Calls for Posters, Papers, Workshops, and Evening Sessions/Discussions for the 2003 ESA Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia, 3-8 August

Deadlines: Abstracts for Contributed Papers and Posters: 1 March 2003

Workshop and Evening Session/Discussion Proposals: 1 December 2002


The Ecological Society of America (ESA) and the International Society for Ecological Modelling (ISEM) will be meeting jointly from Sunday, 3 August through noon Friday, 8 August 2003 in Savannah, Georgia, at the Savannah Convention Center. This will be the 88th annual meeting for ESA. The meeting will include symposia, contributed papers, poster sessions, workshops, discussions, special evening events, field trips, social gatherings, and business meetings. Some of these will be joint, and others specific to each society. The theme of the meeting is “Uplands to Lowlands: Coastal Processes in a Time of Global Change.” The meeting location and theme provide an excellent opportunity to increase understanding of coastal ecosystems and explore their vulnerability to climate variability and human land uses in the uplands.  The meeting will include practitioners, managers, regulators, academic scientists, agency researchers, and educators; and, we hope, some interested members of the public. As always, we welcome participants from anywhere in the world.


Call for Contributed Posters and Papers


Abstracts that address the theme are especially encouraged, but submissions may be from any area of ecology. We also welcome the report of projects that are interdisciplinary, that consider the need to communicate with broad audiences, or that explore ways of teaching ecology at any level. To insure maximum participation, each person is allowed to be first author or presenter on only one research poster, paper, or symposium presentation. There is no limit on the number of presentations on which a person may be a co-author. Another exception allows a person to be a presenter or first author of a second presentation that has an educational or scientific outreach theme. Papers submitted in this category will be given stringent scrutiny to insure that the content is directly relevant to the teaching of ecology. Senior authors or presenters may also serve as session presiders or organizers or facilitators of Workshops or Discussions.


Posters offer an excellent opportunity for extended informal discussion and active participation by coauthors. Many experienced presenters prefer them, and we encourage you to give a poster serious consideration. An advantage of a poster is that is displayed for a full day; interested persons can view your work even when you are not in attendance. You are required to be present for a scheduled one and one half hour periodin either the morning or afternoon. Depending on how much traffic your poster is receiving, you may either speak with interested persons individually or accumulate a small group and give an impromptu mini-presentation of your poster. Most will probably do both. An especially nice feature of posters is that your co-authors can (and should if possible) be present to assist you in dealing with individual inquiries and to add depth to discussions. As a further inducement, informal evening “poster pubs” will provide an opportunity for further discussion in a relaxed setting at a time when a no-host bar is available. Posters must fit on one side of an approximately 2.4 m wide x 1.2 m tall (8 x 4 feet) poster board. Modern poster technology permits the printing of the poster as a single sheet. Persons who do this are advised to leave generous margins so that nothing will be lost if the actual dimensions of the posters are somewhat smaller than announced. Because poster boards are rented from local suppliers, at the time of writing it is impossible to guarantee precise dimensions. Pushpins, which ESA will supply, are the only method of attachment certain to work. Check the ESA web site for the latest information before preparing your poster. Because of space and equipment limitations, poster presenters may not use AV equipment.


Contributed oral papers are scheduled for 15-minute blocks, but slightly less total time is available to the speaker because of time taken for introductions and transitions to the next speaker. Presentations should be timed to 10–12 minutes to allow 2–3 minutes for questions following the presentation. TIME LIMITS WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED BY SESSION PRESIDERS. It is essential that presenters practice their talks to insure that they will fit within the allotted time. Standard slide, overhead, and LCD projectors will be available in every room. If you choose to use the LCD projector, you must provide your own laptop computer. You must also bring slides or overheads as backup in case of equipment or software failure. Check with your session presider for additional information. Specific guidelines for oral presentation graphics and hints on using LCD projectors will be available on the ESA website.


Evaluation and acceptance. Accuracy and appearance of the abstract are the responsibility of the author(s). ABSTRACTS WILL BE RETURNED IF THEY DO NOT COMPLY PRECISELY WITH THE GUIDELINES, INCLUDING FORMAT. Content will also be evaluated. Policies similar to those of ESA October 2002 journals with respect to originality and aptness will be followed. The presentations must be based on NEW, previously unpublished material. Reviews of past work are generally not permissible outside of symposia or other special sessions; in such cases, a new analysis or synthesis is expected. Although it is understood that many abstracts will be submitted before all analysis and conclusions are in their final form, it is not acceptable to submit an abstract if the authors have no substantial results in hand. The abstract must be clear that the authors will present substantial and SPECIFIC information. The major cause of rejection of abstracts is lack of evidence of quantitative or substantive results. Clarity of stated objectives and results of research and appropriateness of subject material are also considered.


Selection of a session. Those submitting abstracts will be asked to choose “poster” or “paper.” Make this selection carefully: once your abstract is committed to one category, it is difficult to move to the other. Do not submit to symposia. Symposia are put together by one or more organizers, and all papers submitted to them must have their prior approval. You will also be asked to select a first, second, and third choice for sessions from a list available. These choices are important. In assembling papers to form approximately equal-sized sessions, your first choice will be given heavy weight. If it is necessary to move papers, second and third choices may also be considered. In a few cases, your paper may be moved to a new or different session. Assembling the program is one of the most difficult tasks, and moving papers once they have been assigned is often a problem because it may entail a cascade of moves. Thus, please be understanding if your first choice is not available.


Corrections and cancellations. Before submitting an abstract, authors should be confident that they will attend the meeting. If circumstances prevent attendance, the first option explored should be to find another person to make the presentation. If it is not possible to prepare the talk or poster, or no substitute presenter can be found, the author should notify the program chair as soon as this is known so that the program can be as accurate as possible. Barring unexpected software difficulties, the complete scientific program will be available on the ESA website by 1 May 2003. Submitters should check their abstracts and note the session, time, and place of their presentation AS SOON AS IT APPEARS ON THE WEBSITE. Revisions, corrections, or withdrawals should be emailed to the ESA Program Chair <ESA@LTRR.ARIZONA.EDU> BEFORE 15 May 2003. Authors are asked not to request minor changes that do not substantially affect clarity or accuracy. Corrections cannot be made after the program goes to the printer. Persons who cancel a presentation after 15 May 2003, or who fail to appear to make a scheduled presentation without good reason will not be allowed to present at the next annual meeting.


Abstract Submission Fee. A $50 fee, applicable to registration, is now required at the time of submission of your abstract. At recent ESA meetings, the cancellation of papers and posters and author “No Shows” have become serious issues. It is inevitable, of course, that legitimate medical or family emergencies arise, and in such cases, cancellation is unavoidable. However, it appears that many persons are submitting an abstract to hold a place at the meeting, should they, in the end, decide to attend. In other cases, no doubt, the abstract is not submitted so casually, but the paper is withdrawn for less than compelling reasons, such as “too hectic a schedule.” Assembling the program often requires time-consuming effort to find the best place for a single paper. If such a paper is subsequently cancelled, not only is valuable time wasted, but also it may be impossible to go back and re-order the program to be more favorable to those who remain in it. Obviously the later in the process that a paper is cancelled, the greater the negative effect. Late cancellations pose additional difficulties for session presiders, for Buell-Braun judges, and, ultimately, for all attendees who wish to learn about research that was previously scheduled. In short, cancellation is bad. 


In order to address this serious issue, ESA’s Governing Board has adopted a policy requiring a $50 Abstract Submission Fee (U.S. dollars) applicable to ALL abstract submissions for the 2003 Meeting in Savannah.   The following rules will apply:

  1. The fee will be due at the time your abstract for a symposium, contributed paper session, or poster session is due. This fee is applicable to all ESA and ISEM members, and all non-members submitting abstracts – NO EXCEPTIONS.

  2. Your abstract will NOT be accepted by the Program Chair without concurrent submission of the fee to ESA. Instructions on how to submit the fees will be given on the submission web site.

  3. The $50 Abstract Submission Fee will subsequently be deducted from your Annual Meeting Registration when you register for the meeting. The abstract submission fee will ONLY be credited against the registration of the person who originally submitted the fee. If that person does not register, or registers and then can not attend and arranges for another person to present the paper or poster, the fee will not be credited against the presenting person’s registration.

  4. If you cancel your symposium, oral, or poster presentation on or prior to Wednesday, 30 April 2003, your $50 Abstract Submission fee WILL be refunded. If you cancel your symposium, oral, or poster presentation after this date, your Abstract Submission Fee will NOT be refunded. Because of the tight schedule for the assembly of the program, this deadline will be strictly enforced. In addition, if you cancel your Annual Meeting registration at any time after 1 May 2003, no matter what other credits or refunds are due to you, your $50 abstract submission fee will not be refunded.


Note that a talk or poster need not be cancelled if you have someone else present it on your behalf, and this is the preferred solution in most cases. Because of the “one paper rule,” the person presenting for you should not be someone presenting or first author on another talk or poster. In difficult situations, however, exceptions can be granted. Contact the Program Chair.


Instructions for preparing an Abstract


Abstracts for contributed posters and paper sessions must be received no later than 1 March 2003, and must be submitted electronically over the Internet using the application form on the ESA web site. Persons who have no possibility of gaining access to the internet should contact the Program Chair by e-mail or by post at the address given below for instructions on how to proceed. ESA reserves the right to charge a fee for special services. The text of the abstract (excluding authors, institutions, and title) should be no more than 230 words. Abstracts should include a statement of objectives, brief description of methods used, concise presentation of quantitative results, and a summary of conclusions or inferences drawn. Vague statements to the effect that “results will be discussed” or “data will be presented” may result in abstract rejection. A lack of specifics may be cause for rejection. Submit the abstract to the ESA web site on the electronic form provided. Follow the instructions on the web site, but expect to provide at least this much information, and in this format:

1) Author to contact (typically the senior author, but not necessarily)

2) Institution

3) Complete mailing address (street address, city, state, country, zip code)

4) Phone number

5) E-mail address (IMPORTANT NOTE: if this is not correct, you will receive no information about acceptance!)

6) Person presenting the paper

7) Preference for oral or poster presentation

8) Affiliation with Society: are you a member of ESA or ISEM?

9) First- and second-choice session preference (see ESA web site for topic codes, pull-down menu on ESA abstract submission form).


The Abstract must use the following format:

1) CAPITALIZE names of all authors. For the FIRST author, list the last name first, then first initial, then middle initial. DO NOT TYPE OUT GIVEN NAMES; USE INITIALS ONLY. For any other authors, type first initial, second initial, last name.

2) Place an ASTERISK by the last name of the PRESENTER of the paper.

3) Name of authors’ institutions (NOT department affiliation or street address). When two or more authors have different addresses, place a superscript number after each author’s name and a corresponding superscript before each author’s address. If all authors are from the same institution, no numbering is needed.

4) Title of the presentation.

5) DO NOT INDENT any part of the abstract itself.

6) The abstract should be a single paragraph.


Symbols and special fonts. These are given as a pull-down menu of codes on the ESA abstract submission form on the ESA web site (<> and follow links) and are generally HTML codes.


Notification of receipt. You will be notified of receipt electronically using the RETURN e-mail address, which you will be asked to supply on the electronic submission form. Please take care to insure that this address is correct. If it is not, you will not receive notice.


Call for Workshops and Evening Sessions/Discussions


This is a call for the submission of proposals for ESA or joint ISEM/ESA workshops, evening sessions/discussions, and any other special nonsocial events outside of the formal program for ESA. It is recommended that those submitting joint proposals also communicate with the ISEM program chair at the address below. Proposals may be from any area of ecology, but those that relate to overall theme— coastal processes and global change —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. Workshops and discussions are considered supplementary to the main program of symposia, contributed papers, and posters. Although proposals are not generally peer-reviewed, they are checked for relevance and substance.


All proposals MUST follow the format of the online Allen Press submission forms, on the ESA website, for Workshops and Evening Sessions/Discussions.   Incomplete and inaccurate information provided on these forms may result in the proposal not being accepted.  Information requested includes complete contact information, accurate email addresses for all Organizers and Co-Organizers, descriptions (400 word maximum), section/chapter outside group sponsorships, lists of speakers/panelists, and any requests that would require financial expenditures.


For the Savannah meeting, any proposal deemed “educational” will also be reviewed and ranked by members of ESA’s Education Section and Education Committee to determine consistency with tracks adopted at the Annual Meeting in Madison (2001). Limits of space and time may make it impossible to accommodate all worthy submissions. Criteria for acceptance include scientific merit and breadth of interest. If accepted, the workshop or evening session/discussion will have a brief (400-word maximum) description in the preliminary and final official programs naming the organizers. This description should be written with special attention to attracting attendees. Other contributors and their topics can be mentioned in the description, but there is no room for a detailed agenda. If you feel it is critical that participants have more detailed information, it will be your responsibility to distribute it to them. All workshops and discussions must have a lead organizer who serves as the point of contact and who will be readily available by e-mail and phone in the months leading up to the meeting. This person must also register and pay all fees for the meeting. Note that the organization of, or participation in, a workshop or discussion does not preclude a person from also being first author or presenter on a paper, poster, or symposium talk. (See the Call for Papers and Posters for a fuller explanation of the “one-paper rule.”)


An important note regarding funds: Acceptance of your proposal does not obligate ESA beyond assuring you of a meeting space and inclusion in the official program. We stress especially that no ESA funds are available for honoraria or travel expenses for workshop and discussion participants. Further, registration is not waived. Anyone participating in any capacity in a workshop or discussion must be registered. Organizers are responsible for making these facts clear to persons they invite to participate.


Workshops: Workshops require a proposal submitted to the Program Chair, through the ESA web site, by 1 December 2002. Workshops are focused learning/teaching sessions, usually with more experienced persons transferring specific knowledge or skills to others. They might involve one presenter, a series of lecturers, or a panel. Workshops are usually scheduled for half-days on the Sunday before the scientific meeting starts, and before the public plenary and welcome mixer, either 8 am to noon or 12:30-4:30 pm. A few Saturday afternoon workshops might be scheduled, especially if they start with or include a scientific field trip.  Please indicate your preference for am or pm time slots. Full-day workshops are possible, but are given more stringent scrutiny. Workshops generally involve a per person participation fee that covers refreshments, materials, special equipment, or, occasionally, lunch. Any other needs that may result in expenditures (e.g., special equipment rentals other than slide, overhead or LCD projectors) should be listed.  All workshop proposals must indicate minimum and maximum participation. You should be notified of acceptance of the workshop or discussion session by 15 February 2003. Communication between the Program Chair, meeting organizer, and session organizers will be necessary in most cases before final approval is given.


Evening Sessions/Discussions: Require a proposal submitted to the Program Chair via the ESA web site by 1 December 2002. Evening Sessions/Discussions (the terms are used broadly) are a supplement to the formal program that provide an opportunity for extended dialogue and exchanges not usually possible in the regular sessions. Most run for 1–2 hours, and most will be scheduled in the evenings. Discussions are not intended for the presentation of formal research papers. They may be scheduled at any time during the meeting from Saturday through Thursday, but it is very strongly preferred that they not run concurrently with the papers or posters. Hence, evenings or the preceding Sunday are the best times. Scheduling is flexible, especially on the days preceding the formal sessions. The preferred starting time for evening is generally 7:30 or 8:00 pm to allow participants to have dinner or otherwise adjust their body chemistry to prepare for the rigors of intellectual engagement. For purposes of selecting an appropriate-sized meeting room, you must indicate the expected minimum and maximum attendance.


This year almost all Evening Sessions will take place in the Hyatt Hotel across the river from the Savannah Convention Center.  This will enable participants to go to dinner or to their Section/Chapter business meetings-mixers on the Hyatt Hotel side of the river, and then to Evening Sessions/Discussions without having to re-cross the river to the Convention Center.


Other types of sessions: It is not the intent of the Program Committee to limit creativity. Feel free to make inquiries to the Program Chair if you have an idea for a session that will enhance the meeting, but does not exactly fit the descriptions of workshops or discussions. Be aware, however, that demand for sessions outside of the formal program has been growing, and that every worthy or interesting proposal cannot necessarily be accepted. As with discussions, events that run concurrently with the formal program will be allowed only in exceptional cases.


Workshop and evening session/discussion proposals must be received by the Program Chair before 1 December 2002 by the Program Chair via the ESA web site (links from <>). In extraordinary circumstances in which you do not have access to the Web, proposals may also be e-mailed to the address given below. Please check with the Program Chair before following this route. Instructions for the submission of Posters and Oral Presentations are given above. Please do not use the Poster and Oral Presentation web site for submission of workshop and discussion proposals. If you submit your proposal on the web site submission form, you will be notified electronically concerning review and acceptance of your proposal, using the return e-mail address that you provide. If the return address is incorrect, you will not be notified. If you do not hear from the Program Chair or Meeting Organizer by 31 January 2003, please contact <ESA@LTRR.ARIZONA.EDU> to confirm that your proposal was received. The complete scientific program should be on the ESA and ISEM web sites by 1 May 2003, and each accepted proposal organizer or submitter should check for exact time and location of their workshops or discussion, as these are subject to change (and mistakes are sometimes made). Organizers are responsible for notifying all participants in their workshop, evening session, or discussion concerning the date, time, and place of the session.


Cancellation policy: Once a workshop or evening session/discussion has been accepted and listed in the Preliminary Program, it imposes a serious burden to cancel it. Do not submit a proposal if you are uncertain that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct the session. 


Contact information for Papers, Posters, Discussions, and Workshops:


ESA Program Chair

Dr. Thomas W. Swetnam

Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research

The University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ 85721

(520) 621-2112

Fax: (520) 621-8229


ESA website for submissions: follow links from: <>


ISEM Program Chair (joint ESA/ISEM proposals only)

Dr. David Mauriello

International Society for Ecological Modelling

PMB 255, 550 M Ritchie Highway

Severna Park, MD  21146

(410) 647-9641


ISEM website:  (note:  abstract and proposal submissions go through the ESA website)