Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program

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: 

March 21, 2024: 12-5pm in Gloucester, Virginia

The Coastal Society (TCS) is pleased to offer a coastal careers workshop in conjunction with the Spring 2024 meeting of the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (AERS), hosted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) in Gloucester, Virginia on March 21, 2024 from 12pm to 5pm. More information on the AERS meeting can be found on their website 

TCS invites undergraduates, graduate and Ph.D. students, and emerging professionals in the fields of marine science, environmental science, environmental policy, and other related fields to register for a workshop that will provide not only an overview of diverse career paths, but also specific skills to land a job in this sector. This workshop will not touch on basic skills offered by other entities such as general resume editing and interview preparation. Rather, attendees will benefit from a) learning about career paths not always broadcast by institutions of higher learning or colleagues, b) hearing speakers from a wide range of environmental fields share their personal career journeys, and c) engaging speakers in small groups to discuss specific skills (navigating, marketing yourself, networking that truly sets you up to land your desired job, and more).

All of our speakers are not only dedicated to their professional practice, but are eager to give back to the next class of coastal and environmental professionals. There will be ample opportunities to network with speakers and your fellow attendees and to learn more about what TCS can do for you throughout your career.

A light lunch (sandwich platters (vegan and vegetarian options included), salads, snacks) and coffee will be provided for all registered attendees. Lunch will be provided in the lobby of Davis Hall (7539 Spencer Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062) on VIMS’s Gloucester, Virginia Campus beginning at 12:00pm following check-in. Free parking is available at the Gloucester Point Beach Park (1255 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062).

Tickets are available for $25.00 (which includes lunch and coffee), but those who have registered to attend the AERS spring meeting will receive a special promo code from AERS for $5.00 off admission to the TCS workshop. Please visit the Eventbrite page to register:

Questions? Please contact workshop planning lead Jeff Flood at

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

December 4, 2022 – New Orleans, LA in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf Research Program, Louisiana Sea Grant, the Louisiana Science Teachers Association, and other partners

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.