Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program

NOTICE — Effective November 30, 2022 — December 4, 2022 workshop in New Orleans, LA is SOLD OUT

Margaret A. Davidson

Drawing on 45 years of coastal leadership, The Coastal Society proudly launched its “Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program” in 2018. This Program continues TCS’s long-term emphasis on students, recent graduates, and coastal professionals and was inspired by the late Margaret A. Davidson, an icon who mentored and befriended many of today’s coastal leaders. As a primary part of the MAD program, TCS will honor Margaret’s legacy through a series of career development workshops to benefit early- and mid-career professionals and the next generation of coastal practitioners.

The first workshop in this series was December 13, 2018, in Long Beach, California, in association with the Restore America’s Estuaries – Coastal States Organization Habitat Summit. The Long Beach workshop featured a morning of keynote talks on career options, employment prospects, and important career opportunities in California and around the nation. The afternoon offered a series of smaller group discussions about various skills needed to succeed including resume development, interview tips, how to successfully engage with a mentor, and networking. Subsequent in-person workshops followed a similar agenda, condensed into half-day events on a virtual platform during the COVID pandemic, to provide the latest information on coastal careers.

In honor of Margaret’s life-long commitment to the coasts and those charged with protecting them, most of these workshops feature a strong mentoring component. Registrants will first hear inspiring stories about successful mentor-mentee accomplishments and then have the opportunity to engage with potential mentors during each workshop. After the workshop, participants are paired with a workshop speaker of their choice for a separate conversation.

In an effort to help TCS gauge interest, identify locations, and shape the workshop offerings, we are requesting interested attendees fill out this survey: Additionally, TCS is seeking coastal professionals interested in serving as a mentor/presenter at workshops. If interested, please contact the TCS Office at:

Upcoming MAD Workshops: 

December 4, 2022 – New Orleans, Louisiana – SOLD OUT

The Coastal Society is working with the National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf Research Program, Louisiana Sea Grant, the Louisiana Science Teachers Association, and other partners to offer a full-day, in-person career workshop in association with the biennial conference of Restore America’s Estuaries in New Orleans. The program is available here:


This workshop includes separate tracks for our “Coastal Futures” (high school and early college students) and those who are further along on their “Coastal Career.”  The “Coastal Futures ” track is full – 11/17/22. Contact to be added to the wait list.

This full day will be spent south of New Orleans along the Mississippi River. The program features a half day of presentations followed by lunch and a half day in the field seeing coastal careers in action. No special clothing is needed. Transportation will be by school bus from and returning to the New Orleans Riverside Hilton. Your other option is to drive and meet us in Docville (use the link above for our full itinerary) unless you wish to meet us on site. Minors will need to have a participation form signed by a parent or guardian.

Please register with Eventbrite here. While generous contributions by our sponsors will allow us to offer the workshop free, we do require registration as we need to accommodate any food restrictions and are limited by space. Registration will remain open till 5pm CT on November 30, 2022; there will be no on-site registration.

For additional information about this workshop series, visit and look for the Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program. Contact Tom Bigford of The Coastal Society if you have any questions.


MAD Workshop Archive: 

Click on the bolded date below for information on past workshops.

December 8, 2018 – Long Beach, CA, in conjunction with Restore America’s Estuaries and the Coastal States Organization

January 10, 2019Washington, DC, in conjunction with the National Council for Science and the Environment conference

April 4, 2019 – Woodbridge, VA, in conjunction with the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society Spring Meeting

June 3, 2019Washington, DC, in conjunction with Capitol Hills Ocean Week (CHOW)

June 10, 2019 – Brockport, NY, in conjunction with the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) Annual Conference

November 18, 2019 – Wilmington, NC, in partnership with the University of North Carolina – Wilmington

February 7, 2020 – Charleston, SC

February 27, 2020 – Durham, NC, in partnership with the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment

March 26, 2020 – West Long Branch, NJ (cancelled)

June 10, 2020 – Virtual Workshop

September 24, 2020 – Virtual Workshop

November 4th, 2020 – Virtual Workshop

June 29 & 30, 2021 – Virtual Workshop

November 16, 2021East Lansing, MI in partnership with the Michigan State University Department of Fish and Wildlife (hybrid)

November 18, 2021Virtual Workshop in partnership with NCAR (1)

December 2, 2021Virtual Panel Discussion in partnership with NCAR (2)

December 3, 2021Virtual Workshop

January 20, 2022Virtual Panel Discussion in partnership with NCAR (3)

February 3, 2022Virtual Panel Discussion in partnership with NCAR (4)

June 27, 2022Virtual Workshop

Check out another amazing opportunity for graduate students through NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, the Margaret A. Davidson Fellowship Program.