Ecological Society of America

Call for Organized Oral Session Proposals

93rd ESA Annual Meeting
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
August 3 - 8, 2008
Call Open: July 2 - September 14, 2007


We invite proposals for organized oral sessions for the 93rd ESA Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held from August 3 – 8, 2008 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Midwest Airline Center.

Organized oral sessions are organized around a specific topic with most of the speakers invited by the organizer. These sessions are distinguished from symposia in that 1) there is less emphasis on breadth of appeal and overall synthesis; 2) they may be comprised largely of related case studies; 3) talks are set at 15 minutes each, with 5 minutes following for discussion (as in contributed oral sessions); and 4) at least 2 time slots out of the 10 available in an organized oral session are reserved for placing related talks from the contributed abstracts by the Program Chair. Organized oral sessions are limited to half-day sessions (3 ½ hours long); full-day organized oral sessions will not be considered. Proposals may be from any area of ecology, but those that relate to the overall theme Enhancing Ecological Thought by Linking Research and Education are especially encouraged. We also welcome proposals that explore interdisciplinary connections with areas of social and natural science outside of ecology or that relate to ecological education at any level.

Applications must be received on or before Friday, September 14, 2007. You must use the that will be available on the ESA website ( as of July 2, 2007.

Do not send proposals to ESA Headquarters.

Organized Oral Session Evaluation Process and Criteria

Organized oral session 1 proposals will be assessed under the following criteria. Weighting of particular criteria may vary depending on the nature of proposals, but proposals should explicitly address these criteria, as appropriate.        

I. Scientific strength : Sessions may receive higher priority if they:

II. Structure and organization: Strong proposals will describe sessions where:

III. Integration : Proposals may receive higher priority if they are clearly linked to the meeting's overall theme, or to other sessions proposed for this meeting or presented at recent ESA meetings (see for lists of organized oral sessions and symposia from recent ESA meetings).

Presentation Rules

In the interest of broadening participation, an individual is allowed to be an organizer (either a principal organizer or a co-organizer) for only one organized oral session.

Persons agreeing to present papers in organized oral sessions should be aware that the –one-paper– rule will be enforced. That is, anyone who is first author or presenter of a paper in an organized oral session cannot also be first author or presenter of another paper for a symposium, organized oral session, contributed oral session, or poster session. Organizers should make certain that invited speakers are aware of this rule. Exceptions to the one-paper rule may be made for participants in special sessions and workshops, and for plenary speakers.   Also, first or presenting authors are additionally allowed to present a talk focused on science education.

Moderators for organized oral sessions may not serve as speakers in those sessions. A moderator may, however, be a speaker in another session.

If Your Proposal Is Accepted

After organized oral sessions are accepted, cancellations and schedule changes are disruptive to overall meeting planning. Hence, organized oral session organizers are expected to obtain firm commitments from a significant proportion of invited speakers before submitting their proposal, rather than listing only –possible– or "tentative" speakers.

If a proposal is accepted, the organizers must submit a final summary description of the symposium to the Program Assistant no later than January 25, 2008. This summary will appear on the meeting website, should have a description written so as to stimulate interest and promote attendance by a general audience, and thus is different in focus from the longer description in the original proposal. This final summary must include a complete and current listing of organizers' names and their affiliations, addresses, telephone, fax, and email addresses; a 250 word description of the session, a single-sentence (up to 50 words) description of the session, and a final, confirmed speaker list.

It is the responsibility of the organizers to see that each speaker submits an individual abstract of his/her talk through the Abstract Submission site by the February 29, 2008 deadline. Do not submit abstracts by any other means. Contact the Program Chairs or Program Assistant if your situation precludes use of the submission website.

ESA is not able to provide any financial assistance, stipends, free registration, travel assistance, or paid lodging to organized oral session organizers or to individual organized oral session participants. Organizers are responsible for making this clear to the participants.

Application Format

All proposals MUST follow the format of the online submission form on the ESA meeting website. Incomplete and inaccurate information provided on these forms may result in the proposal not being accepted.

Note that this information must be entered on the   It is provided here to assist you in planning your submission. The web page format may differ slightly from the order of information listed here.

All proposals must include:

When you submit your proposal on the website submission form, you will be notified of receipt by email to the address that you provide. If you do not receive such notification within 2 days of submitting your proposal, please contact Program Assistant Aleta Wiley at The preliminary scientific program should be on the ESA website in   May 2008 and each accepted organized oral session organizer should check for exact time and location of his/her session. Organizers are responsible for notifying all participants in their session concerning the date, time, and place of the session.

Cancellation Policy

Once an organized oral session has been accepted and listed on the meeting website, cancellation causes serious disruption of meeting planning.   Do not submit a proposal if you are uncertain that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct the session.

For further information consult the ESA website ( or contact the Program Chair or Program Assistant (see below).

Program Chair
Louis Gross
University of Tennessee
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
569 Dabney Hall- 1416 Circle Dr.
Knoxville, TN   37996-1610

Phone: (865) 974-4295
Fax: (865) 974-6042
Email: gross at tiem dot utk dot edu

Program Assistant
Aleta Wiley
Ecological Society of America
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036 USA

Phone: (202) 833-8773 x 218
Fax: (202) 833-8775
Email: aleta at esa dot org