The title would be the same one that is used on announcements, publicity, and in any correspondence regarding
the Field Forum.
Subject and Objectives
This section should include a summary of the scientific topics to be discussed, the objectives of the Field
Forum, and the relevance of the scientific issues, including alternate views. It is critical that the
proposal describe the significance and scientific rational clearly, concisely, and with a minimum of
Statement Explaining How the Field Forum Proposal Will Meet the Purpose and Objectives of a
Thompson Field Forum
What new ideas, unresolved controversy, or potential future significant advances pertaining to the subject
justify the need for the Field Forum? Does the Field Forum encompass a broad interdisciplinary subject
matter, and does it bring together various earth and planetary science communities both within and beyond
GSA? Is there a balanced and diverse list of potential key participants (including international, gender,
and career-level diversity)?
Preliminary List of Key Participants
Include a list of key participants, their field of interest, and the reason for their involvement, with an
indication of their willingness and ability to participate. This indication normally would be in the form of
letters to the Field Forum leaders from the key participants. Is the involvement of the key participants
needed for discussion of critical outcrops, because they hold opposing views, are they of noted authority on
a subject, or have they worked extensively in that area? This is a particularly critical item in the review
of the proposal and must be included because the success of a field forum is largely a function of who
participates. The total number of invited participants should not exceed 30% of the total attendance, thus
leaving at least 70% of the space available for open application.
In preparing a Field Forum proposal, prospective leaders may contact colleagues to build support by
soliciting expressions of interest in the Field Forum. In so doing, prospective Field Forum leaders should
recognize that a person thus contacted is likely to construe the solicitation as an invitation to
participate in the conference. The number of such solicitations should be limited accordingly.
Preliminary List of Supporting Organizations/Communities
As the primary sponsor of the Thompson Field Forum, GSA welcomes cosponsorship as a logical means to promote
interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary participation in the Field Forum. As a self-supporting Field Forum,
cosponsorships are another resource to support Field Forum participants. This can be in the form of
financial or in-kind support. If the cosponsor has guidelines, and if they are available, a copy should be
submitted with the proposal. It is the responsibility of the Field Forum leaders to check those guidelines
for compatibility with the GSA rules and guidelines.
Preliminary Outline of Itinerary
A preliminary outline of the schedule is important because it forces careful thought about relevance,
organization, and treatment of subject matter. For each day, provide a preliminary plan outlining where the
trip will go, what the overall objectives are for the stops, how many stops are planned, and the amount of
travel time at beginning and end of day plus between stops (i.e., travel time versus time on outcrop).
List the type of transportation (van, bus, boat, etc.) and accommodations (hotel, national parks, etc.).
Ensure that the locations you are traveling to are accessible by the type of transportation you require
(i.e., can a motor coach navigate the access roads or will SUVs be required; can you get the number of SUVs
required to transport the entire group). State what level of physical fitness is required; include amount of
hiking, elevation, type of terrain, etc. Mention any special logistics or need for access permits.
The geographic location will be dictated by the field-trip plan, and little choice will be available. There
should be a balance with regard to a location that lends itself to keeping costs down and at the same time
Provide preferred and alternate dates (or at least a preference for a time of the year). In selecting the
dates, consider the weather or other constraints such as hunting seasons, tides, vegetation, etc. If it is
“peak tourist” season, take into consideration that hotel and transportation options might have limited
availability and/or higher costs. Indicate options for poor weather.
Field Forum Participants and Size
If the anticipated number is above 40 or below 20, an explanation and justification should be included. A
statement on diverse participants (international, gender, and career level) who might be considered and the
source and amount of anticipated financial support for their participation should be provided. For most
Field Forums, a diverse list of participants is essential for success, but in many cases, the expense of
participation, especially for overseas travel, is prohibitive. Potential outside sources of funding for
partially defraying the expenses of selected participants should be identified, but no official contact with
the source should be made until after the proposal has been approved.
GSA is committed to making Field Forums accessible and inclusive to all people interested in attending. Field
Forum leaders should be aware and prepared for the possible use of auxiliary aids or services that may be
needed by some participants because of a disability.
Provide a description of the nature and logistics of any in-house conferencing that is a suggested part of
the Field Forum. How and when will the in-house conferencing fit into the Field Forum? Generally, what is
the length and destination? How does it further the objectives of the Thompson Field Forum? What form of
space will be needed and do you know if such space is available?
Anticipated Field Forum Reports/Guidebooks for Publication
Indicate any plans for publishing the guidebook. A guidebook is required for each trip and is the sole
responsibility of the leaders. Although no formal publication is expected, the leaders have the option of
publishing the guidebook, with the first right of refusal of this publication to be given to GSA. Once a
Thompson Field Forum is approved, leaders may submit a proposal to include the guidebook in GSA’s field
Field Forum Leader Agreement
Include a statement from the Field Forum leaders indicating their willingness to abide by the Thompson Field
Forum General Rules and Guidelines and the GSA Events Code of Conduct. The leaders understand the Field
Forum is to be self-supporting. Consequently, the budget (which is developed by the professional meetings
coordinator in conjunction with the Field Forum leaders) will typically include meals, lodging, field-trip
transportation, and audio-visual equipment. If applicable, international conferences MUST list the names of
any local coordinators or destination management companies (DMC) and any anticipated service fees. GSA staff
assumes responsibility for contracting all services required for the conference.
Field Forum Leader Curriculum Vitae
For each leader, list any field trips or meetings that the leaders have been associated with organizing or
convening. Curriculum vitae for each of the leaders, including telephone numbers, email, and a list of
publications and projects that qualify each for leading the proposed Field Forum proposals are essential to
Preliminary Draft of Budget
A draft of the field forum budget should be included with your proposal. Items for the budget include:
- Lodging (based on double occupancy);
- Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day);
- Facility/meeting room rental (if applicable), including audio-visual, Internet, and poster boards;
- Transportation and fuel costs;
- Field guides;
- Miscellaneous items (park entrance fees, shipping, and supplies); and
- Other costs that may be specific to your conference (additional insurance, permissions, etc.).
This is not a complete list and is for reference only. GSA will approve the final registration fees for the
Field Forum. GSA staff assumes responsibility for contracting all services required for the Field Forum, and
leaders are strongly advised against making formal contacts with any vendors regarding contracts.
If you need additional information or a sample budget, please contact Becky Sundeen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional questions please contact:
Becky Sundeen, email@example.com
The Geological Society of America
3300 Penrose Place, P.O. Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140
Revised April 2019