2020 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Salish Sea: Shared Knowledge for the Future

The Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference attracts over a thousand participants and has become the premier scientific research and policy gathering in the Pacific Northwest. The goal of the Conference is to provide a platform to build shared policies, practices, and procedures necessary to guide future actions for protecting and restoring the Salish Sea. The outcome is improved scientific collaboration, data sharing, and dynamic discussions on the state of the Salish Sea ecosystem.

Abstracts Due: November 1, 2019
Extended Abstracts Due Date: November 3, 2019 11:59 PST

*Please scroll down to list of tracks to start a new submission*

The Conference Program Committee invites submissions of abstracts for consideration to the 2020 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference that will further the goal of the conference. Abstracts are due November 3, 2019, and notification of acceptance will be issued by mid-December. Approximately 90 sessions, representing a wide range of topics and formats, have been accepted from an earlier Call for Sessions, and we now invite proposals to fill those speaking slots as well as poster submissions.

The conference program will cover a wide range of subjects that address topics pertaining to multiple knowledge systems, sciences, policy, and governance of the Salish Sea ecosystem. We encourage those submitting abstracts to capture elements related to this year's theme of Shared Knowledge for the Future. Abstract submissions should encourage interdisciplinary and transboundary dialogue throughout the Salish Sea region, and increase knowledge and sharing among Indigenous knowledge-holders, scientists, policy-makers, students, practitioners, and other stakeholders. Presenters are encouraged to focus on approaches or study results, methods, and their implications, and to relate their frameworks, projects, or research to the conference theme and tracks.

Please Note:

Prior to submitting your abstract, please review the Accepted Sessions list to determine which session best fits your presentation. You are invited to submit your proposed presentation as one of the formats from the definition table below (note that some sessions are restricted to one format). You will select your preferred session from the list in the submission system. If your proposed presentation seems to fall outside any of the session topics listed, please submit to the "other" category, and if accepted, the Program Committee will determine the best fit based on other submissions.

For Poster presentations, if you do not see a particular session to submit to, you may select the "other" category within the track that bests fit your poster, and the program committee will designate which session or poster group bests fit your proposal.

All abstract submissions will be evaluated by the appropriate Session Chairs and the Program Committee. For the 2020 conference, we have partnered with The Conference Exchange (Confex) to utilize their proprietary submission system. Following your completed submission, you will receive email notification from Confex confirming your submission. Abstract notifications will be issued by mid-December; please check your spam folder if you do not receive a notification message by that time.

Presentation Guidelines

The Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference is a place to share information, exchange ideas and lessons learned, and to connect with people to better understand each other and the state of the environment. It is also a place to develop solutions that further work to protect and restore the Salish Sea ecosystem. Within each 90-minute oral session and poster session, we are seeking engaging and informative presentations that contribute to dialogue among participants.

Presentations that cross disciplines, incorporate aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion, and are applicable and engaging to a wide range of participants are encouraged.

Presentation formats include:

Traditional11 minute presentation, with 3 minutes Q&A, allowing 1 minute for session introduction & transitions. We recommend no more than 10 slides for presentations.
PanelPanelists will each give a brief presentation and then session chairs will moderate a discussion.
SnapshotSpeakers have 5 minutes for their talk with 1 minutes between speakers to allow for transition. See Salish Sea Snapshot page for guidance, tips, and examples.
PosterPoster sessions occur on Days 1 and 2, and posters will remain up for the duration of the conference. Presenters are encouraged to stay for both poster sessions. Posters are grouped according to the topics they address. Poster format and materials are flexible, but clear communication of main findings, implications, and connection to the conference theme is encouraged. See the Presentation Guidelines page for resources and poster design tips.

For the 2020 conference, hybrid session formats are being considered, which will seek to incorporate "traditional" oral presentations along with snapshot presentations. Session chairs will work with their respective oral presenters and panelists to confirm the details of their session and clarify specific presentation requirements.

Submission Requirements and Procedures

  • Submissions can only be made through the online Confex Abstract Submission site. (See link below). Emailed submissions will not be accepted.
  • Submissions for individual presentations will be accepted through November 3, 2019. Abstract submissions are limited to 300 words.
  • Submissions will be reviewed by respective Session Chairs, and approved and selected by the Conference Program Committee.
  • Final program content and format is at the discretion of the Program Committee, and will depend in part on the number of abstracts submitted.
  • Presenters will receive notice of acceptance in December.
  • All presenters, including panelists, are required to register for the conference (minimum of one-day registration) and cover all travel and accommodation expenses. If selected and registration is a barrier to participate in your session, please reach out to the Executive Committee about potential sponsorship options.


Efforts will be made to ensure that facilities are accessible for a range of mobility and other accessibility needs. Gender inclusive restrooms and a nursing parent room will be available. If you have specific accessibility needs, please contact ssec@wwu.edu.

Begin an Abstract Submission:

Deadline for Submission is November 3, 2019
CLICK HERE to download the list of Accepted Sessions.

Please Note: We recommend using Firefox or Chrome over Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer may not work well with display functionality within the submission process.

Click on a track title below to begin a submission to a session or poster within that track:
  • Track: Agriculture, Land Use & Floodplains Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Biodiversity Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Climate & Ocean Condition Changes Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Coast Salish & Tribal Resource Management & Policy Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Communication & Outreach Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Contaminants, Plastics, Microplastics, Toxicology & Stormwater Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Data Analysis, Modeling & Decision Making Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Economics & Business Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Ecosystem-Based Management, Science & Policy Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Education, Community & Social Science Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Governance, Management & Funding Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Infrastructure & Green Infrastructure Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Innovations Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Kelp & Seagrass Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Salmon Biology & Management Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Shellfish Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Shorelines, Estuaries & Rivers Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Southern Resident Killer Whale Science, Recovery Strategies & Policies Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Trophic Interactions - Zooplankton, Phytoplankton, Salmon, Forage Fish & Invasive Species Proposals are no longer being accepted.
  • Track: Vessel Traffic & Shipping Sector Management Proposals are no longer being accepted.