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Chapman Conferences

AGU Chapman Conferences are small, topical meetings designed to permit in-depth exploration of specialized subjects.

About the AGU Chapman Conference program

Chapman Conferences are interactive, turnkey meetings focused on solving challenges in a specific scientific field. Chapman conferences can be held virtually, in-person, or as a hybrid conference. 

These transformative conferences should be goal-oriented and conveners should consider alternative session formats as well as brainstorming sessions and team exercises to stimulate outcomes during and after the meeting.

Conveners are responsible for scientific planning and programming. AGU team members offer logistics and organizational expertise. Proposals are reviewed four times a year by AGU scientists who provide feedback to conveners.

Caldera-forming Eruptions at Basaltic Volcanoes: Insights and Puzzles from Kīlauea and Beyond

9-14 February 2025

Hilo, Hawai'i

This Chapman Conference will gather in Hawaiʻi to assess current understanding, share insights, and map out work on critical outstanding questions from the Kīlauea 2018 eruption and other global historical eruptions.


Particle Precipitation: Drivers, Properties, and Impacts on Atmosphere, Ionosphere, Magnetosphere Coupling

14-21 February 2025

Melbourne, Australia

The Chapman Particle Precipitation will bring together participants from the atmosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere (AIM) communities to focus efforts on identifying and communicating outstanding issues, how models can bridge knowledge gaps, promising techniques for enhanced analysis, and required new types of observations.

Looking down on clouds produced by atmospheric gravity waves

Remote Sensing of the Water Cycle: Sensors to Science to Society

13-16 February 2024

Honolulu, HI

The Chapman considers the water cycle and the role of scientists, researchers, and business in a time of unprecedented changes in the fields of sensor technology, satellite missions, modeling and applications. Which science questions have been answered in this past decade and what are the next decade’s pressing questions?

Aerial view of downtown Honolulu skyline, beach and blue waters, with a golf course, amphitheater and residential neighborhood in the foreground and rain clouds in the distance.

Second National Conference: Justice in Geoscience Phase II

Fall 2023 - Fall 2024

Washington, DC, USA

Phase II of the Second National Conference consists of the writing of the 2072 Report. The Report will contain a record of the 2022 Second National Conference and articulate a forward-looking vision statement that can guide critical actions and creative interventions towards justice in geoscience from 2022-2072.

Lincoln memorial, Washington monument and Capitol, Washington DC

Convener responsibilities

If you have a conference idea, it takes an average of 15-18 months from your initial application to the actual meeting.

Conveners are expected to:

  1. Engage scientists with breadth of knowledge and diversity of opinions to form the program committee
  2. Support grant applications for funding to keep registration rates down and enable participation from student/early career scientists. All potential sponsorships need to be discussed with AGU before a contract is signed.
  3. Recruit participants, generally a minimum of 75 attendees, including speakers/presenters. Student/early career scientists should be fairly represented at the conference.
  4. Plan the session topics and schedule for the meeting as well as program development including sessions, workshops, career development opportunities.
  5. Promote the conference to your network with the help of AGU team members. 
  6. Create outcomes that can be disseminated in many media, including completing a final conference report for AGU scientists that will be posted on an AGU website. 

After steps 1-6 are complete, submit your Chapman idea for a Phase 1 review to receive feedback from AGU scientists. Once you receive feedback and  make any necessary revisions, submit a Phase 2 application.

Propose a future Chapman Conference

Submit your proposal today.
Get started on your own Chapman Conference proposal by downloading and reviewing our sample proposal (PDF).

Proposal process and overview

Chapman conveners should consider the grand challenges in their science and focus on identifying key, yet solvable, problems. Chapman Conferences are goal-oriented and conveners should have activities before, during and after the meeting that will contribute to its success. Meeting outcomes are required and could include publications, as well as special sessions at scientific meetings (including AGU's Fall Meeting) that present the solutions and pathways developed from the Chapman.

Proposing a Chapman Conference is a two-step process:

Phase I: Submit a high-level proposal to be reviewed by AGU scientists for feedback. Here is the Phase I application.

Phase II: Submit a full proposal that includes list of attendees, funding garnered by conveners and more specific scientific information. Here is a Phase II proposal.

Some conveners submit a revised proposal to funding agencies for meeting support. AGU can provide organizational support.

Proposals may be submitted at any time but are generally reviewed in February, May, August and November by AGU scientists.


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Designing a Chapman

Any AGU member can propose a Chapman Conference.

The program committee designs the conference with sessions, networking, mentoring, public engagement, small group work, or other formats depending on conference needs and outcomes. Your Chapman conference might focus on developing a hypothesis, on testing a hypothesis, or focus on sensing, modeling, or measurements that can yield new results. These are only a few examples of how you could center your meeting.

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Drafting the proposal and creating the team

A convener works with several others to create the scientific statement and high-level topics. Because conveners also recruit attendees, it is critical to have focused document that appeals to multiple career stages.

Phase I of the application answers a few simple questions. Your proposal will be peer reviewed by multiple AGU scientists who will provide feedback. After you make any necessary revisions, you will complete a Phase II application online.

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What you need to know

If you are considering proposing a Chapman Conference, we encourage you to review the following information to understand the scope, organization, and management of Chapmans. If you have questions regarding a proposal, please contact Victoria Forlini, Director, Meetings, AGU.

The conveners should establish an appropriate list of potential participants even before submitting Phase I of the application. The most productive Chapman Conferences include 80-120 attendees with 15-20 graduate students as well as speakers included in that number.

Your Phase II application should include a list of names and contact information of people who are likely to attend the conference.

You should allow no less than 15 months between your proposal and the proposed conference dates.

AGU scientists review Chapman Conference proposals four times a year: February, May, August and November. Chapman submissions are accepted at any time, but would likely wait for the next review cycle. Chapman Conferences should not conflict with major holidays, or other scientific society meetings. No Chapman Conferences are convened in December. View upcoming meetings.

Chapman Conferences range from three to five days. Conference objectives are more likely achieved when all participants remain for the full conference. Conference longer than three days generally have attendance attrition, particularly on the last day.

Chapmans are held globally and AGU team members will work with you to find a location. The site should be chosen to promote conference objectives and limit distractions while keeping costs reasonable. Hotels and lodges in tourist centers or resort areas during off season, all-inclusive resorts or college campuses during semester breaks often provide excellent facilities at reasonable costs. AGU Headquarters in Washington, DC, is also a great location for Chapman conferences.

Your proposal should indicate three possible meeting locations (city and country), in order of priority with notations on why locations are preferred.

While conveners may recommend a venue for the Chapman Conference, the site selection is made by AGU. Selecting a location is a balance between low cost and attracting attendees.

An outcomes plan is part of the conference proposal. Outcomes may include meeting presentations and other public, scientific, or media outcomes. Outcomes may be publications such as conference reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, and/or a book.

Hosting scientific field trips are common with Chapman Conferences and are a reason to suggest a particular location for the meeting.

The Program Committee may recommend a local scientist to assist with the development of the field trip. Additional sight-seeing activities may be organized by the conveners but are not managed by AGU.

Chapman Conferences are a self-supporting program of AGU, meaning AGU does not provide monetary funding. Conveners need to identify potential financial sponsors for their conferences early on. AGU is the principal sponsor of Chapman Conferences, however, other societies, institutions, and organizations can be approved as co-sponsors. Co-sponsorship is a natural way to recognize and promote interdisciplinary approaches to a problem. Anticipated co-sponsors should be identified when submitting your Phase I application.

If your conference is proposed outside the United States, a local geophysicist or geophysical organization should be asked to co-sponsor. Sponsorship, in this case, may not include financial assistance.

AGU is responsible for managing conference finances including the development of the conference budget and setting the registration rates. Revenue comes primarily from registration fees and sponsorship and the conferences are expected to be self-supporting.

Registration fees vary per conference requirements (i.e., food and beverage, audio-visual, and logistics and administrative support, etc.).

It's important that scientists work closely with their program managers to ensure that the science and funding are appropriately aligned.

The scientific program design contributes to the conference outcomes. AGU will support the conveners in designing engaging session formats, including virtual sessions, if desired.

The program should include a scientific plan with a list of recruited speakers. The conveners will also program the daily themes, discussions, posters, panels, and if appropriate, scientific field trips. Time for informal gatherings and discussions are mandatory as they encourage more ideas and collaboration.

The information presented at Chapman Conferences lends itself to publication. The Conference Convener must include a publication plan as part of the proposal. Publication outputs may take the form of conference reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, and/or a book. AGU has a range of options for publication. Contact [email protected] if you are interested in proposing a special collection. Contact [email protected] if you are interested in proposing a book.

Checklist for Chapman Conference proposals

Proposed AGU Chapman Conferences can be held on the same or similar topics as previous or upcoming conferences as long as AGU scientists peer-reviewing the proposal see the scientific merit. Start your conference by following our checklist:
  • 1
    Create a written summary, including scientific topics, objectives and goals.
  • 2
    Prepare a preliminary list of key speakers and anticipated number of participants. Collect contact information for confirmed co-conveners.
  • 3
    Suggest conference dates, potential locations with explanation and duration.
  • 4
    Begin to line up co-sponsors and financial support.
  • 5
    Submit your Phase I application. After receiving peer-review from AGU scientists incorporate your edits in your Phase II application that will provide granular information about sessions, format, attendees, and overall focus.
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Convener resources for approved Chapmans

AGU staff and conveners will work together to produce a highly successful conference. AGU partners with conveners of approved conferences in the following areas:

Conveners will revise their Chapman proposal, as appropriate, and submit it to various funding agencies for travel and meeting support. While AGU assistance is available to submit the grant proposal, the conveners will write it. AGU is listed as a funding recipient and used the money to pay for direct conference expenses. In addition to requesting funds for AGU to pay for the meeting venue, conveners may also request travel support for attendees, e.g., airfare and hotel to help minimize cost for attendees.   

AGU staff assumes responsibility for contracting all services for the conference. AGU staff has responsibility for all conference services including setting registration fees. The conveners should not pre-arrange facility contracts or other services required for the conference.

Conveners will assist in the preparation of announcements and pre-conference communications to be published on social media and other appropriate channels or networks. AGU staff prepares final copy for marketing pieces. Registration and housing information is sent to all who contribute to the conference program or express an interest in attending.

AGU runs an abstract management system for the conference with a schedule based on the scientific program. The primary convener manages the scientific program and all conveners review abstracts. These abstracts are distributed to conference attendees. The program, with abstracts, is also published online by AGU.

Poster sessions invite detailed discussion and are often created for Chapman Conferences with options both in person and virtually. Printed poster options include charts, schematics, maps, photographs and computer outputs. Online posters can include video, audio tours and commentary, and chats and be integrated into the conference schedule. By mixing regular sessions with poster sessions, attendees have more time to exchange ideas and results. 

AGU responsibilities

While AGU scientists focus on the scientific programming of a Chapman meeting, AGU team members lead on logistics, promotion, and overall organization. Conveners and AGU team members communicate regularly throughout the process on all organizational subjects.

AGU meetings and communications staff will:

  • Build and maintain a conference website.
  • Manage the conference budget and communicate with the conveners on budgetary issues.
  • Work through site selection, logistics and food and beverage management, vendor management onsite, coordination of poster and AV needs, contract negotiations and overall conference management.
  • Set up and manage registration per conference needs.
  • Assist conveners with sponsorship and fundraising to fulfill obligations (as needed).
  • Support onsite during the meeting.

Propose a future Chapman Conference

Submit your proposal today.
Get started on your own Chapman Conference proposal by downloading and reviewing our sample proposal (PDF).

Virtual Chapmans

AGU Chapman conferences are going online! Science collaboration needs to continue, and with Chapmans, there are now three options to discuss latest scientific topics and potential solutions:

  1. Virtual Chapmans: Virtual Chapmans can be on “late-breaking” or “hot topic” science that should be convened quickly. The conferences can also focus on more traditional Chapman themes. These online meetings generally have 90-180 minutes of learning and interaction over a period of several days or weeks, depending on duration.
    1. Applications are being accepted and conveners will be notified within 4-6 weeks.
  2. In-person Chapmans: Traditionally, Chapman conferences have been 4-5 days at a field location. These conferences will continue as long as all participant’s health and safety are protected.
    1. AGU is accepting applications for future in-person Chapmans.
  3. Hybrid Chapmans: These conferences join online learning components with a daylong meeting, potentially attached to a location (field work) or collaboration space (a daylong meeting associated with the annual AGU or GSA meeting, for example).
    1. AGU is accepting applications for future hybrid meetings.

AGU staff will work with conveners to choose the best collaboration space, in-person, online, hybrid as well as discuss ways to accomplish goals of the online conference. All Chapman conferences have a registration fee and sponsorship is encourage to lower fees.

Click here to see how to apply for a virtual conference.

For virtual conferences, conveners should use this checklist:

  1. Create a written summary of your topic, including scientific topics, objectives, outcomes, and goals.
  2. Prepare a preliminary list of key speakers and anticipated number of participants.
  3. Share contact information for confirmed co-conveners and program committee members as well as CVs/biographies for conveners.
  4. Suggest conference date schedule and duration of conference each day. If a “hot-topic” or “late-breaking” conference, please label it as such.
  5. Conference cosponsors (if applicable).
  6. Related previous conferences..
  7. Anticipated reports, publications, and other outcomes.

Chapman conference outcomes

Conveners of Chapman conferences are encouraged to have publishable or presentable outcomes from the conference. Meeting reports are published on relevant AGU channels and networks as well as other outcome avenues including public engagement and discussion, journal publication, peer-reviewed articles and collections, and sessions at meetings.

Recent Chapman Conference publications

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Victoria Forlini

Director, Meetings, AGU

202.777.7427 | [email protected]

Chapman Conference archives

Review our past Chapman Conference programs by year.