GWS2015: Submit a proposal

GWS2015 logo

 

 

 (POSTED OCTOBER 28, 2014) — The deadline for submitting proposals was October 1.  Thanks to everyone who sent in proposals!)

 



 

Want to share your work, your insights, your passion at GWS2015?  We look forward to getting a proposal from you!  To submit one, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Learn about our new results-focused conference format.
  • Step 2: Learn about how the Conference Committee selects proposals and puts together the conference program.
  • Step 3: Find out about our registration policies.
  • Step 4: Decide which format best suits your needs; then, complete the proper abstract form and submit your proposal.

The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2014.   

 


Step 1: Learn about our new results-focused conference framework.

Past GWS conferences asked potential attendees to submit proposals according to format.  For example, if you wanted to organize a Panel Discussion, you filled out a form for a panel discussion.  There was little emphasis on what the sessions or presentations themselves were trying to achieve, and no easy way for attendees to extract that information from abstracts.  For GWS2015, we are moving to a conference framework that focuses on results: proposals are classified according to what they are trying to accomplish.

You can make proposals in three categories: Sessions, Papers, and Posters/Exhibits.

Sessions are 2-hour blocks of time that you organize in order to achieve a specific outcome.  There are five types:

  • Challenge Sessions start with one or more speakers who challenge members of the audience to question their assumptions.  These sessions ask attendees to reconsider everything they think they know about the session topic.  The outcome is that attendees emerge from the session with their critical thinking faculties fully engaged.
  • Compass Sessions ask two questions: “Where are we?” and, “Where do we want to go?”  These sessions start with a state-of-knowledge summary of a particular topic, and then asks the audience to reflect on where we should go from here.  The outcome is a range of possible directions with respect to the session topic that attendees can share with colleagues.
  • Skills Sessions are hands-on training opportunities that increase the capacity of attendees to solve a specific problem. The outcome is that attendees leave with new skills applicable to the problem.
  • Collaboration Sessions bring attendees together to work on or provide input into a specific project or product—it could be a plan, a set of guidelines, a survey, etc.  At the end of the session, the organizers will give attendees the opportunity to help complete the project/product by joining a working group that will continue after the conference.
  • Update Sessions bring attendees together to fill them in on the latest developments with regard to an project, program, or issue.  The outcome is that attendees emerge from the session fully up-to-date on the topic.

You can organize these sessions in several formats, which are explained on the abstract submission form (see links at the bottom of this page).

Papers are 20-minute oral presentations, usually (but not necessarily) accompanied by PowerPoint slides.  If accepted for the conference, Papers are grouped together by the Conference Committee according to topic to make up a 2-hour session.  There are four types of papers:

  • Case Studies report on the experience of a specific park or set of parks with respect to a particular topic. (Example: A paper about Great Smoky Mountains NP's efforts to reach out to gaetway communities.)  The outcome is that audience members come away with a sense of how the Case Study is important and how it is relevant to their own situation.
  • Project Reports tell the audience about a specific project, whether completed or in progress.  (Example: A paper about an elk census in Great Smoky Mountains NP.) The outcome is that audience members come away with a sense of how your project is important and how it is relevant to their own situation.
  • Issue Analyses are your take on an issue that is relevant to parks, protected areas, and cultural sites.  (Example: A paper about the controversial new backcountry fee at Great Smoky Mountains NP.)  The outcome is that audience members come away with a sense of why the issue is important and how it is relevant to their own situation.
  • Program Overviews are descriptions and/or discussions of a program you want to highlight.  (Example: A paper about the archaeology program at Great Smoly Mountains NP.)  The outcome is that audience members come away with a sense of why your program is important and how it is relevant to their own situation.

Posters and Exhibits are visual presentations that are available for viewing through the conference.  There are four types, which are the same as for Papers, described above.

 


Step 2: Learn about how the Conference Committee selects proposals 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 and Focus Sessions, but all the remaining conference sessions are drawn from proposals you submit. The Committee typically sifts through hundreds of abstracts. In selecting proposals, the Committee looks at several factors:

  • First and foremost, the quality of the proposal, in terms of both content and presentation.
  • Whether the proposal will deliver the outcome being promised.
  • 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.

To facilitate the participation of as many people as possible, the Conference Committee asks that individuals propose to take part in no more than two sessions in any capacity as a presenter.  We also cannot accept 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 unless the proposal explicitly describes how the information presented will be relevant to other areas. As noted above, Papers, Posters, and Exhibits may focus on a single park.

 


Step 3. Find out about our registration policies.

GWS aims to provide value for money by charging reasonable registration fees commensurate with the expenses of putting on a professional conference.  To make these conferences possible, everyone who participates, in any capacity, has to register.  Registration fee options are explained here.

Are you proposing a session?  If so, keep in mind that people whom you invite to present papers, serve as panelists, or otherwise take part in your session must register — even if they are coming to participate only in your session. 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 4: Decide which format best suits your needs; then, complete the proper abstract form and submit your proposal.

The table below shows, in the lefthand column, the different options for making a proposal; format choices are in red. (Click here for a description of each format.)  A green "OK" in the cell means that you can propose a session/presentation in that format; a blacked-out cell means that format is not allowed. 

Once you have decided what kind of session/presentation to propose, and in which format, click the blue links in the lefthand column to go to the proper abstract submission form.

 


(The deadline for proposals has passed, so all the links in the table below have been deactivated.)

 

Format >>>>>>>

Invited Speakers

(what is this?)

Panel Discussion

(what is this?)

Day-Capper

(what is this?)

Sharing Circle

(what is this?)

Café Conversation

(what is this?)

Workshop

(what is this?)

Business Meeting

(what is this?)

Challenge Session
OK OK OK OK OK
XXXXX XXXXX
Compass Session
OK OK OK OK OK OK OK
Skills Session
XXXXX
XXXXX XXXXX
XXXXX XXXXX OK XXXXX
Collaboration Session
XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX OK OK OK
Update Session
OK OK OK
XXXXX
OK
XXXXX OK






 
Format >>>>>>>
Case Study
Project Report
Issue Analysis
Program Overview

   
Paper
OK
OK OK OK      
Poster
OK OK OK OK      
Exhibit
OK OK OK OK