Coastal Letters

Newsletter of the coastal and marine geography specialty group of the association of American geographers

Vol. 13, No. 1         Website:             February, 2001

Table of Contents

Specialty Group Officers
Membership Renewal Reminder
Nominations Open
Editor's Comments
Call for Award Nominations: R.J. Russell Award

Multi-Media Critiques Wanted
COMA Related Sessions at AAG-2001 – New York

Book Review – GIS Goes to Sea
Nominations Invited for AAG Honors
Nominations for Book Awards Solicited
NSEP Graduate International Fellowships
Report on Coastal GeoTools 2001
News and Views from Members
Upcoming Conferences
Musings from the Chair - Rich Daniels

Specialty Group Officers

Richard Daniels, Chair
Shorelands/Dept of Ecology
P.O. Box 47690
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 407-6427
Klaus J Meyer-Arendt, Vice Chair
Dept. of Environmental Studies
University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
(850) 474-2746
Harry Jol, Secretary-Treasurer
Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
105 Garfield Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
(715) 836-3244
Wayne Engstrom, Member of the Board of Directors
Geography Department
California State University
Fullerton, CA 92634-9480
(714) 278-3384
Diane Horn, Member of the Board of Directors
Department of Geography
Birkbeck College
7-15 Gresse St
London W1P 2LL
England (UK)
Michael Craghan, Member of the Board of Directors
Department of Geography
Rutgers University

Membership Renewal Reminder

Don't forget to renew your membership in the Coastal and Marine Geography Specialty Group when you renew your membership with the AAG. Our numbers have decreased over the years – remind your colleagues as well!

There are only 15 copies of the Coastal and Marine Slide Compilation, Volume 1 remaining. Copies of the CD-ROM will be available for purchase ($10) during the COMA Business meeting and the Coastal and Marine Research Student Paper Competition. Please stop by both of these events and shown your support for COMA!

Nominations Open for

Vice Chair and Two Members to the Board of Directors!

Vice-Chairs Karl Meyer-Arendt and Board Members Wayne Engstrom and Diane Horn’s terms are coming to end at the meeting in New York. We will be opening up nominations for Vice Chair and two Members of the Board of Directors. According to the bylaws the description for Vice-Chair is s/he shall assume the duties of the chair if the chair cannot or will not perform them. The vice chair serves as chair of the Student Paper Merit Award Committee, and should actively encourage student involvement. The vice chair also chairs and is a member of the R.J. Russell Award Committee. The vice chair may appoint regular members of the specialty group to judge student papers and to serve on the R.J. Russell Award Committee if the vice chair or any individual on the Board of Directors cannot perform her or his duties. The duties for the Board of Directors include: judging the Student Paper Merit Award, and serving on that committee under the direction of the vice chair. Members of the board shall also evaluate nominees and select a recipient for the R.J. Russell Award. All positions are two year terms, as determined according to the timing of AAG annual meetings.

If you know of someone or you want to help out COMA, please pass along your nominations to Harry Jol or Rich Daniels.


Editor’s Comments

  1. There is a lot happening within the group, please read through the newsletter and when finished pass it along to a colleague.
  2. Welcome to all of you who have recently joined the Coastal and Marine Geography Specialty Group (COMA).
  3. Whether you are a new or long-standing member, please attend our Specialty Group meeting this year in New York (Feb. 28, 7:00 pm) as well as COMA related paper sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It’s a great way to get involved!
  4. For the first time in the last five years COMA has organized a Special Session for the presenters in the Student Paper Competition. It will be held Wednesday at 8 am – we look forward to everyone’s participation.
  5. You can view the preliminary program for AAG 2000 - Pittsburgh and the current jobs in geography listings on the AAG web site:
  6. Have you been getting e-mails? I recently took many e-mail addresses off the list due to incorrect addresses. If you have not been receiving e-mails please send me your e-mail address and I will add you to the updated COMA list.
  7. If you have items that you want to be distributed via the e-mail please forward them to Rich Daniels or Harry Jol.
  8. Any comments for future editions are always welcome. Thanks to everyone who provided items for this newsletter. This is your newsletter so please forward items.

Harry Jol, Secretary-Treasurer, Editor (

Call for Award Nominations: The R. J. Russell Award


Nominations for the R.J. Russell Award should be directed to the Vice-Chair - Klaus J Meyer-Arendt ( Nominations for the current year should be made at least 2 weeks prior to the annual AAG meeting.

This specialty group award is presented in recognition of an individual's major contributions to the field of coastal or marine geography. These contributions may be in research, teaching, public service, and/or to the specialty group. Previous awardees include Jess Walker (1991), Fillmore Earney (1992), Norb Psuty (1993), Karl Nordstrom (1996), Doug Sherman (1997), Bernard Bauer (1999) and Robin Davidson-Arnott (2000)

Nominations are accepted from Coma members, but nominees do not have to be members of either the specialty group or the AAG. Two nominations are required for consideration for the Award. At least one of the nominations must include a complete letter of nomination which will include one paragraph describing the nominees contributions to the field of coastal or marine geography and/or to the special interest group and a list of the nominees relevant publications.

The R. J. Russell Award is named in honor of Richard Joel Russell (1895-1971). He was Dean of the Graduate School at Louisiana State University for 12 years, an organizer of the Coastal Studies Institute (1954), president of both the Association of American Geographers (1948) and Geological Society of America (1957), and named to the National Academy of Sciences (1959).


Multi-Media Critiques Wanted

Do you use any CD-ROMS or videos when teaching coastal or marine geography? (e.g. Beach: A River of Sand). On Don Ziegler's suggestion, the next time you show or view a coastal or marine video, take a moment to jot down its title, brief summary, strengths and weaknesses. Send this information to the Newsletter editors. We will include a column in upcoming newsletters as well as have it posted on the COMA web site.

COMA Related Sessions at AAG’2001 – New York

Wednesday, February 28

8:00 am - 9:40 Session 3.1.32

Coastal and Marine Research Student Paper Competition

(Sponsored by Coastal and Marine Specialty Group)
Organizer: Richard C. Daniels, Washington Department of Ecology
Chair: Richard C. Daniels, Washington Department of Ecology

8:00 Christopher Houser, University of Toronto, The Role of Antecedent Morphology and Event Sequencing in the Morphodynamics of a Swash Bar at Skallingen, Denmark

8:20 Jean Todisco, University of Southern California, Assessing Alternative Restoration Approaches to Levee Bank Erosion

8:40 Jennifer Brewer, Clark University, Lines in the Water: Limits, Bounds, and Spatial Strategies in the Maine Lobster Fishery

9:00 Thomas A. Terich, Western Washington University, The Socio-economic Effects of the Carlyon Beach/Hunter Point Landslide

9:20 Richard C. Daniels, Washington Department of Ecology, Accuracy Issues and Historical Shoreline Change Within the Columbia River Littoral Cell

10:00 am - 11:40 am Session 3.2.32

GIS in Support of Marine Protected Areas, Reserves and Sanctuaries

(Sponsored by GIS, Coastal and Marine Geography, and Remote Sensing Specialty Groups)
Organizer: Dawn J. Wright, Oregon State University
Chair: Dawn J. Wright, Oregon State University

10:00 Dawn J. Wright, Oregon State University, GIS Coordination at America's Remotest Marine Sanctuary (American Samoa)

10:20 Darcee Killpack, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The Channel Islands - Spatial Support and Analysis Tool

10:40 Cindy Fowler, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The Creation of Digital Spatial Boundaries of Marine Protected Areas: Issues and Implications

11:00 Ron Stephenson, Southwest Texas State University, Visualization of the Underwater Environment - GIS and Other Media: Impediments to Data Gathering

11:20 Tom Allen, Old Dominion University, Digital Benthic Landscape Analysis in Two Virginia Coast Preserves

5:00 pm - 6:40 pm Session 3.5.25

Coastal Resources and Management
Chair: Robert Hickey, Central Washington University

5:00 Heidi Glaesel, Elon College, Local and State Perspectives on Atlantic Coast Fisheries Management

5:20 Wendy A. Mitteager, Rutgers University, Nature-based Tourism in Urban Coastal Environments Along the New Jersey Shoreline

5:40 Robert Hickey, Central Washington University, GIS and Mudflat Mapping, Eighty Mile Beach, Western Australia

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Session 3.6.22

Coastal and Marine Specialty Group Business Meeting (w/beverages)

Thursday, March 1

1:00 pm - 2:40 pm Session 4.3.14

Environmental Management of Protected Areas

Chair: Patrick Buckley, Western Washington University

1:00 Brad Kreps, University of Tennessee, Protecting the Highlands: Land Trusts in Souther Appalachia

1:20 Steve S. W. Xu, University of Hong Kong, Understanding Local Uses of Upland Forest in Shi Men Tai Nature Reserve

1:40 Mark J. Bouman, Chicago State University, Janet I. Halpin, Chicago State University, Watershed in the Wetlands: Environmental Restriction and/or Economic Development in Chicago's Calumet Region

2:00 Patrick Buckley, Western Washington University, West Coast Environmental Activism and Defending Wildlife Refuge Gains: The Weyerhaeuser Dock Controversy

2:20 Patrick L. Lawrence, University of Toledo, From Concept to Practice: Selected Great Lakes Ecosystem Planning Case Studies from Northwest Ohio

5:00 pm - 6:40 pm Session 4.5.06

Coastal Geomorphology

(Sponsored by: Coastal and Marine, and Geomorphology Specialty Groups)
Organizer: Paul A. Gares, East Carolina University
Chair: Jennifer Rahn, Baylor University

5:00 Diane Horn, Birkbeck College, Field Measurements of Swash Hydrodynamics on Sand and Gravel Beaches

5:20 Paul A. Gares, East Carolina University, Analysis of Tropical Storm Overwash Along the Outer Banks of North Carolina

5:40 James Allen, U.S.G.S., Sediment Bypassing at Moriches Inlet and Downdrift Effects Upon Fire Island National Seashore, NY

6:00 Dustin Mulvaney, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Assessment of Human Activities on Shoreline Change On Barrier Islands in New Jersey

6:20 Jennifer Rahn, Baylor University, Barrier Island Beach Anthropogeomorphology on Florida's Panhandle Barrier Islands

Friday, March 2

8:00 am - 9:40 am Session 5.1.28

Aeolian Processes and Landforms I

(Sponsored by Geomorphology and Coastal and Marine Specialty Groups)
Organizers: Christopher A. Houser, University of Toronto, William G. Nickling, University of Guelph
Chairs: Christopher A. Houser, University of Toronto, William G. Nickling, University of Guelph

8:00 Cheryl McKenna Neuman, Trent University, Aeolian Saltation Threshold Effects of Temperature and Humidity

8:15 Steven L. Namikas, Louisiana State University, Bed Texture as a Control on Aeolian Saltation

8:30 Damian Crawley, University of Guelph, Drag Partition for Regularly-arrayed Rough Surfaces

8:45 Nicholas Lancaster, Desert Research Institute, Grainfall Patterns and Dune Morphology

9:00 Ian J. Walker, University of Victoria, Lee-side Flow Deflection Over Transverse Aeolian Dunes

9:15 Hiroshi Momiji, University College London, Mathematical Modeling of Migrating Barchan Dunes

10:00 am - 11:40 am Session 5.2.28

Aeolian Processes and Landforms II

(Sponsored by Geomorphology and Coastal and Marine Specialty Groups)
Organizers: Christopher A. Houser, University of Toronto, William G. Nickling, University of Guelph
Chairs: Christopher A. Houser, University of Toronto, William G. Nickling, University of Guelph

10:00 William G. Nickling, University of Guelph, Surface Controls on Dust Emissions, Owens (dry) Lake, California

10:20 John A. Gillies, Desert Research Institute, Sediment Flux Characteristics Observed at Owens (dry) Lake, California

10:40 John E. Stout, United States Department of Agriculture, Wind Erosion and Dust Trends in the Southern High Plains of Texas

11:00 Aloys Bory, Columbia University, The Provenance of Aeolian Dust in Polar Ice: Arid Source Areas and Transport Pathways

11:20 Brenda J. Buck, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Eolian Processes and Their Effects on Soil Genesis in New Mexico, West Texas, and Jorda

1:00 pm - 2:40 pm Session 5.3.30

Questions on the Marine Frontiers of Human Geography

(Sponsored by Cultural Ecology, Cultural Geography, and Coastal and Marine Specialty Groups)
Organizer: Seth Macinko, University of Connecticut
Chair: Seth Macinko, University of Connecticut

1:00 Monica Mulrennan, Concordia University, Reconceptualizing Sea Space: Progress and Prospects in Torres Strait, Northern Queensland

1:20 Christina Hamm, Clark University, Making Claims a Complex Commons

1:40 Seth Macinko, University of Connecticut, Power and Conservation: The Political Economy of Sail-power in the Bristol Bay, Alaska Salmon Fisheries

2:00 Niels West, University of Rhode Island, Geographers and Coastal Management: A Missed Opportunity?

Discussant: Phil Steinberg, Florida State University

3:00 pm - 4:40 pm Session 5.4.11

The Coastal Zone Impacts of Potential Climate Change in the New York City Metropolitan Region

(Sponsored by Human Dimensions of Global Change and Hazards Specialty Groups)
Organizer: William D. Solecki, Montclair State University
Chair: William D. Solecki, Montclair State University

3:00 Vivien Gornitz, NASA/Columbia University, Sea Level Rise and the New York Metropolitan Region Shoreline

3:20 Klaus Jacob, Columbia University, Increased Risk to Metropolitan East Coast's Transportation Infrastructure from Sea Level Rise

3:40 Ellen K. Hartig, Columbia University, Sea-level Rise Impacts on Salt Marsh Morphology in Jamaica Bay, New York City

Discussants: Norbert Psuty, Rutgers University, James Kenneth Mitchell, Rutgers University, Christopher Zeppie, Port Authority of NY and NJ

Book Review – GIS Goes to Sea

Marine and Coastal Geographical Information Systems. Dawn Wright and Darius Bartlett, Eds. Research Monographs in GIS series, Taylor and Francis, London and Philadelphia, 1999.

The marine and coastal GIS community has waited a long time for a text Marine and Coastal Geographical Information Systems. Editors Dawn Wright and Darius Bartlett have assembled papers from prominent scientists and leading geographic information researchers that cover a wide range of GIS-related research. Many of us who work with oceanographic and coastal data have been dealing with the issues that these papers address and welcome the discussion and research they introduce.

GIS is most commonly used in terrestrial applications – natural resources, transportation, utilities, and so forth. Wright, a specialist in marine applications, and Bartlett, a coastal specialist, are two of the leading scholars in the field of marine and coastal GIS applications. They state that the book is not intended to be an introductory text, but rather an advance text for geographic information scientists who work with marine-related data and for marine scientists who work in some capacity with GIS. The gook’s 19 papers are organized into three sections: conceptual/technical issues, application, and institutional issues. Part I includes key theoretical concepts for marine GIS not usually covered in other advanced GIS texts, emphasizing the fundamental importance of the underlying data model in marine GIS. Papers in this section describe data models for marine and coastal GIS, spatial reasoning for marine geology and geophysics, 2.5- and 3-D GI for coastal geomorphology and geophysics, and representation of variability in marine environmental data.

Part II presents mainly chemical, biological, and physical oceanography applications, covering a full range of spatial and temporal scales. Contributors discuss using real-time GI for controlling remotely operated vehicles, planning and analyzing geophysical surveys, remote sensing of sea surface temperature, fisheries management, multidimensional oceanographic visualization, and tectonic analysis.

Part III deals with institutional issues. Papers here address GIS applications in maritime boundary delineation, the significance of marine GIS in the United States National Spatial Data Infrastructure, sources of error in marine data, and management of marine and coastal data sources in the Irish Marine Data Center.

One of the best contributions of this text is the extensive reference section in each article – an excellent resource for readers desiring further information about a particular topic. The papers are well written and flow from one to the next. This landmark text should be an integral part of any academic curriculum encompassing marine and coastal sciences and should be on the bookshelf of any geographic information or marine scientist.

The review is by Brian Andrews from Geospatial Solutions, September 2000:


Nominations Invited for AAG Honors

The Honors Committee of the AAG invites nominations for AAG Honors to be conferred in 2002. AAG Honors are given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement or welfare of the profession in five categories: Lifetime Career, Distinguished Scholarship, Distinguished Teaching, Distinguished Service, and Geography Education (Gilbert Grosvenor Honors for Geography Education). Normally no more than one award will be made in each category. No more than six individuals may be recommended for AAG Honors in a single year. In addition to Honors, the committee may recommend a Publication Award and a Media Achievement Award each year. Nominees must be AAG members if they are residents of the United States; if they reside elsewhere the membership requirement is waived. In some cases professionals from other disciplines or professions are eligible for consideration. Geographers or other professionals previously honored may be nominated again for distinction achieved since their first awards. See the Handbook section of a recent issue of the Guide to Programs in Geography in the United States and Canada and AAG Handbook and Directory of Geographers for a complete list of past Honors Award recipients. The deadline for nominations is 1 March 2001.

Please send nominations with vitae to Stanley D. Brunn, Department of Geography, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0027; Karl Butzer, Department of Geography, University of Texas, Austin TX 78712-1098; Susan W. Hardwick, Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403_1251; Sally P. Horn, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996-1420; Andrew Marcus, Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman MT 32306-2190; Ann Oberhauser, Department of Geography and Geology, West Virginia University, Morgantown WV 32306-2190;


Nominations for Book Awards Solicited

The AAG will recognize the authors of two books at the 2001 annual meeting in New York. An award of $1,000 each will be made for a book written or co-authored by a geographer in two categories: 1) a book that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the science and art of geography; and 2) a book that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world. Books published in 1998, 1999, or 2000 are eligible for the awards.

Please submit nominations statements and two copies of each nominated book to Book Awards, Association of American Geographers, 1710 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20009. Statements (two page maximum length) should document in general and in detail the ways in which the nominated works meet the applicable criterion. Nominations and books must be received at the AAG office no later than 28 January 2001.

NSEP Graduate International Fellowships

The National Security Education Program (NSEP) Graduate International Fellowships enable U.S. graduate students to pursue specialization in area and language study or to add an important international dimension to their education. NSEP Fellowships support students pursuing the study of languages, cultures, and world regions which are critical to U.S. national security, but which are less frequently studied by U.S. graduate students, i.e., areas of the world other than Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It is hoped that recipients of NSEP Fellowships will comprise an ever-growing cadre of experts whose enriched educational and professional experiences will enable them to provide leadership and direction in our national commitment to economic growth, international peace and security, and promotion of democracy abroad. The Academy for Educational Development considers it a distinct pleasure to serve as the administrative agent for this important program. For more information see

Report on Coastal GeoTools 2001

Rich Daniels (Chair) reports that while attending the Coastal GeoTools 2001 Conference in Charleston, SC (sponsored by the NOAA Coastal Services Center) he learned of several initiatives and "news" that you may be interested in. Here it goes!

Other stuff:


News and Views from Members

From Barbara Walker (

Barbara Walker, University of California Santa Barbara, and collaborator Eric Edlund, University of Montana Missoula, have been awarded $210,000 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Initiative on Population, Consumption, and the Environment. The two-year project is entitled: "Balancing Conservation, Subsistence, and Economic Growth in French Polynesia's Lagoons." This multidisciplinary project addresses the cultural, economic, and ecological efficacy of Marine Protected Areas on the islands of Moorea and Tahaa, French Polynesia.

From Michelle Goman (

Goman, M. (2001) Statistical analysis of modern seeds assemblages from the San Francisco Bay: Applications for the reconstruction of paleo-salinity and paleo-tidal inundation. Journal of Paleolimnology (forthcoming).

Goman, M. and L. Wells, (2000) Trends in river flow over the last 7000 yr affecting the Northeastern reach of the San Francisco Bay estuary, Quaternary Research, 54, 206-217.

From Mark Hafen (

I defended my doctoral dissertation on September 28, 2000. Title: "Sediment Movement and Comparative Sedimentary Morphology, West Florida Shelf." Co-major professors, Albert C. Hine and David F. Naar. I have begun a post-doctoral research associate position here (USF-College of Marine Science) on sediment dynamics of the west Florida inner continental shelf, funded by the Office of Naval Research.

Upcoming Conferences

AAG'2001, Feb. 27 – March 3, New York, NY, 97th Annual Meeting, Further information:

Second Symposium on Marine Conservation Biology, June 21-26, 2001, San Francisco, CA.,

Inaugural Conference Center for Maritime Research (MARE),30 August - 1 September, 2001, Amsterdam, The Netherlands University of Amsterdam and SISWO, Netherlands Institute for the Social Sciences,

Managing the Interfaces The 4th International Symposium on Computer Mapping and GIS for Coastal Zone Management June 18, 19 and 20, 2001, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada,

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in Sediments: Applications and Interpretation, August 20-21, 2001, London England, Abstracts due: April 30, 2001, Further information can be found at:

Putting Fishers' Knowledge to Work" August, Aug 27-30, 2001, Vancouver, Canada, Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia,

If you know of any related conferences coming up in 2001/2002 or if you have announcements or newsworthy items concerning you, your department, or agency, please take a moment to send them to the newsletter editor: Harry Jol ( Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54702. Thanks!

Musings from the Chair - Rich Daniels

What is the Difference between Shoreline Variability and Erosion? The House!

The Washington State Department of Ecology (where I work) is revising the regulations used by local governments to develop their Shoreline Management Plans (in accordance with the States Shoreline Management Act). In addition, the U.S. Geological Survey and Ecology has been involved in a Coastal Erosion Study for southwest Washington.

During the erosion study it was determined that the position of the Average High Water Line on sandy beaches in Southwest Washington varies horizontally by as much as ± 50 m annually. In addition, the water line may be up to 50 m further landward during storm events. This equates to a variability in the location of the High Water Line of 100 m annually, and is similar to results obtained by Dr. Paul Komar for Oregon. Thus, for at least the last decade it has been "known" that the sandy beaches of the Pacific Northwest have large seasonal and annual variability.

Unfortunately, rule makers in local and state government have not used this basic information on how the ocean coast behaves in the rule writing process. In the case of Washington, the region that falls under the jurisdiction of the SMA is 200 ft (61 m) from the Ordinary High Water Line (approximately equivalent to Mean Higher High Water on the open coast). This buffer identifies the areas that are under the jurisdiction of the Act. However, most local governments allow development of single unit residential homes within 40 ft (12.2 m) of the Ordinary High Water Line –the same as applied to a lake, stream, or river.

With a variability in shoreline position of over 100 m during a single year (ignoring large potential erosion events), one quickly realizes that management paradigms designed for rivers or lakes are not directly suitable for use on the open coast. This omission is not surprising, given our nations reluctance to admit that some areas are not suited for development (or, at least, of the type we desire). This pattern of ignoring (or not seeking out) previously collected research is an ongoing problem. In a sad way, the often-stated need for "best available science" in EISs and Coastal Zone Management programs is representative of this phenomena. In many cases the research spawned by the quest for "best available science" has been done previously (at much less expense), and the results shelved or forgotten due to a lack of interest.

Thus, I would like to take this opportunity (my last J ) to encourage you to find a new acquaintance who is involved in coastal management at the state or local level. Assist this person in identifying potential research findings (old or new) that may be applicable to the local situation. Developing such a peer relationship could be fun, and will provide a valuable service to both the public and the discipline.

In closing, I thank your for the opportunity to serve as your Chair over the last two years. Pass the brew!

Richard C. Daniels, Chair