Short Course Proposals

2020 ESA Annual Meeting

Salt Lake City, Utah
August 2-7, 2020
5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)
Thursday, November 21, 2019

Proposals that are incomplete or received after the deadline will not be considered.

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.

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 for all meeting participants and ESA staff. All participants including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, ESA staff, service providers and others are expected to abide by the ESA Meetings Code of Conduct. The 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 ESA Code of Ethics.

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.

About Short Courses

We invite proposals for short courses for the 2020 ESA Annual Meeting. Short courses offer participants an opportunity to learn new skills through interactive instruction and hands-on training in a long format (half to full day). These sessions are not appropriate for the presentation of formal research talks and do not include presentation abstracts. Short courses are more interactive and informal than formal paper sessions, and they can involve extended discussion as well as hands-on training. A strong short course proposal will make clear what knowledge, skills, tools, or insights participants might expect to gain from the session.

Short courses are scheduled on Sundays and Fridays as half-day (3.5 or 5 hours) or full-day (Sunday only; 9 hours) sessions. Short courses require advance registration and an additional fee.

New in 2020

We have renamed our longer hands-on training sessions (now called short courses) to distinguish them from short (90-minute) weekday workshops, and we have added new scheduling options for both session types on Friday morning. To propose a session for a shorter timeslot on a weekday please see our call for workshops.

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.

Short course logistics

  • The standard A/V setup is a screen, LCD projector, and laptop (with sound). Any additional equipment, such as flip charts, must be requested in the proposal and may incur additional fees.
  • Some of the rooms we will use for short courses will not have wireless internet access. There is a place in the proposal form to indicate if wireless connectivity is important for your short course.
  • Short courses require attendees to sign up in advance and pay a fee. Unless the course organizer provides funding to cover the associated costs, any requests for food, beverages, or additional equipment will increase the fee attendees must pay to participate.
  • Short courses that do not meet a minimum of 10 registrants (not counting organizers and co-organizers) by mid July will be cancelled. This decision will communicated to the session organizer, so it is critical that we have appropriate contact information for the lead organizer during July. If a short course meets minimum registration, it is expected to proceed.

Components of a short course proposal

  • Session title
  • Session description (appears in the online program only; 250 words max.)
  • Summary sentence (appears in print program only; 50 word max.)
  • A lead organizer (Required; name, institution, and email).
  • Co-organizers (Optional; name, institution, and email for each).
  • Maximum number of participants (to inform room assignment)
  • Requested day and time:
    • Sunday morning (8:00 – 11:30 AM; 3.5 hours)
    • Sunday afternoon (12:00 – 5:00 PM; 5 hours)
    • Sunday full day (8:00 – 5:00 PM; 9 hours)
    • Friday morning (8:00 – 11:30 AM; 3.5 hours)
  • Room setup: Theater, classroom, round tables.
  • Food and beverage: None, coffee, soda and water, snacks, breakfast, lunch.
  • Equipment: None, wireless internet connection, flip chart and easel.
  • Funding: Do you have funding to cover the costs of any food, beverages, or additional equipment requested for this short course? What is the source of the funding? What expenses would it cover, and for what amount?
  • Conflicts: Are there any other proposed sessions that this session should not conflict with?
  • Linked sessions: Is there another proposed session or requested social event that this session is linked with?

Session and presentation rules

Short courses 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.

To promote diversity of sessions and topics, no person will be permitted to serve as the lead organizer for more than two workshops, short courses, and/or special sessions at the 2020 Annual Meeting. A group of organizers may propose multiple linked sessions. Each session should be submitted separately and it should be made clear which other proposals it is linked to, as well as its intended order in the sequence of the events.

Note that the One Presentation Rule does not apply to workshops, short courses, and special sessions. Anyone presenting in one of these sessions may also present in a scientific session (a formal talk or poster).

Scheduling requests

To avoid conflicts with scientific sessions, short courses are not scheduled concurrently with oral or poster sessions. The program committee will consider the requested day and time during session scheduling but is unable to honor all requests. Accepted sessions will be scheduled to minimize topic overlap and as meeting space and logistics allow. Scheduling will be emailed to session organizers by mid-February.

Other important information to consider

Acceptance of your proposal does not obligate ESA beyond providing a meeting space and including the short course in the program. We especially stress that no ESA funds are available for waived or reduced meeting registration, honoraria, refreshments, special A/V needs, or travel expenses for short course organizers or participants. All organizers and participants must register for the conference at the one day or full week rate. Organizers are responsible for making this clear to anyone they recruit to help with the session. ESA will not reimburse short course organizers for expenses.


Evaluation Process and Criteria

Proposals for short courses are reviewed and selected by the Program Chair in consultation with the Program Committee. Proposals may be from any area of science related to ecology, but those that pertain to the overall theme, “Harnessing the ecological data revolution” 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 Chair has final authority for acceptance and scheduling for any proposed short course.


If Your Proposal Is Accepted

All submitters will be notified of acceptance decisions by mid-January. At that time, organizers will be provided with instructions to begin preparing the session for the online program in the spring.

Finalized information for all accepted short courses will be available in the online program when registration opens (typically in early April).


Cancellation Policy

Once a short course has been accepted and listed online, cancellation imposes a serious burden. Do not submit a proposal if you are uncertain that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct the session. Once a session is accepted by the Program Chair, cancellation by the session organizer may preclude the acceptance of any sessions proposed by the organizer for the 2021 ESA Annual Meeting.


Important Dates

November 21, 2019      Deadline for submitting a proposal to ESA.

January 16, 2020          Notification of acceptance sent to organizer.

February 13, 2020        Notification of scheduling (session date and time) sent to organizer.

April 2020                          Finalized session information is available in the online program.



Dr. Kiona Ogle
Program Chair
School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
Phone: (928) 523-6200
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