2019 Spring Meeting

Thanks to our 2019 Spring Meeting Sponsors

The 2019 Spring SEERS Meeting will be held at the Center for Marine Science at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington on March 7-9, 2019. Dr. Devon Eulie, Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences, is our local host.


The Art of Resilience will be our special session theme. Resilience is the ability of an ecosystem to absorb a disturbance, but also to maintain the quality of its pre-disturbance structure and functions. Our challenge is applying this to coastal systems where the intersection of land and sea, and people and the environment, creates complex interactions and synergies. For coastal communities and ecosystems, we can view this through the lens of adaptability and durability. Communities and ecosystems need to be durable (resistant) to disturbance events, and able to adapt to changing baselines. The ‘art’ is in balancing the needs and resilience of communities with that of ecosystems to the benefit of both.

Schedule at a Glance

Thursday, March 7

3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception
Hors d’oeuvres & beverages

6:30 p.m.
Welcome Remarks: Cassondra Armstrong, SEERS President
Devon Eulie, UNCW, Local Host

6:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Keynote Address: “Resilience Rising: Integrating Multidisciplinary Perspectives for Improving Ecosystem Resilience”
Jess Whitehead, PhD, North Carolina Sea Grant

Friday, March 8

7:30 a.m.
Shuttle departs from Hampton Inn-Medical Park (please be in the lobby by 7:20 a.m.)

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Student Networking Event and Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Coffee (for all attendees; hotels have continental breakfast)

9:30 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.

9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Session 1 Special Session—Art of Resilience

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch (for all attendees) *see note below
Poster Set-up

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Session 2 Organismal Ecology and Ecosystem Processes

2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Session 3 Wetlands and Ecosystem Processes

3:50 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Poster Reception (presenters should stand by their posters – judging will take place at this time)

6:15 p.m.
Shuttles to the USS North Carolina and Dinner Banquet

6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Dinner Banquet

9:00 pm
Shuttles start returning to hotels and UNCW

*Boxed lunch can be picked up at CMS after the first oral session on Friday morning. If you’d rather go out on your own, there is a cafe in the building adjacent to CMS (across from the main entrance) that serves light fare such as packaged sandwiches, salads, wraps, etc. and there are several eateries nearby. Please return for the second oral session at 1PM.

Saturday, March 9

7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Breakfast (for all meeting attendees)

8:25 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Session 4 Hydrodynamics and Ecosystem Processes

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Session 5 Water Quality and Ecosystem Processes

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Closing Remarks
Business Meeting and Award Presentations

Special Events

Plenary Speaker

Our Thursday evening plenary talk will be given by Dr. Jessica Whitehead, the coastal communities hazards adaptation specialist for North Carolina Sea Grant. She assists coastal users with integrating information about resilience to coastal weather and climate hazards into their decision-making processes. Her overall approach to her work is to facilitate collaboration among coastal decision-makers that helps them integrate adaptive environmental, social, and economic solutions to improve whole community resilience.

Whitehead’s recent projects have included exploring the intersection of water, wastewater and public health risks of storms in Morehead City, NC. She also partners with the Town of Nags Head in developing implementation priorities to make public infrastructure and resources more resilient to sea level rise over the next 10 to 30 years. She is assisting with the development of public-private partnerships to improve risk communication and disaster recovery on Hatteras Island and throughout North Carolina as the state recovers from Hurricane Florence. Recently, she has also become more interested in using the arts to improve community understanding of and engagement with resilience. She was the science interpretation advisor on the RISING exhibition, which features fine art photography by photographer Baxter Miller and oral histories of coastal change in North Carolina collected by Ryan Stancil and Barbara Garrity-Blake, informed by coastal science and integrated in a multimedia experience.

As a co-creator of the Vulnerability, Consequences and Adaptation Planning Scenarios (VCAPS) process, Whitehead has facilitated numerous participatory diagramming exercises for stakeholders to improve their resilience to coastal hazards and climate change. So far, this process has helped over 20 communities throughout the United States develop adaptation options to increase community resilience.

She is a member of the Independent Advisory Committee on Applied Climate, which is developing recommendations on how to bring local and state governments and business perspectives to the process of identifying, documenting and improving the quality, relevance and utility of climate information for decision making. She co-chairs the Science and Technical Advisory Committee of the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership and recently began a term on the American Meteorological Society’s Board of Outreach and Pre-College Education.

Prior to joining North Carolina Sea Grant, Whitehead was the regional climate extension specialist for the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, North Carolina Sea Grant and CISA. She earned her doctorate in geography and Master of Science degree in meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University.

Student Networking Breakfast

Are you unsure about the career paths available to you after graduating? Come to the Student Networking Breakfast that will take place around 8am (time and location will be finalized as the program is finalized) Friday. Participate in a round-robin event where students can move from table to table, while eating breakfast, and learn about the variety of career paths available in the estuarine and coastal sciences. Professional participants will range from academia to non-profits to state and federal employees. There is a question on the registration form where you can indicate your interest in participating in this event.

Friday Night Banquet

Our Friday night social will be held on the USS North Carolina (http://www.battleshipnc.com/ ), a World War II battleship that was active in almost every major Pacific naval offensive. The USS North Carolina has a long history extending past WWII as a Naval Reserves Training Ship until she was decommissioned in 1958. Thanks to the Save Our Ships program, she arrived in Wilmington at her current place in 1961. Food will be catered by favorite local restaurant, Capt’n Bill’s.

Field Trips

(Possible) Saturday Brewery Tour

The Wilmington Craft Beer Scene has exploded. The city and surrounding areas boast about a dozen craft breweries and taprooms. Perhaps extend your SEERS weekend one more night and check out the Wilmington Ale Trail with new SEERS friends: http://wilmingtonaletrail.com/There is a question on the registration form where you can indicate your interest in participating in a brewery tour. If we have enough interest, details will be provided at a later time.


Carryover of Fall 2018 Registrations

Registrations for the cancelled 2018 Fall meeting (for which refunds were not requested at the time) will be held for the 2019 Spring meeting, with no need to re-register. If you are unsure of your registration status, please contact the SEERS secretary: secretary@seers.org.


Registration is closed! The deadline for early price registration, abstract submission, and student travel award applications was Friday, February 8 at 11:59 pm. After this date and time, late registrations without abstracts were accepted until Friday, February 15 at 11:59 pm for an additional $15 per registrant. Members must be current in their dues prior to meeting registration in order to receive reduced member pricing. We no longer bundle membership and meeting registration as a single payment option: they are separate transactions.


Our new meeting registration system can send invoices to third parties and can accommodate multiple registrations on the same invoice. In general, the invoice goes to the person who is logged in. Registration price visibility is tailored to each person who is registered for the meeting based on their status as student/professional and member/nonmember. Here are a couple of common scenarios:

A professor registers themselves and several students on one invoice: If membership needs to be paid or updated, make sure each person has done that first. For meeting registration, the professor should log in and will receive the invoice. You will be prompted again for an email address to register for the meeting. Register the first person, for example the professor. Student member pricing would not be visible for this registration. At the end, there will be a button for “new registration”. Click that to be prompted for the registration information for the second person, for example a student. If the student is already a member, student member pricing will be visible. You may register as many people as you like in this manner, and you will see the invoice accumulate all the charges. You may, of course, log in separately for each registration if you would prefer to have separate invoices.

One or more attendees are registered by an office manager who will not attend: If membership needs to be paid or updated, make sure each person has done that first. For meeting registration, the office manager or other payer should log in. If they do not have an account with us from a prior meeting, they should contact secretary@seers.org with the billing name, address, and email and request a login for this purpose. Once logged in, this person can register one or more other people for the meeting. The pricing available for each person will depend on their status as student/professional and member/nonmember. At the end of each registration, there is a button for “new registration” to add another person to the invoice. You may register as many people as you like in this manner, and you will see the invoice accumulate all the charges. You may, of course, log in separately for each registration if you would prefer to have separate invoices.


Full meeting registration prices include the Thursday evening reception with hors d’oeuvres and beverages; Friday breakfast, lunch, and evening banquet; Saturday breakfast; coffee breaks each day; and the program book. Reception-only and banquet-only tickets may be purchased individually or for guests. Members must have paid dues and be listed as Active members prior to meeting registration in order to access member pricing for the meeting. Registration is now open on our Member and Meeting Services website.

student member full registration

student nonmember full registration

regular member full registration

regular nonmember full registration

one day registration, no banquet

Thursday reception only, or additional ticket

Friday banquet only, or additional ticket


After registering, if you are not able to attend the meeting, we encourage you to send a substitute attendee in your place.  You may substitute at any time, even on-site at the time of the meeting.  If you must cancel, a refund of meeting registration (less a $10 cancellation fee) may be requested by Feb 15, 2019.  No refunds will be issued for cancellation after Feb. 15, 2019.  Membership dues are not refundable.

Abstract Submission

Abstracts are submitted during the registration process. Abstracts for oral or poster presentations should highlight scientific research, education, or outreach in the field of estuarine science and are limited to 250 words. SEERS generally accepts all submitted abstracts that meet these guidelines, so do not wait for abstract acceptance before registering for the meeting. If you have any questions about whether your topic meets these guidelines, please contact the program chair well ahead of the submission deadline. The deadline for abstract submission is Friday, February 8 at 11:59 pm, with no extensions.

The list of authors of the abstract are provided at the time of submission. Please format as Author 1, Institution; Author 2, Institution, and so on. Graduate student authors should be denoted with a single asterisk (*) after the respective last name, while undergraduate authors should be denoted with double asterisks (**) after the respective last name. Each abstract may be submitted only once for presentation at the conference, i.e., an abstract with multiple authors needs to have one designated presenter.


SEERS has recently changed its membership policy: starting Jan. 1, 2018, annual dues secure your membership for the 12-month period after joining rather than the calendar year. Current and recent SEERS members should already be in our database and have their renewal dates set to their last date of payment. Please LOGIN to check your profile information and renewal date and to pay dues if you need to renew. Every effort has been made to update the membership records and payment dates, but if you believe your renewal date is in error, please contact the SEERS Secretary and provide proof of payment (e.g., dated receipt from SEERS or CERF, canceled check, credit card statement).

Student Travel Awards

SEERS will offer up to five student travel awards of $150 each to qualifying students presenting at this meeting. More information and the student travel award application form, due by Friday, February 8, are available on the Student Travel page.

Presentation Guidelines


Oral presentations are limited to a 15 minute time block, which includes a 12 minute talk and 3 minutes for questions.  Presentations should be prepared in a Windows compatible format (ppt, pptx, or pdf).  Awards will be given for best undergraduate and graduate student oral presentations.


Maximum poster dimensions are 36″ x 48″.  Awards will be given for best undergraduate and graduate student poster presentations.


Best Western Plus Coastline Inn
503 Nutt Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Rates: $129.99 + tax/night for King or Double
Reservation must be made by Feb. 14, 2019.
Use this link https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotel-rooms.34136.html?groupId=H61EX5R5 or call 910-763-2800 and ask for the SEERS block rate.

Hampton Inn Wilmington-Medical Park
2320 S 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Rates: King-$94.00 + tax/night; Double-$99.00 + tax/night
Reservation must be made by Feb. 14, 2019
Use this link https://secure3.hilton.com/en_US/hp/reservation/book.htm?inputModule=HOTEL&ctyhocn=ILMMDHX&spec_plan=CHHSEE&arrival=20190307&departure=20190309&cid=OM,WW,HILTONLINK,EN,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRECT or call 910-796-8881 and ask for the SEERS group rate.

Directions and Transportation


Directions to UNCW Center for Marine Science

Dirctions CMS to Battleship

Directions Hotels to Battleship

On-site Parking

Parking will be available at CMS all days of the conference. All parking is in the lot located before the gate house (left side of the access road). Please use the teal and white marked spaces. If necessary, overflow parking will be located across the access road at the back of a gravel parking lot; however, please utilize open spaces in the main parking lot first. If necessary, student volunteers can assist with directions for any overflow parking needs. No parking passes are required. Signs will direct attendees from the parking lot to the main entrance. Please consider utilizing the provided shuttles on Friday or carpooling with other attendees from your hotel on that day.

Shuttles (Friday only)

A Trolley shuttle will be available for meeting attendees staying at the Hampton Inn for travel to CMS on Friday. The shuttle will take attendees at 7:30 am from the hotel to CMS in time for the Student Networking Breakfast. A second trip from the Hampton Inn will take meeting attendees at 8:30 am to CMS for the first oral session. Please be in the lobby 10 minutes prior to shuttle departure to ensure your travel. The Trolley shuttle seats a maximum of 30 people.

The Trolley shuttle will also be available to take meeting attendees back to the Hampton Inn starting at 4 pm.

Two 14 passenger shuttles will be available immediately following the poster session to take attendees to the social. They will travel from CMS to each hotel (1 shuttle per hotel) , then on to the Battleship. At the end of the social, both shuttles will be available to take attendees directly back to the two hotels. The last shuttle trip will depart at 10 pm and drop off at the two hotels before ending back at CMS.


Meeting sponsorship supports student attendance and travel to our meetings. Sponsorship inquiries can be directed to any SEERS Board member. Sponsors may sign up and pay through our Services website.