Invitation to Register for the Workshop on Information Theory in the Earth Sciences (SITES 2020, August 2-6 2020, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA)

News / Monday, February 3rd, 2020

You are invited to attend the Workshop (and Summer School) on Information Theory in the Earth Sciences (SITES 2020, August 2-6, 2020, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA).

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Information theory provides a powerful conceptual framework for learning, model building, and prediction in the Earth sciences. It extends probability theory in certain important ways that make it particularly applicable to questions related to value and uncertainty associated with models, data, and forecasts. The joint instructors are presenting a short course and workshop on information theory in the earth sciences with a focus on hydrology, ecology, and climate. The event is suitable for researchers (MSc, PhD students and postdocs) and newcomers to information theory to learn about and apply concepts and methods of information theory to hydrological and earth system problems.

In this year’s workshop the team will be revisiting and building on the 2020 “Debates on Information Theory in Hydrology” special issue in Water Resources Research, with less time dedicated to introductory summer school materials. Specific agenda items for the workshop tentatively include:

  • The WRR debate themes, such as information causality, physics, hypothesis testing, and Algorithmic Information Theory.
  • Lightning talks on recent papers and proposed research directions
  • Planning for research papers
  • Discussions on AI + machine learning at information theory
  • Short tutorials providing introductions to concepts and tools

The course is offered for an all-inclusive cost of $550/person with onsite lodging ($450/person without onsite lodging). The venue, Rustic lodgings (bunks, showers, sheet, blankets), good food, Earth Science field trips to the (TBD) Grand Canyon, Sedona, or San Francisco Peaks, and evenings in downtown Flagstaff are included with the class’s registration cost. The Arboretum, is a botanical garden in the cool high-elevation pine forest west of Flagstaff. Downtown Flagstaff and the FLG Flagstaff Airport are only 15 minutes away by car; Phoenix is 2-3 hours by car or shuttle. Flagstaff is located along Route 66 in the Four Corners region of the Southwestern US, in one of the world’s most iconic and beautiful destinations. The Grand Canyon, Sedona, Southwest Colorado, Sonoran Desert, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Southern California, and Death Valley are all a short drive away, and the area offers distinct college town, outdoor activity, astronomical, and Native American cultural attractions.

To register, please email Ben Ruddell at with a message titled “Registration request for SITES 2020 Flagstaff: NAME”. In that email please include your name, expected arrival and departure time and date, whether you need transportation from the Flagstaff or Phoenix airport, any special dietary preferences, and whether you would like to stay in the Male or Female bunks versus in your own offsite lodgings. Expect a reply within two business days; please check back if you do not receive one. The Bunk House at MPRS and the course’s registration limit of 50 (30 with lodging in the bunk house) is prioritized on a first come first serve basis, and may fill quickly. You will need to complete payment in a timely fashion after registration to hold your slot. Lodgings in Flagstaff or forest camping are also available at your own added expense.

Northern Arizona University (US) is hosting this summer’s event, in partnership with instructors from IHCantabria (Santander, Spain) jointly with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germamy), University of Arizona, Tucson (U.S.), University of Illinois, Urbana Campaign (US), University of Alabama, Tucaloosa (US), The interdisciplinary centre for complex system science, Lisbon, (Portugal), Aachen University (Germany), University of Colorado, Denver (US), and University of British Columnbia, Vancouver (Canadá).