Atlantic Estuarine Research Society

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The Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (AERS) is  a non-profit society serving the scientific and management community and is operated to foster educational and research purposes. The objectives are the exploration, discussion and exchange of ideas upon estuarine and related research problems, from New Jersey to North Carolina, but not necessarily restricted to that area. Emphasis is placed on the consideration of interdisciplinary studies that span basic and applied topics. Especially desirable are reports of work in progress, including negative results. AERS is an affiliate society of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF).

AERS is an inclusive organization and does not discriminate based on an individual’s age, ancestry, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or veteran status. AERS does not tolerate unwanted verbal, physical, or visual conduct relating to any of those characteristics.

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Venerable Clam Awardees

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AERS History in Brief

How it all started...

At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Chicago in the winter of 1948-49, Nelson Marshall and Willard A. Van Engel of the Virginia Fisheries Laboratory, and L. Eugene Cronin of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, noted over breakfast "that there was no effective means of communication among (their) associates in the coastal area of the Chesapeake region and the Carolinas, that interdisciplinary exchange would be good for all of the scientists of the region and that improvement in exchange was highly desirable." A committee consisting of Van Engel, Cronin, and L. A. Walford of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was established to investigate ways to address these concerns. On April 23-24, 1949, twenty-two scientists from the Chesapeake/Carolina area met at the University of North Carolina laboratory in Morehead City, North Carolina, to form a new association which was called the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (AERS). The purpose of AERS is the promotion of "the informal discussion and exchange of ideas upon estuarine and related research problems centering in the Chesapeake-Carolina area."

Evolution of the Society: AERS and NEERS

Over the next two decades the number of marine programs along the Atlantic coast increased dramatically. By the Fall of 1969, it was apparent that regional societies were warranted to accommodate marine scientists outside the mid-Atlantic region, and AERS "voted to allow organization of regional sections of the society." The New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) was created as a result.

In 1971, AERS and NEERS agreed to form a broader organization, the Estuarine Research Federation (since renamed the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation), to encourage estuarine and coastal research in the United States and other countries. The inaugural meeting was held at the Holiday Inn, Plainview, Long Island, New York. Adelphi University hosted the meeting. The first program was four pages and there were a mere 30 presentations! Chosen as the first President of ERF was L. Eugene Cronin, who had been the first President of AERS twenty-two years earlier.  ERF meetings are held in the Fall of odd-numbered years. Today, there are 7 affiliate societies.

In 1978, the Federation assumed responsibility for a regional journal titled Chesapeake Science which had been initiated in 1960 by Romeo J. Mansueti and published by the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. The journal was later renamed Estuaries and enlarged and improved in a new format. In 2006, the journal was renamed Estuaries and Coasts to better represent its content.

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