CERF 2019 Conference

CERF 2019 Conference Updates

See below for the most recent updates for our 25th Biennial Conference:



Meet Us in Mobile!

Our 2019 Conference destination has so much in store

Activities  |  About the City  |  Venue  |  Hotels


CERF 2019 will be held at the Mobile Convention Center in Mobile, Alabama. Mobile has long been the cultural center of the Gulf Coast and you'll find an authentic experience found nowhere else in the southern United States. As the oldest city in Alabama, Mobile has a rich past spanning centuries. French, Spanish, British, Creole, Catholic, Greek and African legacies have influenced everything from architecture to cuisine, creating a miniature melting pot in the Port City.

Learn About Mobile

Call for Scientific Session and Workshop Proposals

Session and workshop proposal deadline: 20 September 2018

Download the Call for Sessions

Please submit your proposal online. (Details below.)

The Scientific Program Committee for the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation’s 25th Biennial Conference (CERF 2019) invites proposals for Sessions and Workshops. We expect to include topical sessions and workshops that span the fundamental fields of coastal and estuarine science, and topics historically popular among the CERF membership.

Scientific Session Proposals

Consider submitting a proposal to convene a scientific session that explores CERF’s traditional science, education, and policy disciplines, taking advantage of diverse perspectives of conference attendees. Special sessions are also encouraged surrounding the conference theme: “Responsive | Relevant | Ready.” Such special sessions could address if and how research meets or responds to public interests or needs, actions taken to increase research “impact” or relevance, and how actions affect research. Sessions could also examine how individuals or organizations came to pursue research, how they were ready to tackle what followed (e.g., the research itself, stakeholder engagements), and how they support application of outcomes. Because many attendees will present technical studies, prospective session chairs are encouraged to build the theme into research-focused sessions. While any appropriate topic may be submitted, special sessions are encouraged that address the following:

  • Enhancing scientific relevance by integrating across disciplines – understand ecological process and function in estuarine and coastal ecosystems through multidisciplinary research and synthesis
  • Extracting information from data-management, analysis, and synthesis of datasets (continuous monitoring, remote sensing, genetic) to glean new information. Quantitative description of status and function and predictive models and tools
  • Readiness through communication and management of threats - environmental change and variability associated with greenhouse gas emissions, population growth, resource acquisition and scarcity, societal conflicts, and biodiversity loss and interactions
  • Responding to global climate change – Quantifying and predicting ecological, economic and social effects of strong storms, hydrologic trends and extremes, sea level rise, and shifting species distributions
  • Cultural heritage and coastal humanities – Sharing experiences of stewardship afforded to people who depend on the coast. Defining the human dimensions of risk to diverse stakeholders and audiences and the impacts of change to communities, heritage and economies
  • Working coastlines and multiple uses – how ecosystems and economic activity interact and the role of science in the interaction. Managing multiple uses of coastal resources across the natural and sociological continuum; integration, quantification and valuation of ecosystem goods and services. May address urban issues, managed ecosystems, tourism, fishing, port operations, aquaculture, and energy development
  • Diverse audiences – Engaging diverse stakeholders in research, education, restoration, policy, management and protection of estuarine and coastal ecosystems

Session proposals are encouraged to frame scientific topics in broadly relevant ways, and encouraging diverse participation and engagement. Sessions arising from a single project/program or based on a local question or issue (e.g., species, process) are less preferred.

Submission Information

Sessions may have an oral, poster, or combined oral/poster format and may include standard 15-minute presentations and/or five-minute lightning – style presentations. Poster sessions can use new technologies (e.g., enhanced reality, QR codes) to provide a better understanding of topics. Be prepared to act as the convener of proposed sessions and/or identify others to support sessions.

Information you need to submit a Session Proposal

1. Lead convener name with full contact information
2. Other convener names (limit to three other conveners) and email addresses
3. Identify preferred session format Most oral sessions will have an associated poster session. Poster sessions may be proposed as stand alone. For oral session proposals, indicate Traditional (15 minutes), lightening – style talks (five-minute), combination, or other (specify)
4. Session Title (limited to 10 words) If your title is greater than 10 words, it may be shortened before publication
5. Proposals Submit both a short description (50–100 words) to be used for wide distribution, including the program book, and a long description (500 words) of the proposed session (no tables or graphics). As part of the description, complete the statement, “The session should be of interest to…” 

Workshop Proposals

Workshops proposals are encouraged to offer participants interactive experiences addressing the conference theme, or other topical areas. Training workshops that focus on technical/scientific topics and skills or career development, outreach, and communication are solicited. The ideal workshop will have potentially broad appeal among CERF conference attendees at all career levels and across academia, government, NGO, and private sectors. In addition to the themes outlined above, workshops that address aspects of the following are encouraged:

  • Statistics and data processing (e.g., R, mapping/GIS, bioinformatics, data visualization)
  • Science communication and education/outreach
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Mentoring best practices
  • Grant writing for traditional and non-traditional funding bodies
  • Public policy and management
  • Professional development for students and early career individuals (e.g., writing, publishing, leadership)
  • Tools for data gathering (e.g., acoustic telemetry, drones, satellite imagery)

Information you need to submit a Workshop Proposal

1. Workshop point of contact names (maximum of two people) with full contact information
2. Schedule Time Requested two to seven hours
3. Workshop title (limited to 10 words)
4. Proposal Submit both a short description (50–100 words) to be used for wide distribution, including the program book, and a long description (500 words) of the proposed workshop (No tables or graphics). Include:

a.) Workshop presenters – Presenters may be different from point of contact
b.) Target audience – As applicable, e.g., career stage (student, early career advanced professional), employment sector (academic, government, NGO, private), field of expertise
c.) Format – e.g., lecture, panel or group discussions, activity. If workshop has mixed format please describe
d.) Enrollment – If attendance must be a limited for logistics reasons, specify a limit. If not, state “no limit”
e.) A/V needs for leaders and participants (e.g., if participants must bring a laptop)


Please contact the Scientific Program Committee Co-Chairs (James Hagy, Jennifer Pollack, and Sharon Herzka) at [email protected] to discuss ideas for sessions or workshops.

Submit Online

To submit a proposal, please use the online submission process. There you will find further instructions for submitting proposals. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 29 November 2018.


CERF Inclusion Lunch

The CERF Inclusion Lunch is a venue for the CERF community to address challenges faced by underrepresented people in the sciences, provide an environment supportive of triumphs, and develop personal and professional networks. For many years, CERF’s support for Women in Science events has paved the way for equity in coastal and estuarine science. This year, the CERF Inclusion Lunch presents an opportunity for conference attendees to broaden participation even further as a part of the CERF initiative Rising TIDES, Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society.

The work and achievements of women over the years have laid the critical groundwork for Rising TIDES. The CERF Inclusion Lunch will celebrate the work of women pioneers in CERF to demonstrate the significance of a progressively diverse science community.

What's In Your Gumbo?

Ingredients for Putting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into Practice
 TUESDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 2019  |  11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
REGULAR: $40  |  STUDENT: $20

If you have already registered for the conference and would like to add or change your ticketed events, please email our office to update your registration. Limited tickets will also be available onsite for walkins and others to purchase.

Gumbo, a stew originated in Louisiana, is especially popular in the Gulf Coast region.  This flavorful dish is full of various combinations of meat, seafood, vegetables and spices that are brought together by three key ingredients characteristic of gumbo:  a flavored stock, a thickener and the Holy Trinity (a.k.a. bell peppers, celery, and onions).  It is the different types of ingredients that meld together and make the gumbo so delicious, much like it is the ingredients of diverse people, perspectives and experiences that enhance and enrich the CERF and coastal and marine science gumbos.  During the CERF Inclusion Lunch, attendees learn strategies and gain tools to promote and instill the key ingredients of diversity, equity, and inclusion at both individual, organizational and institutional levels. 

The keynote speakers Dr. Tuba Ozkan-Haller and Dr. Kristy Lewis will lead the audience through presentations, exercises and facilitated discussion to help identify meaningful ways in which to engage in DEI along multiple dimensions.  There will also be time for personal and professional networking at the conclusion of the formal program.


Dr. Tuba Özkan-Haller
Professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmosphere Sciences
Professor, School of Civil and Construction Engineering
Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Development
Oregon State University

Dr. Ozkan-Haller is well known in the field of coastal engineering with expertise in nearshore waves and water motion and has served on the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Tuba Ozkan-Haller is passionate about communicating science to the public and has appeared in numerous documentaries produced by the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Dr. Kristy Lewis
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, National Center for Integrated Coastal Research
University of Central Florida

Dr. Lewis' research investigates ecosystem-level variability in marine communities and the impact these changes have on human stakeholders using statistical and ecological modeling strategies. Her focus on integrating science with societal needs includes participation of under-represented groups to find robust solutions to the world's most challenging coastal issues. For example, in a recently funded grant, she and an interdisciplinary research team will develop a web application giving coastal residents, including those in our most marginalized communities, the ability to assess their vulnerability to future environmental hazards and make informed housing decisions to reduce risk and increase resilience in fiscally responsible ways.


CERF 2019 Media Toolkit

Help promote and expand CERF's reach to bring scientists and students from around the world to discuss coastal and estuarine research and management applications! Please refer to the guidelines located below before using the CERF 2019 Media Toolkit. For any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our office.

We appreciate your help in enhancing CERF 2019's reach!


CERF 2019 Keynote Presentation: The Gulf: History, Wisdom, and Hope

Presented by Dr. Jack Davis

Join Jack E. Davis for his lively long historical view of the Gulf of Mexico, drawn from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea. Significant beyond tragic oil spills and hurricanes, the Gulf has historically been one of the world's most bounteous marine environments, supporting human life for millennia. Davis starts from the premise that nature lies at the center of human existence, and takes his audience on a compelling journey from the Florida Keys to the Texas Rio Grande, along marshy shorelines and majestic estuarine bays, profoundly beautiful and life-giving. At the center of his talk is the way people, from pre-Spanish natives to present-day coastal residents, have organized their societies and individual lives around nature, and how Gulf nature has been a positive force in human events.

Meet the Keynote Speaker
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