RFP: Sessions and Field Experiences

The Request for Proposals for sessions and field experiences at the 2019 Chesapeake Watershed Forum is now open. Please download and read through the full request for proposals below for details on Forum criteria, topics, evaluation metrics, and more.

Submit a Proposal
Request for Proposals Guidelines (PDF)

Introduction and Background

Session and field experience proposals are due May 24, 2019 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s 14th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum held November 15 – 17, 2019 in Shepherdstown, WV is a watershed-wide event reaching over 400 restoration and protection practitioners annually to inspire and empower local action towards clean water. We do this by sharing successful tools and techniques, building the capacity of local organizations and governments, building partnerships, educating on new initiatives, networking amongst each other, and celebrating our successes.

The 2019 Chesapeake Watershed Forum theme, “Better Together: Diverse and Innovative Collaborations for the Chesapeake Watershed,” intends to highlight collaborative models from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that accelerate the protection and restoration of its lands and waters. We seek to understand what gives these collaborations staying power, to explore new roles for the veterans of the Chesapeake Bay restoration movement, to identify the opportunities to engage non-traditional stakeholders and work cross-sectors, and to learn how to strengthen collaborations by following the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Please note:

-Conference tracks will be determined based on the themes and practices of the proposals we receive rather than pre-determined track themes.

– We will evaluate each proposal based upon the rubric provided at the end of this document.

– Submissions for field experiences are also being solicited through this RFP process. We seek interactive, educational, and fun field trip in the area of Shepherdstown, WV. Field experiences incorporate the theme are preferred.

– We encourage sessions that highlight the diversity of our watershed and reflect the Alliance’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Forum Presentation Guidelines

For Classroom Sessions:

– Successful sessions are on a topic of importance to Forum participants, build readily transferable skills and knowledge, and foster self-efficacy among participants. Even specialized topics should offer takeaways that speak to a wide range of attendees across multiple sectors. For example, a session on agricultural landowner engagement could offer takeaways on communication and outreach strategies that are relevant to attendees from non-agriculture sectors.

– We are specifically looking for new and innovative sessions that highlight the latest research, restoration techniques, social sciences, behavior change techniques/approaches, ways to engage diverse communities, or other developing topics.

– Sessions should be geared toward the following participants: Staff, board members and volunteers with local/regional watershed conservation organizations, and local government staff.

– Proposals that demonstrate intention and enhance the session experience (i.e., not because it is suggested in this RFP) will be viewed more favorably. 

– Each proposal will be evaluated on how well it relates to the Forum theme. However, fitting the Forum theme is not a requirement for proposal acceptance.

More than one session proposal may be submitted, but each proposal must be submitted separately.

– Based on past participant feedback and due to our inability to offer more than one presenter scholarship per session, the planning team will not accept workshops with panel discussions.

– Sessions are scheduled for 90 minutes or 45 minutes. For 90 minute sessions, we encourage in-depth presentations that facilitate discussion and application at the local level. For 45 minute sessions, we encourage submissions that spotlight a case study or introduce new, innovative, and/or hot topics. Ample time should be reserved in all sessions for a question and answer period.

For Field Experiences:

– Trips should last 3 hours, including travel.

– Field experiences may be off the NCTC campus or outdoors, but are not necessarily so.

– They should be available for any of the 3 days of the Forum, Nov. 15 – Nov. 17.

– If there is an entrance fee or other such cost, please include in your proposal and keep costs to a minimum.

– Please include the maximum number of participants in your proposal.

– Please ensure that field experiences are accessible to people of all abilities. If there are any restrictions or limitations, the proposal should specify.

– Please identify specific equipment or clothing participants should bring.

– The Alliance and their partners will work to insure adequate transportation is available for field experiences.

Session Topics

Please refer to the Request for Proposals (PDF) for a list of potential focal areas and session topics for proposals.

Online Proposal Submission Guidelines

Each proposal must include:

– Title of proposed session/field experience (6 words or less).

– Is this a session or field experience?

– What topic will your session/field experience focus on?

– A short summary/abstract (100 words or less). If your proposal is accepted, this will be inserted into the printed Forum booklet to describe your session.

– Describe your target audience, including their knowledge and experience level.

– Please list the practical lessons and/or skills the participants will take away from this session/field experience. Are these lessons and/or skills relevant and transferable across sectors? If so, how?

– How will you engage participants in your session/field experience? Do you intend to share your content beyond the traditional lecture format? If so, how?

– How does your session/field experience relate to the theme?

– How does your session/field experience address the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Sessions Only

– Is this a 45 or 90 minute session?

Field Experiences Only

– Description of Field Experience (including maximum number of attendees, cost, accessibility for participants of all abilities, and specific equipment/clothing the participants should bring).

Speaker Information

– Biography for each presenter (100 words or less). If your proposal is accepted, this will be inserted into the printed Forum booklet to describe your session.

– Have you presented at the Forum before? If so, how many times?

Scoring Rubric for Proposals

Please refer to the Request for Proposals (PDF) for the scoring rubric used by the planning team to evaluate proposals.