Frequently Asked Questions

The Annual Conference has flexible offerings to fit the needs of our members. Please find the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Still have a question? Contact us!


Q. Where is American University and when/where do I check in?

A. American University is located at 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC
(see Google Map)

IMPORTANT: Set your GPS for 3501 Nebraska Avenue NW, for the East Campus commons.
(See Google Map for driveway / parking lot entrance)
If you are arriving by car or taxi, enter the driveway from Nebraska Avenue in the EAST BOUND lanes only. Turn into the driveway tunnel through Constitution Hall and proceed to the rear lot.

Check In:

Saturday, July 14th Conference Registration: The Constitution Hall Lobby Reception Desk will be open 12:00pm-5:30pm. You will receive your materials packet for the week and then head to your assigned Residence Hall (Constitution or Congressional Halls) for housing check-in, where a personal Summer Guest Card/keycard will be issued for secure access to housing, dining and fitness facilities.

NOTE: Housing check-in and Conference check-in are in separate locations.

Sunday-Thursday Conference Registration 8:45am-5:30pm: Registration will continue at the Constitution Hall Reception area, (link to map of campus), outside the Plenaries and Speakers Hall.

Housing Check In: Residence Halls are staffed 24/7 for any early or late arrivals. If you arrive on campus after 5:30pm, please go to your assigned Residence Hall (Constitution or Congressional) to check-in with the Desk Attendant and to receive your Summer Guest Card / keycard. You must present a valid photo ID for housing registration!

Q. Do I have to be a professional illustrator to attend?

A. No. The conference is open to anyone interested in the field of scientific illustration.

Q. Are animals allowed?

A. No pets are allowed. Service animals are allowed with proper paperwork.

Q. Can you ship me my conference merchandise?

A. No. Ask a friend to pick up a t-shirt for you!


Q. What should I bring for wireless connections? Are all the rooms set up the same for wireless?

A. The whole AU campus offers high-speed WIFI connectivity (unsecured). There is no password required. Ethernet connections are available in dorm rooms; bring your own ethernet cable.


Q. When does registration open?

A. Registration opens APRIL 6, 2018 at Noon PT. Click here to register online. Click here to download the printable registration form.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. The conference is separated into sections and options, so you can attend as much or as little as you like. You can also purchase additional admissions to selected events for your guests. See the Price Overview.

Q. I want to bring my significant other/partner/spouse/BFF/entire family. Can they stay with me on campus?

A. Yes! They will be considered guests and are welcome to sign up for campus housing/dining and for evening events. Please review the Guest Policy page.

Q. How can I register?

A. You can register online or by mail.

Q. What is the address for registrants to send paper registration forms and/or checks?

A. Please send checks to the registrar:

Susan Underkoffler
attn. GNSI Conference Registration
PO Box 684
Richlandtown, PA 18955

Q. How can I take advantage of the early bird discount?

A. Simply register before May 18 at 11:59 PM PDT . You will receive a $50 discount for 3-day core registration, or $10/day for day registration.

Q. What is included in the core full conference fee?

A. The core full conference fee includes your pass to attend:

Q. What is the difference between core FULL registration and core DAY registration?

A. Core FULL registration is the full packet for all Sun-Wed events. If you choose to attend 1 or 2 days, you can register separately for a smaller fee by selecting Core DAY registration.

Q. Do I have to pay separately for Field trips and Workshops?

A. Yes. Field trips and Workshops are a la carte and are priced individually.

Q. Can I just sign up for workshops and field trips?

A. No, workshops and field trips are open to core conference attendees and their guests only. Minimum one day core conference registration is required to take part of workshops and field trips.

Q. Can I drive myself and meet the group at field trip sites?

A. No, pre-registration is required.

Q. Can I change/update my housing reservation/workshop selections?

A. Yes. Your registration can be changed/updated until registration period ends on June 22 at 11:59PM PDT. Please contact the registrar and housing coordinator. For more information, please see the Refund Policy.

Q. Which events are open for guests?

A. Guest registration includes portfolio sharing, exhibit reception, annual auction, annual banquet, and other special events. It is a great choice if you are bringing a friend/spouse/significant other who is not an illustrator but still want to hang out and enjoy the fun events. Guests may sign up for as many or as little events as they wish. Please see the Guest Policy for more information.

Q. Where can I see the conference schedule? What talks/workshops are on which day?

A. Conference schedule can be viewed on the Schedule page.

Q: How long should I stay?

A: The most common "package" is for the attendees to arrive mid-afternoon on Sunday and to leave on either Friday or Saturday afternoon. Room and board is offered Saturday through Saturday, with final check-out Sunday, July 22, at noon.

See Price Overview.

Q. What is the refund policy? What is the refund policy for late cancellations?

A: Registrations (except membership purchases and donations) cancelled before Regular Registration ends (June 22 at 11:59PM PDT) are eligible for a 50% refund.

After Regular Registration ends, Core Conference (full or individual days), Housing and Dining Hall Meals, Workshop participation, Field Trip participation, Merchandise, and any catered events such as box lunches, business lunches, banquet tickets are non-refundable.

By registering for this conference, you and your guests acknowledge participation of your own free will and will not hold the GNSI, its Board of Directors, or its volunteers responsible for any personal injury to your life or limbs during the course of this event.


Q. Are meals included in registration fee?

A. Business lunch is included in core day and core full registration, Banquet is included in core full registration. All other meals must be pre-purchased. Please see Price Overview for details.

Q. Can guests purchase campus dining meals?

A. Yes, please indicate which meals your guests are planning to join you for meals during registration.

Q. I can’t decide when to eat on campus.

A. GNSI invites all attendees and guests to eat on campus for convenience and efficiency. Meals are a great time to meet fellow colleagues. GNSI is known for its helpful, friendly members. Friendships and professional relationships develop over meals and evening events. If you decide to eat outside the dining halls, plenty of options exist in nearby neighbourhoods. Alternate campus dining may be available, please be aware that they might be operating on summer hours.

Q. If I’m staying on campus, are my meals included in housing price?

A. No. Please purchase meals separately when registering.

Q. Can I pay for meals at the door?

A. No. All meals must be prepaid.


Q. When will I hear back about the exhibit submission entries?

A. Notification of acceptance will be sent out by May 20, 2018.

Q. Can I bring my accepted piece(s) with me when I travel to the conference site?

A. No, we need the artwork to be shipped ahead of time (shipping instructions will accompany the notification of acceptance).


Q. I'm not attending the conference, but I have some auction items I would like to donate. What do I do?

A. Even if you are not attending the auction, you can still support GNSI by shipping your auction items.

Download the AUCTION FORM and include it with your shipment. Please include one form for each item. Contact the Auction Coordinator if you have unusual shipping needs.

Ship Items to:

Leslie Becker
ATTN: GNSI Auction 2018
3 Vallingby Circle
Rockville, MD 20850-2762

Q. Would <fill in the blank> be a good fit to the auction?

A. If you looked at an item and thought of the GNSI conference, the answer is YES!


Q. Transportation to/from airport? Ride-sharing?

A. Please see the travel section. If you need a ride or are able to provide a seat in your car, please indicate so on the Carpool and Ride Share Signup.

What directions should registrants give to taxi drivers so that they can find the dorms?

A. The address for American University Conferences and Constitution Hall is 3501 Nebraska Avenue NW, Washington, DC: (Google Map).

If you are arriving before 5:45pm, check in at Constitution Hall to pick up your packet, and proceed to the adjacent residence hall entrance for your Summer Guest Card / Keycard issue if applicable. If you are arriving after 5:45pm, please enter Constitution Hall residence hall. Sign in for your room assignment and your Summer Guest Card / Keycard. Conference registration will open up at 8:45am the following morning in the adjacent conference center space below the dormitory.

Q. What are the parking requirements/cost?

A. Hourly parking is $2/hour, with a daily maximum of $16. If driving, set your GPS to 3501 Nebraska Ave. NW, Washington, DC. Enter the the driveway from the eastbound lane of Nebraska Ave. to reach the surface parking lot behind Constitution Hall. Visitors must pay DAILY at the parking kiosk by entering YOUR VEHICLE'S LICENSE PLATE number and following prompts to pay for parking between 8:30am-5:30pm. Cash or credit cards accepted. Parking after 5:30pm is free. (Google Map to parking lot) Tip: take a picture of your car tag an keep it handy for each day's parking permit.

IMPORTANT: 2 and 4-hour metered street parking is limited to a few areas in the campus vicinity and all are strictly enforced by Metro DC Parking Police. Violators will fined and/or towed, so please do not park along the adjacent streets if at all possible! (Consider yourself warned!)


Q. How much is it to stay on campus?

A. See the housing options and prices. Note: The price is per person, per night. For example, a Constitution Hall room has 2 beds and each bed is $95. If you are bringing yourself and one guest, the cost of the room is $95 x 2 beds = $190/night.

Q. What are the check in/out times?

A. Room check-in begins at 4pm on Saturday, July 14 at Constitution Hall.

A. Sunday-Wednesday check-in is at the GNSI registration tables in Constitution Hall Conference Lobby 8:45am-5:45pm.

A. Final check out time is Sunday, July 22, 2018 at noon.

Q. What about late/early arrivals/departures?

A. If you are arriving before 8am or arriving after 5:45pm, go to Constitution Hall residence entrance for check-in and room access 24/7. You must present a valid ID.

When checking out, leave room and folded linens as you found them and drop off your Summer Guest Card/keycard at the reception desk in your residence hall.

Q. Are there laundry facilities? What is the cost?

A. Laundry facilities are located on each floor of the residence halls. You must purchase "Eagle Bucks" to operate the laundry machines ($1.75 / load wash or dry). Eagle Bucks are cashless credits loaded onto your Summer Guest Card / keycard for use in campus stores, coffee shops, vending and laundry machines. Any unused Eagle Bucks value left on your card will not be returned to the holder. The Eagle Bucks kiosk is located in Mary Graydon Center's main hall, outside the Terrace Dining Room entry.

Q. Are any of the rooms air conditioned? Do the windows open?

A. Yes, all rooms are air conditioned and windows open narrowly for cross-ventilation.

Q. Are there separate desk lamps for each guest?

A. No. Please bring your own lamp. Please refer to what to pack section under Travel.

Q. What is the mailing address when on campus?

A: Workshop instructors who need to ship materials should contact Shannon Russell on a needs basis. AU Conferences will not receive or keep secure any materials for individual summer guests. (contact:

Q. Are there mini-fridges in the rooms?

A. No. Please bring a personal cooler for use in your room. There are no ice machines in the residence halls so plan accordingly for medicine or other personal items that must be kept cold.

Q. What is the alcohol policy?

A. The legal drinking age in the US is 21. If you are under the age of 21 you may not consume or possess alcohol anywhere on campus. Alcohol is not allowed in the public areas of residences or elsewhere on campus except at approved events for people of legal age.

Q. Are there bunk beds or individual beds?

A. All rooms have twin-sized beds configured for double occupancy. If you have mobility concerns or other physical needs, please indicate this on your registration form to ensure fully accessible rooms are specifically reserved.

Q. How many beds are in each room?

A. All rooms have twin beds configured for double occupancy.

Q. Are extra pillows/blankets available?

A. Basic bed linens, towels and a pillow are provided for each bed. Please ask the attendant in the residence hall to provide any additional linens. Please refer to what to pack section under travel.

Q. Are there fitness facilities or pools available to use? What is the cost?

A. An indoor pool and fitness facilities are free and open to Summer Guests. Ask at Registration and sign a waiver to allow access with your Summer Guest Card / keycard.

Q. Are children allowed as guests? What is their fee? Is it permissible to bring air mattresses for them to sleep on rather than pay for an extra bed?

A. Yes. Parents must register and pay full room and board rates for any minor guests. All children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a registered conference Summer Guest or parent at all times while on campus due to safety considerations.

Q. If I’m paying for housing, do I still have to pay for my meals?

A. Yes. Housing and Dining are completely separate. Even if you are staying off-campus, please preselect meals. There will be no paying at the door.