Coastal Letters

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

Vol. 13, No. 2 Website: July, 2001

Table of Contents

  1. Specialty Group Officers
  2. Membership Renewal Reminder
  3. Editor’s Comments and Election Results
  4. R.J. Russell Award Presented in New York
  5. Call For Field Trip(s) in the Los Angeles Area
  6. Digital Newsletter Notice
  7. Student Paper Merit Award Winner for 2001
  8. Member of the Board of Directors Profile - Namikas
  9. Member of the Board of Directors Profile - Chaney
  10. Minutes of the 2001 Business Meeting -New York
  11. Call for COMA Sponsored Sessions in Los Angeles
  12. Call for Award Nominations: The R.J. Russell Award
  13. Multi-Media Critiques Wanted
  14. Call for Student Papers
  15. 7th International Coastal Symposium, 2002
  16. News and Views from Members
  17. Upcoming Conferences
  18. Musings from the Chair -Klaus J. Meyer-Arendt

Specialty Group Officers

Klaus J Meyer-Arendt, Chair
Dept. of Environmental Studies
University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
(850) 474-2746

Diane Horn, Vice-Chair
Department of Geography
Birkbeck College
7-15 Gresse St
London W1P 2LL
England (UK)

Harry Jol, Secretary-Treasurer
Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
105 Garfield Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
(715) 836-3244

Philip L. Chaney, Member of the Board of Directors
Department of Geography
104A Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
Phone: 334-844-3420 or 4074

Michael Craghan, Member of the Board of Directors
Middle Atlantic Center for Geography and Environmental Studies
PO Box 20
Manasquan, NJ 08736

Steve Namikas, Member of the Board of Directors
Department of Geography and Anthropology
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone: 225-578-6142


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 as well as updating your address. Our numbers have decreased over the years – remind your colleagues as well!


Editor’s Comments and Election Results


  1. At the last COMA meeting we decided to convert over to an electronic copy of the newsletter – if you want a hardcopy please send me the note above so that I can put you on the hardcopy list. We will be publishing the newsletter on the web starting the next newsletter.
  2. 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.
  3. The 2000 business meeting in New York brought major changes in the specialty group leadership. The changes were as follows: Klaus Meyer-Arendt – became Chair (from Vice-Chair)
  4. Diane Horn was voted in as Vice-Chair

    Steve Namikas was voted in as Member of the Board of Directors

    Philip Chaney was voted in as Member of the Board of Directors

    Congratulations to you all!

  5. Thanks goes to Rich Daniels for his leadership as Chair and Vice-Chair and long term service as a Member of the Board of Directors. Thanks goto Wayne Engstrom and Diane Horn (now Vice Chair!). Your work has been very much appreciated!
  6. You can submit your abstract on-line this year – check out the AAG’s website – Deadline for submission is fast approaching – think of submitting to one the coastal sessions.
  7. You can review current jobs in geography listings on the AAG web site at
  8. Welcome to all of you who have recently joined the Coastal and Marine Geography Specialty Group (COMA).
  9. If you have items that you want to be distributed via the e-mail please forward them to Harry Jol.
  10. 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 (

R.J. Russell Award Presented in New York, NY

The R. J. Russell Award is presented in recognition of an individual’s contributions to the field of coastal or marine geography. These contributions may be in research, teaching, public service, and/or to the specialty group. The citation for the 2000 award is as follows:

Dr. Patrick Hesp of Massey University (New Zealand) is the winner of the R.J. Russell Award for 2001. Having studied at the University of Sydney (Ph.D, 1982), for two decades Patrick has been a prolific writer in coastal geomorphology. Considered by many to be among the world’s leading authorities on coastal dunes, he has researched transgressive dune fields, biological and geomorphological processes in foredunes, ecological processes and plant adaptations, and also sand mining and assessing hazards on beaches. Patrick has published in quality refereed journals, including J. of Sedimentary Petrology, Sedimentology, Sedimentary Geology, Marine Geology, Earth Surface Processes, Geomorphology, Proc. Royal Society of Edinburgh, Progress in Physical Geography, J. Marine and Freshwater Research, Boundary Layer Meteorology, J. Arid Environments, Zeitschift für Geomorphologie, J. Coastal Research, J. Coastal Conservation, and Ocean and Coastal Management. He is quite active in specialized sessions of international meetings, including the IGU session on Dune-Beach Interaction (1987), the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Coastal Sand Dunes Symposium (1989), and the Binghamton Conference on Coastal Geomorphology (1998). Congratulations.


I am delighted to accept the R.J. Russell Award and wish to thank the AAG and my peers for their nomination and support. The award has been presented to many great coastal scientists and I am humbled to be in their company.


Call for Field Trip(s) in the Los Angeles Area

I have had several people contact me with regards to field trip(s) while out at the LA meeting in 2002 – are there any volunteers for leading a field trip. Suggestions that have been forwarded Channel Islands, mainland coastal – beach processes, slumps, structures, beachfill, etc). Please contact Harry Jol or Klaus Meyer-Arendt if you are interested in leading one – I am sure we could fill a van!











Dear COMA,

I would like to continue to receive a hardcopy of the Coastal Letters (Newsletter of the Coastal and Marine Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers).

My address is:


Please mail this form to: Harry Jol, Editor Coastal Letters

Department of Geography

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

105 Garfield Avenue

Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004 USA




Student Paper Merit Award Winner for 2001

To our contestants,

Thank you for participating in the AAG'2001 Coastal & Marine Specialty Group Competition! Please consider applying for next years awards. Note that at AAG'2002 in Los Angeles there is one Merit Award for Oral presentation and one for Illustrated Paper presentation (see further notice in this newsletter and COMA website).

But onto the results,

The Coastal and Marine Specialty Group student paper competition was held at the AAG 2001 annual meeting in New York. The Student Paper Merit Award consists of a $100.00 check and an award certificate.

For best paper on human interactions with the coastal or marine environment or on physical processes in a coastal or marine environment the Student Paper Merit Award goes to Jennifer Brewer, Clark University, for her presentation entitled Lines in the Water: Limits, Bounds, and Spatial Strategies in the Maine Lobster Fisheries

The prize this year includes a certificate, enshrinement on our page of fame (at our web site), and a $100 prize.

Congratulations Jennifer!

The special interest group would like to thank all the students for their efforts as well as the following reviewers for assisting in the judging process: Diane Horn, Wayne Engstrom, Harry Jol, Richard Daniels and Michael Craghan.


Member of the Board of Directors Profile – Steve Namikas

Steve received his B.A. degree from the University of Windsor, and his M.S. from Rutgers University. He completed his Ph.D. at Southern California in 1999, working under Bernie Bauer. All degrees were in Geography, with an emphasis on coastal geomorphology. He spent a year at Texas A&M as a visiting lecturer in 1998-99, and has been an assistant professor at Louisiana State for the past two years. His research interests include sediment transport, short term coastal landform change, and field instrumentation/measurement techniques. Most of his recent work has focused on aeolian transport, and in particular on improving our understanding of the process of saltation. Recent publications have appeared in (or been submitted to): Geomorphology, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Journal of Coastal Research, and the Journal of Sedimentary Research.


Member of the Board of Directors Profile – Philip L. Chaney

Philip received B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Arkansas where he studied computer mapping, GIS, and climatology. He was then employed at the U of A’s Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies where most of his work focused on the interface between GIS and GPS technology. Philip went to Louisiana State University for his Ph.D. where his research focused on extratropical storm systems and their effects on barrier islands along the northern Gulf of Mexico. He is currently employed as an Assistant Professor of Geography at Auburn University. His research interests include tropical and extratropical storm systems, the effects of storms on coastal environments, and the uses of advanced mapping technology in coastal research. As a registered professional land surveyor, he is also interested in the legal aspects of public access vs. private ownership of beaches and coastal resources, and land use/development issues along the coast.

Minutes of the 2001 Business Meeting – New York


Rich Daniels opened the meeting at 7:02 p.m., Wednesday February 28, 2001, New York Hilton with over 20 members present.


Report on Specialty Group Chair Meeting - Richard Daniels reported on the main points covered in the specialty group chairs' luncheon. Several of the items discussed were:

    1. Geography Education Resource Network
    2. Annual Reports
    3. With changes to new system – will have better access to specialty group membership lists. Numbers were discussed.
    4. AAG will be moving to anniversary date for membership renewal starting 2002
    5. AAG moving to on-line digital registration for the 2002 conference
    6. Updated and downloadable "Careers in Geography" will be available from the AAG website
    7. Certification Task Force – to look into standardization and certification of GIS professionals
    8. Annals – 60-70 papers per year, 1/3 acceptance, 18th month turnaround, please be responsive in reviews
    9. New Chief Financial Officer – Paul Abel – third in this year
    10. Geography Time-line on Website

Secretary. (Harry Jol) The minutes of the last business meeting (Pittsburgh 2000), which appeared in July 2000 in v. 12(2) of Coastal Letters, were approved.

Treasurer. Secretary-Treasurer Harry Jol reported on financial transactions since the last business meeting in 2000 Pittsburgh Meeting.. We began 2000 with $1277.21, spent $946.88, and received $1184.96 (CD-ROM project - $730.54) in income. The balance at the end of 1999 was $1515.29. Decreased membership has had an influence on income as the CD-ROM project brought in a majority of the income.

Motion: Specialty Group dues to increase from $3 - $5 for members –Carried. Student dues remain $1

There was a discussion on going digital with the newsletter.

Motion: That the next newsletter have the first page asking members if they want a hardcopy they need to request one. Carried

Motion: The February 2002 newsletter be electronic and a postcard sent to everyone to remind them. Carried.


Geography in America: Since the last business meeting, Dawn Wright, Phil Steinberg, and Norb Psuty are still waiting for the reviews from the chapter. The article is available on Dawn Wrights website for those interested (reachable via

CD-ROM Project: Rich Daniels reported on that 78 CD-ROMs were sold with more requests and projects were discussed.

By-law Changes to allow for non –AAG members to join COMA – the following as it appears would be the new text (text within brackets would be taken out). Rich Daniels will discuss with AAG head office on the legality of this type of membership. Moved/Seconded – Passed Unanimously (upon approval from AAG).

Note: The AAG has allowed associate memberships but will not keep records or assist


Student Paper Merit Award went to Jennifer Brewer, Clark University, for her presentation entitled Lines in the Water: Limits, Bounds, and Spatial Strategies in the Maine Lobster Fisheries. Further details can be found on page 5.

R.J. Russell Award was presented to Dr. Patrick Hesp of Massey University (New Zealand). Full citation response can be found on page 2.


Richard Daniels steps down as Chair and Klaus Meyer-Arendt takes over as Chair. Wayne Engstrom thanks Richard Daniels for his dedication to the position, particularly the website and the CD-ROM Project.

Philip Chaney and Steve Namikas were elected to two-year terms on the board of directors.

Diane Horn was elected to the position of Vice Chair.



The meeting was adjourned by 8:04 pm.

Call For COMA-Sponsored Sessions in Los Angeles

If you are planning to present a paper at the 2002 AAG Annual Conference to be held March 19-23, in Los Angeles on coastal or marine geographer (human, physical, hazards, or techniques) please consider participating in a session sponsored or co-sponsored by the Coastal and Marine Geography Specialty Group (COMA). Special session materials (abstracts, fees, etc.) must be received by the session organizers and submitted to the AAG Office on-line by 31 August 2001 for oral presentations or 28 September for poster presentations. The following is a list of the currently proposed sessions; please contact the session organizers for further information. Note: With the new on-line registration process, you will register your-self, and then provide your manuscript number to the session organizer.

Coastal Geomorphology I, II, etc.

Sponsor: COMA Specialty Group

Session Organizer: Klaus Meyer-Arendt, Dept. of Environmental Studies, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway

Pensacola, FL 32514, (850) 474-2746,



Tentative title: Student Paper Sessions

Sponsor: COMA Specialty Group

Session Organizer: Klaus Meyer-Arendt, Dept. of Environmental Studies, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514, (850) 474-2746




(co-sponsored by the GIS, Remote Sensing, and Coastal and Marine Specialty Groups) Paper abstracts only. Organizers:

Dawn Wright, Oregon State University, and Barbara Walker, UCSB, Please contact them if you are interested in participating in this session, or if you are thinking of organizing a related session.


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

Nominations for the R.J. Russell Award should be directed to the Vice-Chair. 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), Robin Davidson-Arnott (2000), and Patrick Hesp (2001).

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).

In the nomination letter please 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.


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.


Call for Student Papers

Eligibility: Full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate students may compete for this award if they (1) are the first or sole author of an oral paper concerning coastal or marine geography which they will be presenting at the 2000 annual AAG meeting, (2) are a member of the AAG and of the Coastal and Marine Specialty Group, and (3) have submitted to the session organizer the completed application form and accompanying materials, to be received by August 26, 2000. Poster presentations are not eligible. Papers are judged both on content and on the quality of the presentation. The award consists of a $100.00 grant to be used to defray AAG and Coastal and Marine Specialty Group membership dues and travel expenses to the annual meeting as well as an award certificate.

Instructions: Follow the program participation guidelines outlined in the July 2001 Newsletter of the AAG as an individual participating in an organized paper session. In addition, complete this application form (below) and attach a second paper copy of your abstract to it. Gather all of these materials into one package and mail it to:

Klaus J Meyer-Arendt, Chair

Dept. of Environmental Studies

University of West Florida

11000 University Parkway

Pensacola, FL 32514

(850) 474-2746


Klaus must receive your materials by August 26, 2001.


Name _______________________________________________________

Address ___________________________________________________

Email address ______________________________________________

Are you a Ph.D., M.A./M.S., or undergraduate student? ______

In what year of your program? ______________________________

Thesis/project advisor _____________________________________

Are you a member of the AAG? ______

Are you a member of the Coastal and Marine Specialty Group? ______

Is your paper primarily focused on human/social or physical geography? ____________

Attach a hard copy of your abstract.





The 7th International Coastal Symposium will be hosted by the Coastal Research Group of the School of Environmental Studies, University of Ulster (Northern Ireland) on March 25th – 29th 2002. This conference, held every 2 years, is the 7th of a series of International Coastal Symposia supported by the Journal of Coastal Research. It is a multi-disciplinary international symposium convened for scientists, engineers and managers to discuss the latest advances in the scientific understanding, engineering and environmental issues of coastal processes. The symposium provides a forum for the exchange of information and will provide the opportunity to visit some of the world famous coastal sites of Northern Ireland. Integral to the conference area series of fieldtrips to coastal sites around this highly variable and scenic coastline. The symposium proceedings will be published in a special issue of Journal of Coastal Research. Only papers presented at the conference will be eligible for inclusion in the JCR Special Issue.

Symposium Themes include: Coastal Change (Quaternary to historical); Contemporary coastal processes; Coastal engineering and management; Coastal ecosystems.

Further details and initial registration of interest can be found at:


News and Views from Members

From Richard C. Daniels (

Rich Daniels is moving to a new position with the State of Washington. His new contact information is as follows:

Richard C. Daniels, Washington State Department of Transportation, Office of Information Technology, P.O. Box 47430, Olympia, WA 98504-7430, Phone: (360) 705-7799, FAX: (360) 705-6817, E-mail:

From Mark Hafen (

I will be a visiting instructor, jointly appointed between the departments of Geography and Environmental Science & Policy, at Univ. of South Florida in Tampa. Leaving the USF College of Marine Science in St. Pete, at least for now.

Also, we recently completed our first cruise in support of our work for the Office of Naval Research to establish a test bed site for upcoming burial experiments with instrumented mines. I was part of a staff of 12 scientists and students from USF, Eckerd College, and St. Petersburg Jr College, aboard the R/V Suncoaster from July 17-22. We collected seismic reflection profiles and 100 kHz side-scan sonar. We also used a new sediment classification system from Questor Tangent that analyzes reflected sonar pulses (e.g. from a Furuno precision depth recorder) to classify bottom characteristics. We ground-truthed all the data with 80 underway sediment samples.

The study area in the Gulf of Mexico starts about 10 km west of Clearwater Pass and extends nearly 20 km westward, covering an area of approximately 400 sq km. This same area will be surveyed in August using a high resolution multibeam bathymetry system (Simrad EM3000) to provide cm-scale bathymetric data to correlate with our other findings. Ultimately, we need to find an approximately 1 sq km area of sufficient sediment thickness (2-3 m) in waters deeper than 10 m for the ONR experiments in 2003.

Upcoming Conferences

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,

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,

AAG'2002, Feb. 27 – March 3, Los Angeles, CA, 98th Annual Meeting, Further information:

7th International Coastal Symposium 2002, March 25 – 29. Full details of conference abstract submission, fees and other updated information can be found at: Potential delegates who have not already registered their interest are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

10th International Conference on Trapped Electron (Luminescence and ESR) Dating, 24-28 June, 2002, Reno, Nevada.

Specialists and appliers are invited to attend LED2002, on the campus of the University of Nevada-Reno, sponsored by the Desert Research Institute. New developments and applications (to paleolimnology, paleoseismology, paleoclimatology, Quaternary geology, geomorphology[including coastal], etc.) will be presented. Invited presentations by experts will provide overviews of some topics. Both oral and poster presentations will be accommodated. Further information is available at the conference web site or from the Conference Secretary at

Managing Shared Waters – Towards Transboundary Coastal Ecosystems, 2002, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Providing support for the implementation of integrated water resources management forms the basis for Managing Shared Waters. The main goal of the conference is to address the capacity needs of the international community to implement sustainable water resource management practices in real situations. Finding sustainable solutions for managing water resources requires capacity in several specific areas: adequate knowledge, information sharing and education to recognize and address the issue; available tools and technology to deal with the problem; appropriate institutional arrangements and partnerships for oversight and regulation of the resource; and products and services that ensure that these resources are protected for future generations. These areas will serve as focuses for presentations and workshop discussions throughout the conference. For more information, contact: Web:


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 – Klaus J. Meyer-Arendt

Dear CoMa members,

Hopefully you are all having a productive summer. Once again the time has come to seriously think about the AAG meeting in Los Angeles. The deadline for paper presentation registration is Aug. 31, and poster presentation registration is Sept. 28. All registration is now done online.

Coastal and marine geographers need to have greater visibility at these large national meetings, so I urge you to present some of your most recent research results. I also urge you--strongly--to encourage students to submit papers.and enter them in the Student Paper Competition. It would be nice to have several pre-organized special sessions--and several of those are in the works! But even if you only have a coastal presentation ready, send your materials in, and we should be able to assemble "loose papers" and form a special session.

I am also hopeful that a coastal field trip is part of the 2002 AAG. There are many nice physical and cultural themes along the southern California coast (some of which I remember from student days at USC back in the late 1960s), and it sure would be nice to have a field trip before the meeting. Otherwise, I guess I'll take the ferry to Catalina Island!

Enough rambling! Get your papers in! Students, enter the student paper competition. Enjoy the rest of summer before the fall madness begins!

Klaus J. Meyer-Arendt

Chair, CoMa