Call For Workshop Proposals

train station (cityofsacramento Flickr)

99th ESA Annual Meeting
Sacramento, California
August 10 – 15, 2014

Deadline: 5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)
Thursday, November 21, 2013

Any proposals sent by email or after the deadline will NOT be considered.

All ESA Annual Meeting proposal and abstract deadlines are 5:00 PM Eastern so that technical support and ESA staff assistance will be immediately available when submitters need it. If you begin your submission very close to the deadline, you are choosing to take a risk and we will NOT make an exception if you don’t complete your submission in time. The form automatically closes at 5:00 EST / 2:00 PST whether you have completed your submission or not.

About Workshops

We invite proposals for workshops for the 99th ESA Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held August 10 – 15, 2014 in Sacramento, California at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Workshops are sessions intended to convey specific knowledge or skills. They are not intended for the presentation of formal research talks. Workshops are frequently more interactive and informal than sessions within the formal scientific program, and they often involve extended discussion. Workshops may involve one or several leaders/presenters and may include computer-based or other hands on training. Workshop proposals should make clear what skills, tools, or insights participants might expect to gain from the session.

To avoid conflicts with scientific sessions, workshops are typically scheduled during the weekend or during lunchtime or evenings during the week. They are not scheduled concurrently with symposia, organized oral, contributed oral, or poster sessions. They may be scheduled concurrently with field trips and special sessions. Weekend workshops are held for full or half days (Saturday and/or Sunday) prior to the beginning of the formal scientific program. Weekend workshops may be linked with a scientific field trip. Proposals for lunch break or evening workshops during the week may also be submitted.

The program committee will take the proposed day and time into consideration during session scheduling but is unable to honor all scheduling requests. Accepted sessions will be scheduled to minimize topic overlap and as meeting space and logistics allow. Scheduling will be emailed to session organizers by mid February.

Workshops can be proposed for the following timeslots:

  • Weekend morning (8:00 – 11:30 AM; 3.5 hours) on Saturday or Sunday
  • Weekend afternoon (12:00 – 5:00 PM; 5 hours) on Saturday or Sunday
  • Weekend full day (8:00 – 5:00 PM; 9 hours) on Saturday or Sunday
  • Weekday lunch break(11:30 am – 1:15 pm; 1.75 hours) on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday
  • Weekday evening (8 – 10 pm; 2 hours) on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday

Workshop structure is determined by the organizers. Organizers are asked to indicate minimum and maximum enrollments. Workshops may specify prerequisites for participation; however, they should be open to all meeting attendees, first-come first-serve, who meet these prerequisites. Workshops may have a registration fee to cover A/V or other equipment and preparation costs.

Note: ESA will not reimburse workshop organizers for any expenses. Costs may be covered by a group or organization underwriting the session. If so, this must be made clear in the proposal.

Click here to see an example of a workshop from a recent conference. To see other examples, please browse the online program for the 2013 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Evaluation Process and Criteria

Proposals for workshops are reviewed and selected by the Program Chair in consultation with peers s/he may invite to assess proposals. Proposals may be from any area of science related to ecology, but those that pertain to the overall theme, “From Oceans to Mountains: It’s All Ecology,” are especially encouraged. We also welcome proposals that explore connections with the social or natural sciences or that are directed to ecological education at any level. The primary criteria for acceptance include scientific merit, probable interest by meeting attendees, and a clearly written and compelling description and justification. Limits of space and time may make it impossible to accommodate all worthy submissions.

Session and presentation rules

Note that the One Presentation Rule does not apply to workshops and special sessions. Organizers, leaders and participants in workshops and special sessions are not precluded from also being the presenting author or coauthor of a poster or contributed oral, organized oral, or symposium talk. They may also organize a special session or a second workshop. To promote diversity of sessions and topics, no person will be permitted to organize more than two workshops and/or special sessions at the 2014 Annual Meeting.

Session Fees, Equipment, and Registration

All workshops held during a lunch or evening session Monday – Thursday will be free and open to all attendees if no food, refreshments, or special equipment, including internet access, were requested by the organizer. These requests must be noted at the time of proposal submission. Meeting attendees will not be required to include these workshops in their meeting registration, and organizers will not know in advance how many people plan to attend.

Registrants of workshops held on the Saturday or Sunday preceding the conference will be assessed a fee to cover meeting space. This fee will be higher if the organizer requests food, refreshments, or special equipment, including internet access.

All workshop proposals must indicate minimum and maximum participation. Your specification of the minimum number of participants is important. ESA will cancel your workshop if the minimum is not met. We will make this decision in early July based on the registration in your workshop at that time. All cancellation decisions will be made in consultation with the organizers, so it is critical that we have appropriate contact information for the organizers during late June/early July. If your workshop meets its minimum registration, you are expected to proceed with the workshop. In late July, organizers will receive a roster of registered attendees for any workshops requiring registration.

An important note regarding funds: Acceptance of your proposal does not obligate ESA beyond assuring you of a meeting space and inclusion in the meeting program. We stress especially that no ESA funds are available for honoraria, refreshments, special A/V needs, internet access, or travel expenses for workshop participants or organizers. Furthermore, meeting registration is not waived. ESA will not reimburse workshop organizers for expenses related to the workshop. Anyone participating in any capacity in a workshop must be registered for at least one day. Organizers are responsible for making these facts clear to persons they invite to participate.

If Your Proposal Is Accepted

All submitters will be notified of acceptance decisions by January 16, 2014. Further instructions on next steps for preparing the session for the online program in the spring will be provided then.

Cancellation Policy

Once a workshop has been accepted and listed online, cancellation imposes a serious burden. Do not submit a proposal if you are uncertain that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct the workshop. Once a scheduled workshop reaches the minimum registration, cancellation by the workshop organizers will preclude the organizers from being allowed to submit any proposals for workshops for the 2015 ESA Annual Meeting.

Important Dates

November 21, 2013Deadline for submitting a proposal to ESA.
January 16, 2013Notification of acceptance sent to organizer.
February 13, 2014Notification of scheduling (session date and time) sent to organizer.

To Submit

Proposal Format

Please note that the information listed below must be entered on the website proposal submission form. It is provided here only to assist you in planning your submission. The website format may differ slightly from the format listed here. All information requested must be submitted.

 Components of a Workshop Proposal

  • Title of the session
  • Description of the session (250 words max.)
  • Summary sentence (50 word max.)
  • Names and contact information for the lead organizer, a secondary contact and any co-organizers
  • Minimum and maximum number of participants
  • Preferred date and timeslot
    • Weekend morning (8:00 – 11:30 AM; 3.5 hours) on Saturday or Sunday
    • Weekend afternoon (12:00 – 5:00 PM; 5 hours) on Saturday or Sunday
    • Weekend full day (8:00 – 5:00 PM; 9 hours) on Saturday or Sunday
    • Weekday lunch break(11:30 am – 1:15 pm; 1.75 hours) on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday
    • Weekday evening (8 – 10 pm; 2 hours) on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday
  • Anticipated equipment needs: screen, LCD projector, dedicated laptop computer, slide projector, overhead projector, flip charts, VCR and monitor, Internet connection. NOTE: Provision of an internet connection cannot be guaranteed and incurs additional fees. These fees are typically substantial (as much as $650 per computer per room).
  • Room set-up desired: theater, conference, hollow square, rounds, other. In order to give priority to paper sessions, it is unlikely we will be able to provide room setups other than theater style for the weekday lunchtime (11:30 AM – 1:15 PM) workshop time slots. The weekend and evening time slots are typically more flexible in regard to room setup options.
  • Food and beverage requested for your workshop. NOTE: Charges to session attendees are increased if the organizers wish to serve food.
  • If applicable, underwriting of workshop costs (food, materials, A/V, internet, registration, etc.) by a group or agency. Include name and amount to be contributed.
  • Is the session intended to follow a symposium or organized oral session? If so, which one?
  • Is the session linked to a business meeting or mixer of any ESA Section, Chapter, or other group? If so, which one?

You MUST submit your proposal using the website proposal submission form. You will be notified by email concerning receipt, review, and acceptance of your proposal, using the return e-mail address that you provide. The notice of receipt will include a reference number that you will need to retain. If the return email address is incorrect, you will not receive the notifications. If you do not hear from the Program Chair or the Program Coordinator regarding receipt of your proposal by December 5, 2013, please contact Jennifer Riem to confirm that your proposal was received. You may view your proposal by accessing the website and entering your proposal number. The website and proposal number will be provided to you when we acknowledge receipt of your proposal.

A list of accepted workshops will be available on the ESA website when registration opens in the spring (typically late April or early May). The organizer should check for the exact time and location of her/his workshop. For workshops requiring registration, a list of names and emails of registrants will be provided to organizers by late July. As a courtesy to workshop participants, organizers should plan to notify all workshop leaders and participants of the date, time, and place of the workshop and any materials/activities they are expected to bring or prepare.

Link To Submission Form


Dr. Hal Balbach
US Army Corps of Engineers
PO Box 9005 Champaign, IL 61826-9005
Phone: 217-373-6785

Jennifer Riem
Program Coordinator
Ecological Society of America
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036 USA
Phone: (202) 833-8773 x 218