CERF 2021 Is Going Virtual

In light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty about when it will once again be safe to travel and congregate in large groups, the CERF Governing Board has made the difficult decision to hold the CERF 2021 conference virtually. This decision was made after a great deal of analysis at the latest point possible in the meeting planning process. The decision to hold CERF 2021 virtually reflects an abundance of caution and the need to protect the health and safety of all attendees while still serving our mission. 

The Governing Board considered many different factors to arrive at this decision: the input from the recent member survey on meeting format; the importance of our biennial meeting to the membership; advice from professional meeting planners about the challenges and liabilities of large, face-to-face meetings under the specter of the pandemic; the financial implications to CERF of different meeting formats; the most recent news regarding vaccine approval and distribution plans; how the pandemic is affecting research and travel budgets of our members; and, importantly, how the meeting format would impact our guiding principles of fairness, equity, and inclusion in all of CERF’s activities.

Even though November 2021 seems a long way off, the conference planning committee has been working for many months to produce an exciting meeting that showcases our science and its application to management of our coastlines, provides opportunities to network, and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Federation. The dedicated members of the CERF 2021 conference planning committees now have a known target and an opportunity to successfully serve the mission of CERF. While we lament the loss of coming together in person for CERF 2021, we recognize a virtual format offers us exciting new opportunities for innovation. We anticipate an inclusive conference, enhanced international participation, and new ways to present exciting ideas, all while reducing our carbon footprint. Expect to see more about the conference format, including the call for abstracts, in early 2021.

I am looking forward to a great experience at CERF 2021, and I hope to meet you all in that space next November!

On behalf of the CERF Governing Board,

Jim Fourqurean
CERF President