Call for Sessions

Call for Sssions has been closed

The Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference brings together scientists, First Nations and tribal representatives, resource managers, community/business leaders, policy makers, educators and students to present the latest scientific research on the state of the ecosystem, to share information about the application of knowledge from science and other sources, and to guide future actions for protecting and restoring the Salish Sea Ecosystem.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Ecosystem Recovery in an International Transboundary System”. An important aim of this meeting includes working towards strategies for recovery and management that integrate across cultures, disciplines, and boundaries, and bringing knowledge to action.

To this end, the conference conveners are calling for proposals for sessions from the Salish Sea community. Sessions are groups of presentations that are organized around a unified topic. Each session is scheduled for 1½ hours and includes a collection of 15 minute presentations (12 minutes of presenting, 3 minutes for Q & A). Given the multi-sector nature of the meeting, and of the issues we face, proposals that cross disciplines and are applicable and engaging to the wide range of participants are encouraged.

We encourage proposals for three types of sessions:

Please note that we are seeking only session proposals at this time.
We are working with the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) to manage all submissions for the 2018 conference.
You will be directed to the SPIE website to submit and manage your session proposal.
Please note, you are submitting for the Session Proposal but will see a tab titled Abstract- we are not able to modify the text and this is still ONLY the session Proposal stage

Special Sessions

intentionally address emerging or integrative topics in science, policy, or management, or incorporate the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference theme of "Ecosystem Recovery in an International Transboundary System" by individuals and communities of all sectors in the recovery and sustainability of the Salish Sea. The Conference Program Committee is particularly interested in organized sessions that address the following themes:

  • Topics that integrate across biophysical science, social science, and policy. These sessions will include findings or ideas stemming from both social and biophysical research. Examples of such integrative topics include: fish consumption rates and advisories, Elwha River restoration, marine mammal conservation, marine spatial planning and watershed management.
  • Energy and the Salish Sea. Already home to oil refineries, oil pipelines, and coal terminals, the Salish Sea faces significant increases in transportation and export of products from coal mines and tar sands, with potential impacts on the biophysical ecosystem as well as cultural values. Sessions on the science, policies, economic factors and cultural factors related to this issue are welcomed.
  • Sessions that include representation by, or issues of importance to, business/industry and the private sector generally.
  • Climate change topics that include contributions from representatives of industry, business, science, tribes, and agencies working and collaborating on prediction, adaptation, mitigation, or cumulative impacts.
  • Transboundary environmental standards. These sessions will discuss policy goals, management, and the state of the science, including barriers and solutions, related to environmental standards that cross political boundaries in the Salish Sea. Examples include water quality standards and fish consumption rates.
  • Social Indicators for the Salish Sea
  • Structured and shared decision-making and the role of policy, science, legal frameworks, economics and culture to support Salish Sea protection on short- and long-term horizons

General Sessions

General Sessions can cover a broad range of topics and form the foundation of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conferences. Session topics include but are not limited to the items below.

Conservation and the Salish Sea

  • Birds and Mammals
  • Salmon
  • Forage Fish
  • Marine Mammals (whales, seals, otters)
  • Wetlands
  • Estuaries
  • Shoreline
  • Shellfish
  • Water Quality
  • Conservation Planning
  • Non-indigenous species

Fate, transport and toxicity of chemicals

  • Persistent chemicals (PCBs, dioxins, furans, flame retardants)
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Water quality
  • Stormwater
  • Prespawn mortality
  • Nonpoint source
  • Point source
  • Air pollution
  • Long-range transport of contaminants
  • Fate and transport
  • Remediation of contaminated sites
  • Spills of hazardous materials and oil


  • Media in science outreach
  • Informing constituencies and stakeholders
  • Education and outreach
  • Connecting citizen science to monitoring and management

Social science and the Salish Sea

  • Salish Sea as an integrated social-ecological system
  • Multiple benefits
  • Human well being as an indicator for the Salish Sea
  • Networks of decision makers, stakeholders and scientists
  • Transboundary differences in attitudes and social considerations
  • Ecosystem services and human welfare

Policy, management and the Salish Sea

  • Planning for conservation of the Salish Sea
  • Restoration planning
  • Future growth
  • Puget Sound Partnership action agenda
  • Transboundary monitoring coordination
  • Integrated co-management (Tribes, First Nations, Federal, State and Provincial)

Climate change and the Salish Sea

  • Alteration of climate in the Salish Sea
  • Habitat alteration due to climate change
  • Changes in Hydrology and water use
  • Interaction between climate change and establishment of non-indigenous species
  • Ocean acidification
  • Sea level change and storm events

Protection, Remediation and Restoration

  • Remediation of contaminated sites
  • Low impact development-green infrastructure
  • Green development
  • Protection of critical areas

Panel/Round-table Discussion

Panel/Round-table Discussions are also being solicited.

  • Round table discussions are debates or explorations in which each participant is encouraged to participate. Often a particular topic or topics is placed before the group to initiate the debate.
  • Panel discussions typically have multiple introductory speakers and are concluded with a discussion or question-answer period.
  • These sessions are encouraged for a number of topics including management options for the Salish Sea, joint governance, the interactions between the private, public, non-governmental and tribal sectors, and other topics.
  • Care should be given to ensure that the sessions are not advocacy for a particular policy or scientific viewpoint and they need to have a balanced membership. It is critical that the chair ensure fairness and even participation..