Is there an award for best student presentation? How do I apply?
Yes. There are two awards, one for best talk (Buell Award) and one for best poster (Braun award). The deadline is the same as for abstracts (February 26). Application is simple: there is an optional step in the contributed abstract form that you will need to complete in order to apply. The form asks if you would like to apply for the award, your current education level, and a short essay (250 words or less) explaining why your research advances ecology. You can read more about each award by clicking the “Student Award” tab in the contributed talk call and the contributed poster call.

There are also a number of Section awards available to students. More information on those awards is available here (click the Chapter/Section Awards tab).

What opportunities are there to help students cover meeting expenses?
To help with meeting expenses, ESA offers students the opportunity to volunteer at the Annual Meeting. In exchange for 14 hours of volunteer service, ESA will refund volunteers’ Early Bird registration fee.

How and when do I apply to volunteer? What is involved?
Student volunteers perform various jobs to help the meeting run smoothly. Typical tasks include serving as a projectionist for sessions, providing information to attendees at the Info Desk, and providing assistance at Registration. Student volunteers must complete at least 14 hours of volunteer service to receive a be eligible for their Early Bird registration fees.

In order to be considered for a volunteer assignment, you must: 1) be a current student, 2) register for the Annual Meeting by the Early Bird registration deadline, and 3) submit a complete student volunteer application by the Early Bird deadline. The Early Bird deadline is typically in mid June. Availability is a key consideration in volunteer selection, so having an open schedule increases the likelihood you will be chosen. More information will be posted in April when the application opens.

I’m new and this meeting is huge. Help! How do I find my way around?
We suggest three things. First, realize that everyone here was once new and didn’t know anyone else. People are generally friendly, so don’t be afraid to attend mixers in your area of interest and introduce yourself to people. There are even mentors who have volunteered to talk to students who will be available at some events. Second, attend the student orientation. It is specifically designed to help you learn your way around. Third, attend a few student events. They’re the best place to meet other students and learn what is going on at the meeting.