Monday, November 1, 2010

Strong science, fantastic venue, and exciting wildlife...

CERF 2011 Is Shaping Up
Jim Fourqurean, CERF 2011 Conference co-Chair
Holly Greening, CERF 2011 Conference co-Chair

(originally published in Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Newsletter, October 2010, Vol. 36, No. 3, p. 11)

I hope that you all are eagerly anticipating the upcoming CERF 2011 meeting “Societies, Estuaries and Coasts: Adapting to Change.” The scientific program committee, headed by David Rudnick and David Yoskowitz, is working diligently to continue the tradition of strong, disciplinary science sessions, as well as to put emphasis on the nexus of science, social science, management and policy, that will be the key to understanding and adapting to changes on the horizon for the coastal zone. We had a strong response to our calls for special sessions proposals, and the meeting leadership team will be working over the next few weeks to meld these session proposals into a coherent and exciting scientific program.
We are also working on ways to improve the flow of information from the scientists and managers, who make up the membership of CERF, to policymakers. We are particularly excited about a new initiative called “Science for Community Leaders,” in which we will bring together local and regional policymakers with CERF members around a special poster session designed to educate these policymakers about the science and consequences of changes in the coastal environment.
The venue for the meeting looks fantastic! The Ocean Center at Daytona Beach is a perfectly sized conference center for a CERF meeting: it is large enough to accompany the expected 1500+ attendees for the meeting but not so huge that we feel lost in the facility. The session rooms, poster/exhibit area, and special purpose rooms are ideally suited for a meeting like ours. Plus, the location is hard to beat – it is directly across the street from Daytona Beach, one of the premier surfing beaches along the
Atlantic Coast. Restaurants, pubs, and shopping nearby – along with the beach itself – will provide plenty of opportunity for distraction when you have absorbed all of the coastal science, management, and policy information you can for the day.
Local coastal and estuarine scientists are pitching in to provide a feel for the environments and culture of the area. Our field trip team is putting together a diverse set of pre-meeting excursions to local coastal ecosystems. November is a great time to be outdoors in central Florida; and there will be plenty of opportunities to get out into the diverse coastal environments to bird watch, spot wildlife, and learn about environments you have only read about. We have also called on local expertise on wildlife of a different sort to work on evening entertainment at the meeting.
For those of you wondering what to expect from the weather in Daytona Beach in November, the answer is, if climatology is a good guide, delightful!
The average daytime high in November is 75°F (24°C for our international attendees) with nighttime lows of 56°F (13.5°C). The sun shines at least 2/3 of the days of the month, on average, with rain falling only seven days of the month. This means it will be pleasant walking around and enjoying all that the area has to offer.
From our perspective, the CERF 2011 meeting in Daytona Beach looks like it will extend the long list of scientifically enriching, professionally important, and personally relaxing CERF meeting of the past. Please hold the dates, 6-11 November 2011; and we look forward to seeing old colleagues and making new ones on the beach in Daytona!

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