2018 Spring Meeting

Thanks to our 2018 Spring Meeting Sponsors



Registration and abstract submission is now open for our 2018 Spring Meeting to be held at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL on March 8 – 10, 2018. Dr. Jessica Veenstra, Associate Professor of Natural Sciences, has been serving as our local host. The meeting will feature a special session on “Stormy Seas” and a plenary address by Dr. Hans Paerl. With the observed increased hurricane landings along the southeastern US, SEERS is calling for presentations in this special session that address the influence of storms on the components of these systems, such as changes in water quality, the effect of increased rainfall and wind on ecological communities, physical damage in terms of erosion, community resilience to hurricane damage, and restoration of communities after hurricanes. Presentations on other research topics related to estuaries and coasts are welcome as always.


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. Please register on our new 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


The deadline for abstract submission, early registration, and student travel award applications is Friday, February 16, 2018. After this date, registrations will be accepted without abstracts and with a late fee of $15 added to prices until Friday, February 23, 2018.

Cancellation Policy

After registering, if you are not able to attend the conference, we encourage you to send a substitute attendee. You may substitute at any time, even on-site at the conference. If you must cancel, a refund of meeting registration (less a $10 cancellation fee) may be requested up to February 23, 2016. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after February 23, 2016. Membership dues are not refundable.

Preliminary Schedule (subject to change)

The meeting will start Thursday evening March 8 with sponsor presentations, a plenary talk, poster previews, and a hearty reception. Friday morning we will have a Networking Breakfast for students to meet professionals and learn about their work. The meeting will continue all day Friday (March 9) through mid-day Saturday (March 10) with oral and poster presentations.  Posters can remain on display the entire time, although judging of student posters will occur during the late afternoon Friday. The banquet (with entertainment) will be held Friday at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve during the evening hours after the poster session at Flagler College. A shuttle will be provided to the GTM NERR from Flagler College and will return to the hotels.

Special Events

Plenary Session

Our plenary address on Thursday evening will be given by Dr. Hans Paerl. The title of his talk will be “Two decades of tropical cyclone impacts on North Carolina’s estuarine ecosystems:  Implications for water and habitat quality in a stormier world”. Dr. Paerl received his PhD in ecology from the University of California, Davis.  He is the Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at UNC – Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences, Morehead City, NC.  His research addresses aquatic nutrient cycling and primary production dynamics, environmental controls and management of harmful algal blooms, and assessing effects of human and climatic alterations of water quality and sustainability of inland and coastal waters worldwide.  He has published over 260 refereed articles and book chapters on these research topics.  He received the 2003 G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the Association of the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, the 2011 Odum Award from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation for addressing the causes, consequences and controls of eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems, and in 2015 was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Special Session

Stormy Seas: With the observed increased hurricane landings along the southeastern US, SEERS is calling for presentations in this special session that address the influence of storms on the components of these systems, such as changes in water quality, the effect of increased rainfall and wind on ecological communities, physical damage in terms of erosion, community resilience to hurricane damage, and restoration of communities after hurricanes.

Student Networking Breakfast

On Friday morning we will have a networking breakfast for students to meet professionals and ask questions about working in academia, agencies, NGOs, or private companies. Please indicate on your registration form if you are interested in participating, either as a student or as a professional, and direct any questions to Cassondra Thomas (presidentelect@seers.org).

Field Trips

The GTM Research Reserve is a collaboration between Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Reserve covers 74,000 acres of coastal lands in northeast Florida from Ponte Vedra Beach to Palm Coast. The GTM Research Reserve is one of 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves around the country that focuses on research, education, and stewardship.

We may offer 3 tours Saturday afternoon if there is sufficient interest. Please indicate on your meeting registration if you are interested in one or more of these (check all that apply). At this point, you are not committing to attending. If we have enough interest, we will provide further details later.

Environmental Education Center Tour

Our 21,000 square foot Environmental Education Center includes interpretive exhibits, aquariums, classrooms, teaching and working laboratories, an auditorium and an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Guana River Aquatic Preserve. Education staff offer programming for all ages on the importance of the estuary. Our Coastal Training Program offers training for professionals on issues of concern in our local community including watershed, invasive plants, and much more. Join the Coastal Training Program on a tour through the Environmental Education Center and learn more about what the GTM Research Reserve has to offer.

Guided Trail Hike

Visitors can learn about the cultural history of the Guana Peninsula as well as the natural biodiversity during a guided hike. Find out about the peninsula’s 5,000 years of human history, including how native peoples used estuarine resources, what European plantation life was like, and current efforts to learn about and save these resources.

Guided Beach Walk

See the changes wrought by Hurricane Irma. Every beach has its own story to tell. Why is the sand fine or coarse and how did it get its color? Which shells landed on this beach? Are there any shark’s teeth? Get to know the beach in an entirely new way. An interpretive guide will tell you about everything from shore birds to coquina rocks and the flowers blooming along the dunes. Bring your camera for a likely shot of one of the dune’s resident gopher tortoises.

Student Travel Awards

SEERS is offering up to five student travel awards of $150 each to qualifying students attending and presenting at this meeting. See the Student Travel page for details.

Abstract Submission

Abstract: There is a box on the registration form where this can be pasted. Please do not exceed 250 words. Abstracts for oral or poster presentations should highlight scientific research and/or education/outreach in the field of estuarine science, and SEERS generally accepts all submitted abstracts that meet these guidelines.
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List of Authors: There is a box on the registration form where this can be pasted. Please format as: Author1, Institution; Author2, Institution; etc. and denote graduate students with * after the name and undergraduates with **. You will also be asked to designate the presenting author (only one per presentation) in another box.

Preferred Topic Categories: You may recommend up to two topics for your presentation, although the program chair makes final decisions depending on the abstracts that are submitted. For this meeting, you may choose two of the following topics or provide one of your own: hurricanes and recovery (special session topic), ecosystem processes, fish, hydrodynamics, invertebrates, large vertebrates, microbes, plankton, science education/outreach, sediments, submerged aquatic vegetation, water quality, wetlands.

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). Student oral presentations will be judged for the best student presentation awards.


Please check back here for announcements about poster dimensions.
Student posters will be judged on Friday afternoon for the best student presentation awards.


Discounted Room Blocks

TRYP by Wyndham
333 S Ponce De Leon Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Please make reservations using this link: https://tinyurl.com/NaturalScienceTRYP. To qualify for discounted rates for Thursday ($115 + tax) and Friday ($165 + tax), reservations MUST be made by February 7.

Alternative Hotels (no room blocks)

DoubleTree by Hilton – Historic District
116 San Marco Avenue
St Augustine, FL 32084

Marker 8 Hotel & Marina
1 Dolphin Dr
St. Augustine, FL 32080

Pirate Haus Inn
32 Treasury Street
St. Augustine, FL 32084

AirBNB St. Augustine

Directions and Parking

Directions to Flagler College

Flagler College Campus Map

Flagler College Parking Map

You may park in the new Malaga Street Parking Garage, which is on the west side of Malaga Street just north of the Florida East Coast Railway Buildings. Please print this parking pass and put it on your dashboard.

Conference Locations

The Thursday night reception for off-campus guests will be in the first floor of the Markland House (location 21 on the campus map).  Enter the building from the north side. If you are arriving from King Street, it is what appears to be the rear of the building.

The Thursday evening plenary session is in the main campus building, the historic Ponce De Leon hotel.  It will be held in the Flagler Room.  If you are entering from King Street, pass through the courtyard, enter through the main front doors, step into the Rotunda, and the Flagler Room is through the large doors to your left, on the west side of the building.

Friday and Saturday’s oral presentations will be held in the Gamache Koger Theatre on the first floor of the Ringhaver Student Center.  If you enter the building from Sevilla Street, the theatre is all the way to the back of the building, and there will be signs directing you from the main entrance to the theatre.

Friday’s poster session will be held in the lobby area near the entrance to the Gamache Koger Theatre.


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 new Services website.