General Questions

Abstract FAQs

Presenting at the Meeting FAQ

Hotel FAQs

On-Site FAQs

Registration FAQs

Travel FAQs

General Questions

Where is the 2012 Annual Meeting being held?
The Annual Meeting will be held at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR.

When does the Meeting begin and end?
Weekend events (workshops and field trips) take place on Saturday and Sunday. The scientific program begins Sunday evening with the Opening Plenary and concludes at noon on Friday. Organized and contributed paper and poster sessions are Monday afternoon through Friday morning.

Do I have to be a member to attend?
No, but the registration rates are reduced for members.

What is the expected meeting attendance?
We anticipate attendance to exceed 4,000 in 2012.

What should I wear to the conference? How formal is the dress at an ESA meeting?
A range of dress is typical. It trends toward more comfortable and business casual clothing, although dressing up more to make presentations is pretty common. Keep in mind, our meeting is in August and conference centers trend toward colder temperatures in session rooms. There’s usually a distinct contrast in temperatures between session rooms and the outdoors, so layers are advised.

Abstract FAQs

Help! Which deadline in the big table of dates is for me?
This depends on whether you’re submitting an abstract or a session. Note that the top table applies to abstracts and the bottom table applies to sessions.

About the abstract deadline. If you’re submitting a single presentation, your deadline is typically the abstract deadline (February 23). This is the deadline for all abstracts except Latebreaking Posters. Latebreaking Posters have a special May 10 deadline to allow attendees to present work that was not complete enough to submit for the February deadline. For the vast majority of cases, the February 23 deadline is what you are looking for in the table.

About the organized session deadline. If you’re thinking about submitting a group of presentations all coordinated around a shared topic, then your deadline is the organized session proposal deadline. The deadline is usually in early or mid September, so it has already passed for Portland.

For less formal sessions and activities. If you’re thinking about submitting something more hands on, like a workshop, a field trip, or a session that just doesn’t fit the usual paper structure, there was a December 1 deadline for those sessions. These sessions are not formal paper sessions, although they may feature speakers or include presentations.

Too late to submit? If the deadline you are interested in has passed, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year. We’ll launch the 2013 conference website in July 2012 and announce all the deadlines for Minneapolis at that time. We’ll also open the call for organized session proposals.

What are the other dates for? Once you figure out which row in the table applies to you, the dates that you read from left to right walk you through the timetable for the abstract or session you are interested in. When the call is opened (which is when you can read about guidelines and start submitting), when your submission deadline is, when you will be notified of your acceptance status, and when accepted authors will be notified of their session date and time.

What are the different abstract types? Which one is mine?
There are a few different kinds, but the main distinction is the kind of session they’re going to end up in at the conference.

Contributed abstracts
Most attendees are submitting an abstract for a contributed session. Authors of contributed abstracts will rank 3 topics (called themes) when they submit, and ESA’s Program Committee will sort accepted abstracts into sessions using those topics. Contributed abstracts can be a talk or a poster. Examples of contributed sessions from last year: an oral session (talks), a poster session. What topics become sessions each year depends on which topics are selected by authors as they submit. The call for these abstracts can be found here.

Organized session abstracts
There are 3 kinds of organized sessions: Symposia, Organized Oral Sessions, and Organized Poster Sessions. The main idea they all have in common is that these sessions are predominantly invited speakers. If you’re presenting in one of these sessions, you’ll be invited by an organizer in charge of the session (usually in the fall or winter) and will receive an email with detailed instructions and a unique abstract submission link. These sessions are proposed by session organizers, reviewed by peers, and accepted by the Program Committee. If you’re not sure if you’re in one of these sessions, you’re most likely not and will need to submit to the contributed call.

When is the deadline for abstracts? Can I submit later?
The deadline for all abstracts is Thursday, February 23. If you miss then deadline then you can still submit for the Latebreaking poster deadline which will be Thursday, May 10. All submission deadlines are 5:00 pm Eastern. Late abstracts will NOT be accepted for either deadline.

My research will be in progress when abstracts are due in February. Can I submit an abstract for August?
Abstracts that do not report at least preliminary results by the submission deadline will be rejected. If you will be able to report some results by May 10, you should submit to the Latebreaking Poster session. If do not have results by May 10, we hope to see you at the 2013 conference.

When will the program be posted online?
We usually post the preliminary version soon after the May scheduling notification deadline. Early June is typical. The program becomes final a little later.

Does submitting an abstract register me for the Annual Meeting? The form requires credit card information.
We collect credit card information during abstract submission, but it will only be used in cases of late cancellations and no shows. Meeting registration is a separate process that begins in April. All meeting attendees, whether presenting or not, are required to register. Submitting an abstract does not register you for the conference.

When will I receive notification of my abstract acceptance?
All presenting authors except for Latebreaking Posters will be notified of acceptance by April 19, 2012. Latebreaking Poster authors will be notified by June 7, 2012.

When will I receive notification of the day and time of my presentation?
Presenting authors will be notified of their session scheduling (day of week, session title, session time) by May 17, 2012. A preliminary schedule which includes poster numbers and the timing of talks in sessions will be posted on the conference website soon after the scheduling notification has been sent out. (The notification email will include more specific information about when to expect that). All schedule details are typically final by early June.

I submitted an abstract before the deadline but have received no correspondence about it by the notification deadline.
Occasionally we encounter a problem with an organization’s spam filter, but usually the problem is a mistake in the presenting author’s email address (a typo or outdated address entered during abstract submission). Sometimes one of the coauthors was listed as the presenting author by mistake. Contact Jennifer Riem ( to have any notification emails resent.

How do I know my abstract submission is complete and was received on time? Can I make changes to the abstract information?
When you begin your abstract submission, you will receive an automatic email with brief instructions on how to log back in to edit your abstract. You may use the login information in the email to edit your abstract through the submission deadline (February 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm Eastern).

When your submission is complete (after the final confirmation stage), you’ll receive a second automatic email summarizing your submission. You may use your login information to view your abstract after the submission deadline, but you may not edit the abstract at that point. Authors of accepted abstracts will be able to edit them through May 10, 2012.

How do I withdraw my abstract?
To withdraw your abstract without penalty, you must notify Jennifer Riem before May 1, 2012. You will be notified when you abstract has been withdrawn from the program.

Presenting at the Meeting FAQ

What size is my poster board?
Each presenter is provided with a 4 ft high by 8 ft wide poster board (1.2 m by 2.4 m). Poster boards have a 2.5 cm (1 in.) frame. Posters must be able to fit on the board but can be any size within these maximum dimensions.

Where and when do I hang up my poster?
Locate your poster listing in the online or print program. Each poster is listed by session with a numbering system that lists the session number first and the board number second.

Here’s an example poster listing from the 2011 online program:
Boards are numbered in sequence (usually 1-200) in the Exhibit Hall with posters in the same session all grouped together.  The example poster is listed in the program as Wednesday PS 49-146. If thisyou’re your poster, you would use the board numbered 146.

Hotel FAQs

When can I reserve my hotel room?
The Official Housing Bureau will begin processing requests for hotel accommodations in April 2012. Reservations will be accepted until July 10, 2012, subject to availability.

Will ESA Housing charge my credit card to guarantee my reservation?
ESA Housing will not charge your credit card. However, your hotel may charge a deposit of one night’s room and tax as early as three weeks prior to the convention. Deposit amounts may vary. Please refer to the deposit policy on your hotel confirmation.

Will I receive a hotel confirmation?
Yes. A detailed confirmation is automatically e-mailed to you once your reservation has been made.

What is the hotel cancellation policy?
72 hours cancellation notice is required to avoid penalty. If your reservation is canceled less than 72 hours prior to your arrival, you will incur a one night room and tax penalty from your hotel. You can cancel reservations through ESA Housing prior to July 10 by e-mail or phone. To cancel reservations after July 10 please contact your hotel directly.

On-Site FAQs

Can I take photographs in the poster hall or at oral presentations?
No. Photography is not permitted. Only official contracted ESA vendors and working journalists with ESA approved press credentials will be permitted to photograph, video, and/or audio-tape general sessions, the exhibit hall, special sessions, and scientific sessions (including orals and posters). Individuals recording with personal video/audio equipment or other recording devices (i.e., cell phones, digital or film cameras, or tape recorders) without prior permission from ESA or without proper credentials will be asked to cease recording or using these devices immediately.

Registration FAQs

Do I have to be a member to attend?
No, but the registration rates are reduced for members. You may become an ESA member for 2012 and receive member registration rates.

Can I bring a guest?
Yes. The fee for guest registration for an adult (18 years old or older) who will accompany an attendee at the meeting is $45 per guest. Child or youth guests may be registered at no charge. Registered guests may attend Plenary Sessions, may participate in Field Trips and/or Ticketed Event (with payment of applicable fees), and may access the Exhibit Hall. Registered guests are NOT entitled to attend scientific programs such as symposia, workshops, organized and contributed oral sessions, or evening and special sessions.

What does my registration fee include?
Your registration fee includes access to all ESA oral and posters sessions, lectures, exhibits, business meetings, and non-ticketed social events.

What is the cancellation/refund policy?
Written notification of registration cancellations must be e-mailed to Registration cancellations received by July 2, 2012 will receive a full refund minus a $25 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for registrations or ticketed events canceled after July 2, 2012.

How do I get a letter of invitation for my visa application?
You may request a letter of invitation by emailing  You must include your paper title, day, and time of presentation.

Travel FAQs

Will there be shuttle buses?
No. The 2012 Annual Meeting is going green by eliminating shuttle bus service. Take advantage of the diversity of transportation options, including, light rail, trollies, and buses.