Atlantic Estuarine Research Society

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Society History

The Atlantic Estuarine Research Society:

One day in April 1949 a group of 22 young scientists met in Morehead City, N.C.  They had received their training in widely separated parts of the United States but now had a common interest - they were engaged in research related to the important fisheries of Chesapeake Bay, the North Carolina sounds, and their estuarine tributaries.  Among the group were biologists, working chiefly with the oyster, the blue crab, the shad, and the croaker, and physical and chemical oceanographers, occupied with problems concerning the circulation of these semienclosed bodies of water, and with the exchange of water and dissolved substances between the rivers and the sea.

At these informal discussions it was generally agreed that the objects of the diverse investigations were ecological in nature.  Furthermore, it was apparent that many unique problems were represented, for the fishery resources of this region are exploited almost entirely within estuarine waters.  In almost no other region in the world do estuarine waters produce so much protein food.

Concerned with the scarcity of knowledge of the chemistry, physics, and biology of such enclosed waters, and faced with the need for discussion of mutual problems, the group organized the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society.  Enthusiasm, informality, and active participation by all members are keynotes of the organization.  Its growth has been rapid, partly because research activities have been expanded in the area and also because others outside of the states of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina have become interested.

The stated purpose of the society is to exchange ideas and knowledge and to stimulate free and informal discussion on estuarine ecology.  Membership is restricted to scientists, whatever their field of interest, who are carrying on active research on estuarine problems.  Meetings are held twice yearly, in spring and fall, and are restricted to Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

The informal atmosphere is fostered by meeting at the various research laboratories.  The membership believes that the strength of the organization lies in its local character, relatively small membership, and frequent meetings.  Evidence that these restrictions do not impose a lack of breadth on the society is revealed by the biographies of the 73 active and 8 honorary members, who hold degrees from many different colleges and universities in North America, from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast, and from Canada to the Deep South.

 - Jay D. Andrews

Virginia Fisheries Laboratory, Gloucester Point       

From: Science, New Series, Vol. 116, No. 3006 (Aug. 8 1952), pp. 153-154

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