Call for Proposals

Submissions for all proposal types are now closed. Submitters will be notified by June 21.

Important Dates

February 15 Call for proposal opens for all submissions
March 29
 - Deadline for lecture presentations, organized sessions, panel discussions, roundtable discussions, science flashes, and workshops 
April 1-10
- Reviewer Training 
May 3 - Deadline for posters
June 21 - Notification deadline for all proposals
July 5 Schedule Available 

Additional Topics

Proposals are also welcome in the following areas:

  • Agroforestry 
  • Bioenergy, Climate Change, and Carbon 
  • Business Acumen 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Natural Resources Research, Practice, and Education 
  • Economics, Policy, and Law 
  • Forest Ecology 
  • Forest Health and Genetics 
  • Forest History & Philosophy and Ethics 
  • Forest Production & Utilization 
  • Forest Technology 
  • Human Dimensions and Education 
  • International Forestry 
  • Inventory & Biometrics 
  • Family Forests 
  • Leadership Development 
  • Recreation and Wilderness Management 
  • SAF Matters 
  • Silviculture 
  • Soils & Hydrology
  • Sustainability and Certification 
  • Urban and Community Forestry 
  • Water Resources
  • Wildland Fire Management
  • Wildlife Management 


The theme, “The Resources We Manage,” references all of the considerations that forestry and natural resources professionals need to reflect on when planning and implementing decisions on the ground. Resources mean many things to land managers: the values on the landscape; the services needed like air, water, food and fiber; the budget we work within; the tools we use; and the people we work with. 

As the field of forestry evolves, forestry professionals are expanding their management skillsets to include expertise in new technologies, emerging forest product markets, community outreach, and other areas.

Joins us in Loveland, Colorado, September 17-20, 2024, to learn from your peers, grow your network within and beyond the sector, and develop as a forestry professional. 

Seeking Volunteers: Convention Proposal Reviewers

We are in search of subject area resource specialists that are SAF members to help review speaker proposals for the 2024 SAF National Convention. Reviewers will be trained on criteria, evaluating, and scoring. An average of 10-15 minutes is needed to review each proposal. Please complete this short form if willing to review. A staff member will follow up with you with additional details. 


Subthemes help bring in additional elements of the convention to the program, provide direction to selected speakers, and bring cohesion to the technical program. 

  • Meeting Objectives Through Active Management: The nation's forests face a suite of complex issues. Efficiently and successfully addressing them often requires some form of active management. Climate change, forest health, and wildfire mitigation are all examples of complex challenges that intensify other issues. This subtheme focuses on forest management optimizing landowner objectives and societal needs, while maintaining ecological and operational function.
  • Leveraging the Power of Platforms: Data, Tools & Platforms: Scientifically informed forest management relies on unbiased data that is consumable and readily available.  Research and development (R&D) in the broad fields of remote sensing, artificial intelligence, big data mining, data analytics, and inventory data management solutions are producing products that are of immense value to forest managers.  The ultimate objective of this R&D is to aid forest managers in developing more informed decision support systems that guide management, resulting in healthier and more productive forests. This subtheme is a home for those wishing to highlight these R&D endeavors and communicate products that improve a forester’s ability to better manage our forest resources. 
  • Managing Our Message: As a profession, our messaging can often include too much jargon. As a result, the public generally does not know what forestry is, where their wood resources come from, or that thoughtful, well-planned management can have beneficial ecological outcomes. This communication gap has allowed misinformation and misinterpretation to proliferate. Take, for instance, new terms like "Proforestation" and "Improved Forest Management." They sound beneficial for forested ecosystems and gain easy support without fully grasping what they truly mean for forests and society. How can we bridge the information gap? This subtheme focuses on delivering easy-to-digest messaging, meeting people where they are, and providing the public and stakeholders with the information they need to support active forest management.
  • Building Our Capacity: We are at the crossroads of capacity development in the forestry sector. There is a necessity for increased capacity to address restoration goals, climate change resiliency, rural economic activity, and robust markets. To accomplish all these complex demands, the forestry sector requires innovative solutions that lead to infrastructure, markets, labor, science-based solutions, and public education. This subtheme addresses the need for additional capacity to accomplish all the goals and objectives that we have for managing forests across the country.
  • Working with Landowners: Finding New Solutions to Ongoing Challenges: The average parcel size of family forest ownerships continues to decrease and the number of small-scale forest ownerships increase. Adaptive solutions are required to carry out the necessary management to improve forest health, in addition to meeting financial and ecological goals. This subtheme showcases alternative management interests and techniques, new markets, financially accessible and user-friendly forest management decision support tools, as well as impactful technical, educational, and financial programs aimed at empowering landowners in the journey towards improved forest health.
  • Other: Submissions not related to subthemes.

Who Should Submit a Proposal?

You! Natural resources and forestry professionals and students (undergraduate and graduate) from across all disciplines and career levels are welcome and encouraged to submit a proposal. We need your voices to create a diverse technical program that informs on a variety of subjects from A-Z.

How Do I Submit a Proposal?

Submit your proposal using the online submission form! Proposals sent by email will not be considered. Proposals that are incomplete will not be considered.

How do I log in?
In the online submission platform, first time submitters for the 2024 Call for Proposals should click 'Create a 2024 Profile' to begin your first submission. There you will set up a profile and unique password known as an access key. Regardless if you have been a speaker in past conventions, all users will need to create a new 2024 profile. 

Types of Proposals


 Proposal Type  Description Length of Proposal  Number of Speakers/Presenters

Lecture Presentations

 Formal conversation or lecture around a specific topic

30 minutes (includes introduction and Q&A)  

Maximum of two speakers
 Organized Session Multiple individual lecture presentations within a larger submission; all presentations present on similar topic area  90 minutes (for 3 presentations)  or 180 minutes (for 6 presentations)   Maximum of two speakers per presentation
 Panel Discussions  Panelists (3 - 4 experts) will share insights and knowledge to curated questions posed by moderator and audience 90 minutes    Maximum of 5 speakers (4 panelists plus a moderator)  
 Posters Printed displays that fit within a space 42 inches wide by 40 inches high (107 cm by 102 cm)  Presenters are expected to engage with individuals, either one-on-one or in small groups throughout the poster symposium  Maximum of two presenters 
 Roundtable Discussions  Share experiences, hold group discussions, and have participants interact with the content 90 minutes     Maximum of four facilitators 

Science Flashes

 Present ideas, key findings, and emerging research to a large audience

10 minutes (includes introduction and Q&A)  

Maximum of two speakers 


Designed to teach or develop a specific skill and may include hands on elements, group discussions, and practical applications

Full day (up to 8 hours)
Half day (up to 4 hours)
Quarter day (up to 2 hours)

To be held on Friday, September 20

 Maximum of four facilitators

Components of a Proposal

 Submitters will need to have the following prepared to submit a proposal.



Word Limit

Primary Speaker /Lead Organizer- 

Name, Institution, and Email Required. A submitter may submit a proposal on behalf of a primary speaker, but required information should be included.


 Proposal Title

 Creative yet descriptive

 15 words or less

Proposal Takeaway

A summary of key points and issues. If accepted, the takeaway will appear in marketing materials and is what attendees will use to make decisions about which sessions to attend. 

 50 words or less

 Full Description of Proposal 

A description of the proposal. This may include your research abstract and should address how your proposal will relate to the sub-theme you selected. If accepted, this description will appear in the JOF convention proceedings.

  300 words or less

 Learning Objectives 

The objectives of your proposal in the context of what participants will be able to demonstrate, explain, identify, establish, and/or outline as a result of attending this presentation or completing this session

  200 words or less

 Session Design (Workshop Only) 

How the program will apply adult learning principles considering the target audience and adapting to engage/support the non-target audience with application of diverse learning modes?

 500 words or less

 Participant Outcome (Workshop Only

 The outcome you seek to indicate a successful event - for example, applied new skill, improved performance/productivity, transformed behavior, adjusted attitude/mindset, increased awareness - immediately at the end of the session, and 3-6 months and/or 9-12 months following the workshop/seminar.

 200 words or less

Review Criteria

Proposals are blindly reviewed by subject area resources specialists using three overarching criteria: general application, practice of forestry, and audience appeal. Each criterion is weighted uniformly on a scale of 1 to 5. 
General Application 
Clarity: The thought/expression/concept is reasonable and comprehensible across the proposal. 
Originality: Reports preliminary or novel results on limited data sets or applications of existing methodologies to new areas. 

Practice of Forestry 
Scientific Approach: Outlines the problem, hypothesis, methodology, application, results, and analysis. 
Practical Application: Bridges the gap between science and decision making in the field and among stakeholders. 
Learning Objectives: Describes what a participant will be able to demonstrate, explain, identify, establish, outline, etc. 
Outcome: Defines the long-term consideration of impact and/or implications of session attendance.  

Audience Appeal 
Appeal: Is of interest to a number of diverse participants and/or contributes appreciably to professional development. 

Seeking Volunteers: Convention Proposal Reviewers

We are in search of subject area resource specialists that are SAF members to help review speaker proposals for the 2024 SAF National Convention. Reviewers will be trained on criteria, evaluating, and scoring. An average of 10-15 minutes is needed to review each proposal. Please complete this short form if willing to review. A staff member will follow up with you with additional details. 

Speaker Discount

SAF provides accepted technical and concurrent session presenters with a discounted speaker registration rate. SAF does not pay speaker fees, honoraria, wage replacement, or reimburse travel/accommodation expenses for technical session presenters.

Funding Opportunities to Support Meeting Attendance

Kurt Gottschalk Science Fund: Promotes  transfer of knowledge through applied forestry research, continuing education, outreach, and leadership development. Grants range from $500-$5,000. Proposal Deadline: March 19, 2024

Gregory Award: Scholarships of $3,000 + complimentary national convention registration + access to mentors. Application Deadline: March 19, 2024

Student Diversity Scholar Program: Full scholarship to attend national convention + engagement opportunities with SAF network. Application Deadline: February 15, 2024 

Additional Support

For questions, contact [email protected].

FAQs for Call for Proposals
(Adobe PDF File)