Call for Organized Session Proposals

Submission Deadline has passed.

The ACES 2018 Program Committee is responsible for developing the program agenda, which groups oral presentations related to similar themes into unified sessions.

To promote collaboration and interdisciplinary dialogue, we invite you to help us develop the program by proposing a session related to your field of expertise.

A list of Programmatic Themes being featured at ACES 2018 is outlined here. However, proposers should not feel limited to these areas – we want to capture emerging topics and new ideas critical to Ecosystem Services.

Session Time Allowance

The amount of time allotted for each of the concurrent sessions is 105 minutes (e.g. 1:30pm-3:15pm).

The structure for each 105 minute session is as follows: 5 minutes for "Session Overview and Introduction," then five 20 minute speaking slots comprised of up to 15 minutes of prepared comments (with or without PowerPoint slides) and a minimum of 5 minutes of audience Q&A and open group discussion. In addition to traditional five-speaker sessions, panel session proposals are also welcomed and encouraged.

Most Standard Oral Sessions will have a total of 5 speakers, while some will have 4 speakers with a group discussion during the last 20-minute speaking slot. A limited number of Panel Session proposals may be accommodated. These panel-only sessions are allowed a maximum of 5 panelists and traditionally do not use PowerPoint presentations.

Session moderators (typically the session organizer) are expected to strongly encourage speakers and/or panelists to allow time for questions and open discussion.

Please keep in mind that participants frequently move between sessions to view talks, so it is important that your session speaker/panel slots be 20 minutes.

Sample Session Agenda
Session 1
1:30pm-3:15pm Session Title
Location Ballroom
Moderator Name
1:30pm-1:35pm Introduction & Overview
1:35pm-1:55pm Speaker
Talk Title
1:55pm-2:15pm Speaker
Talk Title
2:15pm-2:35pm Speaker
Talk Title
2:35pm-2:55pm Speaker
Talk Title
2:55pm-3:15pm Speaker
Talk Title

NOTE: The ACES 2018 conference organizers reserve the right to refuse proposed sessions if time or space are limited, and to cancel any session if deadlines are missed by the session organizer.

Session Proposal Requirements

Session proposals should provide the following information:
  • Session title and brief description, specifying the goals and technical issues that will be its focus. Remember, session titles are critical – most people make decisions about which sessions to attend based solely on the title. Choose carefully.
  • Problem statement or question. Identify a topical question, challenge, or subject related to ecosystem services. What are the most important problems that need to be discussed? Provide a short overview of the topic.
  • Session agenda outlining presentation format.
  • Brief discussion of why the session is of interest and to whom. Who is the target audience? Who would benefit most from the proposed session?
  • Names, postal addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of the proposed session organizer(s), including the name of the primary contact for the proposed session.
    Note: All details for the session will be finalized via communications with only this individual.
  • Description of the qualifications of the session organizer(s).
  • Confirmed session moderator (typically the primary session organizer).
  • List of invited and confirmed session speakers and/or panelists. At a minimum, please include email addresses for all proposed speakers.
    • NOTE: Before submitting a session proposal, we ask that you please contact your intended speakers in advance and confirm they are:
      • interested in giving a talk,
      • available during the conference dates, and
      • confident they will be able to attend
If accepted:
  • As a session organizer, you will be responsible for full management of speakers scheduled in your session, including:
    • Inviting and confirming specific individuals to speak in your session.
    • Confirming a moderator to oversee the session (as organizer, you may serve in this role). The moderator should be prepared to actively lead and moderate discussions throughout the session. It is the Organizing Committee’s goal to promote active discussion and interactions in the sessions in addition to the prepared speaker comments. Each speaker is asked to speak for a maximum of 15 minutes to allow time for discussion and questions. The moderator is expected to keep the discussion focused on the session topic.
    • Adhering to published deadlines and communicating these deadlines to your speakers. Missing deadlines may cause session proposals to be eliminated from consideration, especially if there are more proposals than there is capacity at the conference.
    • Finding a replacement speaker if one of your session presenters cancels (we recommend having at least one back-up speaker lined up in advance for your session).
    • Providing your session speakers with critical abstract submission and conference registration information and instructions, to be detailed in your acceptance notification.
    • Verifying that all of your speakers have submitted abstracts.
    • Emailing the finalized Session Agenda Grid to conference organizers no later than June 13, 2018. THIS DEADLINE WILL NOT BE EXTENDED.
  • All session presenters must submit an abstract following the posted abstract guidelines.
    • Panel session organizers may submit one abstract for the entire session, or individual abstracts may be submitted by panelists if desired.
  • Session speakers who use a PowerPoint presentation will be expected to submit their PPT file to the conference organizers following standard guidelines sent to all speakers.
  • All session organizers and presenters are expected to register for the conference and pay the applicable fee to attend. Financial support for travel is not available for organizers or presenters.

Proposal Submission Format

  • MS Word Document
  • Maximum of five, 8 ½” x 11” pages
  • Full contact information for session organizer(s)
  • A list of invited and confirmed session presenters and/or panelists, along with their contact information (email address, at a minimum)
    • View the ACES 2018 Session Proposal Template: (MS Word) | (PDF)
    • View a sample of a completed Session Proposal: (MS Word) | (PDF)

Important Dates

February 23, 2018 Session Proposal Submission Deadline
March 19, 2018 Proposal Status Notifications Delivered
March 26, 2018 Call for Abstracts Distributed
June 4, 2018 Abstract Submission Deadline
June 13, 2018 Final Session Agenda Grid (order of presentations) Deadline

The ACES 2018 organizers will be responsible for the following:
  • Providing accepted session organizers with further instructions on final session agenda grid submissions and other logistical details.
  • Determining the session date and time (session organizer requests will be accommodated as much as possible).
  • Publicizing the session on the conference website and in digital and printed conference materials.
  • Providing a meeting place and logistical support for the session, including audiovisual equipment and AV operators.

Submission Deadline has passed.

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible. While extending into every community of the state, UF/IFAS has developed a national and international reputation for its accomplishments in teaching, research and Extension.


OCI stands for the Office of Conferences & Institutes. It is a full service conference planning agency at the University of Florida. OCI was created to support the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) mission to develop knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and to make that knowledge available to people to sustain and enhance the quality of life.

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Kristin Zupancic
ACES Conference Coordinator
  • Phone:
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    Gainesville, FL 32611
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