rift. This trip will involve some light hiking. There will be no additional cost for participating in the trip. In the event of too much snow cover in the Jemez Mountains, we will organize a trip to the Zuni-Bandera volcanic field (~ 1.5 hours from Albuquerque). We will return to Albuquerque by 5 pm.

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