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Photo: Chris Ellis

Why Do I Support The Coastal Society?

Here is what our members say:

Lisa C. Schiavinato - California Sea Grant

The Coastal Society has played an important role in my professional development and leadership development. I have been a member since 2005 and began my involvement by joining the planning committee for the 20th biennial conference. I enjoyed working with this solid, welcoming group so much that I joined as a member. I quickly realized the benefits of joining TCS and gained an appreciation for how well the organization fosters forward-thinking dialogue on issues critical to our coasts. My involvement with TCS has provided me with opportunities to engage with top professionals in the field and with students and introduced me to diverse perspectives on coastal issues. I also made new friends. In addition, TCS helped me realize my leadership development goals by providing me with "on the job" experience in leadership roles - through opportunities to lead biennial conference planning efforts, election to the Board of Directors, and finally election as President. My years with TCS have been fulfilling and challenging. TCS has helped me become a better professional and realize my potential. I am grateful for that, as well as for the sense of community.

Kate Killerlain Morrison - Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean

A three year old holding my mom's hand, flashlight in tow in the early hours of the morning, scouring a coastal Florida beach for perfect shells that had washed up overnight. That's my earliest memory of first loving the coast. Planting mangroves a few years later and being able to visit the tall canopy that they are now today. Learning that my favorite plant was also burned for firewood in coastal Africa so that families could be fed taught me the concept of sustainable use and that a balance is needed. These experiences shaped both my career and my outlook on life. Over the past 12 years, I've moved across both coasts, lived in four different states, and worked in three different sectors. TCS has been one of the few constants keeping me connected to colleagues as our individual roles evolve. To me, our Society is timeless. Fellow students have become fellow Board members, professors have become colleagues- each of us tied together by our common love to protect the coast.

Susan Farady - University of New England, Marine Science Center

It was a 4th grade science assignment at an elementary school in Colorado. I chose to research and write something about whales. And that was it. That was the beginning of my love of the oceans and my desire to work in a career related to oceans. Like many people, the exemplary work of Jacques Cousteau inspired and educated me, as a kid growing up surrounded by beautiful mountains, but far away from the ocean. Eventually I left Colorado and have made my home and my career on the New England coast. I find the issues in ocean and coastal law fascinating, as it is a rapidly evolving area, with huge implications for our coastal communities. The Coastal Society has helped me at many points in my career by providing valuable networking and educational opportunities. I'm delighted now to be able to support TCS as a Director, the TCS mission is more important now than ever before

Paul C. Ticco - NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

"Friends and colleagues." This genial and earnest phrase is often proclaimed at retirement lunches, or written in parting e-mails on the occasion of moving on to a new position or location. It's meant to describe meaningful relationships, years in the making that transcend both professional and personal associations to meld into deeply satisfying camaraderie and affection. From my first association with The Coastal Society over twenty years ago I am exceedingly happy and honored to call the remarkable TCS people that I've met and worked with both friends and colleagues. No other endeavor to which I've been allied has brought me such gratification. From my very first view, feel, and taste of the sea at age nine (where I was simultaneously awestruck at its grandeur and infuriated by a nearby sandy pile of trash) to today I have felt the same fervor to try to protect and revitalize the ocean and coast, and am very fortunate to have worked with many outstanding similarly-minded individuals. The supremely talented and dedicated people of TCS, from elected officers, to the Board of Directors, to members, to students, to conference professionals, to experts in the field not only share my ardor, but have combined to create and sustain a lasting testimony to the power of collective individualism striving for similar goals. May TCS always be an organization that reaches for these goals through enthusiasm, proficiency and vision while maintaining the esprit de corps of collegiality and friendship.

Rebekah Padgett- Washington State Department of Ecology

I fell in love with the marine environment at age seven on a trip to North Carolina where I spent every waking moment in the water or on the beach in wide-eyed amazement at the sea life and learning how to identify seashells on my own. Ever since then, I have felt a connection and draw to the ocean. My interests range considerably and include resource protection, marine protected areas, environmental education, and ocean energy. In The Coastal Society I have found a group of colleagues who share my passion for the coastal environment, whose interests are equally divergent, and who are excited to learn and share with one another. I'm proud to be able to serve TCS as a Board Director and through its committees. It is through this work that I realized that TCS is not just a professional association to me, but an organization and community that I truly value. I am confident that my financial contribution to TCS will support opportunities to exchange information and train the next generation of coastal managers.

Chris Ellis - NOAA Office for Coastal Management

The Coastal Society has played a foundational role in my development as a coastal professional. TCS19 (2004) in Newport, RI, was my first coastal-focused professional meeting. It was here, presenting on a recent research project that I quickly realized the first of many benefits of being a TCS member. TCS affords students a supportive and nurturing environment to both learn and exchange information with a diversity of coastal professionals, including academia, private industry, and all levels of government. Following my presentation I was approached by Darrell Brown, a senior member within the EPA and a TCS member. He was very complimentary of both my work and the presentation of my information. I was flattered that someone of his status in the agency would take the time to discuss, at length, the project of "a lowly, entering graduate student." Turns out there were many, just like Darrell, within TCS. Since that time, I've completed my Ph.D. and am working for NOAA. Since 2004 I have been an active member of TCS, as a conference attendee, a student member, and a member of the TCS Board. TCS has consistently remained the place that I have highlighted... it is a network of support, professional development, and fellowship that exists in no other place in the coastal and ocean field. I am very proud to be a member of this organization.

Susan White - North Carolina Sea Grant

In looking back over my history with The Coastal Society (TCS) I am struck with how I have evolved with the society over time. Initially, I was drawn into the group as a way to become engaged with a vibrant "community of practice" within the coastal and marine resource management community. I was looking to grow in my profession, specifically in the way I "looked" at coastal issues and this happened as a result of TCS's many individual members that have long histories in marine policy, marine research, and interdisciplinary approaches to complex management issues. The TCS community provided this strong base for my exploration of what I really wanted to be contributing to--in terms of developing and supporting research agendas that were grounded in a reality that could positively influence natural resource decision making as well as addressing necessary basic research and development needs that could address anticipated future management needs. Throughout my engagement with TCS I have strongly valued the society's commitment to looking forward and working hard to prepare the next generation of coastal managers and scientists that will be faced with a range of increasingly complex issues. The student engagement and professional development efforts of TCS now strikes me as a critical role that TCS must play in the "community of practice" that first drew me into their midst. It is now...we are "it"...our children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren are relying on us to help maintain the coastal communities that we all benefit from and enjoy. I look forward to continuing to grow with TCS.

Tom Bigford - American Fisheries Society

It may sound trite, but I owe much of my professional happiness to The Coastal Society. I was in graduate school when TCS was created in 1976. When my traditional marine science training provided few job opportunities, it was TCS that inspired a second master's degree in interdisciplinary marine issues and introduced me to the challenging world of coastal and marine policy. TCS, the organization and the members, has been a dear friend for more than 35 years. I've served several terms on the Board, was selected as the first Executive Director, and then settled in as an active member. In all instances TCS has opened doors so I could meet the veteran experts, the young professionals with vision and vitality, and everyone in between. Now I encourage my colleagues to invest their time in TCS. It's a great place to develop leadership skills, establish a network to suit personal ambitions, and to interact with people you might not meet in the confines of your job. TCS is a volunteer organization, surviving on membership dues and conference registration fees. I am glad the Society has added organized giving to its corporate plan. During these tight fiscal times, TCS cannot afford to depend on traditional income sources. Membership dues are a bargain so I know I will give generously via this new campaign as my gesture of appreciation to an organization that has been so generous to me.

Michael K. Orbach - Duke Marine Lab (Retired)

The world's coasts, where the land and the sea meet, are one of the truly special environments on earth. As a lifelong surfer, sailor, fisherman and paddler I have appreciated this special environment for over 60 years. Particularly since WWII, civil society has voted with its feet with respect to their love for the coast, with migration to coastal areas and coastal leisure-tourism industries growing rapidly. In the 1970s, federal and state governments in the U.S. recognized this special environment in a variety of public policy instruments including the Coastal Zone Management Act and the various state coastal zone management programs, augmented by the National Estuary Program in the 1980s. However, we needed private sector organization to support professional scientific and policy and management attention to the coast and coastal issues. In 1975, this void began to be filled by The Coastal Society. I had the pleasure of serving as President of TCS from 1996-98, and we started the first Student Chapter at Duke University, many of whose members have gone on to work with TCS as professionals and in roles such as members of the Board of Directors. TCS has thrived all of these years as an all volunteer organization, reflecting the energy and satisfaction that working with the coast generates. I am thankful and proud to have been associated with TCS!

Judy Tucker- Executive Director, The Coastal Society

I love the coasts. I have many fond memories of being there: childhood waterskiing off our boat among jellyfish in Long Island Sound, college summer days off at a cool forest lake, watching Jeff and his dad build sandcastles on Outer Banks beaches, coordinating coastal cleanups with the Boy Scouts, diving adventures in Florida and the Caribbean, last weekend's sunset over the river. I never paid much attention to the science, and I took those coastal areas for granted. Since my first TCS conference in 1992, I'm grateful to have absorbed so much knowledge about coastal issues from TCS members who represent such varied disciplines. Over the years, I have been privileged to watch TCS members develop their leadership skills in a supportive community, to connect TCS members to each other, and to encourage TCS student members to think of themselves as coastal professionals. Now, every chance I get I tell someone about the work TCS members do and the educational mission of TCS. Thanks to The Coastal Society and its members, there will continue to be healthy coasts that I can love.

Caitlyn McCrary - NOAA Office for Coastal Management

TCS has helped me to grow from a budding graduate student into a determined coastal professional. As a member of Duke University's student chapter, I networked with local experts and assisted with coastal issues. As president of my chapter, I worked to raise funds for coastal protection and witnessed first hand the benefits of hard work. Now, as a communication committee member, I help to spread the word and support for coastal issues throughout the nation. I am thankful for the opportunities TCS has given me to help me grow to my fullest potential.

Andy Bohlander - University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program

As far back as I can remember, I've held a deep fascination and great respect for the ocean and our coasts. As an undergraduate student, I spent several weeks studying karst geology at a remote field camp in the Bahamas, an experience that would go on to shape my life in ways I never could have imagined at the time. As a graduate student, I found my interests gravitating toward the field of coastal geology and coastal hazards. With a professional background in the geosciences, and a passion for surfing, I eventually made my way to the Hawaiian Islands where I currently work as a Coastal Geologist for the University of Hawai'i. Living in an island culture with a deep connection to the ocean allows me to pursue my passion for the ocean on both a professional and personal level. I have a strong desire to protect and conserve coastal areas and am thankful to have a career that allows me to pursue those goals. Over the years, I've been fortunate to have met and worked with many wonderful people in the coastal management community, many of whom I connected with through attending TCS conferences. In my experience, TCS is more than just an organization; it's a community of dedicated students and coastal professionals who share a common goal and vision for protecting our oceans and coasts for future generations. The spirit of TCS is embodied by the dedication of the volunteers who are committed to engaging students and professionals to address the issues facing our ocean and coastal environments. TCS is a non-profit organization that depends largely on membership dues and financial contributions from both our members and the donor community. I am proud to serve on the Board of Directors and am very excited about the future direction of TCS. I strongly encourage students and coastal professionals to support TCS by becoming active members of the TCS family. Aloha and Mahalo Nui.

Leigh Johnson - University of California Cooperative Extension (Retired)

What really fascinates me is how people interact with the natural systems of the coast and how to help them make sustainable decisions through research and education. So, I was very excited to learn about The Coastal Society. I attended my first TCS conference in 1992 in Washington, DC and have been a member ever since. At the biennial conferences I made connections and learned about new developments that helped me to build my career and take it in new directions. Through TCS, I have a fantastic network of like-minded colleagues from across the US, Canada, Australia and other nations. By serving on the Board of Directors and helping to plan the conferences, I have come to know leaders in agencies, academic and private organizations, who share my goals in sustaining our coastal ecosystems and the services they provide. In turn, I've had the privilege of mentoring new coastal leaders.

John Cooksey - World Aquaculture Conference Management

Having worked on the Coastal Society Bi-annual meetings three times, I have observed the strong commitment of The Coastal Society to protecting and improving the coastal areas of the U.S. The meetings have very strong, high quality programs that provide information and stimulating discussion about the current issues in coastal management. The meetings are a great outreach activity for the Society.

Patrick Christie - University of Washington

TCS has provided unique opportunities for discussion of critical coastal issues among students, faculty and policy makers. The Coastal Management journal is glad to be associated with such a dynamic institution.