The George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas & Cultural Sites • New Orleans, Louisiana • March 14–18, 2011

Submit an abstract

Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal!

POSTED OCTOBER 1, 2010: The deadline for abstracts was yesterday, September 30. The links to abstract submission forms, found at the bottom of this page, have been disabled. If you've already submitted an abstract, you should have gotten an email from us acknowledging receipt of your submission.  That email references an abstract identifying number in the subject line.  If you submitted an abstract, but did NOT get this acknowledgment email message, please contact the GWS at info@georgewright.org or call 1-906-487-9722.

 


 

STEP 1: Learn about how the Conference Committee selects abstracts and puts together the conference program.

The conference is organized by a Conference Committee convened by the George Wright Society. The Committee organizes plenary sessions around certain themes and issues the Call for Proposals. The Committee then evaluates abstracts received in response to the Call for Proposals, selecting a portion of them to make up the conference program.

Putting together the concurrent session line-up is the biggest challenge in setting up the conference program. The Committee must sift through several hundred abstracts, crafting concurrent sessions from individual proposals for oral paper presentations (and finding someone to chair those sessions) while also evaluating proposals to organize entire sessions, workshops, etc.

In selecting proposals, the Committee looks at several factors:

  • The quality of the abstract, in terms of both content and presentation.
  • The goal of including a wide range of interests and disciplines in the overall conference program. Particular attention is given to topics that cut across disciplines.
  • The goal of representing a range of protected area agencies and philosophies in the overall conference program.
  • The need to make concurrent sessions internally coherent.

Competition for places on the program can be keen. To facilitate the participation of as many people as possible, the Conference Committee asks that individuals propose to take part in no more than three sessions in any capacity as a presenter (whether as lead author, secondary author, session organizer, session panelist, etc.).  We also ask that you do not submit abstracts in more than one format (e.g., proposing a paper and then submitting the same abstract as a poster).

Also, the Conference Committee discourages proposals for entire sessions that focus on a single park or other unit unless the proposal explicitly describes how the information presented will be relevant to other areas. Individual papers or posters may focus on a single park, of course.

Finally, please be aware that because of space limitations we no longer accept submissions for tracks (that is, a series of linked sessions).

 


STEP 2: Decide which kind of presentation best suits your needs.

Organize a 2-hour session of Invited Papers. A session of Invited Papers consists of oral paper presentations organized around a common theme. These sessions can be structured in several different ways: for example, the invited papers might be preceded by an overview from the session organizer and followed by a response from a discussant. The length allotted to the papers is up to the session organizer. The proposal must include: (1) a session overview abstract that describes the session’s theme and its importance, as well as its format (e.g., who will chair the session, how long each oral paper presentation will be, whether there will be discussants and/or a Q&A session with the audience following the presentations, etc.); and (2) individual abstracts for each of the oral paper presentations (there must be a minimum of 3, but no more than 5, papers). All of these abstracts must be submitted on a single form (link below). Because we require all the abstracts up front, it is incumbent upon the session organizer to seek out paper presenters early, get them to produce abstracts, and confirm that each one is willing and able to attend the conference. (See "Important note to session organizers," below.)

Organize a 2-hour Panel Discussion. A Panel Discussion is an audience-interactive format in which invited panelists make short, relatively informal presentations that serve as a springboard for extended discussion among panelists and between panelists and the audience. In proposing a Panel Discussion, your abstract must indicate who will chair the session (if that person is someone other than you) and how long each panelist will speak.  Later in the abstract submission form, you must identify who have been invited to participate as panelists (there must be a minimum of 3, but no more than 5, panelists),  and how many of these invited panelists have confirmed that they are willing and able to attend the conference. Preference will be given to proposals with confirmed panelists. (See "Important note to session organizers," below.)

Organize a 1.5-hour Day-Capper Session. Day-Cappers are late-afternoon sessions that tackle unusual or controversial subjects and/or use innovative formats to engage the audience in a lively way. Day-Cappers run from 4:00–5:30 pm and should emphasize real human interaction in a more informal setting. (We urge you to make your Day-Capper a “PowerPoint-Free Zone” ... or at least minimize their use.)  Examples of past Day-Cappers include explorations of foodways associated with park communities (with taste-testing), video screenings (with discussion), and quiz bowls.  Think outside the conference box!  In proposing a Day Capper, your abstract should indicate why the topic is important, what format the session will take and how you will engage the audience, and who else (if anyone) will be involved in presenting the session. (See "Important note to session organizers," below.)

Organize a 2-hour Sharing Circle.  New for GWS2011, Sharing Circles are a way for conference participants to share information and experiences in a more personal setting. More participatory and spontaneous than the standard lecturer/audience model of information transfer, Sharing Circles provide an alternative way of learning that many people are more comfortable with. Sharing Circles take place at round tables and are guided by a facilitator who introduces the topic, begins the conversation and keeps it moving and focused, and makes sure that everyone has a chance to participate in the discussion as he or she wishes. (See "Important note to session organizers," below.)  

Organize a 2- or 4-hour Workshop. A Workshop is a small-group working session open to any conference registrant on a first-come, first-served basis. In a Workshop, registrants come together to work on or provide input into a specific project or product. An example might be a Workshop to gather feedback on, or to produce, a set of guidelines. Workshops do not involve paper presentations or panel discussions — such formats must be proposed as sessions of Invited Papers or Panel Discussions. Workshops will be scheduled at the same time as the Concurrent Sessions or, possibly, during the evening. You may propose either a 2-hour or a 4-hour Workshop. Because Workshops are intended to be for smaller groups, they will be assigned to rooms that seat no more than 30–60 people. (See "Important note to session organizers," below.)

Organize a 2- or 4-hour Affinity Meeting. A limited amount of space will be available on Wednesday afternoon, March 16, and all day Friday, March 18, for small-group Affinity Meetings. An Affinity Meeting is a gathering of people from a specific discipline (for example, a meeting of archeologists or of wildlife biologists) who come together to discuss issues of common interest to their field.  The subject of the meeting should be substantive, not merely programmatic (use Business Meetings for that).  Affinity Meetings can be structured around paper presentations, panel discussions, or some other format. You may propose either a 2-hour or a 4-hour Affinity Meeting. Because Affinity Meetings are intended to be for smaller groups, they will be assigned to rooms that seat no more than 30–60 people. (See "Important note to session organizers," below.)

Organize a 2- or 4-hour Business Meeting. A limited amount of space will be available on Wednesday afternoon, March 16, and all day Friday, March 18, for small-group Business Meetings. A Business Meeting is one that focuses exclusively on programmatic or other business-oriented discussions.  Business Meetings also differ from all other conference sessions in that the session organizer has the option of designating them “by invitation only.” You may propose either a 2-hour or a 4-hour Business Meeting. Because Business Meetings are intended to be for smaller groups, they will be assigned to rooms that seat no more than 30–60 people. (See "Important note to session organizers," below.)

Present an 25-minute Paper for assignment to a concurrent session. If you have a paper that you’d like to present, but which is not already affiliated with a session proposal, you can submit a proposal for an oral Paper presentation. If there are enough other papers on the same topic, the Conference Committee will consider creating a concurrent session for them.  Papers can be either case studies or broader analyses/syntheses. While a Paper certainly may focus on a single park, protected area, or cultural site, we encourage you to emphasize the possible relevance of your findings to other parks and sites. Papers are allotted 25 minutes each: 2 minutes for the session chair to introduce the presenter, 18 minutes for the presentation, and 5 minutes for Q&A. (Read the instructions for session organizers, presenters & authors.)

Present a Poster. A Poster is a graphically oriented presentation that is displayed vertically on a poster board. The Poster Session runs all day from Sunday evening through Thursday mid-afternoon of the conference week. Posters often provide an excellent alternative to Paper presentations because they are well-suited for visual data, such as maps and graphs, as well as for promoting discussion about ideas at the early conceptual stage or projects that are still underway. The Conference Committee encourages those who are thinking about submitting a proposal for a Paper presentation to consider whether it might work better as a Poster.  Computer demos accompanying posters are also welcome.  (Read the instructions for session organizers, presenters & authors.)

Present a Freestanding or Tabletop Exhibit. An Exhibit is a pre-manufactured display that either is freestanding on the floor or designed to fit onto a table-top (table dimensions 2x6 feet). Exhibits will form part of the Poster Session, and be available for continuous viewing from Sunday evening through Thursday mid-afternoon.  (Read the instructions for session organizers, presenters & authors.)

 

Important note to session organizers.

People whom you invite to present papers, serve as panelists, or otherwise take part in your session must pay a registration fee just like anyone else — even if they are only coming to the conference to participate in this one session. (An inexpensive single-day rate is available.) It is your responsibility as session organizer to ensure that your invited participants will pay their own way, or else you must cover their registration fees for them.

 


STEP 3: Complete the proper abstract form and submit your proposal.
Now that you’ve decided which type of proposal you want to submit, click one of the links in the table below to go to the abstract submission form for that type of proposal.

POSTED OCTOBER 1, 2010: The deadline for abstracts was yesterday, September 30. The links to abstract submission forms in the following table have been disabled. If you've already submitted an abstract, you should have gotten an email from us acknowledging receipt of your submission.  That email references an abstract identifying number in the subject line.  If you submitted an abstract, but did NOT get this acknowledgment email message, please contact the GWS at info@georgewright.org or call 1-906-487-9722.

 

Type of Proposal Format Length of session / presentation Notes
Organize a session of Invited Papers Invited papers 2 hours PowerPoint projector & hookups provided (you must supply your own laptop)
Organize a Panel Discussion Panel discussion 2 hours PowerPoint projector & hookups provided (you must supply your own laptop)
Organize a Day-Capper Varies 1 hour 30 minutes All Day-Cappers run from 4–5:30 pm; “PowerPoint-Free” sessions encouraged
Organize a Sharing Circle Faciliated roundtable discussion 2 hours A-V not used
Organize a Workshop Varies 2 or 4 hours PowerPoint projector & hookups provided (you must supply your own laptop)
Organize an Affinity Meeting Varies 2 or 4 hours All Affinity Meetings will be scheduled for either Wednesday afternoon, March 16, or Friday, March 18; PowerPoint projector & hookups provided (you must supply your own laptop)
Organize a Business Meeting Varies 2 or 4 hours All Business Meetings will be scheduled for either Wednesday afternoon, March 16, or Friday, March 18; PowerPoint projector & hookups provided (you must supply your own laptop)
Present a Paper Oral paper presentation 25 minutes These unaffiliated papers are assigned to concurrent sessions by the Conference Committee
Present a Poster (also use this form to propose a Computer Demo) 44" x 44" inch space on posterboard with table below for handouts Continuous viewing Sun–Thurs Presenters encouraged to stand by their posters during the Tuesday evening reception; read these technical instructions
Present a Freestanding Exhibit Premanufactured exhibit that stands on floor Continuous viewing Sun–Thurs Exhibits may be staffed, but do not have to be; read these technical instructions
Present a Tabletop Exhibit Premanufactured exhibit that fits on 2x6-ft tabletop Continuous viewing Sun–Thurs Exhibits may be staffed, but do not have to be; read these technical instructions