GWS2017: Latest conference news


Update, March 29: Limited NPS attendance at GWS2017 approved

(Posted March 29, 2017) • The Department of the Interior today finally decided to approve the participation of a limited number of National Park Service employees at the conference.  Approximately 60–70 NPS employees will be participating, which means we expect an overall attendance of about 350 for GWS2017. 

We are still in the process of refining the schedule, but this decision ensures that we will have significant participation from NPS in the conference.  To access an up-to-the-minute version of the conference program, download the free mobile app at

Note: you can download a version of the app that can be opened in your Web browser -- either in addition to, or insread of, the version that runs on mobile devices.  If you have trouble getting the mobile version to run, try downloading the Web version -- just click the Web platform option.



Update, March 23: Online registration extended through 5:00pm EDT on Monday, March 27

(Posted March 23, 2017) • To accommodate last-minute registrants, we've extended online registration through 5pm Eastern on Monday the 27th.  After that, you will need to register on-site in Norfolk.  If you are registering on-site, you will need to have payment in hand.  If you are not paying with your own credit card, you will need to present the credit card information so we can key it in, or else give us the full contact information of the cardholder, including mailing address, email, and phone number.


Update, March 23: Up-to-the-minute Conference program now available on mobile app

(Posted March 23, 2017) • The best way to keep up with late changes to the Conference program is to use the Schedule function of our free conference mobile app.  We have just finished uploading the program to the app, and will keep updating it through the conference.  Works on any Android, iOS, or web-enabled device.  Thanks to underwriting from VHB, Inc.. there's no cost to you.  Download at: http://www.guidebook/g/gws2017


Update, March 14: Further reductions in NPS attendance mandated

(Posted March 14, 2017) • A second round of reductions in NPS attendance has come down from the Department of the Interior.  These additional reductions will be reflected in the conference program.  To date, only about 10 of the original 108 scheduled Concurrent Sessions have been canceled outright, with about 25 individual presentations also canceled.  However, these numbers are almost certain to go higher as NPS sorts its attendance out.  Nonetheless, we still have a vigorous and varied program to offer, and expect overall attendance to be 250–350 people.

To see the latest version of the schedule, go to



Significant reductions to the conference program coming

(Posted February 13, 2017) • As many of you know, the US Department of the Interior (DOI) has a conference approval process in place that applies to DOI employees who want to attend a particular conference.  It requires DOI agencies wishing to send significant numbers of employees to a meeting to prepare a proposal to DOI that includes budget figures and a list of the employees who have been agency-approved to attend.  DOI then reviews the proposal and makes a decision on whether to approve or deny it, or change it in some way.

We learned today that the National Park Service (NPS), an agency within the DOI, has decided to cut by at least 50% the number of personnel it had planned to send to GWS2017.  This decision was made in response to a general directive from DOI to limit such requests because of continuing uncertainty over what the final FY17 federal budget will be once the current Continuing Resolution expires in late April. 

This means that  the current configuration of the GWS2017 Daily Schedule and Poster/Exhibit Session lineup will need to be signicantly reduced and, in the case of Concurrent Sessions, restructured.

Beyond this, as noted above the DOI still needs to review the slimmed-down request that NPS is now preparing.  It is possible that further reductions of NPS attendance are possible — and even, in the most extreme case, a complete denial of the NPS attendance request.  We do not have a timetable for DOI to make this decision.  As soon as we know more, we will let everyone know.

No matter what happens, we expect to have a robust and valuable conference experience to offer in Norfolk. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding as we work through this process.

IMPORTANT: If you are an NPS employee who had been directed to cancel his/her attendance, please use this form to notify us.




Navigate the conference with our free mobile app! 

(POSTED January 26, 2017) — Thanks to underwriting from VHB, Inc., we have a free app that you can use on iOS, Android, or web-based devices to navigate the conference.  Includes the complete program, abstracts, and more!  Download at: http://www.guidebook/g/gws2017


Registration now open!

POSTED December 5, 2016 — GWS2017 registration is now open!  Click the Register link on the menu for complete info.


Conference program now virtually complete, available for view

POSTED November 25, 2016 — The GWS2017 program is now virtually complete and availble for viewing/download — click the Daily Schedule link in the menu.


Reminder: October 28 is the deadline for GWS Awards nominations

POSTED October 12, 2016 — The October 28 deadline for nominating someone for a GWS Award is rapidly drawing near.  Any GWS member is welcome to nominate someone for an award (the nominator must be a GWS member, but the nominee need not to be). For more details, go to


Over 300 proposals received for the conference; Poster proposals still being accepted

POSTED October 1, 2016 — More than 300 proposals were received for the conference by the September 30 deadline. These included nearly 90 session proposals, over 150 individual paper proposals, and more.  There is still room in the Poster Session, and we are accepting proposals until our allotted space for Posetrs is filled.  To submit a Poster proposal, click the Call for Proposals / Submit a Proposal link.