Call for Papers and Posters

Thank you for your interest in submitting your a 2021 paper/poster abstract! The abstract submission deadline has passed.

As an internationally recognized technical and policy forum, the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) is seeking thematically related papers and posters for its next convening in New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 10 – 13, 2021. The paper and poster presentations are the backbone of the IOSC’s technical program and contribute to the vast canon of oil pollution knowledge shared between government, industry, and academia. Invited authors present their respective papers or posters during speaker platform or interactive sessions scheduled during the IOSC. In addition, authors will have their work published in our online IOSC Proceedings – an impressive repository of more than 3,000 papers and articles that have been presented in the IOSC since 1969 covering a vast array of topics related to oil spill prevention, preparedness, response, and restoration. All content in the online IOSC Proceedings is free for the public to access and gives authors widespread visibility for their work. Please visit to view more than forty years of informative papers and articles that have been published for past conferences.


Traditionally, the IOSC solicits a broad range of technical and policy papers under four general categories: Prevent, Prepare, Respond, and Restore. Depending on historical events, emerging problems, or regulatory changes, specific topics under these four categories fluctuate in interest between successive IOSCs. The Executive and Program Committees extend a special request to our international community in an effort to truly round-out the participation and representation of our technical program for the 2021 Conference. For IOSC 2021, the Executive and Program Committees have developed the following list of topics that are considered timely and appealing for papers and platform presentations in 2021. Abstracts submitted for any IOSC themed topic will be considered, however, a submission has a higher probability for acceptance if it relates to any of the IOSC 2021 Focus Topics listed below.

IOSC 2020 Focus Topics With Examples

  1. New Developments in Prevention and Response Technologies and Practices – e.g. subsea oil spill response, capping, and containment/ source control, emerging technology assessment, buried oil, oil in ice, freshwater response challenges, oil exploration and production trends, decanting and oil/water separation, surface washing, dispersants, herders, ISB, salvage and marine firefighting, Spill Impact Mitigation Assessment (SIMA), etc.
  2. Case Studies and Lessons Learned – e.g. Improving prevention, planning, response, and restoration by integrating lessons learned from oil spills and responses, such as: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response (10-year anniversary), the Erika and Emily oil spill response (20-year anniversary), the Exxon Valdez oil spill response (30-year anniversary), or the Ixtoc oil spill response (40-year anniversary), etc.
  3. Inland Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Restoration – e.g. shale oil and shale gas, near surface well integrity and isolation, waste water, ground water protection, rail and truck transportation, storage tanks, pipeline systems, risk management, advances in leak detection and early warnings, freshwater and riverine environments, forested wetland exposure, etc.
  4. Transboundary Planning and Response – e.g. bilateral and multi-lateral MOAs, Arctic, international initiatives (Global Initiative for southeast Asia [GI SEA], Oil Spill Preparedness Regional Initiative [OSPRI], Global Initiative for West, Central, and Southern Africa [GI WACAF], Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre [REMPEITEC]), international offers of assistance, multi-country cooperation (spill response financing, subsea containment issues, research networks, best practices), etc.
  5. Outreach and Communication – e.g. crisis and risk communications, stakeholder engagement and collaboration, volunteer integration, dealing with media perception, industry/ government collaboration, use of social media for communications, etc.
  6. Advances in Training, Planning and Exercises – e.g. best practices for developing frameworks for exercises (including bi-lateral/multi-lateral forums), incorporating emerging issues into prevention and response planning (facility/vessel/pipeline/ rail/offshore), emergency management, waste management plans and issues, environmental plans, developing competencies and skills, development or update to National Contingency Plan, etc.
  7. Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Policy – e.g. recent guidance/policy updates resulting from incidents and/or shifts in regional/national/multinational priorities, etc.
  8. Public/Community Health and Responder Safety – e.g. public safety standards, convergence of unaffiliated volunteers, health risks from / considerations for fisheries closures during spills, first responder safety considerations (air monitoring, training, advances in personal protective equipment), studies on public health, etc.
  9. Arctic and Cold Weather Planning, Preparedness, and Response – e.g. cold weather response needs, studies on cold weather spill prevention or response, ice management, oil in ice best practices, best practices for operating in remote locations, international coordination, Arctic Council, safety considerations for harsh weather, etc.
  10. Research Outcomes informing Planning, Preparedness, Response, and Restoration – e.g. decisions made resulting from research or study outcomes, experimental spills, simulants, science or spills of opportunity, synchronizing/coordinating lab and field research best practices/processes/results, etc.
  11. Proposed Developments in Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Restoration – e.g. Trends or emerging issues that need an innovative solution: How can research and development efforts or other innovative changes to the status quo move spill prevention, preparedness, response, or restoration forward?
  12. Spill Impacts and Recovery – e.g. economic, social, environmental, cultural, shoreline impact, working with indigenous populations, environmental compliance, mitigation, impacts to natural resources, post-spill focus study/ tracking back to recovery, and post spill monitoring (National Resource Damage Assessment [NRDA], SIMA, Premiam), etc.
  13. Spill Surveillance, Visualization, & Monitoring – e.g. advances in spill monitoring, remote sensing, data processing and handling, spill modeling, including sub-surface modelling, fate and transport modeling, developing a better common operating picture and situational awareness tools, etc.
  14. Unconventional Products – e.g. fate and behavior of Low Sulphur Fuel Oils, IMO Sulphur cap limits, oil sands, bitumen, LNG, shale oil/tight oil, oil sand product spill response, heavy oil preparedness, etc.
  15. Enabling Response: Best Practices of Support Functions – e.g. logistics, finance, data management, etc.
  16. Oil Spills and Disasters – e.g. When does an oil spill become a disaster? What changes when a natural disaster causes an oil spill? Interface of disaster and oil spill regulatory frameworks, lessons learned from non-oil spills/ disasters, emergency management best practices, etc.
  17. Oil Spill Science – e.g. Fate Transport and Effects, Ecotoxicology, Biodegradation, Ecosystem/ Population level impacts/quantification, analytical methods, Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA), etc.


Posters allow participants to showcase their work and obtain feedback on ongoing or innovative research or policy developments. Posters also provide a forum for ideas that are shorter than a conference paper, of interest to a narrower audience, or which are best communicated graphically. This particular medium enhances the IOSC by expanding the scope of topics shared and ideas debated. Consequently, abstracts submitted for poster consideration can cover any IOSC-related theme. Poster authors will have their own dedicated session at IOSC to present their work. At least one of the poster authors is required to register at the conference. Well-crafted posters will tell the story effectively by themselves, but poster authors are expected to be available during the poster session to describe and discuss their work. Conference posters will be preserved electronically in the online IOSC Proceedings, thereby providing a permanent reference for interested audiences.

Posters invited for the conference should be constructed with the following elements:

  • Purpose and goals of the work
  • Any background and motivation information needed to understand the work, as well as any critical hypotheses and assumptions that underlie the work, if appropriate.
  • A summary, with key details of the contribution/ results or the anticipated contributions if the work is at an early stage, in sufficient detail for a viewer to understand the work/results.
  • Where to find additional information. This should include but is not restricted to:
    • A website where viewers can go to find additional information about the work.
    • Contact information for the authors, including email addresses.
    • Citations for any papers, books, or other materials that provide additional information.

* Posters designed to sell a product or serve as a commercial advertisement will not be accepted.


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