Form:CSDMS annual meeting

The joint 2016 CSDMS - SEN* Annual Meeting
Capturing Climate Change

May 17 -19th 2016, Boulder Colorado, USA

Optional: May 16th 2016, pre-conference bootcamp


The online conference registration is a three step process:

Step 1:
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Step 2:
  • Register
  • Abstract submission
Step 3:
  • Academia or Government, registration fee: $200 (After April 1st: $300)
  • Industry, registration fee: $1,500 (After April 1st: $1,600)
  • Add $30 when joining pre-conference bootcamp
    Third party website

Note 1: You only are successfully registered by fulfilling the above steps
Note 2: Do you want to make changes to you abstract?

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  2. Select your registration record in "participants" and start making changes by clicking "Edit registration".

Objectives and general description

The joint CSDMS - SEN* 2016 annual meeting will focus on “advances in simulating the imprint of climate change on the land and seascapes, including the processes that influence them”. We would like presentations to either focus on the impacts of present and future climate change, or how climate change has impacted the earth in the past. Topics of interests also include modeling research that integrate different disciplines, different scales, and the synergy between models and experimental data. As in past meetings, keynote speakers are by invitation only, and poster presentations are the general media. The meeting will include:

  1. State-of-the art keynote presentations in earth-surface dynamics and modeling
  2. Hands-on clinics related to community models, tools and approaches
  3. Transformative software products and approaches designed to be accessible, easy to use, and relevant
  4. Breakout sessions for Working, Focus Research Groups and the Initiatives
  5. Poster Sessions

and more!

Poster Information: The poster boards are configured for 4' wide by 6' tall (portrait orientation) posters. The deadline to submit abstracts is April 15, 2016.


Click here to view the draft agenda of 12/29/2015.

Keynote Speakers

As of now:

Jean Braun
Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Universitaire de Grenoble
Links Between Mantle Convection, Tectonics, Erosion and Climate: Recent Model Developments and Results
Plate tectonics is the primary process controlling the Earth’s surface topography. In recent years, geodynamicists have emphasised the role that deep mantle flow may play in directly creating long wavelength, low amplitude topography (a so-called “dynamic” contribution to surface topography). In parallel, geomorphologists have investigated how surface processes (erosion, transport and sedimentation) may affect dynamic topography, with the aim of better understanding its signature in the geological record. To achieve this, we have developed a new class of surface processes models that represent the combined effects of physical erosion and chemical alteration within continental interiors. In developing these models, we have paid much attention to maintaining high efficiency and stability such that they could be used to model large continental areas with sufficient spatial resolution to represent the processes at the appropriate scale. I will briefly present these algorithms as well as the results of two separate studies in which we explain the anomalously rapid erosion of surface material during the passage of a continent over a fixed source of dynamic topography driven by upward flow in the mantle. I will also comment on how these models are strongly dependent on precipitation patterns and, ultimately, will need to be fully coupled to climate models to provide more meaningful constraints on the past evolution of surface topography.
Enrique Curchitser
Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University
draft - Multi-Scale Modeling of Ocean Boundary Currents
Mark Rounsevell
University of Edinburgh
draft - Integrative assessment modeling and Climate Change
Wonsuck Kim
University of Texas
draft - Sediment Experimentalists Network Activities and Future Direction
Jean-Francois Lamarque
National Center for Atmospheric Research
draft - Community Earth System Model
Nikki Lovenduski
Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder
Ocean Carbon Uptake and Acidification: Can We Predict the Future?
The oceans have absorbed a large fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, having consequences for ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystems via ocean acidification. Simulations with Earth System Models can be used to predict the future evolution of ocean carbon uptake and acidification in the coming decades and beyond, but there is substantial uncertainty in these model predictions, particularly on regional scales. Such uncertainty challenges decision makers faced with protecting the future health of ocean ecosystems. Uncertainty can be separated into three component parts: (1) uncertainty due to internal variability, (2) uncertainty due to model structure, and (3) uncertainty due to emission scenario. Here, we isolate and quantify the evolution of these three sources of prediction uncertainty in ocean carbon uptake over the next century using output from two sets of ensembles from the Community Earth System Model (CESM) along with output from models participating in the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). We find that the three sources of prediction uncertainty in ocean carbon uptake are not constant, but instead vary with prediction lead time and the scale of spatial averaging. In order to provide valuable predictions to decision makers, we should invest in reducing the main sources of uncertainty.
Bette Otto-Blisner
Draft: Continental Modeling
Jon Pelletier
University of Arizona
Modeling the Impact of Vegetation Changes on Erosion Rates and Landscape Evolution
In landscape evolution models, climate change is often assumed to be synonymous with changes in rainfall. In many climate changes, however, the dominant driver of landscape evolution is changes in vegetation cover. In this talk I review case studies that attempt to quantify the impact of vegetation changes on landscape evolution, including examples from hillslope/colluvial, fluvial, and aolian environments, spatial scales of ~10 m to whole continents, and time scales from decadal to millennial. Particular attention is paid to how to parameterize models using paleoclimatic and remote sensing data.
Zach Tessler
Environmental CrossRoads Initiative, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center
From Relative Sea Level Rise to Coastal Risk: Estimating Contemporary and Future Flood Risk in Deltas
Deltas are highly sensitive to local human activities, land subsidence, regional water management, global sea-level rise, and climate extremes. In this talk, I’ll discuss a recently developed risk framework for estimating the sensitivity of deltas to relative sea level rise, and the expected impact on flood risk. We apply this framework to an integrated set of global environmental, geophysical, and social indicators over 48 major deltas to quantify how delta flood risk due to extreme events is changing over time. Although geophysical and relative sea-level rise derived risks are distributed across all levels of economic development, wealthy countries effectively limit their present-day threat by gross domestic product–enabled infrastructure and coastal defense investments. However, when investments do not address the long-term drivers of land subsidence and relative sea-level rise, overall risk can be very sensitive to changes in protective capability. For instance, we show how in an energy-constrained future scenario, such protections will probably prove to be unsustainable, raising relative risks by four to eight times in the Mississippi and Rhine deltas and by one-and-a-half to four times in the Chao Phraya and Yangtze deltas. This suggests that the current emphasis on short-term solutions on the world’s deltas will greatly constrain options for designing sustainable solutions in the long term.
Don Deangelis
Ecological Applications of Agent Based Models

Clinic Leaders

Tuesday (1st day)

Irina Overeem & Mark Piper
CSDMS Integration Facility, INSTAAR, University of Colorado Boulder
Using TopoFlow in the classroom
TopoFlow is a spatially distributed hydrologic model that includes meteorology, snow melt, evapotranspiration, infiltration and flow routing components. It can model many different physical processes in a watershed with the goal of accurately predicting how various hydrologic variables will evolve in time in response to climatic forcings. In the past year, CSDMS IF staff integrated TopoFlow into the CSDMS Web Modeling Tool (WMT, and developed new lesson plans for use with it.

The first part of this clinic focuses on the technical aspects of working with TopoFlow in WMT, including how to: load and couple components, get information on a component, set parameters, upload data files, save a model, and run a model. We’ll discuss features of the TopoFlow implementation in WMT, and explain choices that were made in bringing TopoFlow to the web.

In the second part of the clinic, we’ll focus on science and education. We will run several TopoFlow simulations on the CSDMS HPCC through WMT. Participants will explore parameter settings, submit runs, and view netCDF output using NASA’s Panoply tool.

The learning outcomes of this clinic are to have better insight into the behavior of TopoFlow components, and the implementation of these in WMT. Participants will learn how to do TopoFlow model runs, and will have access to TopoFlow online labs and teaching resources lesson plans.
Ehab Mesehle & Eric White
The Water Institute of the Gulf
Coastal Ecosystem Integrated Compartment Model (ICM): Modeling Framework
The Integrated Compartment Model (ICM) was developed as part of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan modeling effort. It is a comprehensive and numerical hydrodynamic model coupled to various geophysical process models. Simplifying assumptions related to some of the flow dynamics are applied to increase the computational efficiency of the model. The model can be used to provide insights about coastal ecosystems and evaluate restoration strategies. It builds on existing tools where possible and incorporates newly developed tools where necessary. It can perform decadal simulations (~ 50 years) across the entire Louisiana coast. It includes several improvements over the approach used to support the 2012 Master Plan, such as: additional processes in the hydrology, vegetation, wetland and barrier island morphology subroutines, increased spatial resolution, and integration of previously disparate models into a single modeling framework. The ICM includes habitat suitability indices (HSIs) to predict broad spatial patterns of habitat change, and it provides an additional integration to a dynamic fish and shellfish community model which quantitatively predicts potential changes in important fishery resources. It can be used to estimate the individual and cumulative effects of restoration and protection projects on the landscape, including a general estimate of water levels associated with flooding. The ICM is also used to examine possible impacts of climate change and future environmental scenarios (e.g. precipitation, Eustatic sea level rise, subsidence, tropical storms, etc.) on the landscape and on the effectiveness of restoration projects. The ICM code is publically accessible, and coastal restoration and protection groups interested in planning-level modeling are encouraged to explore its utility as a computationally efficient tool to examine ecosystem response to future physical or ecological changes, including the implementation of restoration and protection strategies.
Mary Hill
University of Kansas
MODFLOW: Example applications and what we can learn from this amazingly successful piece of environmental modeling software.
Scott Peckham and Allen Pope, University of Colorado, Boulder
Geoscience Paper of the Future: Training Session on Best Practices for Publishing Your Research Products
The Geoscience Paper of the Future (GPF) Initiative was created to encourage geoscientists to publish papers together with their associated digital research products following best practices of reproducible articles, open science, and digital scholarship. A GPF includes: 1) Data available in a public repository, including metadata, a license specifying conditions of use, and a citation using a unique and persistent identifier; 2) Software available in a public repository, with documentation, a license for reuse, and a unique and citable using a persistent identifier; 3) Provenance of the results by explicitly describing method steps and their outcome in a workflow sketch, a formal workflow, or a provenance record. Learn to write a GPF and submit to a special section of AGU’s Earth and Space Sciences Journal. More at

Wednesday (2nd day)

Wonsuck Kim
The University of Texas at Austin
Eric Hutton & Mark Piper
CSDMS Integration Facility, INSTAAR, University of Colorado Boulder
BMI: Live!
CSDMS has developed the Basic Model Interface (BMI) to simplify the conversion of an existing model in C, C++, Fortran, Java, or Python into a reusable, plug-and-play component. By design, the BMI functions are straightforward to implement. However, in practice, the devil is in the details.

In this hands-on clinic, we will take a model -- in this case, an implementation of the two-dimensional heat equation in Python -- and together, we will write the BMI functions to transform it into a component. As we develop, we’ll unit test our component with nose, and we’ll explore how to use the component with a Jupyter Notebook. Optionally, we can set up a GitHub repository to store and to track changes to the code we write.

To get the most out of this clinic, come prepared to code! We have a lot to write in the time allotted. We recommend that clinic attendees have a laptop with the Anaconda Python distribution installed. We also request that you skim:

⤅ BMI description (
⤅ BMI documentation (

before participating in the clinic.
Courtney Harris, Julia Moriarty & Irina Overeem and Eric Hutton
VIMS & Univ. of Colorado
Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS): An introductory web-based model implementation
Participants in this clinic will learn how to run a Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) test case for an idealized continental shelf model domain within the CSDMS Web Modeling Toolkit (WMT). The model implementation that we will use includes wave forcing, a riverine source, suspended sediment transport.

ROMS is an open source, three-dimensional primitive equation hydrodynamic ocean model that uses a structured curvilinear horizontal grid and a stretched terrain following vertical grid. For more information see It currently has more than 4,000 registered users, and the full model includes modules for sediment transport and biogeochemistry, and several options for turbulence closures and numerical schemes. In part because ROMS was designed to provide flexibility for the choice of model parameterizations and processes, and to run in parallel, implementing the code can seem daunting, but in this clinic, we will present an idealized ROMS model that can be run on the CSDMS cluster via the WMT. One goal is to provide a relatively easy introduction to the numerical modeling process that can be used within upper level undergraduate and graduate classes to explore sediment transport on continental shelves.

As a group, we will run an idealized ROMS model on the CSDMS computer, Beach. The group will choose a modification to the standard model. While the modified model runs, we will explore methods for visualizing model output. Participants who have access to WMT can run the model themselves. Clinic participants who have access to Matlab and/or Panoply will be able to browse model output files during the clinic.

Following the clinic, participants should have access to an example ROMS model run, experience running ROMS within the WMT and with ROMS input and output files, and. ROMS lesson plans.
Zheyu Zhou, Xiaofeng Liu & Tom Hsu
Univ. Delaware, Penn State, Univ. Delaware,
Modeling coastal processes using OpenFOAM

Thursday (3rd day)

Greg Tucker
CIRES, Univ. of Colorado

Wei Luo
Northern Illinois University
WILSIM as EKT tool
Randy LeVeque
University of Washington, Seattle
GeoClaw Software for Depth Average Flow
GeoClaw ( is an open-source software package for solving two-dimensional depth-averaged equations over general topography using high-resolution finite volume methods and adaptive mesh refinement. Wetting-and-drying algorithms allow modeling inundation or overland flows. The primary applications where GeoClaw has been used are tsunami modeling and storm surge, although it has also been applied to dam break floods and it forms the basis for the debris flow and landslide code D-Claw under development at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory.

This tutorial will give an introduction to setting up a tsunami modeling problem in GeoClaw including:
⤅ Overview of capabilities,
⤅ Installing the software,
⤅ Using Python tools provided in GeoClaw to acquire and work with topography datasets and earthquake source models,
⤅ Setting run-time parameters, including specifying adaptive refinement regions,
⤅ Options to output snapshots of the solution or maximum flow depths, arrival times, etc.
⤅ The VisClaw plotting software to visualize results using Python tools or display on Google Earth.

GeoClaw is distributed as part of Clawpack (, and available via the CSDMS model repository. Those who wish to install the software in advance on laptops, please see


Interested to see who registered for the meeting as of 07/12/2024?


Within its budget, CSDMS intends to support member applicants to attend the annual meeting. Towards this goal, we encourage members to fully or partially cover their expenses if capable. We additionally thank those in the industry and agency fields for understanding that 1) we cannot compensate federal agency participants since our own funding is from NSF, and 2) we request that our industrial/ corporate participants cover their own costs thereby allowing more academic participants to attend.

To the extent possible, CSDMS intends to reimburse the registration fee, lodging (shared rooms at 100% and single rooms at 50% at conference hotels), and a limited amount of travel expenses for qualified registrants - those members who will attend all three days of the meeting and are not industry or federal employees.

Important for foreign travelers requesting reimbursement: If you need a visa to travel to USA, select a business visa. If you need an invitation letter, please email as soon as possible. Also indicate whether specific wording is required in the letter. Second, we will need to copy the entry stamp in your passport sometime during the meeting as proof that you were here on business as required by US tax laws for reimbursement (especially when dealing with airfare.) We are only able to provide reimbursement for airfare within the U.S. All airfare that is being reimbursed must be for airlines that are U.S. flag carriers.

Travel, Lodging and Conference Center Information

The meeting will be held at SEEC
Hotel: Millennium Harvest House Hotel
Transportation: You can book transportation between DIA and Boulder here: Green Ride Boulder. And information on how to find Green Ride Boulder at DIA.
We will provide a bus between the hotels and the meeting venue each day. We will also provide transportation to the banquet.

Pre-conference one-day Software Carpentry bootcamp

CSDMS will host a Pre-conference one-day Software Carpentry bootcamp on Monday May 16th, 2016. The objective is to teach basic programming skills that will be useful for scientific computing and model development. This is an intensive, hands-on workshop, during which certified instructors will cover basic elements of:

  1. the Unix bash shell,
  2. Python programming and NumPy, and
  3. Github for version control.

Our instructors are earth scientists and have familiarity with the CSDMS framework, such that lessons and examples will be targeted toward relevant problems in your field. The bootcamp intentionally precedes the CSDMS meeting, so the skills participants develop should be useful in the clinics during the meeting.


  • Registration is open till April 1st (or until program fill) and is handled through the 2016 meeting site.
  • The bootcamp is capped at 30 participants (first paid first serve), and it has a $30 registration fee.
  • Participant will be responsible for cost / organization of their extra day of hotel accommodation and dinner. Costs will not be reimbursed.
  • We will cover coffee and lunch during the bootcamp.

Student Scholarships (two options)


This year CSDMS is offering a limited number of scholarships (up to 12) for graduate students to attend the CSDMS annual meeting. Three scholarships will be offered for the purpose of increasing participation of underrepresented students. To be eligible, graduate students need to meet the following requirements:
  • Attend the whole meeting (May 17-19, 2016)
  • Submit an abstract
  • Be enrolled as a graduate student at the time of the meeting (bring proof)
  • Submit a letter of motivation that states why you wish to participate in the meeting, and explain how your participation would enhance diversity in the field of surface dynamics modeling.
The CSDMS scholarships will cover:
  • Registration costs
  • Travel (air fare ONLY within the United States and local transport)
  • Per diem to help reimburse the cost of meals from 17-19 May 2016 not offered in the conference schedule


The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) is sponsoring a data-utilization contest for graduate-student and early-career geoscience modelers who feel passionate about advancing science through experimental data sharing and reuse. The top four winners of the data-utilization contest will have all travel and registration costs paid for.
To apply:
  • Please check the box during registration to indicate that you are applying for the SEN travel grant.
  • Send your application materials (proposal, professional biography) to by April 1, 2016.
  • Full instructions for the travel grant application are available here.

Important dates

  • January 15th: Registration opens
  • March 1st: Deadline for student scholarship applications
  • April 1st: Deadline for abstract submission & early registration
  • May 10th: Deadline late registration. Notice additional costs do apply.
  • May 16th: Optional: pre-conference bootcamp
  • May 17-19th: CSDMS annual meeting
  • May 20th: CSDMS Executive and Steering committees meeting (by invitation only)

* The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) integrates the efforts of sediment experimentalists to build a knowledge base for guidance on best practices for data collection and management. The network facilitates cross-institutional collaborative experiments and communicates with the research community about data and metadata guidelines for sediment-based experiments. This effort aims to improve the efficiency and transparency of sedimentary research for field geologists and modelers as well as experimentalists.