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Submit a Session, Town Hall, or Workshop Proposal

Sessions, Town Halls, Workshops and Innovative Sessions

We are now accepting proposals for Fall Meeting 2020, including Innovative Sessions, a new format inspired by programming at 2019's Centennial Central. Due to COVID-19, AGU has extended the deadline until Thursday, 23 April 2020. If you have any questions, please contact AGU's Scientific Program Team.

Propose a Fall Meeting session

We invite session proposals for Fall Meeting 2020.
Submitters are encouraged to view existing submissions first.

Deadline for submissions: Thursday, 23 April

Submit Now

Who can submit?

AGU is committed to developing a diverse and equitable Fall Meeting and an inclusive program that enriches our science and society. We encourage sessions with diverse groups of conveners who can work together to broaden participation.
The primary convener serves as the point of contact for the session and MUST be a CURRENT 2020 AGU member.
Co-conveners are not required to be AGU members; however, to fully participate in the planning and scheduling process in August, current 2020 membership is required.
All session conveners and chairs should review AGU's Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy.

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Session proposal guidelines

We recommend you prepare your proposal outside of the online submission system to avoid losing any content in case of technical issues. Please refer to AGU's guidelines for proposals for additional questions.

All proposals must meet these standards to be considered and will be reviewed by the AGU Fall Meeting Program Committee.

Before submitting your proposal, please take the time to carefully examine the list of session proposals already submitted to the meeting to ensure your proposed session does not significantly overlap with other sessions.

Each proposal must have between two and four conveners, including the primary convener. We encourage a diverse set of conveners; please consider including an early career scientist in your proposal.

At least one of the conveners must be designated as a ‘primary liaison’ and be available for discussions with the Program Committee regarding the session proposal during May and August. The full name, affiliation, and email address of each convener is required. All individuals listed as a convener must have agreed to serve as a convener before submitting the proposal.

Please note: sessions with similar scope may be merged and merged sessions still are only allowed have four conveners. To ease the merging process it is recommended to only include two conveners at the time of submission. Conveners can be updated after acceptance if needed. 

There is no limit on the number of proposals submitted by an individual convener, however, the AGU Fall Meeting Program Committee reserves the right to reject or merge multiple proposals submitted by the same convener(s) on related topics or across disciplines. The Program Committee may also move sessions to another or more appropriate AGU section than the one to which it was submitted, request conveners revise the session title and/or description, or merge proposals on similar topics.

Session proposals must include an informative title, a maximum of 300 characters not including spaces, and be in title case (e.g., Mark the Dates for Fall Meeting on Your Calendar).

The session description is limited to 150 words and should concisely describe the session's scientific and topical relevance. Sessions can focus on scientific results, their applications, or the impact of Earth and space science on society.

The description will be used during the review process. After the abstract deadline, proposed session descriptions will no longer be posted. Prior to acceptance, the Program Committee may request that conveners revise the session title and/or description or merge proposals on similar topics. Session descriptions will be posted during the abstract submission phase to assist submitters in identifying an appropriate session and will be published in the final program.

Sessions that are celebratory or honorary will not be considered. Sessions cannot be in tribute of a specific person or contain the name of a scientist in the session title or description. Proposals deemed to be primarily advertisements of commercial products and services or that contain the name of a specific experiment in the title or description will not be considered.

Proposals should not include potential invited authors or make special requests.

Session conveners may not be the first author or presenter on an invited abstract in the session they are convening. Conveners may submit a contributed abstract to any session or a session they are convening; however, they must be scheduled as a poster presentation.


Session proposals will be publicly available throughout the submission period. Potential chairs should carefully examine the list of submitted session proposals to ensure their proposed session does not significantly overlap with other sessions.

Session conveners may propose sessions in other formats than the traditional oral or poster sessions. More information on these formats is available within the Session Formats section below.

SWIRLs (Sessions With Interdisciplinary Research Linkages) identify, link, and organize sessions covering major themes across various disciplines and sections. If appropriate, choose a corresponding SWIRL theme to help make your session more discoverable within the scientific program. There is a limit of 1 SWIRL selection per session proposal.

Consult the section below, Collaborative Sessions, to determine if your session should be co-organized, cross-listed, or co-sponsored. By selecting these options, you indicate opportunities for collaboration or a connection between related sessions and across topics.

With the exception of approved Union sessions, section sessions are able to invite up to two authors to submit abstracts to your session once abstract submissions open in June. 

AGU’s main objectives for allowing invited authors include: (1) raising the profile of a session and (2) enticing authors who would not otherwise submit an abstract to a session in an effort to, for example, enhance diversity or interdisciplinary perspectives or feature early-career scientists.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Being an invited author does not guarantee that the person will receive an oral presentation unless it is a Union session.  

All invited authors may be subject to being scheduled either in an oral OR a poster session. If a session is allocated an oral session the authors in that session and the length of presentations will be determined by the conveners during the scheduling process.

AGU GO provides users with live streamed and/or on-demand presentations of sessions to expand the reach of the Fall Meeting. During the submission process, conveners may request that their proposals be considered for AGU GO. If approved, ALL contributed and invited abstract submitters must sign a release. All Union sessions will be part of AGU GO in 2020; all of the oral presentations in these sessions are required to be available.

Index terms help authors to search for relevant sessions during the abstract submission process. They are equally helpful to attendees when the online program is published.  One to four index terms must be provided with the session proposal. View the full list of index terms within our resources for authors.

Session formats

Aside from the traditional oral and poster session formats, several additional session formats are also available. Proposals for specific session formats will be reviewed and are not guaranteed. Selecting a specific session format does not increase chances of receiving an oral session.

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  • Poster sessions receive half-day slots and will be displayed for a full day during the meeting but will be considered active only during the session time block. More than half of the presentations given at AGU Fall Meeting are poster sessions.
  • Oral sessions receive a two-hour time slot. There are no one-hour sessions, except named lectures. Conveners may schedule these sessions with varying presentation lengths and as informal panels. Not all sessions receive an oral allocation.

    • Panels are formal discussions in an oral session setting. Panels will be approved by the Program Committee prior to abstract submissions opening in June. Sessions that are allocated an oral session in August may also schedule their session as a panel if they wish.
    • Short talks are quick-changing oral presentations comprised of multiple five-minute talks or a mix of oral and poster presentations in an oral session setting.
  • eLightning sessions are three-minute oral presentations, paired with digital, interactive, poster presentations. View the Fall Meeting 2019 eLightning Gallery for examples.
  • Poster only format selection indicates the convener requests only a poster session, without an oral session component.

SWIRL themes

SWIRLs (Sessions With Interdisciplinary Research Linkages) identify, link, and organize sessions covering major themes across various disciplines and sections. If appropriate, choose a corresponding SWIRL theme to help make your session more discoverable. SWIRLs will be used for creating suggested itineraries once the scientific program is released in October. There is a limit of 1 SWIRL selection per session proposal.

The climate system comprises various components, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere. Sessions highlight the scientific advancements in research dealing with climate variability, climate change and climate change impacts - from global to local scales – and from the past to the future.

Earth and space science data is critical to scientific advancement–improving our understanding of how natural systems operate and change. Whenever possible, data should be openly accessible and preserved for reuse in the future. Sessions highlight emerging technologies, new platforms that enable the collection of new data, new computational techniques (machine learning, semantic technologies) and new visualization tools.

From the Earth’s magnetosphere to its inner core, the geosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere interact in large-scale processes that have governed the Earth’s evolution since its formation. These sessions and named lectures highlight observations and models that shed light on and deepen our understanding of earth processes.

Selected sessions draw from diverse fields of study, providing new insights that enlarge our understanding of the physics and impacts of extreme events and hazards. They also explore monitoring trends, planned new observations, and new tools to predict extreme events and associated hazards.

This collection is composed of sessions on resources and energy challenges, as well as methods for their identification, processes taking place, management, and modeling, with a particular emphasis on water resources.

Sessions examine the physical processes within our solar system that led to the formation of Earth and other planets and the differences in their atmospheres, surfaces, and interiors. Planetary habitability, recognition of extraterrestrial biosignatures, and investigative approaches to detecting life elsewhere in the solar system are also explored.

Communicating the value and impact of Earth and space science to decision makers, journalists, and public audiences is critically important. Effective science communication allows us to build dialogues and develop and foster relationships of mutual respect. Sessions in this SWIRL will provide examples, guidelines, and/or insights into ways to communicate science and its value in an accessible, compelling, and reciprocal manner across a variety of media (including art, social media, and multimedia) and with a wide variety of audiences.

Soils are both responders and drivers of critical environmental changes facing the Earth. These sessions highlight the complexity of the soil system including erosion; dust production; soils in water, transport, and chemistry; isotopic analyses; pedogenic processes affected by volcanism; physical, chemical, and biological composition; fertility; greenhouse gas production; and weathering.

  • 1 AGU Section Cross-Listing

    Conveners can select up to four AGU section cross-listings. These are used for indexing and as a point of reference for authors during the abstract submission process. They also help attendees find sessions of interest in the online program.
  • 2 Co-organized sessions

    Co-organized sessions showcase transdisciplinary science. They indicate a collaborative effort among AGU sections. Co-organized sessions must have co-conveners with primary affiliations in different AGU sections.
  • 3 Co-sponsored Sessions

    Co-sponsored sessions strengthen collaboration across organizations with whom AGU has an agreement and among members. They help attendees to find sessions of interest. If you are not a current AGU member but you are a member of a co-sponsoring organization, email the Scientific Program Team for help with submitting your session proposal. See the full list of co-sponsoring organizations below.
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Is the session collaborative?

Proposing a Union session

Union sessions should focus on topics of broad interest that benefit attendees who have expansive interests beyond their own discipline. Because of the multidisciplinary character of these sessions, Union sessions are not cross-listed with sections.

  • 1
    Union session proposals are approved by the chair of the AGU Fall Meeting Program Committee.
  • 2
    Union sessions are the only scientific sessions that consist entirely of invited abstracts.
  • 3
    There is no limit on the number of invited authors for Union sessions, but a maximum of eight authors is recommended.
  • 4
    The length of presentations is at the discretion of the convener. Conveners are encouraged to schedule longer presentations in Union sessions (20–30 minutes), instead of the traditional 15-minute talks in other sessions.
  • 5
    Union sessions are limited. Each approved Union session topic will be a two-hour oral session and do not have a poster component.
  • 6
    If a session submitted as a Union session is not approved , it may be moved to a regular section session. That session is not guaranteed an oral allocation and must abide by the two invited author maximum.
  • 7
    All Union sessions will be part of AGU GO in 2020; all of the oral presentations in these sessions are required to be available.

Session proposal review process

The AGU Fall Meeting Program Committee will review all session proposals in mid-May. The evaluation process may include decisions to merge several proposals to ensure ample interest in each session and to avoid duplicate sessions on similar topics.

At least one of the conveners must be designated as a 'liaison' and be available for any discussions with the Program Committee regarding the session proposal in May. The Program Committee will notify conveners if sessions need to be merged or have their descriptions revised. Conveners will receive an email regarding the status of their proposal in early June 2020.

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Let your voice be heard!

We invite Town Hall proposals for Fall Meeting 2020.

Deadline for Submissions: Thursday, 23 April

Submit Now

Town Hall proposal guidelines

Town Halls offer an opportunity for government agencies, academic programs, special projects, and other focused interest groups to gather input from the AGU community. They are open to all meeting participants.  The Fall Meeting Program Committee reviews and assesses the proposals, and finalizes the schedule for all approved Town Halls.

All session conveners and chairs should review AGU's Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy.

All Town Hall participants and organizers must register to attend Fall Meeting in order to attend the Town Hall;  registration will open in August.

The description should be not more than 200 words, including target audience and goals. If accepted, the description may be edited to conform to AGU style and format before being published.

The submitter must be an AGU member and be up-to-date on their 2020 dues.

Town Hall proposals must include a primary contact, including name and affiliation, and a list of proposed speaker names, if applicable. Please add as much information as known at the time of submission. If accepted, you will have an opportunity to update your list of participants.

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Help fellow attendees improve their skills

We invite proposals for Fall Meeting 2020 workshops.

Deadline for submissions: Thursday, 23 April
Submit Now

What is a scientific workshop?

Scientific workshops provide a way to share your knowledge, skills or other resources in a workshop setting, free from the format constraints of traditional scientific sessions. For examples of past workshops, view the Fall Meeting 2019 scientific workshop schedule.

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Workshop proposal guidelines

We invite AGU members, industry partners, and other organizations to bring their innovative workshop ideas and content to Fall Meeting to share with over 25,000 attendees. Submissions will be reviewed and approved by the Fall Meeting Program Committee.

Scientific Workshops will be held prior to the Fall Meeting on Saturday, 12 December and Sunday, 13 December.

Proposals should include the following: a brief description (1-2 paragraphs) of the workshop, proposed agenda, at least one defined learning objective and its relevance to the AGU community, and the names and emails of all organizers and presenters.

Workshop organizers should review AGU's Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy.

Proposals should include at least one defined learning objective.

Proposals should indicate if they will be a half-day or full-day workshop (4 hours and 8 hours respectively). All workshops will include breakfast and/or lunch depending on full-day or half-day scheduling.

Workshop attendance will be limited to 150 attendees.

Unless workshop conveners have their own funding sources to sponsor or support attendees' workshop registration fees, AGU will charge workshop attendees as follows: $75 (regular)/$40 (student) per half-day session and $150 (regular)/$75 (student) per full-day session to support logistics and food and beverage.

Workshop selection process

The Fall Meeting Program Committee uses the following criteria during the approval process to select workshops:
  • 1
    The proposed workshop is transdisciplinary in focus.
  • 2
    The workshop is educational or co-creative in nature. Workshops that are advertisements of commercial products and services will not be considered.
  • 3
    The workshop proposal encourages analysis and reflection on scientific subject matter that formulate challenge problems and promote discussion, debates, and long-term visions for the discipline.
  • 4
    The proposed workshop is creatively structured to promote discussion and interaction among the attendees.
  • 5
    The proposal was submitted by a community that has not traditionally participated at Fall Meeting, but is relevant to Earth and space science.
  • 6
    The workshop is organized by a diverse set of leaders versus a single convener (the committee recommends three to four).
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NEW FOR 2020! Call for Innovative Sessions

AGU is seeking submissions from AGU members for two additional types of competitive sessions for the 2020 meeting in addition to the regular oral, eLightning, poster, and Union sessions:

  1. sessions that include a virtual component that expand inclusivity and model ways that meetings can reduce their carbon footprint;
  2. that allow for a meeting-within-a-meeting, similar to the Centennial programming in 2019.

New! Innovative Session Submissions

Completed submissions due Thursday, 23 April.

Submit now

Innovative Sessions that include a virtual component

AGU is calling for session proposals that integrate virtual participation and presentation in a dynamic way and creatively demonstrate the value and potential of remote participation and engagement.

Successful proposals will:

  • Feature speakers or presenters who are of high benefit to the AGU community, but unable to attend the Fall Meeting.
  • Demonstrate or showcase new opportunities for virtual engagement by remote and in-person participants that could be models for expanding inclusion and reducing the carbon footprint of future meetings.
  • Showcase or connect remote locations, labs, and/or field sites as part of the presentation and session.
  • Encompass diverse presenters and conveners.
  • Consist of oral, panel, poster, or eLightning, or a combination of any of these.
  • Span a typical two-hour or half-day poster slot or half-day or full day meeting-within-a-meeting (see below).

One example is the GeoHealth session at the 2019 Fall Meeting. Session proposals will be evaluated on the benefit for both remote and in-person attendees as well as on technological feasibility, cost and likelihood of success (e.g., commitment of remote speakers should be indicated).

At Fall Meeting 2019, attendees in San Francisco joined scientists in Washington, D.C., in a simulcast Town Hall meeting.

Innovative Meeting-within-a-Meeting sessions

AGU is calling for session proposals that allow for a “meeting-within-a-meeting,” presenting a half-day of creative programming designed around a unifying theme. An example would be similar to the daily Centennial Neighborhood programming at the 2019 meeting.

Successful proposals will:

  • Use a creative mix of programming to engage attendees.
  • Provide a theme of interest to the broad membership.
    • Convergent science themes that bring in scientific thought leaders connected to AGU’s mission are particularly welcome.
  • Encompass diverse presenters and conveners.
  • Span a half- or one-day (i.e., morning or afternoon, or both)

A crowd view of a Fall Meeting 2019 speaker in the Centennial Central area (Moscone Center, San Francisco)

Innovative session acceptance process

Session proposals will be evaluated by the Fall Meeting Program Committee (FMPC) in May on the above criteria as well as on their benefit for attendees, breadth and impact of the proposal toward showcasing AGU-related science. We also encourage proposals that include virtual components, as outlined above. The FMPC will also consider technological feasibility, cost and likelihood of success (e.g., commitment of speakers should be indicated, detailed agenda).

AGU staff will work with the conveners, following their submissions, to assess the cost of technology and support needed for each proposal. Up to 10 sessions of each type will be selected. If a session is not selected, we will contact the conveners with the option of transferring it to a regular oral, poster or eLightning session.

If a session is accepted, the conveners will work with appropriate FMPC liaisons and AGU staff to plan these sessions. AGU will support the execution of these sessions so no fundraising will be necessary. Regular check-ins and progress will be assessed to ensure a high-quality outcome. If conveners are not be able to adhere to regularly scheduled check-ins, the session will be cancelled.

Fall Meeting Program Committee members (by section)


Guy Brasseur, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Fall Meeting  Program Committee Chair
Union program

Nicole Oliphant
Assistant Director, Scientific Programs, Meetings, AGU

Sonja Behnke
Los Alamos Nantional Laboratory

Maribeth Stolzenburg
University of Mississippi

Jennifer Comstock
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Samson Hagos
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

V. Faye McNeill
Columbia University of New York

Ajda Savarin
University of Washington Seattle

Susan van den Heever
Colorado State University

Forrest Hoffman
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Kate Lajtha
Oregon State University

Avni Malhotra
Stanford University

Laura Meredith

Ben Runkle
University of Arkansas

Kiya Riverman
University of Oregon

Melinda Webster
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Adam Winstral
WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF

Sarah Baumgardner
Chevron Corporation Houston

Kimberly Hill
University of Minnesota

Marisa Palucis
California Institute of Technology 

Jens Klump
CSIRO Mineral Resources 

Mark Parsons
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Sudhir Shrestha

Sanlyn Buxner
Planetary Science Institute 

Michelle Nichols
Adler Planetarium

Sujata Goswami
California Institute of Technology

Lei Wang
Ohio State University

Susan Anenberg
Environmental Health Analytics

Morgan Gorris
University of California Irvine

Daniel Tong
George Mason University

Ben Zaitchik
Johns Hopkins University

David Cairns
Texas A&M University College Station

Ben Kravitz
Indiana University Bloomington

Erwan Monier
University of California Davis

Ioan Lascu
Smithsonian Institution

Sankar Arumugam
North Carolina State University

Laura Bowling
Purdue University

Hang Deng
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Charles Luce
USDA Forest Service

Hamid Moradkhani
University of Alabama

Lowell Miyagi
University of Utah

Sergio Vinciguerra
University of Turin

Andy Parsekian
University of Wyoming

Steven Fletcher
Colorado State University

Kendra Daly
University of South Florida Tampa

Zackary Johnson
Duke University

Charles Nittrouer
University of Washington Seattle

Janet Sprintall
University of California San Diego

Jennifer Hertzberg
Old Dominion University

Michèle LaVigne
Bowdoin College

Branwen Williams
Claremont Colleges

Conor Nixon
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

David Williams
Arizona State University

Padma Yanamandra-Fisher
Space Science Institute

Thushara Gunda
Sandia National Laboratories

Chelsea Peters
University of Delaware

Qinya Liu
University of Toronto

German Prieto
Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Romina Nikoukar
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
SPA - Aeronomy

Elizabeth MacDonald
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
SPA - Magnetospheric Physics

Christina Lee
Space Sciences Laboratory
SPA - Solar and Heliospheric Physics

Colin Jackson
National Museum of Natural History

Miki Nakajima
University of Rochester 

Chung-Han Chan
Nanyang Technological University 

Marianne Karplus
University of Texas at El Paso

Patrick Fulton
Cornell University

Matthew Jackson
University of California Santa Barbara

Christy Till
Arizona State University

Dominique Weis
University of British Columbia