We are excited to confirm that this year’s NAOC will be held virtually at the same time as originally planned, the week of 10 August, 2020. Below we provide many details on conference so that you can plan now to attend!
Structure of the Meeting. The meeting will take place August 10-15, Monday through Saturday, with workshops on Monday and the opening keynote on Tuesday. Each day of the main conference we will include stimulating plenary lectures plus many concurrent talk and poster sessions, as well as multiple roundtable discussions and lively, interactive networking events. We have tailored the schedule to enable broad, live participation across the multiple time zones of the Americas. All of the live talks and poster presentations will also be recorded, and registered attendees will have free access to view any of them for 30 days post-conference at their leisure—no need to miss any sessions in this new, virtual format. A general schedule can be found here (Link: https://naocbirds.org/schedule-special-events/), and a more detailed schedule including all symposia, other talks, and poster sessions will be forthcoming. We are pleased that our Keynote Speaker (link: https://naocbirds.org/keynote-speaker/) and all of our Plenary Speakers (link: https://naocbirds.org/plenary-speakers/) have agreed to present their talks virtually!
Registration. Registration for the virtual meeting is now open. We’re excited to announce that, thanks to the generosity of sponsors, NAOC host societies, and a National Science Foundation grant, we will provide grants to individuals so that participation in the virtual meeting will be completely free for students, most early professionals, emeritus members/retirees, and many participants from designated special countries. For all others, registration will cost $50 for those from developed countries and $25 for professionals from special countries, well below the estimated actual cost of $86 per participant. Be sure to thank our sponsors and society leadership! For more details on registration costs, see.
Presentations. The Scientific Program will include live oral presentations—both lightning talks (3 minutes) and longer talks (12 minutes)—as well as live poster presentations during concurrent sessions each day (see: https://naocbirds.org/schedule-special-events/), just as we had planned for the in-person conference. Presenters will be available to answer questions from attendees during these live sessions. We plan to have closed-captions available for many, if not all, of the presentations to ensure broad accessibility. All presenters will be provided detailed instructions, training, an opportunity to test their technology, and tips on how to give an effective virtual presentation. Those of you who have already had your abstract accepted for the meeting have been automatically added to the program for the virtual conference. Very soon you will receive an email with details about your presentation, as well as a link that will allow you to confirm whether or not you will be able to present in this virtual format of our NAOC 2020 conference.
New Abstract Submissions. We are also opening a new, limited call for poster abstracts from researchers in Caribbean and Latin American countries only (see the call for abstracts on the website for more information). Please share this widely with your colleagues who may be eligible! Although we won’t be able to convene in Puerto Rico in person this year, we are eager to hear from our Caribbean and Latin American colleagues about their crucial ornithological research and conservation efforts. Unfortunately, due to the challenges of scheduling such a large virtual conference, we are unable to accept new abstracts from other participants.
Virtual Meeting Platform. We will be using Zoom Webinars and Meetings (https://zoom.us/) as the main platform for our plenaries, oral presentations, posters, workshops, round-table discussions, meetings, exhibitor demonstrations, and many networking events. The entire program will be seamlessly integrated through the EventPilot conference app and online desktop planner, which attendees can use to access all program content and events through their mobile device or a browser on their computer (https://www.ativsoftware.com/eventpilot-conference-app-features/online-itinerary-planner/). Only presenters will be required to install Zoom on their computers, and we will be providing instructions and training in advance of the conference. We will also likely be using another networking application to build channels for increased communication among our attendees (details coming soon!). We realize some individuals may be restricted in their ability to use Zoom or other programs, primarily due to agency or company policy, and we are working to overcome any such obstacles. If you have such a restriction, please contact us at NAOC@americanornithology.org with the subject line “Zoom restriction” and we will work with you to resolve any issues.
More Questions? More detailed information will be coming soon for all aspects of the conference, including a request for volunteers to help. If you have immediate questions, please contact us at NAOC@americanornithology.org.
Although this NAOC will be virtual, we are confident that participants will foster invaluable connections, that important and innovative research will be communicated, and that much knowledge will be gained from participating in this conference. We hope to “see” you soon!