GSA Home Page




PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND WHEN PULLING TOGETHER YOUR TECHNICAL PROGRAM, in order to attract a large number of meeting participants, you must have a well-rounded program. The number, diversity, and quality of sessions will directly affect meeting attendance and the success of the meeting. It is important that all major discipline categories are covered by an appropriate theme or symposium session.

Below are descriptions of the different technical sessions.

1. Theme Sessions

These are are designed to promote the exchange of timely or state-of-the-art information and to allow scheduling of interdisciplinary talks on a specific topic. Theme sessions are like the annual meeting topical sessions. The difference is that abstracts submitted to a theme are both volunteered and solicited. It is important that session organizers be proactive in soliciting appropriate talks.

2. Symposium Sessions

These sessions tpically are on the leading edge of a scientific discipline or area of public policy, address broad fundamental problems, are interdisciplinary, or which focus on global problems. The sessions contain mostly invited talks. Organizers of these sessions must seek out speakers to submit abstracts who are knowledgeable in the topic. These sessions should be considered a big draw for meeting attendees.

3. General Discipline Sessions

These are sessions created by volunteered abstracts submitted to a particular discipline/category. For example, you receive 10 general abstracts where the authors have selected Hydrogeology as their discipline category preference. Those papers can be placed in a general discipline session for Hydrogeology. In recent years, the number of general discipine sessions has declined in proportion to theme sessions.

Nevertheless, a substantial number of abstracts are still submitted under this rubric. To assure that those who might want to submit an abstract that doesn't fit the proposed Theme or Symposium Sessions, the call for abstracts (on the meeting web site at "Submit an Abstract")  should make it boldly clear that abstracts that don't fit may be submitted for the General Discipline Sessions. The bottom line is that you want to maximize abstract submissions.

4. Late Breaking Sessions

If an event (like earthquake or flood) happens close to your meeting time, but too late for publication in the abstracts book, there is also the possibly of creating a late breaking session to have at your meeting.