Call for Sessions – NOW CLOSED

The Women in Conservation Leadership (WCL) Program is issuing a request for sessions from interested applicants who would like to lead a workshop session.

Deadline for submissions: November 22, 2019 (NOW CLOSED)


Women in Conservation Leadership is a diverse, inclusive, national community and a catalyst to elevate and embolden all women in advancing conservation. We believe in building a stronger conservation movement through empowering women of all ethnicities, races, cultures and other identities and the 2020 WCL Summit is an opportunity to put these ideas into practice.

The 2020 WCL Summit will include trainings, hands on skill building, networking and resources for all women in conservation – in every stage of their careers.


This unique gathering offers a tremendous opportunity to gain broad exposure to a wide range of issues facing women in conservation. Any person or organization with experience in personal and professional development or leadership skill building is invited to submit an application to conduct a session at the 2020 WCL Summit. Please note we will only accept proposals from people who identify as women. In this space, the term “women” stands for women, femme/feminine-identifying, genderqueer and non-binary individuals who have historically been excluded from the environmental space.

The Summit is attended by women from a variety of career levels and sectors including local, state, and federal government agencies, non-profits, and businesses. Attendees come from a range of backgrounds and experiences and are looking for compelling, hands on workshops and sessions that will support and elevate their personal and professional leadership growth.

We welcome and encourage proposals from anyone passionate about women as leaders in conservation, including people of color, Tribes/First Nations, business groups, agricultural communities, hunters/anglers, and students. We will prioritize sessions that contain multiple and diverse perspectives.

WCL is dedicated to using the conference platform to highlight all voices of the conservation movement and strives to be inclusive of the entire conservation community.  We encourage you to contact Elizabeth Lillard ( or Helen Rose Patterson ( if you have questions.

Presentation Types:

WCL is especially interested in interactive sessions and we aim to provide a variety of formats.  Examples include:

  • Workshops
  • Simulations
  • Facilitated peer to peer or small group activities/discussions
  • Case studies with audience discussion
  • Facilitated roundtable discussions
  • Panels that include peer to peer and small group audience discussion

Proposed sessions should fit into one of two structures, either:

  1. One and a half hour (90 minutes) session
    1. Sessions may include one or multiple speakers, presenters, moderators, etc.
    2. Interactivity, participant engagement, and time for discussion and/or questions is required
  2. Forty-five (45) minute session
    1. Sessions should feature only one or two speakers and minimal or no powerpoint slides (limited text). Sessions should be a concise and compelling presentation/activity on a relevant topic that is appropriate for the shorter session length.

Tracks and Categories

At the 2020 Summit all workshops and sessions will fall into one of three tracks:

  1. Women on the Rise: This track will have content targeted for women who are just starting their careers in conservation, whether they are recent graduates or are shifting careers.
  2. Embracing your Power: This track is designed for women who have been in the conservation field for the majority of their career and are looking for new ways to grow and expand their leadership.
  3. Hit Refresh: This track applies to all participants and will cover topics related to work/life balance, and ways to re-invigorate yourself and your work.

Possible topics could include:

  1. Building influence: How increased influence leads to improved conservation outcomes
  2. Creating a vision for your life and career: weaving conservation and personal successes
  3. Negotiation tools
  4. How to be an advocate for change in the workplace: connecting culture to conservation
  5. Taking your seat at the table
  6. Workplace wellness: balancing nature needs with a desk job
  7. Recovering from failure

Proposal Review and Selection

Proposals will be reviewed by the Summit Content and Session Committee and will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Alignment – proposal must align with the overall theme of engaging and empowering women as leaders of the conservation movement and with one of the tracks Women on the Rise, Embracing your Power and Hit Refresh.
  • Interactivity – proposal should offer an interactive, dynamic learning environment
  • Conservation – proposal should tie back to conservation in some way
  • Expertise – speaker(s) should have the ability and skills to effectively cover the designated topic
  • Equity and Justice – proposal must be inclusive of different perspectives and be thoughtful about how equity and justice plays a role in the proposed topic

Presentation Submission Information and General Instructions

  1. Submissions must be received no later than November 22, 2019.
  2. All presentation applications must be submitted using the application form provided by WCL and must be sent to Elizabeth Lillard at Paper submissions will not be accepted.
  3. Conference sessions cannot be used to market or sell products or services.
  4. Presenters will have access to the standard audio/visual equipment provided by WCL, which includes projectors, screens and laptops. Lectern computers will have internet access. Any additional audio/visual needs must be provided by the presenter, working with WCL staff and within the limitations of the conference facility.
  5. Presenters will be responsible for all costs associated with travel, lodging etc. Presenters will be eligible for a reduced registration fee of $250.
  6. Applicants will be notified of receipt of submission by e-mail. Notification of acceptance for conference presentation will be emailed by January 10, 2019.

Completed applications must be emailed to Helen Rose Patterson at