Call for Organized Oral Session Proposals

95th ESA Annual Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
August 1 - 6, 2010

Call Open: July 20 - September 24, 2009

We invite proposals for organized oral sessions for the 95th ESA Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held August 1-6, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Pittsburgh Convention 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 (3.5 hours long); full-day organized oral sessions will not be considered. Proposals addressing the meeting theme, “Global Warming: The legacy of our past, the challenge for our futureare especially welcome, but any timely and coherent subject of broad interest will be considered. 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 Thursday, September 24, 2009. You must use the online submission site at that will be available from the ESA website ( as of July 20, 2009.

  1. Evaluation Process and Criteria
  2. Endorsements
  3. Presentation Rules
  4. If Your Proposal Is Accepted
  5. Application Format
  6. Cancellation Policy
  7. Summary of Deadlines
  8. Begin Submission Process

A. Evaluation Process and Criteria

Organized oral session 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.

Decisions will be made by December 17, 2009.
Scientific strength: Sessions may receive higher priority if they:

Structure and organization: Strong proposals will describe sessions where:

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.

Speakers:Invited speakers may be a mix of well-established scientists, rising stars, and newcomers, but each speaker should bring new contributions to the session, not simply reviews of previous work. Inclusion of experienced or particularly engaging speakers can strengthen a proposal, but new voices are also important. Proposals with a larger proportion of confirmed speakers will be favored. All speakers will be required to submit an abstract by the February 25, 2010, abstract submission deadline.

B. Endorsements

There are no official endorsements of Organized Oral Sessions.

C. 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 also should be aware that the one-paper-rule will be enforced. That is, anyone who is first author or presenter of an organized oral session paper cannot also be first author or presenter for another paper whether for a symposium, organized oral session, contributed oral session, or poster session. Organizers should make certain that speakers they recruit understand this rule and make no conflicting commitments.

Exceptions to the one-paper rule may be made for participants in special sessions, workshops, and for plenary speakers. Also, an author may submit an abstract for a second presentation ONLY if the second abstract is directly related to ecology education or scientific outreach. Moderators for organized oral sessions may not serve as speakers in those sessions. A moderator may, however, be a speaker in another session.

D. If Your Proposal Is Accepted

After organized oral sessions are accepted and the scheduling for the meeting is underway, cancellations and schedule changes are very disruptive to meeting planning. Hence, organized oral session organizers should obtain firm commitments from as many of their invited speakers as possible before submitting their proposal.

If a proposal is accepted, the organizers must submit a final summary description of the organized oral session to the Program Assistant no later than January 21, 2010. 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 organized oral session organizers to see that each speaker submits an individual abstract of his/her talk through the Abstract Submission site by the February 25, 2010, deadline.

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 session participants. Organizers are responsible for making this clear to the participants.

E. 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 the following information must be entered on the  It is provided here to assist you in planning your submission. Also note that the web page format may differ slightly from the format 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 Jennifer Riem at Organizers of accepted Organized Oral Sessions will be notified by the end of February regarding the date and time for their sessions at the Annual Meeting. Organizers are responsible for notifying all participants in their session concerning the date, time, and place of the session.

F. 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.

G. Summary of Deadlines:

September 24, 2009: Deadline for proposal submission
December 17, 2009: Notification of acceptance sent out
January 21, 2010: Deadline to submit final revisions and confirmed speaker lists
February 18, 2010: Notification of date and time of symposia sent out
February 25, 2010: Deadline for speakers to submit abstracts for their talks (required)


Dr. Frank S. Gilliam
Department of Biological Sciences
Marshall University
Huntington, WV  25755-2510
Phone:  (304) 696-3636
FAX:(304) 696-3243
Jennifer Riem
Program Assistant
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: Jennifer Riem