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Call for symposia proposals for AOS 2017 - deadline Feb. 1

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Call for Symposia

We are requesting proposals for half-day, full-day, and lightning-style symposia and round-table discussions to occur at the conference. Proposals are due by 1 February 2017.

The theme for this meeting is Birds in the Anthropocene. We seek to have a diversity of thematic sessions at American Ornithology 2017 meeting that provide in-depth exploration of timely topics and highlight important new advances in ornithological research. Proposals for symposia and round-table discussions that emphasize the theme of the American Ornithology 2017 meeting are especially encouraged. We also strongly encourage symposia proposals that consider speaker diversity and gender equality.


Symposia will bring together experts to share their results and experiences organized around key topics in ornithology. Talks within each symposium should be focused around a central theme with minimal overlap among talks. Organizers may request half- or full- day sessions; morning sessions permit six 15-min timeslots and afternoon sessions permit nine 15-min timeslots. Longer talks can be scheduled but must be multiples of 15-min and each symposium should include a summary or panel discussion as the final 1 (half day) or 2 (full day) timeslots. We also encourage the submission of proposals for lightning symposia, which consist of strictly timed 5-minute talks that address a common theme/question in ornithology.

Tools for Ornithology. With the introduction of new tools and techniques in the study of birds, not all attendees will have knowledge of the latest approaches being used. We request proposals for special symposia under the title of Tools for Ornithology. Introductory keynote ‘tools’ talks should be 30 minutes and provide an overview of the newest techniques or tools, how we use them, what questions can and cannot be answered with them, and common pitfalls when using them, for example. The remaining speakers apply this tool in their research talks. For example, a radar ornithology overview would explain how radar data are used in the study of migration, with remaining talks in the session focused on the research application of this tool. Potential tools talks could include RNA-seq approaches, Stable Isotopes, Geolocators, Satellite telemetry, and Automatic Bird Classifiers for sound recordings, but other topics are welcome.

The Scientific Program Committee will organize an Undergraduate Symposium, providing undergraduate students the opportunity to share their research and to encourage a new generation of ornithologists. Presentations will follow the regular 12 min talk with 3 min for questions format. We are not requesting proposals for this symposium, but include mention of it here to alert faculty and encourage undergraduates to submit abstracts once the Call for Abstracts is released.

Round-table discussions

These discussions are typically open meetings that provide opportunities for individuals interested in a specific topic to meet in a programmed time and place to talk about future directions or generate planning documents. Round-tables are not intended to include presentations (audio/visual support will not be provided), but rather to encourage group participation. These events will be scheduled in the evening.


Proposals for symposia and tools in ornithology should be a maximum of two pages (PDF; in English) and specify the following:

  1. Type of event (symposium, tools in ornithology).
  2. Title of event that reflects its theme (maximum 100 characters).
  3. Name, affiliation, and contact information for the organizer(s).
  4. Name, affiliation, contact information, and talk titles (maximum 100 characters) for 5-6 invited speakers.
  5. Preferred duration (half or full day; morning or afternoon session for a half-day duration) and format (regular or lightning symposia).
  6. A description (500 word maximum) of the objectives and topics to be covered during the event, including a brief explanation of the steps taken to achieve diversity in the line-up of invited speakers for the symposium.
  7. Rationale for why the symposium/tool talk is timely and why it would be interesting to a large number of attendees.


Proposals for roundtables should be a maximum of one page (PDF; in English) and specify the following:

  1. Title of roundtable that reflects its theme.
  2. Name, affiliation, and contact information for the organizer(s).
  3. A description of the objectives and potential topics to be covered during the roundtable, including rationale for why the roundtable is timely and interesting for attendees.

Additional updates and information about the application process, selection criteria, and event dates and times are available on the meeting website (http://aossco2017.fw.msu.edu).

Event organizers and invited speakers are expected to pay for full conference registration and be responsible for their own travel expenses. The symposium organizer(s) will be responsible for inviting and confirming attendance by prospective speakers at their symposium, including confirming that all speakers have submitted an abstract by the deadline for the conference.

All proposals for symposia or round-table discussions must be received by 1 February 2017. Please send them to the AOS/SCO Scientific Program Committee at 2017Symposia@gmail.com with the subject AOS/SCO 2017 Symposium Proposal.

Please contact the Scientific Program Chair Sharon Gill (sharon.gill@wmich.edu) with any questions or concerns.


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