2021 ESA Annual Meeting
Virtually Anywhere
August 2 – August 6, 2021

5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)
Thursday, April 22, 2021

Do you have questions about how to hold a good virtual field trip? Check out these resources from our April 12 water cooler chat!

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.

About the 2021 Annual Meeting

In the interest of the health and safety of our attendees, ESA will once again transition its Annual Meeting to an all-virtual model.

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 Field Trips

We invite proposals for virtual field trips for the 2021 ESA Annual Meeting. Virtual field trips are 60-minute live sessions that allow participants to explore ecological attractions local to the meeting city and region but also beyond these areas. Trips that highlight areas of ecological interest in the Long Beach area are encouraged but field trips from outside of this area are also of interest. Attendee engagement will be a critical component for a successful proposal. How will you use the features of a video session (video/audio, screen share, text chat) to engage with your audience and help them share this trip experience together?

Innovative use of the session format is encouraged within the constraints allowed by a 60-minute live session held as a video meeting. Any videos that will be shown should be recorded in advance. We do not have the capacity to accommodate any livestreaming from a trip location, unfortunately.

Please describe the approach you plan to take in your proposal. For example, a trip could plan to highlight key ecological features along a hiking trail by taking one of several approaches. A trip could play one long video or a series of short videos filmed from various points along the trail with live narration by the trip organizer and pauses at key points for questions and discussion. If no video is available, a trip organizer could present a slide show of images instead and pace the presentation to allow attendees opportunities to ask questions and discuss what they are seeing. We encourage submitters to consider combining areas of expertise for a more comprehensive learning experience. For example, perhaps you could have a bird expert and a tree expert as co-organizers and they could provide commentary about the various ecological communities on display throughout the hike.

If appropriate, some materials to help attendees prepare for the field trip could be uploaded and made available the week before the trip. These could include a short introduction video, slides, or handouts.

These sessions are not appropriate for the presentation of formal research talks and will not include a list of speakers, individual presentation titles, or abstracts. You may list anyone who is helping with the session a co-organizer.

Field trips are required to have one organizer who will be the point of contact for correspondence with ESA and will be asked to make decisions regarding the session during planning. Co-organizers may also be listed, but the lead organizer is the point of contact.

There will be no advance signup or additional fees for virtual field trips. Any attendee who is interested will be able to join the live session for this trip, within the capacity constraints of our virtual meeting platform. These live sessions will be recorded so that attendees who cannot attend them live can watch the recording on demand later.

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.

Components of a field trip proposal

  • Title: Short and descriptive works best.
  • A lead organizer (Required; name, institution, and email).
  • Co-organizers (Optional; name, institution, and email for each).
  • Overview (250 words max.): Describe what attendees should expect to experience during this virtual trip.
  • Itinerary (500 words max.): Please outline the “stops” attendees can expect and describe what sorts of features they can expect to see. This can be a tentative or projected itinerary at this point in the process.
  • Conflicts: Are there any other proposed sessions that this field trip should not conflict with?
  • Linked sessions: Is there another proposed session, requested social event, or field trip that this trip is linked with?
  • Maximum attendance: How many attendees would you be comfortable leading on this virtual trip?

Evaluation Process and Criteria

The Program Subcommittee reviews all proposals for field trips 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 Subcommittee has final authority for acceptance and scheduling for any proposed field trip.

Important Dates

April 22, 2021 Deadline for submitting a proposal to ESA.
May 13, 2021 Notification of acceptance sent to organizer.
June 2021 Finalized session information is available in the online program.


Dr. Ari Martínez
2021 Local Host

Department of Biological Sciences
California State University
Long Beach, California
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