2021 ESA Annual Meeting
Long Beach, California
August 1 – August 6, 2021

Deadline: 5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)
Thursday, January 14, 2021

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.
* Proposals that are incomplete or received after the deadline will not be considered.

 

ESA meetings, open to ESA members and those interested in ecology, are among the most respected meetings of ecologists in the science community. ESA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment. All participants including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, ESA staff, service providers and others are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct for ESA Events. This Code of Conduct applies to all ESA meeting-related events including those sponsored by organizations other than ESA but held in conjunction with ESA events, in public or private facilities. In addition, ESA members and authors of ESA publications must adhere to the Code of Ethics for the Ecological Society of America.

How To Submit

You must submit your proposal using the online submission form. Proposals sent by email will not be considered. Click the link below to begin by selecting which type of proposal you would like to submit. 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 two automated emails you will receive, first when you begin and then when you complete your submission.

Begin a Session Submission

 

About the 2021 Annual Meeting

If public health conditions allow, the 2021 Annual Meeting will be a hybrid meeting in Long Beach that combines in-person and virtual elements. If in-person elements are not possible, the meeting will be virtual (with all sessions online).
If ESA is able to hold a hybrid meeting, all presenters will have a remote presentation option.

Proposal submitters are asked to indicate their preference for an in person or virtual session at the time of submission. Organizer preferences will not affect acceptance decisions. This question is specifically asked to help ESA plan for a hybrid meeting scenario. If in-person elements are not possible, the meeting will be entirely virtual, with all accepted sessions held online regardless of the preference indicated in the session proposal. We will keep all session organizers updated as we receive more guidance on best practices from our meeting venue and the state of California. Rest assured that this is only a preference, not a final decision of any kind. If we are able to proceed with a hybrid event, session organizers will have the opportunity to revisit this preference during a later stage of planning.

About Special Sessions

We invite proposals for special sessions for the 2021 ESA Annual Meeting. Special sessions are 60-minute sessions that complement the formal scientific program, providing an opportunity for presentations or extended dialogue and exchanges beyond what is usually possible in the regular scientific sessions. These sessions are not appropriate for the presentation of formal research talks and do not include presentation abstracts. Special sessions do not conform to any single structure and innovative use of the session is encouraged. They may, for example, involve one presenter, a series of presenters, a panel, a film or video, an open-ended discussion, or some combination of these. You can browse examples of special sessions from the 2020 meeting here.

2021 Annual Meeting: In-Person vs Virtual Format Preference

Proposal submitters will be asked to indicate their preference for an in person or virtual session at the time of submission. This question is specifically asked to help ESA plan for a hybrid meeting scenario. If in-person elements are not possible, the meeting will be entirely virtual, with all accepted sessions held online regardless of the preference indicated in the session proposal. To help inform your proposal development, this section describes what we think the in-person and virtual formats will involve. We will update this information here and directly contact all special session organizers as we receive more guidance on best practices from our meeting venue and the state of California. Please rest assured that this is only a preference, not a final decision of any kind. If we are able to proceed with a hybrid event, you will have the opportunity to revisit this preference during a later stage of planning once we have more information.

In-person special sessions

In-person special sessions will be scheduled as 60-minute sessions. We do not know what the scheduling options will be at this point. We will need to build the in-person schedule to accommodate deep cleaning of rooms between sessions and other safety measures that our venue is still in an early stage of developing.

The standard A/V setup is a screen, LCD projector, and laptop (with sound). Some of the rooms we will use for special sessions may not have wireless internet access. There is a place in the proposal form to indicate if wireless connectivity is important for your special session. Any additional equipment, such as flip charts, must be requested in the proposal. Additional equipment may incur costs and can only be provided if the organizer provides funding to cover the costs.

Virtual special sessions

Virtual special sessions will be scheduled as 60-minute sessions. Virtual special sessions will include live instruction time (live video) with an option to upload supporting documents and prerecorded presentations.

Career Track

ESA is piloting its first topical track for meeting sessions this year. All sessions included in the career track will be highlighted throughout the program and scheduled to minimize conflicts. Submitters proposing a session about career options, skills and development will be able to indicate that they would like to be included in this track.

Proposal Format

The information listed below must be submitted through the online submission form. It is provided here to assist you in planning your submission. The form may differ slightly from the version listed here. Proposals that are incomplete or received by email will not be considered. You may begin a submission and then return to edit it up until the deadline.

Special Session Logistics

  • Special sessions are open to all registered ESA attendees without any advance signup required. Session organizers should plan for a potential range of attendance numbers since attendees can decide to attend any session without advance notice.
  • To avoid conflicts with scientific sessions, special sessions are not scheduled concurrently with oral or poster sessions.

Components of a Special Session Proposal

  • Session title
  • Session description (appears online only; 250 words max.)
  • Summary sentence (50 words max.)
  • A lead organizer (Required; name, institution, and email).
  • Co-organizers (Optional; name, institution, and email for each).
  • Room setup: All special sessions will be set to comply with social distancing requirements. Unfortunately, we cannot consider special session organizer preferences for room setup this year.
  • Equipment: None, wireless, additional A/V equipment, flip chart and easel.
  • Conflicts: Are there any other proposed sessions that this session should not conflict with?
  • Linked sessions: Is there another proposed session or requested social event that this session is linked with?

Session and Presentation Rules

To promote diversity of sessions and topics, no person will be permitted to serve as the lead organizer for more than two workshops, short courses, and/or special sessions at the 2021 Annual Meeting. A group of organizers may propose multiple linked sessions. Each session 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.

Note that the One Presentation Rule does not apply to workshops, short courses, and special sessions. Anyone presenting in one of these sessions may also present in a scientific session (a formal talk or poster).

Meeting Registration and Special Session Costs

Special sessions are open to all meeting attendees on a first-come, first-serve basis. Any costs for special equipment requested by the organizer will need to be covered by funding provided by the organizer. Meeting attendees may choose to participate in any special session without advance notice. Since there is no advance sign up, organizers will not know in advance how many people plan to attend. It is best to plan to accommodate a range of participant numbers.

Other important information to consider

Acceptance of your proposal does not obligate ESA beyond providing a meeting space and including the session in the program. All organizers and participants must register for the conference at the one day or full week rate. Organizers are responsible for making this clear to anyone they recruit to help with the session. ESA will not reimburse session organizers for expenses.

Evaluation Process and Criteria

The Program Committee reviews all proposals for special sessions and makes acceptance decisions. Proposals may be from any area of science related to ecology, but those that pertain to the overall theme, “Vital Connections in 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. Limits of space and time may make it impossible to accommodate all worthy submissions. The Program Committee has final authority for acceptance and scheduling for any proposed special session.

If Your Proposal is Accepted

All submitters will be notified of acceptance decisions by mid-February. At that time, organizers will be provided with instructions to begin preparing the session for the online program in the spring.

Finalized information for all accepted special sessions will be available in the online program when registration opens.

Cancellation Policy

Once a special session 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 Committee, cancellation by the session organizer may preclude the acceptance of any sessions proposed by the organizer for the 2022 ESA Annual Meeting.

Important Dates

January 14, 2021 Deadline for submitting a proposal to ESA.
February 18, 2021 Notification of acceptance sent to organizer.
May 2021 Finalized session information is available in the online program.

Questions?

Dr. Sarah Emery
Program Chair
Biology Department
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Phone: (502) 852- 5940
sarah.emery@nulllouisville.edu
Jennifer Riem
Meeting Program Associate
Ecological Society of America
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036 USA
Phone: (202) 833-8773 x 218
jennifer@nullesa.org