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2012 Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop
Local Information

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Workshop Site(s)

The workshop will be held in the Beckman Institute Auditorium (not to be confused with the Beckman Auditorium) on the Caltech Campus. The Auditorium can get cold at times, so it is advised that you bring a light sweater or jacket. Food and drink (other than water) are not allowed in the auditorium.

Internet Access

We are happy to provide wireless internet access during the summer workshop so everyone can follow along with the presentations. Please note, we will not be providing computers. If you wish to make use of the internet access, bring a laptop, or make arrangements to use a colleague's. Please note that you will need computer access to take part in the hands-on sessions.

In order to have more direct access to the internet for the hands-on exercises, we will be using two different sites on the Caltech campus. More information on these sites will be posted as the hands-on sessions are finalized.

Visitors have immediate access to wireless internet at Beckman Institute Auditorium by connecting to “Caltech guest” using the Airport utility or your network connections. In order to use the Caltech Guest wireless account, open a web browser and type in any URL to access the Caltech Guest wireless network welcome page. Click the continue button to accept the guidelines; you will then be redirected to the intended destination.

The Caltech Guest wireless network is restricted to web (http and https), Secure Shell (SSH) and VPN (IPSec over UDP or TCP, NAT-T, PPTP, L2TP) protocols only. Other uses are not allowed. Guests are expected to use their home institution's VPN to access email or any other resources not available via a web browser.

Workshop Hotels and Other Accommodation Options

Workshop Hotels

Additional room block available! In addition to our room block at the Pasadena Hilton, we have now added a room block at the Westin Pasadena.

Room blocks at the FY2012 standard government rate ($125) have been reserved at the Pasadena Hilton and at Westin Pasadena for workshop participants.

Click here to make on-line reservations at the Pasadena Hilton by the deadline: June 22, 2012.

Click here to make on-line reservations at the Westin Pasadena by the deadline: June 29, 2012.

Please note that free internet access is included with your room rate at the Hilton. Upon check-in you'll receive a special code from the front desk which will give you the complimentary internet during your stay. Be sure to take advantage of the free internet as financially supported attendees/speakers will not be reimbursed hotel internet fees following the workshop.

Pasadena Area Hotels

If you prefer other accommodations in the Pasadena area, there are a number of hotels and motels close to the Caltech campus. Please note that if you are a speaker and we are reimbursing your hotel fees, the maximum base lodging rate you are allowed is $125/day.

Getting Around

to and from the airport

One of the best and least expensive ways to get from LAX to Pasadena is to take the FlyAway bus to Union Station, then take the Metro Gold Line to Del Mar station in Pasadena. The FlyAway is an air-conditioned coach with bathroom facilities that departs from LAX every 30 mins, and takes around 30-45 mins to reach Union Station, depending on traffic. Once there, walk down the stairs towards the station and look for the Metro Gold Line to Pasadena. The Del Mar station is 0.5 miles from the Pasadena Hilton (see map).

Information on how to pay for the FlyAway ($7 each way, payable by credit card only on arrival at Union Station) and how to take the Metro ($1.50 each way, payable before you ride) can be found on the FlyAway and Metro websites.

You can also take a shared van ride or shuttle service which are available on a walk-up or reservation basis and usually cost between $25-$45. The vans are available outside of LAX baggage claim under the "shared ride van" sign. More information on transportation between area airports and the hotel can be found here.

Note that a taxi from LAX to the Pasadena area will cost over $80.

to and from the workshop

We will provide school bus transportation from the Pasadena Hilton in the morning and evening to and from the workshop. We will not provide bus transportation from the Westin Pasadena, however the Westin is 0.25 miles from the Hilton and attendees staying at the Westin can walk down the street to catch the bus at the Hilton. A bus schedule will be posted closer to the workshop dates. The distance between the hotels and the Caltech campus is a little over 1 mile, a pleasant 20 minute walk.

Click here for the bus schedule and campus map showing the bus drop off/pick up location.

Pasadena also offers an inexpensive bus line that you can take to get from the Hilton to the Caltech campus for 75 cents. The bus runs approximately every 25 minutes from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM and the schedule can be found here.

Parking at Caltech

In order to park on the Caltech campus, you must purchase a visitor parking permit at an automated pay station (see map) and abide by Caltech parking regulations. Visitor permits may be purchased at the rate of $6 per day, or $18 per week. A daily permit is valid through the end of the business day (5:00 pm) on which the permit is purchased. Visitors are required to display a permit if their vehicle is parked on campus between 7am-5pm, Mon-Fri. and can only park in commuter zones. A map of Caltech parking lots and the locations of automated pay stations is available here.

Useful Maps

Workshop Events

Sunday Evening Reception & Registration

There will be a reception in the courtyard area outside the Beckman Institute Auditorium on Sunday, July 22 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Registration materials will be available for pick-up. Hors d'oeuvres (not dinner) will be served along with non-alcoholic drinks. So that we may order the appropriate amount of food, we ask that you RSVP for this event when you register, or let us know by email ( if your plans change after you've registered.

Wednesday Afternoon Tour - Mt. Wilson Observatory

Note: as of June 1, this tour is full due to space limitations at Mt. Wilson and also the maximum capacity of the buses. When you register, please indicate if you would like to be placed on a waiting list. Alternatively, if you have already registered and signed up for the tour, but have subsequently changed your mind, please let us know by emailing:

On Wednesday afternoon we will travel by bus to Mt. Wilson for a tour of the observatory's telescopes. The price for one person to attend the tour is included in each workshop participant's registration fee. Guests are welcome on a space-available basis, and guest tickets can be purchased on the registration website for $50 (to cover the cost of the admission, guided tour, lunch, and bus transportation). Please note that we will NOT issue refunds for purchased guest tickets or for workshop attendees who elect not to join the tour.

Due to bus size limitations and tour size guidelines, the tour attendance will be capped at 110 people on a first come, first served basis.

It will likely be hot at the observatory, so please dress appropriately for walking in hot, dry weather. We will provide each of you with a bottle of water. If you need more water, please bring it with you, as there is no food or drink available on the mountain. The tour will last approximately 2 1/2 hours, with an additional travel time of about 1 hour each way.

Once we return to Pasadena, the buses will have stops at both the Caltech campus and the workshop hotel.

Thursday Evening Banquet - Porto Alegre Churrascaria restaurant

On Thursday evening at 7:00 pm we'll gather at Porto Alegre Churrascaria (260 E. Colorado Blvd., #227) in the Paseo Colorado shopping center. Diners will enjoy a large selection of roasted meats carved at your table along with a variety of hot side dishes and a large salad bar. There are plenty of delicious vegetarian options at the side dish and salad buffets. Dinner includes non-alcoholic drinks and a cash bar will be available. We will not be providing transportation for this event, however Porto Alegre is less than ¼ mile from the workshop hotel. If you drive your own car, there is underground parking at Paseo Colorado with parking validation available at the restaurant.

The price of the dinner is included in each workshop participant's registration fee. Guest tickets are available for $50 and may be purchased through the registration website. We will NOT issue refunds for purchased guest tickets or for meeting attendees who elect not to go to the dinner.


Area Restaurants Caltech and the workshop hotels are located near fine restaurant choices on South Lake Ave., Paseo Colorado, and Old Town Pasadena.

Food on the Caltech Campus

Caltech Dining Services offers several on campus eateries:

Pasadena Weather

The weather in Pasadena in late July is typically hot. Click here for the current forecast.


2012 Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop main page

last updated Feb. 6, 2012