Rising TIDES:

Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society

CERF is dedicated to broadening participation in coastal and estuarine science and management. Rising TIDES (Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society) is a comprehensive program for enhancing the diversity and inclusion of our scientific society and CERF conferences. The overall goals of this program are to promote opportunities for all underrepresented and underserved minorities while cultivating a culture that actively engages and leverages diversity throughout our organization.

As a scientific society, CERF respects and values the many facets of diversity. These include differences among individuals in social identity such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity and expression, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, and socioeconomic background, as well as differences in discipline, career path, and life experience. From these differences arise a wide range of perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. Rising TIDES focuses on increasing the diversity of our society and improving our capacity to harness the power of that diversity in all its forms. Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, as CERF is enriched by diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, the relevance and effectiveness of coastal and estuarine science in tackling complex ecological and societal issues will be enhanced.

Broadening participation in CERF demands full organizational commitment, and diversity and inclusion goals are included explicitly in CERF’s 2017-2022 strategic plan. Rising TIDES initiatives are planned to benefit all career stages, from supporting underrepresented minority students with cohort-building and focused mentoring activities to training professionals in becoming champions of inclusivity. Look for discussions on building and embracing diversity to permeate the upcoming CERF conference in Mobile, AL, through workshops, targeted scientific sessions, the CERF Inclusion Luncheon, and social activities.

 Rising TIDES workshop at CERF 2017 in Providence, RI

Involving all of CERF in Rising TIDES is key to its success. The Governing Board has established a Broadening Participation Council to guide the development and implementation of Rising TIDES initiatives. Council members represent the CERF Governing Board, CERF Affiliate Societies, the CERF conference committee, and the CERF membership at large. If you are interested in helping to steer CERF toward becoming a more inclusive, diverse, and enriched society, please contact Treda Grayson, chair of the CERF Broadening Participation Council.