Concurrent Session Guidelines and Submission Form


In 1997, the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC or Council) was established to implement a voluntary, integrated, nationwide strategy to improve water resource monitoring, assessment, and reporting.  NWQMC is a nationwide partnership of water monitoring and information management authorities from federal and state agencies, tribes, municipalities, business and industry, academia, agriculture, environmental groups, and others with expertise in environmental monitoring. The Council members represent a wide range of interest groups of which approximately 70% are non-federal and 30% are federal entities. The NWQMC has organized and sponsored the National Monitoring Conference (NMC) since 1998. The National Monitoring Conference offers a unique venue for sharing the latest monitoring information and also provide critical networking opportunities between a wide range of participants including decision-makers, scientists, academics, practitioners, industry, non-profit/non-governmental groups, citizen scientists and students that are involved in all aspects of water monitoring, data analysis, assessment, management, stewardship, mitigation and protection of our precious water resources. If this is your first time submitting a proposal for the National Monitoring Conference, the Council always welcomes new contributors to the conference program and participants.


Information for (co-) chairs of concurrent sessions

The NMC 2021 program development will include two solicitations for program materials. First, we are requesting proposals for concurrent sessions. This will be followed by a separate call for abstracts (oral presentations and posters) and extended sessions (workshops, panel discussions, and facilitated roundtables). The following information is provided to inform concurrent session (co-) chairs on the organization of the meeting, the role of the Program Committee and expectations towards them.

Program development timeline for the NMC 2021


  • The session submission deadline is June 18, 2020. Session proposals will be evaluated by the Program Committee according to the NMC 2021 themes and alignment with the wide range of NMC participants. By the end of July 2020, NWQMC WILL NOTIFY SESISON CHAIRS if their session proposal was selected to be included in the call for abstracts.
  • Session proposals shall include a title, limited description of the session, justification for the session, keywords, anticipated number of session blocks (90-minute block with 4 presenters) for your session, and the interest groups you would expect to receive abstracts from. They should be designed to encourage balance and diversity in presenters. The Program Committee encourages session organization by more than one person. If a co-chair is not identified in the session proposal, the Program Committee may facilitate the identification of a co-chair following submission or merge proposed sessions with similar topics. The Program Committee will not accept overly commercial session proposals or abstracts and welcomes the participation of product and service-oriented presentations as part of our exhibitor hall.
  • Please note that the fact that a session is included in the call for abstracts DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT THE SESSION WILL BE PROGRAMMED AT THE CONFERENCE. Depending on the number of abstracts received, the Program Committee will decide to accept, merge, expand or cancel the session. The online abstract submission system will open the week of July 27, 2020. Abstract submission deadline is September 24, 2020. The decision of the Program Committee on the final sessions will be announced prior to the call for abstracts.
  • As a Session Chair, we encourage you to actively recruit for submission of papers among your colleagues. All abstracts MUST be submitted through the conference abstract submission process.
  • The total number and the quality of the individual abstracts received for a session will define the number of the session blocks (1, 2, 3 or occasionally more session blocks). Moreover, it may happen that the session will be merged or cancelled if only a limited number of abstracts are received. All session blocks are expected to be the same length. As a general rule, the NMC sessions are 4 presenters over a 90-minute session time. Each presenter is given a 20-minute speaking slot, of which 5 minutes is reserved for introduction and questions.  At the end of each session, a 10-minute time is reserved for general session questions.
  • After a session is accepted, Session (co-) Chairs will be asked to review all abstracts that were submitted under your session and return reviews by November 19, 2020. Session (co-) Chairs will rank abstracts according to the criteria provided by the Program Committee, organize the session (including the selection of papers for platform and poster presentations) and alternate presenters should be identified to fill program gaps as needed. As this conference includes representatives from a wide range of sectors (e.g., academics, citizen science, state, federal) we expect the presenters in a session to reflect this diversity. During the review process if an abstract is determined to not fit the general session or theme topic it can be suggested for review for inclusion in another specific session or theme topic. The Program Committee will evaluate these suggestions and will pass the abstract to the recommended session block as deemed appropriate.
  • NWQMC WILL NOTIFY PRESENTERS OF ABSTRACT ACCEPTANCE in December 2020. All finalized draft sessions proposed by the Session (co-) Chairs will be reviewed by the Program Committee and are subject to change. The Program Committee, in consultation with the session organizers, will set up the final program.
  • If your proposal results in a session at the NMC 2021, we encourage the Session (co-) Chairs to also serve as the Session Moderator(s) at the meeting. If session proposals are merged, the principal chairs from the original sessions will be asked to moderate the merged session. In the event you are not able to moderate, or you are also a presenter in the session, the Program Committee may facilitate the identification of individuals that can serve as a moderator.
  • The role of a Session Moderator at the meeting is to give a short introduction at the start of the session, chair the session according the general guidelines (available in February 2021) and give a short summary of the presentations at the end of the session.
  • Note that Session Chairs and Moderators are collaborating on a voluntary basis; their efforts are strongly appreciated and publicly recognized. However, the work does not include a free registration nor any other financial compensation. NWQMC never grants free registrations to session chairs, moderators or presenters. All session chairs, moderators and presenters MUST REGISTER for the meeting and pay the applicable REGISTRATION FEES (registration opens mid-January 2021).

Please send NMC 2021 program development questions to

12th National Monitoring Conference Concurrent Session Submission Form