The HOW Coalition’s annual Great Lakes Conference attracts more than 300 people from across the region to discuss cross-cutting and cutting edge Great Lakes issues. This year’s conference will be held at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 7-8, 2020.

The Coalition is looking for engaging and compelling proposals for both field trips and presentations at this year’s conference.

Download the 2020 call for applications

Click here to access the 2020 Field Trip Application

Click here to access the 2020 Presentation/Workshop Application

Applications due May 30, 2020

We invite you to submit application to share your work with the Great Lakes Community. This year, the HOW Coalition is especially looking to expand our reach to include more stories from the intersection of social justice and the environment, and we encourage folks who can share stories from their communities to apply. If we can assist you in making these connections between environment and community or talking through a presentation idea, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Celia Haven at or 734-887-7123.

A note about COVID-19: There is a lot of uncertainty right now about summer and fall events. As of right now, our conference is still slated to happen in person October 7-8, and so we are moving forward with conference planning and constantly monitoring the situation. We will rely on the guidance of public health professionals to determine our course of action and will let you know immediately if there are any changes in conference plans – whether that be a postponement, moving to a virtual conference, or cancellation. Of course, we understand that there are much bigger priorities in people’s lives right now.  If thinking about Great Lakes issues (and maybe even our conference) provides some respite from the intense times we find ourselves in, then we hope you will consider participating in our conference and submitting a proposal.

1. Field Trips: Field Trips: Showcasing Milwaukee, the three rivers, and the surrounding community

The Coalition is seeking fun, educational, inspiring and creative proposals for field trips in and around Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to highlight community projects, social and environmental challenges, restoration success stories, and cultural landmarks.

2. Workshops: Six Great Lakes Issue Areas

Apply for either:

  • 15 minute talk: A concise and compelling talk on one subject, perhaps an emerging issue, interesting piece of research, or quick update. Max one speaker, no powerpoint slides.
  • 60 minute workshop: Be creative with session format – host a presentation, workshop, panel, training, input session, towh hall, etc! Up to 3 speakers and one (optional) moderator.

The Coalition is seeking innovative, creative, engaging and compelling proposals for presentations in the below categories. Preferred applications in all categories will include culturally and racially diverse voices and groups or individuals representing under-resourced communities to share important stores from around the region. Expanded issue area descriptions are included in the full Request for Proposals.

A) Great Lakes Policy Issues

B) Innovative Great Lakes Restoration Success Stories

C) Addressing Environmental Injustices

D) Grassroots Action that makes a Difference

E) Great Lakes Research and Emerging Issues

F) Skills, Training, and Organizational Development

See the request for applications document for full descriptions of each category, and instructions to apply

Are you curious about what field trips and presentations have been included in previous conferences? You can find the 2019 conference program book from Detroit, Michigan, here.