Limited travel scholarship support is available to attend the 2018 Great Lakes Adaptation Forum, which will be held September 24-September 26 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Scholarships will be awarded through a competitive review process. Eligible applicants include individuals from state, municipal and tribal governments, non-profit organizations, community leaders, and students working on or studying climate change adaptation. Applications outside these categories will be considered on a case-by-case basis, pending the availability of funds. Special consideration for scholarships will be given to applicants who are presenting or hosting a session at the Forum, who express a particular justification for how attendance will foster their ability to implement adaptation activities in their work, or who will not be able to attend without travel support. 

Scholarships will include complimentary registration, accommodations for three nights and up to $500 in travel reimbursement. Please note that reimbursements will be provided after the event. You should expect reimbursements to occur approximately 4-6 weeks after you have submitted your receipts. Should you be approved for a scholarship, we encourage you to work with other awardees traveling from nearby locations to coordinate travel and minimize expenses. In this case, we ask that one individual cover the expense (e.g., car rental) and not request to share reimbursement. We will provide recipients with the contact information for other scholarship recipients who will be traveling from nearby locations. Travel support applications must be submitted by August 3, 2018 for consideration. Scholarship recipients will be notified by August 10.

If you receive a scholarship, all receipts and reimbursement forms must be received by OCTOBER 26, 2018, or you will not be eligible for reimbursement. All recipients will be required to provide detailed receipts to receive reimbursement - no exceptions. 

Travel and lodging reimbursement is limited to the items below. You must agree to the following terms and conditions to be eligible for reimbursement. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions, your application will be rejected. GLAF is unable to reimburse travel expenses exceeding $500.

Air/Train Travel: Airfare or train fare for attendee only. Should you receive travel support from the Great Lakes Adaptation Forum, you must obtain air/train tickets as soon as possible. Please book the trip in an economical and efficient manner. Business and first class travel will not be reimbursed. Change fees will not be reimbursed. If you are seeking reimbursement for triangle fares for additional personal or non-Great Lakes Adaptation Forum business, please provide cost comparisons as if travel were round-trip. Airfare will only be reimbursed at roundtrip rate.. If personal travel costs exceed the cost of roundtrip travel to GLAF, you may need to reimburse the University of Michigan. Detailed receipts for all legs of travel must be provided to be eligible for reimbursement.

Ground Transportation: Ground transportation and parking expenses involved in getting to/from the Great Lakes Adaptation Forum event may be included in travel reimbursement up to the $500 limit. We strongly encourage the use of public transportation to and from the airport at both ends of the trip. If this is not practical or available, we suggest an airport shuttle. The Michigan Flyer provides low-cost bus transportation to and from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Ann Arbor. If you must rent a car, we will reimburse for a mid-size vehicle or smaller. If a larger car is chosen, the cost differential will be the responsibility of the attendee. Please get quotes from different rental agencies and choose the most economical. Gasoline costs on rental cars will be reimbursed; all fuel receipts must be included. Return the vehicle to the car rental location with a full tank of gas. A vehicle must be returned to the same location from which it was picked up. If it is returned to another location, the attendee will assume the cost of the drop-off fee, additional mileage, time and gasoline. The Great Lakes Adaptation Forum determines the number of allowable days for what is appropriate for the length of travel to and from the event site. The Great Lakes Adaptation Forum will not cover the cost of car rental insurance. Detailed receipts for all travel expenses must be provided to be eligible for reimbursement.

Mileage: We strongly encourage attendees to use public transportation where available. Personal vehicle mileage will be reimbursed at the current IRS/GSA standard mileage reimbursement rate. Please provide a map with the route and total miles traveled. Fuel will not be reimbursed.  Please use a rental car (mid-size or smaller) if you are driving more than 90 miles one way. If you opt to drive your personal vehicle and the costs exceed equivalent rental car costs, the Great Lakes Adaptation Forum will not reimburse for mileage but will reimburse for the equivalent cost of a mid-size car rental with unlimited miles from the city of origin for the number of days deemed appropriate for round-trip travel. Detailed receipts for all travel expenses must be provided to be eligible for reimbursement.

Lodging: GLAF will reimburse lodging within one of the four reserved conference hotel blocks for scholarship recipients who live more than 45 miles outside of the City of Ann Arbor. Lodging expenses do not count towards the $500 travel reimbursement limit. Applying for a scholarship does not automatically reserve lodging—the attendee is responsible for making hotel reservations. When possible, Forum organizers will arrange payment in advance with the hotel so scholarship recipients do not need to pay and get reimbursed. This will be coordinated on a case-by-case basis after recipients have made their hotel reservations. Please visit the Travel and Lodging page for more information.

GLAF will reimburse a single room for each scholarship recipient, for up to three nights, from September 24-26. Extenuating circumstances for an additional night need to be pre-approved. GLAF will only cover the cost of the hotel and associated taxes. If additional charges to the room are made (e.g., room service), recipients will have to cover those costs. 

Registration: Travel scholarship recipients will receive a customized invitation to register for the Forum for free. Applicants should not register until they are notified on the status of their application. Please note that the early bird registration rate will be available for a minimum of one week after notification, so that unsuccessful applicants may register for the reduced rate.

Mandatory Attendance: To be eligible to receive travel support, the participant must attend the Forum in-person. There are no exceptions.

The full request for session proposals is also available for download here.

Forum Overview

Building off of the success of the 2014 and 2016 fora, the 2018 Great Lakes Adaptation Forum (GLAF) will bring together practitioners and scholars from across the Great Lakes region for three days of sharing strategies and approaches to climate adaptation in an engaged learning program. The Forum will support interactive sessions and be an opportunity for exchange between hundreds of researchers and professionals working on climate change adaptation at the local, state, and regional levels in the U.S. and Canada. The 2018 GLAF will focus on equity in climate adaptation and accelerating action.

Hosts, Advisory Board, and Program Committee

The 2018 GLAF is co-hosted by the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) and the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP). The Forum hosts are working with an Advisory Board for guidance on overall Forum direction and approach, and a Program Committee to develop the Forum agenda. Information on sponsorship opportunities is available here.

Submission Guidelines

The 2018 GLAF Program Committee is accepting proposals for engaging sessions addressing the Forum’s focus on equity in climate adaptation and accelerating action. Proposed sessions must be submitted to one of the four session track themes, listed below. Sessions should be designed to achieve a specific learning goal - information, skills, or strategies attendees can apply in their work with explicit explanation of how the session’s content is transferable and lessons learned. Successful proposals will articulate how adaptation can be effectively implemented and equitably shared.

For GLAF 2018, session track themes have been designed with input from an Advisory Board to break down silos between sectors. This approach aims to create ample opportunity for practitioners to share best practice, lessons learned and work jointly to produce solutions to the climate challenges facing our region. 

Session Track Themes

Beyond Borders: This track will focus on transboundary adaptation planning and action. It will highlight cooperation among the United States, Canada, and Indigenous Peoples; strategies for addressing multi-jurisdictional issues; establishing and advancing regional governance; innovative partnerships; and bridging local action to a larger scale.

Funding & Finance: This track will highlight mechanisms for funding and financing adaptation action. It will address new funding and finance tools, and highlight creative uses of traditional tools. Sessions may cover topics such as emerging bond markets, pay-for-success financing, the role of insurance in advancing or constraining action, pay-for-service programs, how to find and approach funders and investors, crafting cost-effective solutions, and measuring the cost of inaction. 

Leadership at all Levels: This track will focus on stories that celebrate and inspire   leadership at all levels of society - from students and youth to business   leaders and elected officials. It will highlight the work of individuals and   communities serving as champions for adaptation action, and lift up examples of leadership that has resulted in building power for underrepresented   populations or engaging new and diverse stakeholder groups.

Technology & Innovation: This track will showcase cutting-edge, transformative technologies and processes that are accelerating adaptation action. It will discuss how these technologies and processes can be improved, scaled, replicated, and transferred to communities that need them most. 

We will be arranging sessions in a progression that fosters continuity in the learning experience for Forum participants, and in some cases soliciting sessions that are well suited to a particular slot in the agenda. In particular, we will identify one session for each track that will serve as the introduction, setting the context for the sessions to come. We will also identify a concluding session for each track that can serve as an inspiring note on which to end. If you would like your session to be considered for the introduction or conclusion slot in a particular track, please indicate that by checking the appropriate box on the session submission form.

Applications are being accepted for all session types and tracks, and applicants will have the opportunity to indicate the intended type. Sessions can take several forms, including, but not limited to:

● Panel presentations: short individual presentations focused around a central theme, followed by a moderated discussion.

● Training: teach participants how to use or apply a particular tool or resource

● Workshops: interactive activities that explore a particular concept or skill (workshops requiring more than a single session can apply for two concurrent sessions in the ‘Session agenda’ portion of the form).

● Working groups: small gatherings to exchange ideas or plan collaboration around a topic. 

● Individual presentations: single presentation on a publication or project to be grouped with other individual presentations to form a panel. (Sessions will be strongest if individual presentations share a theme. Applicants are encouraged to connect with colleagues to develop and submit a panel presentation session instead. Feel free to reach out to Forum organizers for help with this.)

Sessions are tentatively 90 minutes each, although this may shift slightly shorter or longer pending the final agenda. Each session can select an unlimited number of relevant sectors to be highlighted in the program, including but not limited to: architecture/engineering/construction, agriculture, business, cities, defense, education, energy, emergency response, extreme events, government (local), government (state), government (federal), Indigenous Peoples, infrastructure, natural resources, policy, public health, rural communities, tourism, transportation, water. 

Evaluation Criteria 

All proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by members of the Program Committee. We encourage innovative proposals that incorporate equity and action and will benefit a wide adaptation practitioner audience across sectors. Proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  1. Clarity and relevance: the proposed session is about adaptation to climate change, and connects to one or both conference themes (equity or accelerating action).
  2. Impacts and learning objectives: the proposal outlines clear learning objectives for attendees to apply the topic & lessons learned in their work, and is relevant across sectors.
  3. Agenda & feasibility: the proposed agenda is feasible in the time      allotted and includes ample time for questions, discussion, and inclusive participation.

Applicants will have the opportunity to request permission to edit their submission after review, before the agenda is finalized. This flexibility is intended to encourage session proposal submissions even if the session agenda or presenter list is not finalized. However, applicants should be as detailed as possible in their submissions.


All proposals must be submitted by 11:59pm EST by the extended deadline of Friday July 13, 2018. Please contact Forum organizers with questions.

How to Submit

All session proposals must be completed using the Submittable web-based platform. 

Applicants may save draft versions of their submissions ahead of the deadline. If you have used Submittable before as an applicant and/or a reviewer, you can use the same login information and may see other forms you have submitted and/or reviewed in the past. 

Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments