A SEA CHANGE:
TRANSFORMING SCIENCE INTO STEWARDSHIP
Marine mammals live in a rapidly changing world and face a wide range of challenges and threats from both the natural environment and human actions. Science focused on marine mammals is addressing these challenges through new and advancing methodologies and techniques.
The conference theme, “A Sea Change: Transforming Science into Stewardship”, will highlight the value of diversity in all forms in marine mammal science, from our multidisciplinary approaches to the improvement of diversity in our field.
"In a sea of change, be the change you wish to see."
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA / August 1-5, 2022
We have decided to postpone both the in-person and the virtual 24th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals until 2022. The new dates will be Monday, August 1 to Friday, August 5, 2022 with workshops being held on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, 2022. All conference venues will remain the same.
SMM2021 will be the very first fully hybrid, live-virtual conference of the Society of Marine Mammalogy, and will attract the largest number of attendees since the first conference held in Santa Cruz in 1975.
Going hybrid means that SMM2021 will include both an in-person and virtual conference experience for attendees. People who – for a variety of reasons – will not be able to join the in-person conference, can still participate, share ideas, discuss important issues, and engage with other conference attendees. It’s a whole new kind of conference experience!
Our conference will attract eminent scientists and leaders from nations alike to help chart a path of multidisciplinary research and collaboration now and for the next generation of researchers. We expect participants from at least 30 countries that will share the most recent scientific information and engage in discussions on marine mammals from around the world. Critical and pressing conservation issues will also be discussed to advise governments and various agencies from around the globe on the most significant threats affecting these species and their habitats.
SMM2021 will span 5 days, each day including a plenary session with distinguished keynote speakers that will be live-streamed at the start of each day. Concurrent sessions will be accessible to virtual attendees via pre-recorded content, and access to an online forum for Q&A with presenters and other attendees. Workshops on crucial topics in marine mammal science and conservation will also be held prior to the main conference and currently there is no plan for virtual attendance. Virtual / recorded content will be available on-demand for all in-person and virtual attendees during the conference and for 30 days post conference.
Despite these challenging times, the organizing committee and the board of the SMM are working very hard to make this conference safe, diverse, and inclusive. Our top priority is to provide a safe and healthy environment for all participants at SMM2021.
To read the full announcement on postponing the conference, click HERE.
Our conference aims to push boundaries in 2021 and will be more inclusive and sustainable than ever. Human-induced changes around the planet are reshaping the global environment, therefore, we are committed to reducing the detrimental impacts of our conference. We have pledged to mitigate the carbon footprint of our conference attendees through a combined use of an energy efficient venue, elimination of single use plastics and Styrofoam, employing compostable and recyclable products, decreasing the use of paper and purchasing carbon offsets, as well as making the conference available virtually.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
By encompassing a wide range of experiences and viewpoints, we enhance the connection between our research and the communities and cultures in which we work. The Society for Marine Mammalogy is dedicated to enhancing diversity in its members and conference attendees. The Society recognizes that the field of marine mammal science is only strengthened by the participation of people representing all ages, career stages, races, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, physical abilities, as well as national, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. Our virtual platform will also allow access for thousands of marine mammal scientists and enthusiasts that have previously been unable to attend. SMM2021 will reflect the Society’s true desire to make the conference accessible to the widest audience.