Today's plenary session speakers were Joe Huba of NRL on M-I coupling from the ionosphere point of view and Joachim Birn of Los Alamos on transport of plasma and particles from the tail to the inner magnetosphere.
Huba's talk gave a different perspective on global modeling from that of most people in the audience; he is an ionospheric modeler, whereas many magnetospheric modelers treat the ionosphere as an annoying boundary condition. His talk covered a number of points of interest, including coupling his model (SAMI3) to the Rice Convection Model, the penetration of magnetospheric electric fields to low latitudes (when the Region 2 current should shield them out), and Total Electron Content and its effect on GPS signals. A comment by Bob McPherron pointed out an implication of Huba's work that the standard ionospheric correction to the Dst index may be in the wrong direction.
Birn gave an overview of how plasma is transported from the tail to the inner magnetosphere. He gave arguments for why the average transport from the distant tail to the inner magnetosphere should be 0, as observed. Unfortunately, lack of sleep caught up to me and I dozed through about half of the talk.