Specialty Conferences

Specialty conferences perform two vital functions for members: They satisfy the environmental professional's needs to receive and share information and they disseminate information over a wider geographic area. The Association recognizes that not everyone can attend the Annual Conference & Exhibition, so specialty conferences pick up where it leaves off to transfer technology. These intensive conferences provide professionals quick and easy access to the available information on a specific subject or aspect of environmental management. The Association conducts 8-12 of these each year. The technical programs are very comprehensive, informative, and timely. Experts from around the world contribute to the conference proceedings. Professional development courses that relate to the conference topic are usually offered on the day preceding the start of the conference. An exhibition of relevant products and services complements the conference.

The technical program of a specialty conference is published as a proceedings and contains a record of all that transpired during the conference. The proceedings are often summarized in the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. Authors have the option of submitting their papers for peer review with the intent of publishing in a future issue of the Journal.

How to Start a Specialty Conference

Information on how to arrange specialty conferences is available from the Home Office or on the Web site. Members, through the Sections, Chapters, or Technical Coordinating Committees, can obtain details on initiating a specialty conference by contacting the Technical Programs Manager at +1-412-232-3444.

Writing a Paper for a Specialty Conference

The Association holds as many as a dozen specialty conferences each year. A conference technical program may offer anywhere from 25 to 350 papers.

Some of the papers delivered at specialty conferences are solicited or invited by the program committee organizing the conference. The balance come from the general call-for-papers published in the Journal, EM, other trade magazines and on the A&WMA Web site.

Calls-for-papers are generally published about 12 months before a conference. To write a paper for a specialty conference, follow these steps:

  1. Review the call-for-papers sections of the Journal, EM, A&WMA Web site and other trade magazines for the current paper openings.
  2. Select a session topic.
  3. Talk to the Technical Program Chair if you need to know more.
  4. Submit your abstract in the proper format to the person listed in the call-for-papers. Although paper abstracts may vary, the Association program chairs usually ask for 200 words, typed and double-spaced.
  5. If the abstract is approved, follow the deadlines and guidelines given to submit your final manuscript.