2016 Conference

“The 24th of May is the Queen’s Birthday: if we don’t get a holiday, we’ll all run away!”

Well, we did get a holiday, and a deserved one at that after our very success-full ACCESS 2016 conference in sunny Prince Edward Island last week. With more than 75 participants receiving 55 presentations in 7 sequential sessions, it was a fine display of research innovation, and a lot of fun too.

There simply wasn’t a single presentation made that was not good, and the selection of the student prize winners was a close-run thing: congratulations to all of you!

Our several hosts at UPEI (especially Mike Coffin & Adam Fenech) looked after us very well in the beaut facilities. Our guests Mark Brush from VIMS and Susan Park from CERF (both sponsored by the CERF) contributed significantly to the proceedings; we look forward to continuing collaborations with them! The prefacing of the ACCESS conference with the linked COINAtlantic symposium on remote sensing  enhanced both our respective programmes and cross-participation.

The only down side was the weather-forced cancellation of the drone workshop on Saturday, but those of us that stuck around had a fine and generous introduction to the SeaGrassNet monitoring protocol in Malpeque Bay from the Coalition for the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Kensington Watershed team.

I thank all of the hard-working, good-natured members of the Conference organizing team: Mike Coffin, Gail Chmura, Jeff Clements, Gavin Manson and Spencer Virgin from the ACCESS (plus several student volunteers); Andy Sherin from COINAtl, and Angela Douglas from the C-SGSL: it would have been impossible without your major contributions of volunteer time.

So, watch this space for the minutes of our AGM, and plans for next year’s meeting.


Bruce Hatcher, ACCESS President