CERF 2019 Conference

CERF 2019 Conference Updates

See below for the most recent updates for our 25th Biennial Conference:



Oral Presentation Guidelines

Computer Equipment |  Creating Your Presentation | Audio & Video | 
Fonts | Images | 
Animations | Advance | Submission | 
On-Site Submission & Reviewing/Editing | Quality Control | Security | What to Expect

Oral presentations are a central component of CERF conferences and provide participants with a valuable opportunity to share their research and network. Please read these instructions carefully to help ensure your presentation is a success.


Computer Equipment
The computers in the meeting rooms will be PCs with Windows 7 or Windows 10,

Office 2013 Standard, Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash, and Apple QuickTime. Personal laptops cannot be used in the session rooms. All presentations will be uploaded from the Speaker Presentation Room (106B) to the meeting room laptops that have been provided for your use. However, support is available for any last-minute revisions to your presentation. Please see details below.

Creating Your Presentation
All presentations must be created in, or converted to, Microsoft PowerPoint. Presentations in the concurrent oral session rooms will use the 4:3 format. Plenary and Keynote presentations will be presented in 16:9 format.

Acceptable formats** for presentations: PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps, or .pptx); Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) Flash (.swf).

Video & Audio Files
The recommended video format for Windows-based presentations is Windows Media (.wmv).

Image files are embedded directly into PowerPoint when the file is saved, while video and audio files are not. Only a link is made to those files. Copy your video and audio clips into the same folder as your presentation PowerPoint file. This will eliminate the problem of PowerPoint losing the link to the file. Follow this same procedure with any fonts that might not be installed on the meeting room laptops.

**Macintosh Users
Please make sure that all inserted pictures are either JPEG or PNG file-types. Quicktime (.mov) files are also an accepted video format. Presenters using Macintosh’s Keynote program should consult Apple technical documentation for directions on converting their presentation to PowerPoint. This conversion should be completed prior to transmission to a meeting room PC laptop.

Arial and Helvetica are recommended for clarity and compatibility. Use a font size of at least 24 points for body text and 36–40 points for headings. Light colored text on a dark background is advised. Avoid using red or green. Recommended maximum number of lines in text slides is no more than 6 or 7.

The size of the screen will be 1024 x 768 pixels, meaning that any image with more pixels in the X or Y coordinate that is more than that will not be displayed. The image will be altered by PowerPoint to fit. Large images (i.e. 2000 x 1500 pixels) which are created with digital cameras and scanners will make the resulting PowerPoint file very large. This may cause the presentation to load slowly. This can be avoided by inserting images with the following properties:

1. For on-screen presentations, JPEG-type images work well. This type of image file can be created with virtually all imaging programs.
2. Using a graphics program:
3. Change the size of the image to approximately 800 x 600 pixels
4. Save as file type (.jpeg).
5. Select compression setting of 8 (High quality image)
6. Insert all images into PowerPoint as (.jpeg) files. If you copy the images to the clipboard and then Edit/Paste them into PowerPoint, the images will not be compressed and the PowerPoint file can become very large. To avoid this, insert them directly into PowerPoint (Insert/Picture/from File).

Use animations only if they are absolutely necessary to convey a particular message.

Submissions Process for Presentation Files

Advance Submission
Presenters are strongly encouraged to submit presentations in advance via Confex, no later than 2 November. All presenters will receive an email message several weeks prior to the conference with instructions for submitting their presentations.

Note: Due to the early start of the workshops on 3 November, it is important for workshop presenters to submit their presentations by the 2 November deadline.

On-site Submission and Review/Editing
The Speaker Presentation Room (106B) will be open:

Sunday, 3 November, from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm (EST).
Monday, 4 November, through Wednesday, 8 November, from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST).
Thursday, 7 November, 7:00 am – 3:00 pm (EST).

Check-in the day before your session if possible to preview your presentation and no later than 4 hours prior to the start of your session. Technicians will be on hand to help preview and/or edit your presentation as necessary.

If possible, your most current presentation should be saved on a flash drive and brought to the Speaker Presentation Room (106B). Please do not bring your personal laptop to the Speaker Presentation Room (106B) as the process of retrieving your presentation from it will be prohibitively time-consuming.

You may edit your presentation up to 4 hours prior to the session start time. When you are finished reviewing and/or making changes to your presentation, you must tell the PowerPoint technicians that you’ve viewed and approved your presentation. It will then be saved to the technician’s computer and transmitted to your meeting room laptop where it will be easily located on the desktop.

Quality Control
Giving your presentation a last “once-over” is the most important step you will take to ensure your success. When reviewing your presentation, make sure all fonts, images, and animations appear as expected and that all audio or video clips are working properly. The computers in the meeting rooms use the identical software as those in the Speaker Presentation Room (106B), therefore: IF THE PRESENTATION DOES NOT PLAY PROPERLY IN THE SPEAKER PRESENTATION ROOM (106B), IT WILL NOT PLAY PROPERLY IN THE MEETING ROOM.

Cameras and video equipment are not permitted in the Speaker Presentation Room (106B). All files are automatically deleted from the meeting room laptops at the conclusion of each day.

What to Expect During Your Presentation 

Your session room laptop will have your presentation clearly viewable on the desktop. Simply double-click your presentation and control it from the podium using the computer mouse or the up/down/right/left keys on a keyboard. A PowerPoint remote/laser pointer will also be included in each room.

Roaming Audio/Visual technicians will be located in close proximity to all meeting rooms and will be available to provide assistance if required. A student worker will also be assigned to each meeting room and can help track down an AV technician.

Each presenter will be given 12 minutes to present traditional oral presentations, followed by a 3-minute question and answer period. For those presenting an Ignite-style lightning talk, you will have 5 minutes to present. Further tips and guidelines are available for lightning talks.


Educating Everyone At CERF 2019

There will be four dedicated education/outreach sessions at CERF 2019. In addition, for the first time, we will provide a dedicated space for attendees to share their best-practices, great ideas, lesson plans, etc. with all meeting attendees.

This should be especially appealing for folks who might have conflicts with the sessions. We hope everyone will share materials and, to that end, we will have poster boards and tables for materials/links/flyers.

You can drop off your materials whenever is convenient and visit often to see everyone else’s great ideas! The potential for new collaborations is huge. Look for the banner at the conference: Educating Everyone at CERF!


Ambassador Program

“Ambassador” is defined as a representative or envoy with the duty to represent the organization and to provide excellent customer service, thus creating an exceptional experience to all guests. The CERF Ambassador Program will do just that - ensure all members and attendees at CERF have a great meeting experience.

Whether this meeting is your first or fifteenth CERF conference, there are times when attendees feel alone and/or unsure (e.g there is the person whose papers you have already read and admired, but you are hesitant to just walk up and introduce yourself). Or you are just ending one appointment and want to ask someone who has similar interests how they found the next great job.

The CERF Ambassador Program is meant to make these moments easier - with the goal to increase engagement among members and conference attendees, selected CERF members at all career stages will be available throughout the conference to chat informally. We expect CERF Ambassadors to play an active role in meeting First Time Attendees as well as early career and student attendees.

Ambassadors will help make the conference a place of mutual respect where the focus is on learning and collaboration. 

To build on CERF’s broadening participation vision, the Ambassador Program aims to help build a diverse and inclusive community of coastal and estuarine scientists, which in turn strengthens our scientific membership.

 Responsibilities of Ambassadors

  1. Participate in CERFing for Lunch at least one day (CERFing for lunch will run every day as it is expected that different days will work for different groups of attendees.)
  2. Go to at least three first-time attendee and student posters
  3. Join ambassadors in social media campaigns (e.g. poster session flash mob, selfies).
  4. Be a welcoming, friendly face of CERF and grow our community!

To apply to become a CERF Ambassador, please email [email protected].


Rising TIDES (Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society) 2019 Conference Mentoring Program


CERF’s Rising TIDES initiative promotes opportunities for all underrepresented minorities while cultivating a culture that actively engages and leverages diversity of all types. The Rising TIDES Conference Program will jointly support underrepresented minority (URM) students and mentors to participate in CERF 2019 – 25th Biennial Conference in Mobile, Alabama, 3–7 November 2019. Through joint support of both students and mentors, this program aims to enhance career development of URM students, ensure that students participating in the program will have sustained mentorship following the conference, help develop a community of practice for CERF members who are engaged in building diversity and inclusion within their own organizations and across institutions, and involve those who are already mentors of URM students in helping to transform CERF into a broadly inclusive society.


International Travel to the United States

To Request an Official Letter of Invitation

Once you have completed your conference registration form, please email your full name, address, institution/affiliate name and email address to [email protected]. Once processed, a signed letter will be emailed to you. If you need an original sent to you via post, please indicate so in your email request. 

If you've submitted an abstract or plan to make an oral or poster presentation, you will need to include the title and presentation date/time for your abstract. Presenters are yet to be decided, and will be announced around August. If you'd like to present, please make sure to submit an abstract for our committees to review. 

CERF continues to recognize and support that scientific progress and research is dependent upon the free exchange of ideas among international networks of diverse scientists, professors, researchers, and students.

Changes in U.S. immigration and travel policies have rightfully concerned many international scientists and we respect the concerns of those who may be apprehensive about traveling to the United States due to the travel restrictions.

  • To request an Official Letter of Invitation, please email your full name, mailing address, institution/affiliate name and email address to [email protected]. If you are making the request after you’ve been accepted to give an oral or poster presentation, please include the title and presentation date/time for your abstract. Once processed, a signed letter will be emailed to you. If you need an original sent to you via post, please indicate so in your email request.
  • International travelers are strongly encouraged to register for CERF 2019 as soon as possible. This will ensure space, materials, refreshments and other conference amenities are held for you.
  • CERF recognizes that extenuating circumstances, including failure to obtain a U.S. travel visa, may hinder conference attendance. In those situations, with the submission of appropriate documentation, CERF will refund prepaid registration fees.
  • CERF is making efforts to create virtual participation opportunities for CERF members who are unable to travel to the conference. These details are being worked out and will be shared once finalized.
  • Please notify CERF ([email protected]) if you are unable to obtain a visa for travel to the conference, or for other visa-related issues. CERF will track this information to help us understand the impact of visa-related issues on conference attendance. We also encourage you to report issues via this questionnaire.
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