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You may have already heard of the international People and the Sea conferences, which are organized biennially by the Centre for Maritime Studies (MARE) at the REC-campus of the University of Amsterdam. These conferences, of which we are now organizing the jubilee 10th event, gather scholars from all over the world to present and discuss research findings with regard to maritime social science topics. Coasts and oceans are regions of enormous human and ecological importance and the challenges they face – such as from climate change, but also from urbanization and industrialization - are substantial.


The coming conference, which will take place in the week of June 24 to 28, 2019, will be attended by approximately 400 persons from all over Europe, North America, Australia, Africa and Asia. The theme is: ‘Learning from the past, imagining the future’, and there will be presentations on topics such as governance, livelihoods, navigation, knowledge framings, innovation, and criminality. More news on the programme will follow shortly.

Student volunteers play an important role in these conferences, assisting people to find their way, providing information, making sure that computers work, etcetera. For the volunteers themselves, the conferences provide a nice way of meeting scholars and listening in on academic debates regarding ‘people and the sea’. We can also provide volunteers with a certificate, or possibly even with portfolio points. Moreover, you will also be invited to join the conference dinner on Thursday, June 27th.

If you are interested in contributing to the coming MARE conference and are available for at least two full days during that week (24-28 June), please write to Elyse Mills ( and Maarten Bavinck ( We look forward to hearing from you!