GeoHab Conference Guidelines

The Annual GeoHab Conference
Guidelines for selecting the host and conference organization

1. Frequency and time of year

GeoHab conferences are held annually, usually in the first week of May

2. Location

GeoHab conferences are held in different continents, each year.

3. Background

GeoHab is a non‐profit organisation established in 2001 and has since held annual conferences in various locations around the world (see for a list of the meeting locations). These conferences have grown in popularity with an increase in the numbers of delegates and a growing desire from the community to host the conference.Until now, the selection of the host country was decided two years in advance at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held immediately after each GeoHab conference. This was an informal process with an offer from a delegate from one institution, who would then become the chair of
the conference in two year’s time. The organisation of the conference has been entirely up to the conference chair and a local
organisation committee. The success of the GeoHab conference is testimony that this arrangement has worked well up until now. However, over the last three AGMs several
candidates have offered to host GeoHab. This is extremely positive, as it demonstrates that GeoHab will continue to attract new delegates and countries.
However, it has become apparent that the GeoHab community would benefit from some clarity around the processes governing the selection of conference hosts and utilisation of GeoHab assets (e.g. email distribution list, website, etc.). As such, at the 2011 GeoHab conference (Helsinki, Finland) AGM it was agreed that some simple guidelines be drafted, as follows:

4. Selection of the GeoHab Host

Guideline 1
Expression of interest to host a GeoHab conference should be made at the AGM
and noted in the minutes; A short (5 minute) presentation may be made by the
proponents but this is not required; The offer must appear in the minutes of the
Guideline 2
Expression of interest to host, and selection of the next two, GeoHab conference
locations (and their respective institutions) should be discussed at every AGM and
appear in the Agenda ahead of the conference
Guideline 3
Preference will be given to a different continent each year: North America, South
America, Australia/Oceania, Europe, Asia, Africa.
Guideline 4
Confirmation in writing of the conference host should be sent to the successful
host by the GeoHab committee two years in advance and no more; offers beyond
the two year period will be noted in the minutes but will not be considered as a
Guideline 5
In case of several offers to host GeoHab for the same year, two years before the
conference, discussion should be held at the AGM to find a solution; if no solution
is found, a hand vote from the audience should be held.
Guideline 6
The host location and conference chair(s) should be confirmed at the GeoHab
conference in the previous year.

5. Guidelines for GeoHab Conferences

These guidelines have been drafted to help the GeoHab conference chair and local organising
committee maintain the spirit of the GeoHab conference from one year to the other.
These guidelines are meant to be minimum standards only and positively enhancing them is at
the discretion of the conference chair.
This is a living document and should be discussed at each AGM and revised accordingly.


The conference chair is free to call a local organisation committee and a scientific
committee separately or jointly; one person is to chair both committees; Sub‐
committees (social, field trip, etc) are at the discretion of the local organisation
committee; A student committee is set separately (see below).

Scientific committee

Each GeoHab conference should have Scientific Committee to provide
support to the current Chair on production of the conference and overall
scientific direction. The size of the Scientific Committee is at the discretion of the current chair but should include at least:
1) two international GeoHab members with more than four years experience in
2) the Chair of the previous year conference; and
3) the Chair of the following year conference.

Conference theme

The theme of the GeoHab conference is to be decided by the Scientific
Committee after proposition from the Chair.


A single session format is the norm for the GeoHab conference; to facilitate this
format, the number of delegates should be limited to no more than 150

Social program

Traditionally, the social program has included a conference dinner and a field
trip; However, providing these is at the discretion of the local organising

Web Site

The website advertises the next GeoHab conference but is not the
conference website. Each local organising committee must create and manage
their own conference website; A link to the conference website should be
provided as early as possible to

Registration Fee

Originally, the conferences did not require a registration fee, but after a
number of conferences it was decided to establish a registration fee to offset
costs associated with producing the conference; registration costs should be set
to more than fully cover anticipated expenses. Any surplus funds from the
registration fees are deposited into the GeoHab reserve account managed by the
Circum‐Pacific Council (see Budget below).


The budget for the conference is managed by the local organising committee; the
Circum‐Pacific Council will facilitate advance funding and student grant payment
from the GeoHab reserve account; any surplus funds from the GeoHab
conference will be credited to the GeoHab reserve account held and managed by
the Circum‐Pacific Council; reserve account funds are used to offset any
unplanned expenditures; a financial statement outlining total revenue,
expenditures and net position will be presented at the AGM by the GeoHab

Student grants

A student committee shall be set up; The Chair of the previous year’s GeoHab
conference will preside over it and nominate a selection committee that reviews
applications based on established criteria; Budget should include an amount at
the discretion of the organising committee for student sponsoring; the amount
available for student sponsoring should be decided by the beginning of the year
of the conference; The criteria for providing student grants are available on the
GeoHab website.

Email list

The email list supplied and managed by must only be used for
matters related directly to the production of the GeoHab conference.