Call for Symposia

American Ornithological Society & BirdsCaribbean 2022

Submission deadline extended: All proposals for symposia must be received by 22 January 2022. 

We seek a varied suite of thematic symposia at the 2022 joint conference of the American Ornithological Society and BirdsCaribbean, with local hosts Para la Naturaleza and Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña, to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 27 June2 July 2022. We invite proposals for symposia that will cover a wide range of timely topics highlighting exciting advances in ornithological research, management, education, and conservation.

Symposia are an opportunity for an integrated synthesis of a new or timely topic that will have broad appeal at the conference. Organizers are expected to include diverse perspectives and voices and are encouraged to consider topics related to the conference theme, “On the Wings of Recovery: Resilience and Action,” although any subjects of broad interest in ornithology are welcome. The invited talks within a symposium should be focused around a central theme or question and allow for thorough coverage of that topic.

  • Traditional Symposia organizers may request one, two, or three 90-minute sessions. Talks should be multiples of 15 minutes and each symposium may include a summary or panel discussion in its final 1–2 15-minute time slots.
  • Lightning Symposia are 90 minutes long with 16 invited 5-minute talks. The final two time slots, totaling 10 minutes, can be reserved for a synthesis of the symposium.

Information for Organizers. Organizers and invited speakers for all symposia are expected to make their own travel arrangements and pay for full conference registration. Organizer(s) of accepted symposia will be responsible for ensuring that the presenters in their symposium submit their final individual abstracts through the online abstract submission portal for general sessions in a timely manner. Organizers or their designee are expected to serve as session moderators. Instructions and deadlines will be provided to the organizers when they are notified of acceptance of the symposium. Organizer(s) are responsible for inviting and confirming participation by prospective speakers at their symposium. Please note, only 15-minute oral presentations will be eligible for the student presentation award competition: neither lightning talks nor talks >15 minutes will be eligible. We ask that you share this information with prospective student participants. Symposium proposals with confirmed participants will be scored higher than those with unspecified participants.

Once accepted, organizers of symposia are expected to communicate with their speakers and coordinate their session. Speakers may present in their home language, but symposium organizers should strongly encourage all speakers to have bilingual slides to increase accessibility to conference attendees who speak other languages, and to follow other guidance to presenters (forthcoming).

Symposia submissions will be evaluated by the conference’s Scientific Program Committee based on the following criteria: 

  • appeal to a broad audience 
  • scientific strength, structure, and organization 
  • proportion of confirmed speakers
  • relevance to the conference theme
  • geographic and topical diversity
  • the inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices

Instructions for Submitting Proposals
Proposals will include:

  • title 
  • organizer(s) who will be the point of contact and responsible for communicating with speakers (name, institution, email, and title)
  • session description and justification (< 1,500 characters), addressing the appeal to a broad audience, connection to the conference theme, and the inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices
  • a one-sentence session summary (< 300 characters)
  • format (one 90-minute session, two 90-minute sessions, three 90-minute sessions, or one 90-minute lightning session)
  • presenter information: name, affiliation, email, tentative presentation title
  • range of desired dates (28 June–2 July)

Only invited speakers who have committed to the session should be listed. 

Deadline extended: All proposals for symposia must be received by 22 January 2022

Send questions to Emily Cohen, Ron Mumme, and Lisa Sorenson, co-chairs of the Scientific Program Committee (via email to, with the subject AOS & BC 2022 Symposium.Proposals for symposia must be submitted through the online AOS Member Portal. You will need to create a free account on the Member Portal if you do not already have one.

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