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History of the Marine Program

After the first (1997) and second (2001) Symposia on Marine Conservation Biology confirmed the large number of marine conservation biologists (MCB’s) interested in furthering marine science, research and public policy, a group of marine professionals organized a formal society for MCB.  After much discussion, this group accepted an invitation from the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) to become one of their ‘sections’ as SCB strives to internationalize and increase its membership to encompass both global marine and terrestrial conservation.  The section opened and elected its first board of directors in December of 2001. 

In 2023, the Marine Section became the Marine Global Program as part of the SCB transition and Vision 2026. SCB's Global Programs represent global thematic issues that transcend geography. The SCB Marine Program is continuing to recruit members interested in the marine realm – both current SCB members and those new to SCB who are looking for a network for focusing their research interests.

Mission Statement

To advance the science and practice of conserving the Earth’s marine biological diversity.


  1. Be a global focal point for marine conservation
  2. Facilitate the dissemination of the science of marine conservation through education, publications, presentations, and media outreach
  3. Promote marine conservation as a priority for SCB
  4. Inform and facilitate the implementation of marine conservation policy
  5. Encourage communication and action across disciplinary, national, and institutional boundaries
  6. Create the capacity to accomplish the aforementioned goals


Goal 1

  • Attract meeting attendance and membership from other professional societies
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Need a communication contact
  • Encourage activity in both the Program and society as a whole
  • Develop outreach materials about the Program and distribute
  • Create a new web site design
  • Develop listserv database: media, conservation NGO's, membership, donors (current/potential)
  • Hold periodic marine conservation science
  • Perpetual staff intern

Goal 2

  • Increase focus on marine research in Conservation Biology and Conservation magazine (encouraging members and associates to submit more marine research to the journals)
  • Provide for marine conservation education at schools and universities

Goal 3

  • Increase number of marine symposia and marine contributed talks at annual meetings
  • Increase international representation of marine conservationists within SCB
  • Increase member participation in SCB committees

Goal 4

  • Create a new marine conservation journal, web page, and listserv.

Goal 5

  • Hold a Marine Program meeting with representatives from multiple disciplines and countries

Goal 6

  • Increase the number of board members, and actively enlist international representation on the Marine Program board
  • Focus on putting together working committees that work towards accomplishing each of the goals


Development of Marine Program Chapters

Members of the SCB Marine Program interested in starting a Marine Chapter may do so in accordance with SCB chapter guidelines. Once SCB approves the application for a chapter to establish, the chapter may proceed in development and activities.

If a future Marine Program budget allows to financially support chapter, the Program may elect to do so. If funds become available, a formal process will be established by the SCB Marine Board, and Marine Chapters will be allowed to apply for funds via the formal process. This includes funds to support chapter activities and chapter involvement at IMCCs.

More information on forming SCB chapters can be found here: