Rising TIDES:
Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society

CERF is dedicated to broadening participation in coastal and estuarine science and management. To this end, the CERF Governing Board is pleased to announce a new comprehensive program for enhancing the diversity and inclusion of our scientific society and CERF conferences, Rising TIDES (Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society). The overall goals of this program are to promote opportunities for all underrepresented and underserved minorities while cultivating a culture that actively engages and leverages diversity of all types throughout our organization.

As a scientific society, CERF respects and values the many facets of diversity. These include differences among individuals in social identity such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity and expression, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, and socioeconomic background, as well as differences in discipline, career path, and life experience. From these differences arise a wide range of perspectives and approaches to problem solving. CERF is embarking on Rising TIDES to increase the diversity of our society and to improve our capacity for harnessing the power of that diversity in all its forms. Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, as CERF is enriched by diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, the relevance and effectiveness of coastal and estuarine science in tackling complex ecological and societal issues will be enhanced.

Broadening participation in CERF demands full organizational commitment, and diversity and inclusion goals have been addressed explicitly in developing CERF’s 2017-2022 strategic plan. Rising TIDES initiatives are being planned to benefit all career stages, from supporting underrepresented minority students with cohort-building and focused mentoring activities to training professionals in becoming champions of inclusivity. Look for discussions on building and embracing diversity to permeate the upcoming CERF conference in Providence through workshops, targeted scientific sessions, and the CERF Inclusion Luncheon.

CERF was proud to exhibit at the 2016 Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Conference: The National Diversity in STEM Conference, 13-15 October 2016. CERF shared a booth with fellow Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS) members: ASLO, AFS, PSA, SFS, and SWS. 

We thank Anita Arenas of CSU Long Beach (right), Checo Colon-Gaud of Georgia Southern University (left) and all of our volunteers for representing CASS and sharing aquatic sciences with SACNAS attendees.

Involving all of CERF in Rising TIDES will be key to its success. Upon adoption of the 2017-2022 strategic plan in November 2017, the Governing Board will establish a Broadening Participation Council to guide the development and implementation of Rising TIDES initiatives. Council members will represent the CERF Governing Board, each CERF Affiliate Society, the CERF conference committee, and the CERF membership at large. If you are interested in serving on the Council to help steer CERF toward becoming a more inclusive, diverse, and enriched society, please contact CERF President Hilary Neckles ([email protected]).