97th ESA Annual Meeting
Portland, Oregon
August 5 - 10, 2012

Call Open: September 29 - December 1, 2011


We invite proposals for field trips for the 97th ESA Annual Meeting to be held August 5-10, 2012 in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Convention Center.

Field trips are typically scheduled for full or half days and are usually held prior to the beginning of the formal scientific program, on Saturday or Sunday or, in some cases, on both days. Shorter trips during the week are also possible. Weekend field trips run concurrently with weekend workshops. Field trips may be linked with scientific sessions or workshops. 

For examples of past field trips, please consult the program schedule from the ESA Austin meeting, held in August 2011.

Applications must be received on or before December 1, 2011, and be submitted using the online submission site at http://eco.confex.com/eco/2012/cfp.cgi

  1. Planning Guidelines
  2. Submission Procedure
  3. If Your Proposal is Accepted
  4. Cancellation Policy
  5. Application Format
  6. Critical Dates

A. Planning Guidelines

This section is intended to guide your field trip planning.  It also includes some issues to consider in the context of the trip you hope to offer to make sure that once offered the trip garners enough registrants to avoid cancellation after you’ve invested time and energy in planning and preparation. Our goal is to have all field trip information finalized by early April, 2012 so that trips can be included in the online registration system for the meeting.  If you have questions during the planning process, please contact Michelle Horton (michelle@esa.org, 202-833-8773). 

  1. Planning guidelines: 
    1. Most trips will have one or two leaders (larger groups are possible, if necessary)
    2. All trips will begin and end at the Oregon Convention Center and all participants must travel with the group.
    3. Leaders are expected to accompany the entire trip to provide information en route and handle unexpected developments. 
    4. All aspects of each trip (transport, logistics, personnel, etc.) should be accomplished economically.
    5. No financial or contractual commitments may be made without approval of ESA Headquarters.
  2. What is your itinerary? Most of you already have a specific destination in mind while others have a theme without a finalized itinerary. Leaders need to assemble a detailed plan for their trip to ensure a realistic schedule and to provide driving directions to bus/van drivers.
    1. Most trips will visit one or more destinations that fall under a consistent theme.  It is up to the leaders to determine the amount of interpretive material provided and the number of local experts and other resource people involved. 
    2. If time permits and you have the opportunity, adding a stop at a unique and/or well-known natural attraction or research site may help attract additional participants to your trip.  This option is at the discretion of the trip leaders. 

    Example Itinerary

    Addresses and agenda for trip in order of stops:

    1. 8:00 AM Leave Oregon Convention Center for Columbia Botanical Garden, 381 Belton Rd., St. Helen, OR 97051 to arrive by 8:45 AM
    2. 10:00 AM Leave Columbia Botanical Garden for Columbia River Maritime Museum, 1792 Marine Dr., Astoria, OR 97103 to arrive by 10:45 AM
    3. 12:00 PM Leave Museum for Sunset Beach State Rec Site, 33220 Sunset Beach Lane, Warrenton, OR to arrive by 12:15 PM
    4. 4:00 PM Leave Sunset Beach for Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97212 to arrive by 5:30 PM
  3. How many people can your trip accommodate? Early in your planning you should determine how many people can go on your trip. 
    1. The maximum number of participants may be determined by available space at the destination, the number of people that you are comfortable leading, the transportation limitations required by the site (e.g., if buses cannot access the site so you are limited to smaller vehicles such as vans), or by other factors. 
    2. As part of the planning process a minimum number of participants will also be determined, essentially based on the break even cost for the trip as planned.

      If the trip doesn’t fill to at least this minimum number then it is likely to be cancelled.  It may be possible to start with a low minimum number by using vans for transportation and then move to buses if enough people register to make the larger vehicle(s) affordable and necessary.  If you think this might work for your trip, discuss this approach with Michelle Horton when you work out transportation plans.
  4. What are the transportation needs for your trip? Perhaps the biggest aspect of planning field trips is arranging for transportation in a manner that provides for insurance for all vehicle occupants, allows for access to ecologically interesting sites that may not be on paved roads, and is appropriate for the size trip that you hope to run. ESA staff will take care of hiring a bus company for the trip.  Transportation options we have are:
    1. Tour buses, small buses and possibly small vans.
    2. For trips organized by faculty from the Portland State University, you may have vans that might be available.  If you are faculty, please check into that possibility, although you need to be aware of any use restrictions, insurance issues, liability issues, etc.
    3. Vehicles available from another source such as an agency hosting a trip at its own site.  As with the other options, this requires ESA approval for insurance reasons.
  5. Who can participate in your trip? Your trip description should provide guidelines about the age and physical capabilities of the participants.  Infants and toddlers are not permitted on field trips.  Each participant will need to sign a liability waiver release form before boarding the bus on the day of the trip.
  6. What is the schedule of your trip?  You should determine when your trip will occur.  In addition to your own schedule and time constraints posed by the trip itself, here are some things to consider: 
    1. The meeting begins at 5 pm on Sunday, August 5 with the Opening Plenary and ends midday on Friday, August 10.  The timing of your trip can strongly influence the number of participants.
    2. All participants should be picked up and dropped off at the Oregon Convention Center at specific times. You should plan your trip to occur within the planned time and you should strive to stick to your schedule to avoid problems for people with other activities scheduled after the trip.
    3. Overnight trips are generally harder to fill because they require people to arrive early and (usually) to arrange for additional lodging the night before the trip.  They should be scheduled to leave on Saturday, Aug 5 and return by the opening of the meeting on Sunday, Aug 6.  Extra lodging costs will be smaller for participants on Sunday trips but the 5 pm start of the meeting may limit your planned activities.
    4. All-day trips can run on either Saturday or Sunday but it is probably not advisable to try one during the week unless there is a strong justification.
    5. It would be great to have some shorter trips that are planned in the morning or afternoon to get people out of the convention center area to some of the local attractions. Such trips should be planned to minimize overlap with scientific sessions at the meeting.
    6. You will need to provide an agenda for your trip and detailed directions to any destinations (a link to an online map service). This information is essential in pricing the trip.

      Click to begin trip directions from the Oregon Convention Center using Google Maps. Once you have mapped out the directions, you can use the “Link” option on the upper right to copy and paste the link to include in your proposal.

What financial arrangements will your trip require?: ESA does not make a profit on field trips, but they must break even.  An additional factor to consider is that the cost may influence the number of people who register (participants on overnight or day trips will incur additional costs for lodging if they must arrive early for the trip).  Consider the following when pricing a field trip:

  1. Cost per person fee should include:
    1. Transportation costs for van/bus rental from commercial companies or the host university
    2. Breakfast, box lunches, snacks, ice, 2 bottles water per person, etc. ESA will provide coolers, which will need to be returned after the trip.
    3. Photocopying costs for handouts.
    4. Admission or entrance fees.
    5. Other costs such as guide fees, boat rentals, bicycle rental, etc.
    6. Overnight lodging and included meals (also including bus drivers' lodging and meals).
    7. Direct costs incurred by trip leaders and any other non-paying co-leaders or assistants plus 5% for contingency purposes.
  1. ESA field trips will not:
    1. Pay any guide fees or consulting fees to trip organizers or trip leaders.
    2. Make charitable contributions or donations to organizations supported by the trip organizer or leader.
    3. Allow trip leaders to make any kind of financial profit in running the trip.

B. Submission Procedure

All proposals MUST follow the format of the online proposal submission form. Incomplete and inaccurate information provided on these forms may result in the proposal being rejected. Information requested includes complete contact information for all co-organizers, a description of the field trip explaining its purpose and general structure (<250 words), a summary sentence (<50 words), a list of speakers/panelists, if appropriate, and directions to and from the field trip site (online map directions).

All field trips must have a lead organizer who serves as the primary contact, who will be readily available by email and phone in the months leading up to the meeting, and who is expected to be present at the field trip and meeting. A secondary contact is also required.
C. If Your Proposal is Accepted

All organizers will be notified of the acceptance of their proposal by January 12, 2012. If accepted, your field trip description will be posted on the annual meeting website and a summary sentence will appear in the printed program. The description should be written with particular attention to attracting attendees and should be submitted in the correct format on the website proposal submission form available through the ESA meeting website.

We encourage field trip organizers to provide additional appropriate information to registered participants prior to the meeting; however, it will be your responsibility to distribute it to them. To facilitate this distribution, ESA will provide you with a list of registrant email addresses approximately 2 to 3 weeks before the meeting.
D. Cancellation Policy

Once a field trip has been accepted and listed online, cancellation imposes a serious burden. Once a scheduled field trip reaches the minimum registration, it will not be cancelled.  If, however, minimum registration is not reached by mid-June, chances are the trip will be cancelled due to financial reasons. 

E. Application Format

Please note that the information listed below must be entered on the website proposal submission form. It is provided here only to assist you in planning your submission. The website format may differ slightly from the format listed here. All information requested must be submitted.
Components of a Field trip Proposal

  • Title of the trip
  • Description of the trip (250 words max.)
  • Names and contact information for the lead organizer, a secondary contact and any co-organizers
  • Minimum and maximum number of participants
  • Proposed starting and ending times
  • Preference of day for this trip
  • Anticipated equipment needs:  hiking boots, sun screen, bug repellent, hat, swim suits, etc.
  • Food and beverage requested for your field trip – NOTE: box lunch, money to buy lunch, etc.
  • If applicable, underwriting of special fees by a group and/or agency. Include name and amount to be contributed.
  • Is the field trip intended to follow a symposium or organized oral session? If so, which one?
  • Directions to and from the field trip site.

You MUST submit your proposal using the website proposal submission form. You will be notified electronically concerning receipt, review, and acceptance of your proposal, using the return e-mail address that you provide. The notice of receipt will include a reference number that you will need to retain. If the return email address is incorrect, you will not be notified. If you do not hear from the Program Chair or the Program Coordinator regarding receipt of your proposal by December 8, 2011, please contact Michelle Horton to confirm that your proposal was received. You may view your proposal by accessing the website and entering your proposal number. The website and proposal number will be provided to you when we acknowledge receipt of your proposal.

A list of accepted field trips will be available on the ESA website when registration opens (typically late April). The field trip organizer should check for the exact time and location of her/his field trip. After registration closes, a list of registrant emails will be provided to the organizer.  As a courtesy to field trip participants, organizers should plan to notify all field trip leaders and participants in her/his field trip of the date, time, place, etc. of the field trip.

F. Critical Dates

  • December 1, 2011: Deadline to submit field trip proposals
  • December 8, 2011: Contact Jennifer Riem if you have not received confirmation of your submission
  • January 12, 2011: Notification of proposal acceptance sent to organizers
  • February 16, 2012: Notification of date, time, and location of field trips sent to organizers
  • Late April, 2012: List of field trips posted on conference website and registration opens. Organizers should check time and location of their field trip and notify others involved in the trip.
  • Mid July, 2012: Registrant lists emailed to lead organizer.

For further information about field trips, consult the ESA web page (www.esa.org/portland2012) or contact the Local Host Chair, Mitch Cruzan or Todd Rosenstiel or the Meetings Planner, Michelle Horton.

Mitch Cruzan or Todd Rosenstiel
Local Program Hosts
Department of Biology
Portland State University
Portland, OR
Phone: (503)-579-0782
E-mail: cruzan@pdx.edu or rosensti@pdx.edu

Michelle Horton
Meetings Planner
Ecological Society of America
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036 USA
Phone: (202) 833-8773 x 219
Fax: (202) 833-8775
Email: michelle@esa.org