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Horseshoe Bay Beach, Qld, Australia

Photographed by Andrew James Kerans

Kerans Horseshoe Bay Beach Coastal Photo

   Horseshoe Bay Beach, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia. Included in a group of continental islands offshore of the Queensland peninsula, Magnetic Island is located in the Coral Sea approximately 32.4 km northeast of Townsville. These islands are all granite remnants of hills that were once isolated from the mainland when the sea level rose at the end of the last ice age, some 10,000 to 6000 years ago. Great Palm Island is the tallest with an elevation at Mt. Bentley of 547 m above sea level (ASL). Magnetic Island, the second largest island, has a maximum elevation of 496 m ASL at the summit of Mt. Cook. The granite composing these islands is of Early Permian age (~298 to 270 million years old) and each island is dotted with numerous large granite tors. They are mostly covered with mid-height eucalypt forests. (Photograph was taken on January 30, 2015, by Andrew James Kerans, Nelly Bay, Queensland, Australia.)

Mount Kumbang, North Korea

Photographed by Andrew D. Short

Short North Korea Coastal Photo

   View from South Korea's Unification Observatory across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to North Korea. The 5 km long beach is backed by a low 300 m wide barrier that links the two Koreans. This view shows the beach, which is exposed to periodic higher waves (1-2 m), which maintain a crescentic rhythmic bar and beach system, the rhythmic shoreline visible in the image. The 1600 m high granite Mount Kumbang lies in North Korea and is a popular tourist destination. The 4 km wide DMZ which, was established in 1953 is now the least developed beach and best preserved coastal system in Korea. The DMZ is also home to several endangered species including tigers, leopards, and bears, resulting in calls for it to be designated a wildlife refuge and even a World Heritage Site. (Photograph was taken on 18 September 2014, by Andrew D. Short, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.)

Medmerry, West Sussex, U.K.

Photographed by Jon Williams and Luciana S. Esteves

Williams  Esteves West Sussex Coastal Photo

   A long spell of stormy weather affected the coast of south of England from mid-Dec 2013 to early Jan 2014 causing widespread flooding and extreme coastal erosion. At Medmerry (West Sussex), beach erosion exposed well-preserved shore-normal mud runnels in Pleistocene strata (Photo taken on 11 January 2014). The gravel normally covering the beach was deposited as overwash fans c. 150 m inland. At the same location, mud runnels exposed of during a storm on 24th October 1891 were reported by Reid (1992) indicating that such erosion episodes are recurrent and the occasionally exposed relict mud features seem to be largely unaffected.

Women in Coastal Geoscience and Engineering (WICGE)


 Making Practical Changes to Achieve Gender Equality

in Coastal Geoscience and Engineering

Dr. Siddhi Joshi (National University of Ireland Galway), Dr. Shari Gallop (Macquarie University), and Associate Professor Ana Vila Concejo (University of Sydney)

Making Waves towards Gender Equality

In September, the international network Women in Coastal Geoscience and Engineering (WICGE) published a paper on 'Steps to improve gender diversity in coastal geoscience and engineering' Palgrave Communications (a multidisciplinary social science journal under the Nature Publishing Group). This study has generated much engagement and discussion and is already within the top 1% of most impactful papers on Altmetrics, with tens of thousands reached on Twitter and Facebook. We also published a related piece in The Conversation which generated some interesting discussions. The study was led by Associate Professor Ana Vila Concejo (University of Sydney) and the 12 other committee members of WICGE, and is making waves around the world including in mainstream news outlets and local radio stations.


Women are still heavily unrepresented in our discipline and this has not been self-correcting with time in the way we might have hoped. WICGE analyzed gender representation in the boards and committees of nine societies, 25 journals, and 10 conferences and ran a global survey of perceptions and experiences of gender bias in the discipline.

Key Results

· Women represent 30% of the international coastal geoscience and engineering community but are underrepresented in prestige roles such as journal editorial board members (15% women) and conference organizers (18% women).

· 81% of respondents perceived the lack of female role models as a key hurdle for gender equity and a significantly larger proportion of females (47%) feel held back in their career due to gender in comparison with males (9%).

Key ways gender bias manifests include lack of women role models/ colleagues, gender stereotyping, "boys club" cultures, discrimination due to pregnancy/ maternity responsibilities, microaggressions and harassment.

Seven Steps for Gender Equality

Based on our findings, we have identified seven steps to make coastal geoscience more inclusive for women:

1. Advocate for more women in prestige roles: Ensure fair representation of women as keynote speakers at conferences, on society boards and journal editorial boards. Have clear pathways to prestige roles giving women an opportunity to apply if they wish to do so.

2. Promote high-achieving females: Recognise the achievements of females, and select them for roles that increase their visibility as role models.

3. Be aware of gender bias: Consciously reflect on personal biases when hiring, promoting and mentoring staff.

4. Speak up, call it out: Point out to conference organisers all-male panels and keynote programs and, where they are underrepresented, write to chief editors suggesting women for editorial boards.

5. Provide better support for returning to work after maternity leave: Higher levels of support and more flexible conditions for women returning from maternity leave encourage women to stay in their employment after having children, thereby increasing their prospects of reaching more senior posts.

6. Redefine success: Recognise the diverse range of definitions of what it means to be a successful researcher.

7. Encourage women to enter the discipline at a young age: Many school-age girls are put off the idea of entering STEM disciplines as they are socially and culturally deemed to be "male" pursuits. This needs to be addressed.

The Role of WICGE

Since the launch in 2016, WICGE has been working in the background making practical changes for gender equality. This includes rising up and promoting women in our discipline to create more visible role models such as through our online platforms, and creating an international network which creates inclusivity and connections. At a practical level, we have been holding events at various international and national conferences to promote awareness of the issues and get people talking about it. We have also introduced some sponsored awards such as at Australasian Coasts and Ports 2017 for the WICGE Award for best paper led by a female author sponsored by Engineers Australia that went to Rosey Hart from the University of Newcastle for her work on tidal dynamics in coastal lakes.

CERF-JCR is a strong supporter of WICGE, including through their key role running the International Coastal Symposium (ICS), where WICGE was launched at the 2016 conference in Sydney, Australia. More recently, at ICS 2018 in Busan, Republic of Korea, CERF-JCR and WICGE jointly launched an award for the best poster by a female early career researcher, with a 3-year sponsored CERF membership and JCR subscription. This was awarded to Ms. Yehui Gang from the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST)/University of Science and Technology for her work on: Biological impact assessment of polluted sediments using pore water and elutriate as exposure media.


Dr. Chris Makowski (Senior Vice President and Assistant Director of the Coastal Education & Research Foundation [CERF] and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Coastal Research [JCR]) introducing WICGE at the International Coastal Symposium (ICS) 2018 in Busan, Republic of Korea.


Presenting the CERF-WICGE Award for Best Poster by Female Early Career Researcher at the ICS 2018 in Busan, Republic of Korea. From left to right: Dr. Chris Makowski (CERF-JCR), Dr. Shari Gallop (Macquarie University & WICGE committee member), Associate Professor Ana Vila Concejo (University of Sydney & WICGE committee member), and Ms. Yehui Gang (KIOST/ University of Science and Technology).


About Women in Coastal Geoscience and Engineering (WICGE)

WICGE was launched in 2016 at the International Coastal Symposium (ICS) in Sydney. WICGE is a network of people that aim to achieve gender equality in coastal geoscience and engineering,  across age groups and career levels, in academia, government and industry. We have been undertaking practical actions such as working for gender balance in leadership roles such as conference keynotes and starting initiatives such as awards for early career females at conferences. We are also building a network of people including all genders and backgrounds using our online presence and during conference events, connecting people and spreading awareness.

More information:

- Website: www.womenincoastal.org

- Twitter: @WomeninCoastal

- Facebook: @WomeninCoastal


 Congratulations to Prof. Dr. Anja Scheffers, CERF-JCR Regional Vice President and JCR Editorial Board Member,  who has been selected to be part of the new Future Earth Coast International Secretariat

FutureEarth-Coasts-logo-V-Col-with-tag solid small


Future Earth Coasts is the new name for the longstanding Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) project.

The goal of LOICZ was "to provide the knowledge, understanding and prediction needed to allow coastal communities to assess, anticipate and respond to the interaction of global change and local pressures which determine coastal change."

First started in 1993, LOICZ has involved scientists from across the globe investigating changes in the biology, chemistry and physics of the coastal zone. Since 2003 LOICZ expanded its areas of research to include social, political and economic sciences to better address the human dimensions of the coastal zone. Results have been published in peer-reviewed journals, books and a Report and Studies Series. From 2015, LOICZ has become a core project of the new Future Earth initiative under the new name of Future Earth Coasts.

We have 'signposted' our goals and expectations for Future Earth Coasts in a document to stimulate an open and wide ranging consultative and engagement process to develop a new ten year plan for Future Earth Coasts to generate the knowledge needed to advance sustainability of coastal socio-ecological and geographic systems.

Future Earth has been established by The Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability, a partnership for global sustainability including researchers, funders and users of knowledge. It has a 10 year mandate to develop knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability.

International Project Office in Transition

The International Project Office (IPO) serves as the secretariat for Future Earth Coasts (FEC) and administers the project on a day-to-day basis. The IPO is responsible for assisting the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) in all aspects of its work and liaising with key stakeholders at regional, national and local levels. The office collates and communicates information related to national and international FEC research, as well as serving as a channel of communication on coastal aspects of global environmental change.

Following 4 successful years hosted by the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork from 1 January, 2019 the IPO will be moving to a new host and new structure for the IPO. The new arrangement will ensure that Future Earth Coasts truly represents a global community of interest for evolving sustainable pathways for coastal zones, and we are exploring options for the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) to form the IPO as a coordinating lead hub with other organisations constituting Regional Project Offices of a distributed IPO arrangement.

For more information, please visit:



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