Field Workshops

Instructions and Judgment Criteria

On this page, you'll find detailed instructions for how to put together a 2018 Natural Areas Conference Field Workshop Proposal. 

When you have read through the instructions and are ready to submit your proposal, scroll down this page and press the PROPOSAL SUBMISSION button to get started. 

Proposals are due by May 18, 2018

Thank you for considering the development of a Field Workshop for the Natural Areas Conference! We appreciate your efforts to bring the very best of your knowledge and insight to a wider audience at the conference, showcase a local natural area or initiative, and help us make this event as engaging, collaborative and cutting-edge for your colleagues as possible. We are pleased to provide a venue for you to advance a broader discussion of natural areas topics to this audience.

Please check for this year’s conference theme and topics. We ask that all proposals connect to the theme and fall under the heading of one or more of our announced topics – field workshops included. We also ask that you consider our audience, which is primarily people involved in on-the-ground management and adaptation work, when submitting your proposal.

NOTE: We do ask registrants a fee for registering for a workshop, in order to cover transportation and lunch. You will be asked to establish what additional fees, if any, apply to the Field Workshop you are proposing so please consider this during the development process.
  • What is a Field Workshop?
Field Workshops are not Field Trips. Although Field Workshops are definitely intended to be a fun outing to a natural area or natural area-related site for our attendees, and may incorporate a recreational component, Field Workshops are different from Field Trips in that they are considered part of the Natural Areas Conference informational programming for natural areas professionals and have an instructional purpose. They are opportunities for NAC attendees to see some of the methods and initiatives they’ve been hearing about during sessions as they are working on the ground in real time, and they are related to the conference theme and specifically tied to one or more of the conference topic areas. They are usually organized by local volunteers specifically for the conference, and may be led by the same people who presented on a related topic.
  • Who should consider submitting a proposal for a Field Workshop?
Field Workshops are perfect ways for local natural areas professionals and organizations to bring conference attendees into closer relationship with their work, and showcase the wonderful natural areas they work so hard to manage and preserve. It’s also a great way to add an extra dimension to presentations and topics about ground-level initiatives in the region that are particularly notable. Be advised, however, that organizing a Field Workshop requires thoroughly thinking through the logistics and other possible challenges of any outing and also requires a significant investment of time and energy to develop and make happen. It also requires working with a conference Field Workshop organizer during the run-up to the conference to get total clarity on all the details of the outing.
Information needed for the Call for Proposals for a Field Workshop Proposal Submission
Our proposal submission form will ask for the following information, so please have everything assembled before beginning your electronic submission.
  • A title for promotional purposes. Should include the area people will visit plus an indication of what they will learn. See below for an example: Forests, Fires, and Water: Poudre Canyon, Cache la Poudre River, and Active Forest Restoration Sites
  • A one-paragraph description (75-100 words) of your Field Workshop, emphasizing the attractions of your particular outing, and what attendees will learn. See below for an example: The Chalk Bluffs Natural Area is a 640-acre parcel owned by the Colorado State Land Board and designated a State Natural Area by the Colorado Natural Areas Program. This property is managed for multiple uses, including livestock grazing, wind energy generation, and the conservation of significant natural resources through the State Land Board’s Stewardship Trust special management designation. Trip leaders from the Colorado Natural Areas Program and Colorado State Land Board will discuss the unique voluntary partnership that enhances conservation at this site. Field trip participants will tour the piedmont grasslands, shortgrass prairie, and barren cliff outcrops of the Ogallala and White River Formations known as the Chalk Bluffs. The barren cliff escarpments provide an effective barrier to fire, thus protecting outlying populations of foothills plant species such as ponderosa pine, Rocky Mountain juniper, limber pine, and mountain mahogany. These montane plants combine with prairie grasses to form communities unique to the escarpment. Clay lenses within the sandstone layers support rare cushion plants such mountain cat’s-eye, Oreocarya cana, and Wyoming feverfew, Bolophyta alpina. The surrounding area has over a hundred years of fossil collection including scientifically important specimens of Paleocene, Eocene, and Miocene vertebrates, and the bluffs support a high concentration of nesting raptors.
  • Which topic areas the Field Workshop references
  • Itinerary, including timing for all stops. Remember to factor in time for loading/unloading.
  • A time for departure and an estimated time of return. 2019 Field Workshops are all HALF DAY. They should leave no earlier than 12:30. Please also consider possible traffic and weather conditions when establishing these times, and strive to be accurate in estimates of travel times. Field Workshops should return at or before the evening networking event, which begins at 6:15 p.m., to allow those on the trip to attend.
  • Leader(s) plus contact info for ALL parties involved
  • Any costs associated with the outing that are beyond the boxed lunch and van transportation included in the Field Workshop standard registration cost.
  • A maximum number of registrants the Field Workshop can accommodate and the minimum number you will consider and still lead the Workshop
Proposals will be reviewed by the program committee and accepted based on quality and relevance of proposed content, and overall fit with the conference program.

Field Workshop Leader Responsibilities
  • Design a Field Workshop that focuses on a land management initiative or strategy in a regional natural area that can be reached from the conference venue in an hour and 30 minutes or less. Should accommodate between 10-32 people. We will consider Field Workshops that have a bigger maximum or smaller minimum but these numbers must be approved by the Field Workshop Committee.
  • Develop the itinerary, including the departure and return times, whether attendees will eat the boxed lunch supplied by the conference, route and maps.
  • Submit all needed info during the Call for Proposals process before the deadline for proposals.
  • The person who develops the Field Workshop is usually the leader, but you will need to designate a leader if you cannot perform that function. Keep in mind that we usually require anyone participating in a Field Workshop – including drivers and leaders – to be registered for the Natural Areas Conference.
  • A boxed lunch, and transportation via van or bus, are part of the Field Workshop registration cost already. If your Field Workshop requires other costs, such as kayak rental, a special lunch option, bike rental, etc., please develop a plan for paying for these costs yourself and figure out how much more each registration for your field workshop will need to be to cover those costs. YOU MUST GET APPROVAL FOR ANY SPECIAL COSTS FROM THE FIELD WORKSHOP COMMITTEE IN WRITING. You can invoice the Natural Areas Association after the conference for these costs if they are approved.
  • If you are the leader, you are required to show up at least 30 minutes before your Workshop departs in order to check people in, verify that your driver is there and has all needed info and clearances, and receive the medical kit for your Field Workshop. You are also asked to accompany and lead the trip unless you have made other pre-arrangements. Leaders also check people back in at the end of the Workshop as they board the transportation in order to verify no one is left behind, and make sure the driver has any return directions needed. Finally, the Leader is asked to return the medical kit for his/her trip to the designated NAA representative. More detailed instructions will be shared before the conference.


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