11th Annual NAAEE Research Symposium
"Doing" EE Research—Issues, Challenges and Dilemmas
October 7–8, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario

This is the Call for the NAAEE Research Symposium. Click here for the Call for Presentations for the general conference.

The Research Symposium will emphasize examination of works in progress and the stories behind the research. Rather than presenting finished research, participants are strongly encouraged to assist each other by sharing problems, ethical dilemmas, new (and overlooked) techniques, and emotional responses to undertaking research. Proposals will explore the process of “doing” environmental education research and the issues that emerge from that research.


As in past years, the symposium will be a mix of plenary presentations by well-known researchers, discussions about the future of EE research, and presentations from the North American and broader international EE research community. Please join us in submitting a proposal, reviewing proposals, and in participating in discussions at the Research Symposium.

The goals for the NAAEE Research Symposium are to:

  1. Facilitate discussion of EE research in progress, conceptual models, and overall purpose and goals
  2. Foster a dialogue about researcher-community partnerships in EE research
  3. Provide opportunities for graduate student professional development
  4. Facilitate the development of an EE research learning organization

Which Conference Should I Submit To?
NAAEE members who wish to present completed studies should consider submitting proposals to the main NAAEE conference. Researchers and practitioners alike will appreciate discussing process in the Symposium, and findings in the conference.

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Session Formats—Note New Session Types!
Please read the following format descriptions carefully and select the most appropriate format for your proposed session. Note that NAAEE may accept your proposal but change it to an alternate format.

For both of the “facilitated discussion” options, the intention is that you will initiate the discussion based on your work, but that the majority of the time is a discussion among participants on issues emerging from (or illustrated by) your research. In essence, we are challenging you to go beyond simply presenting your work, and instead situate it in a larger context. Your proposal needs to identify the larger issue(s) of methodology or meaning-making that your research points toward, and some key questions that will guide the discussion.

Research Symposium Poster
This is the place for presenting your complete (or nearly complete) work, or work in progress. Posters are available for viewing during the entire Research Symposium. Presenters introduce their posters (a one-minute ‘sell’) during a short plenary session and then stand by their posters during a designated period, discussing their research with interested participants.

Facilitated Issue Discussion—Meeting Room
These sessions are aimed at larger, meta-level issues that build on (but go beyond) your research, and that have broader impact on the research community. They are held in a meeting room and A/V equipment is provided.

Facilitated Discussion—Roundtable
These interactive sessions are set around a table within a larger room. This is a good space for a small group to discuss issues emerging from your research. No A/V support is provided but you may use your own laptop or tablet.

Research Workshop
These 90-minute workshops focus on the challenges and outcomes of environmental education research. Examples include tools and techniques, research ethics, writing, and publishing.

Graduate Student Professional Development Workshop
These 60–120 minute workshops focus on skills critical to becoming professional researchers. Proposals jointly submitted by graduate students and researchers are preferred, including those from multiple institutions.

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Audio-Visual Equipment
Rooms for all presentations except roundtables and poster sessions are equipped with a PC laptop (with Office Suite loaded), LCD projector, and screen. NAAEE strongly recommends that presenters bring PowerPoint and other audio-visual materials on portable drives and use the equipment provided.

No audio-visual equipment is available for roundtables and posters but you may bring your own laptop or tablet. A limited number of flip charts and markers will be available upon request on a first come, first served basis.

Internet access will be available will be available in all meeting rooms.

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Review Criteria
A team of peer reviewers evaluates and rates all session proposals. The Symposium co-chairs conduct a final review. Reviewers consider the following criteria when evaluating proposals; please consider them carefully as you write your session descriptions. Provide enough detail for reviewers to fully understand your plans.

Proposal descriptions are limited to 500 words.

Facilitated Discussions and Posters

  • Proposal identifies a research problem or issue relevant to EE researchers
  • For discussions, the problem or issue is situated in a larger context, and guiding discussion questions are identified
  • Proposal is transparent about stage of the research and purpose of presentation (to present results, seek feedback, spark discussion, etc.)
  • Proposal identifies the conceptual and epistemological frameworks informing the work
  • Proposal identifies appropriate research methods/methodologies used or planned to be used

Research Workshops

  • Proposal clearly defines one or more questions or issues relevant to EE research
  • The proposed workshop offers a clear path toward building participants’ capacity to address these questions or issues
  • Presenter(s)’ experience with the issues is evident

Graduate Student Professional Development Workshops

  • Proposal identifies a professional development topic of interest to graduate students
  • Proposal clearly lays out the approach used for building that skill in the workshop
  • Proposal lays out how any outcomes of the workshop will be communicated to others
  • Proposal jointly authored by graduate students and researchers with experience mentoring graduate students

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We are seeking proposal reviewers! If you are willing to serve as a reviewer, please sign up now by logging in here. After logging in (or creating an account) you will be taken to a welcome page that will have the "Volunteer to review" link.

Proposal reviews need to be completed between April 4 and April 18.




How to Submit a Proposal
Proposals must be submitted online. You may find it helpful to download this form and use it to draft your proposal. Then save the form on your computer, and transfer (cut and paste) the information to the online submission system.

  1. You must have an NAAEE account and be logged in on the NAAEE website before you can submit a proposal. Note: All individuals associated with your proposal will also need to have an NAAEE account before you will be able to add them to your online proposal.

    Already have an NAAEE account? Login >>

    Need an NAAEE account? Create a new account >> 

    Not sure or need help with login? Email or call 202-419-0412 or 202-570-2671. Creating multiple accounts in the system can cause submission problems, so please don't hesitate to contact us for help. We’re happy to assist!

  2. After login, click on the "Submit/Edit Proposals" link to connect to the conference proposal management system.
  3. Select “research symposium” and follow the directions for online submission. Click on the “Accept and Continue” button on each page until you reach the final confirmation page.
  4. When your proposal is successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation message at the email address in your NAAEE profile.
  5. You can edit any of the information in your proposal until the March 31 submission deadline. Just (1) login to your account and (2) click on 'Submit/Edit Proposals' link.

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Important Notes

All presenters and co-presenters are required to register and pay published Research Symposium fees. As NAAEE is dependent on registration fees to cover Symposium expenses and there are typically more than 100 presenters on the program, we cannot afford give waivers or discounts to presenters.

Fees are not yet finalized, but registration for current NAAEE members is expected to be about $250 for a professional and $150 for a student. Nonmember rates will also be offered. There is a separate registration fee for the NAAEE Conference.

All presenters must confirm their participation by registering for the Symposium by the July 15, 2014 presenter deadline.

If your proposal is accepted, you will have an additional opportunity to finalize session information after you receive your acceptance notice.

Contact Erin Kelly, Research Symposium Coordinator, for questions about submitting and reviewing proposals,

Contact Bob Coulter, Research Symposium Co-Chair, with questions or suggestions about format and content of sessions,

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