Call for Proposals
Special Sessions, Symposia, Workshops and Training Courses
CLOSED on January 1, 2011
The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) is now accepting proposals for special sessions, symposia, workshops and training courses at its 4th World Conference on Ecological Restoration, August 21-25, 2011 in Mérida, Mexico. The deadline for submitting a proposal is January 1, 2011; however early submissions are encouraged and proposals will be considered in the order they are received.
Special Sessions: Special sessions are intended to complement the scientific program and provide a forum for presentations or panel discussions on specific themes or issues not usually addressed in the concurrent scientific sessions (see list of concurrent sessions). Special sessions can be organized in a number of different formats and may involve one presenter, a series of lectures and/or a moderated panel discussion. They may also be a forum for the presentation of a film, video or illustrated lecture. Special sessions will be held during one two-hour time slot, and in rare cases, may be granted two consecutive two-hour time slots (10:30-12:30 and 14:00-16:00).
Symposia: Symposia are intended to expand cooperation, understanding and interdisciplinary camaraderie in the main thematic areas of the conference. Composed of formal oral presentations, symposia are expected to focus on new research results, cutting-edge developments, and novel ideas as they relate to the social, economic and ecological aspects of restoration. SER especially welcomes symposia organized by two or more scientists or practitioners from different countries or regions, and those that include speakers representing a diversity of backgrounds and sub-disciplines. Symposia will be allocated one or more two-hour time slots during the scientific program (10:30-12:30; 14:00-16:00; 16:30-18:30).
Workshops and Training Courses: Workshops and training courses are intended to convey specific knowledge, skills or methodologies; they are not intended for the presentation of research papers. Workshops are typically a half or full day in duration, and are more interactive and informal than training courses, which can span 1-3 days. Both workshops and training courses will take place before and after the scientific program. They may involve one or several leaders/presenters, and may include computer-based training, site visits and/or other ‘hands-on’ training methods. Proposals should make clear what skills, tools, or insights participants might expect to gain from the workshop or training course. Their structure is determined by the organizers, but they typically have minimum and maximum enrollments and may specify prerequisites for participation. They should be open to all conference attendees on a first-come first-serve basis. Workshops and training courses will have fees in addition to the conference registration fee.
1. Selection Criteria
The Scientific Program Committee will review and select all proposals based on the following criteria:
• scientific merit
• relevance to the conference theme/focus areas
• relevance to the host region
• applicability to management practices and/or policy
• sponsors or financial support for speaker attendance
• submission of a clearly written and compelling proposal
All proposals must relate to the science and practice of ecological restoration and should meaningfully address the social, economic and/or ecological aspects thereof. Particular attention will be given to proposals that address the SER2011 conference theme “Re-establishing the Link between Nature and Culture,” as well as a number of related topic areas such as:
• Safeguarding biodiversity
• Re-establishing landscape connectivity
• Mitigating and adapting to the effects of global changes
• Protecting threatened and endangered species, populations and habitats
• Fostering sustainable livelihoods and restoring natural capital
• Managing and reintegrating cultural landscapes with agro-ecological and
• Local and traditional ecological knowledge and community-based
approaches to restoration
• Local, national and international environmental policy implications
Limitations of space and time may make it impossible to accommodate all worthy submissions. The Scientific Program Committee will make the final decision with regard to accepting and scheduling all special sessions, symposia, workshops and training courses.
2. Organizer Responsibilities
All sessions must have a lead organizer who serves as the primary point of contact. This person should be readily available by email and telephone in the months leading up to the meeting, and is expected to be present at the special session, symposium, workshop or training course.
These sessions will be coordinated and promoted by the Scientific Program Committee but must be financially sponsored by the individuals and institutions organizing and participating in them. SER will not reimburse organizers for any expenses they may incur. Furthermore, the conference registration fee is still applicable for all organizers and participants, and organizers will be responsible for ensuring that participants register for the conference. Financial support to cover the costs associated with these sessions may be secured through a sponsoring group or organization, and any such sources of funding should be indicated in the proposal.
3. Proposal Submission
Please do not submit a proposal if you are not completely sure that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct such an event. Once a special session, symposium, workshop or training course has been accepted and listed online, it imposes a serious burden to cancel it and prevents other events from being selected.
All proposals must be submitted online no later than January 1, 2011 via the online proposal submission form below. Please note that the following information is required; incomplete or inaccurate proposals may not be accepted:
• Title of the session, symposia, workshop or training course
• Abstract (250 words max.): A brief statement of objectives, the topics to be covered,
and a justification for the session as per the stated selection criteria. Abstracts will be
posted on the SER2011 website.
• Summary/Thesis Sentence (50 word max.): This sentence will be printed in the
conference program, in lieu of abstracts, to guide the attendees.
• Names and contact information for the lead organizer and a secondary contact, if any
co-organizers are indicated.
• Preferred day (s): Special sessions and symposia for Monday, August 22 – Wednesday,
August 24, 2011; Workshops and training courses are to be scheduled pre- or post-
• Room set-up: theater, round table, panel discussion, other.
• Anticipated equipment needs: screen, LCD projector, dedicated laptop computer, slide
projector, overhead projector, flip charts, VCR and monitor, Internet connection (note
that provision of an internet connection cannot be guaranteed and may incur
• Expected number of speakers/presenters
• Potential individual, group or institutional sponsors (if any)
• Has the special session, symposia, workshop or training course been offered before?
If so, where? How many people attended?
You will be notified electronically concerning the receipt, review, and acceptance of your proposal via the return e-mail address you provide. If you do not hear from the Scientific Program Committee or the Conference Program Assistant by January 1, 2011, please contact Levi Wickwire, SER Project Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to confirm that your proposal was received. You will be notified as to the acceptance of your proposal no later than February 1, 2011.