(202) 833-877 esahq@esa.org

Call for Workshop Proposals

101st ESA Annual Meeting
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
August 7 – 12, 2016

Deadline: 5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)
Thursday, November 19, 2015


Proposals that are incomplete or received 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 101st ESA Annual Meeting, “Novel Ecosystems in the Anthropocene.” Workshops are sessions intended to convey specific knowledge or skills. These sessions are not appropriate for the presentation of formal research talks and do not include presentation abstracts. Workshops are more interactive and informal than formal paper sessions, and they can involve extended discussion as well as hands-on training. Workshops may involve one or several leaders/presenters. Workshop proposals should make clear what knowledge, skills, tools, or insights participants might expect to gain from the session.

To avoid conflicts with scientific sessions, workshops are not scheduled concurrently with talks or poster sessions. They may be scheduled concurrently with field trips and special sessions, however. Workshops are typically scheduled during the weekend, over a weekday lunch, or on a weekday evening. Weekend workshops may run for a full or half day on Saturday or Sunday. Weekday evening sessions must end by 10 pm since this is when the convention center closes.

A group of organizers may propose multiple linked workshops. Each workshop should be submitted separately and it should be made clear which other proposals it is linked to as well as its intended order in the sequence of the events. Each lead organizer may submit at most two sessions.

The program committee will consider the proposed day and time 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 times:

  • 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. Workshops may specify prerequisites for participation. They must be open to all meeting attendees, first-come first-serve, who meet these prerequisites.

Click here to see an example of a workshop from a recent conference. To see other examples, please browse the online program for the 2015 Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

Proposal Format

Please note that the information listed below must be submitted through the online 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. Incomplete proposals will not be considered, so be sure to supply all of the information requested in the form.

Components of a Workshop Proposal

  • Title of the session
  • Description of the session (appears online only; 250 words max.)
  • Summary sentence (appears in print only; 50 word max.)
  • Name and contact information (affiliation, email) for the lead organizer and any co-organizers
  • Minimum and maximum number of participants (to assist in room assignment).
  • Requested scheduling:
    • Saturday or Sunday morning (8:00 – 11:30 AM; 3.5 hours)
    • Saturday or Sunday afternoon (12:00 – 5:00 PM; 5 hours)
    • Saturday or Sunday full day (8:00 – 5:00 PM; 9 hours)
    • Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday lunch break (11:30 am – 1:15 pm; 1.75 hours)
    • Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday evening (8 – 10 pm; 2 hours)
  • The standard A/V setup is a screen, LCD projector, and laptop. Any additional A/V equipment must be requested in the proposal and may incur additional fees. Additional equipment includes: speakers for sound, portable microphones,  flip charts, easel poster boards, and extra power strips for participant laptops. Internet connectivity may also incur an additional cost. ESA will negotiate wireless availability with the convention center by the spring. It is important to specify at the proposal stage whether an internet connection is required for the workshop so that we can plan accordingly.
  • 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 requests. Workshops may involve food or refreshments for the participants, and it is important to include that in your proposal as well. If food or refreshments are served, attendees will be required to pay a fee to attend the session in order to cover the cost of refreshments unless the costs of these are covered by underwriting.
  • If applicable, underwriting of workshop costs by a group or agency. Include contact information and the amount to be contributed.
  • Is the session intended to be linked to a scientific session? If so, which one, and how?
  • Is the session intended to be linked to a business meeting or mixer? If so, which one, and how?
  • Describe any known scheduling conflicts. These are not the personal schedules of the session organizers/speakers but rather a list of other proposed sessions that are known to conflict with this session.

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 2016 Annual Meeting.

Workshop registration

All workshops held during a lunch or evening session on weekdays will be free and open to all attendees as long as no food, refreshments, or special equipment were requested by the organizer. Depending on the venue and type of connection requested, internet access may also add to the workshop cost. These requests must be noted at the time of proposal submission. Meeting attendees are not required to include free workshops in their meeting registration and may choose to participate in any free workshop without advance notice. Since there is no advance sign up, organizers will not know in advance how many people plan to attend.

Workshops held on the Saturday or Sunday preceding the conference do require advance registration because there is a fee to cover use of the meeting space. The overall workshop registration 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 may need to cancel a workshop if the minimum is not met. This decision will be made close to the conference (usually in 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 lead organizer during late June/early July. If a workshop meets its minimum registration, it is expected to proceed. In late July, organizers will receive a roster of registered attendees for any workshops requiring registration.

Other important information to consider

An important note regarding funds: acceptance of your proposal does not obligate ESA beyond providing a meeting space and including the session in the 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. ESA will not reimburse session organizers for expenses.

Please note that meeting registration is not waived or reduced for anyone participating in any capacity in a workshop. All participants must register for the meeting at the one day or full week rate. Organizers are responsible for making this clear to everyone they recruit to help with the session. No ESA funds are available for honoraria or to support participant travel.

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, “Novel Ecosystems in the Anthropocene” 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.

If Your Proposal Is Accepted

All submitters will be notified of acceptance decisions by January 14. Further instructions on next steps for preparing the session for the online program in the spring will be provided then.

A list of accepted workshops will be available on the ESA website when registration opens in the spring (typically in early April). It is helpful for meeting attendees to see the workshop listings when they are deciding which meeting days to attend.

For most workshops, there is no advance registration. Any attendee may join the workshop without advance notice.

For workshops that do require 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 in advance.

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 session. Once a session is accepted by the Program Chair, cancellation by the session organizers may preclude the organizers from being allowed to submit any proposals for sessions for the 2017 ESA Annual Meeting.

Important Dates
November 19, 2015 Deadline for submitting a proposal to ESA.
January 14, 2016 Notification of acceptance sent to organizer.
February 11, 2016 Notification of scheduling (session date and time) sent to organizer.


To Submit

You must submit your proposal using the online submission form. Proposals sent by email will not be considered. When you submit your proposal, you will be automatically notified of receipt by an email sent to the address that you provide. If you do not receive such a notification, please contact Program Coordinator Jennifer Riem at jennifer@esa.org to confirm that your proposal was received. You will be able to return to the proposal to edit it until the submission deadline has passed. Information on how to do so will be included in the automated email.

Link To Submission Page


Dr. Lee Frelich
Program Chair
Dept. of Forest Resources
The University of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: (612) 624-3671
E-mail: freli001@umn.edu

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