Marsh Council for the Promotion of Research in the Region of the North Sea Coast (registered charity)

Contact:                          Chairman Prof. Dr. Hauke Jöns

                                            Secretary Dr. Martin Segschneider

Address:                          c/o Niedersächsisches Institut für historische Küstenforschung
                                            Viktoriastraße 26/28, 26382 Wilhelmshaven

Telephone:                     04421 ‑ 915 0

Telefax:                            04421 ‑ 915 110



The Marsh Council for the Promotion of Research in the Region of the North Sea Coast was established in 1950. Its membership is made up solely of corporate members from the coastal regions between the Dutch border and the river Elbe. It comprises scientific institutions; district-, city-, parish-  and regional councils; history societies; corporations for the maintenance of sea defences as well as water boards. The Marsh Council currently has 77 members.
The funding of research happens in various ways. Field trips, conferences and similar events dealing with current issues affecting the coastal region are carried out on a regular basis. Topics covered range from sea level change and its consequences for dikes and coastal defences to problems of salinisation of ground- and surface water as well as historic settlement structures. Some of the topics of recent meetings include “the cultural history of plants” (2005), “new approaches in archaeological settlement research” (2006) and “chieftains farms and the hierarchy of power in the area to the south and east of the North Sea from the Pre-Roman Iron Age to the early medieval period/Viking Age” (2007), the latter held under the name of “Werner Haarnagel Memorial Colloquium” in honour of the 100th birthday of the founder of the Marsh Council. In 2009, the colloquium “rivers as routes for traffic and communication” was held at Bremerhaven, and in 2010 the Marsh Council was one of the joint organiser of the 15th conference of the International Work Group for Palaeoethnobotany, which took place in Wilhelmshaven and which turned out to be one of the largest in the history of the Marsh Council. The Marsh Council Colloquium 2011 was jointly organised with the East Frisian Landscape Authority, Groningen University and the Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research and took place in Aurich. It was concerned with “current archaeological research in the coastal region of the southern North Sea: methods – strategies – projects”. The subject matter of the next Marsh Council Colloquium was “flint from Heligoland – exploitation of a unique resource on the North Sea Coast.” It took place in the NIhK lecture hall on 26th–28th April 2012 and was jointly organised by Dr Sönke Hartz, Archaeological State Museum Schleswig-Holstein; Dr Martin Segschneider, then Archaeological Heritage Service Schleswig-Holstein, and Jaap Beuker, Drents Museum Assen. The colloquium’s aim was to take stock of the current state of research on Heligoland Flint. The discussion focussed on new identification methods for the “red flint”, the social and economic function and significance of Heligoland Flint as well as a database for the systematic recording of all objects made out of this raw material. The 2015 colloquium covered the subject “cemeteries of the 1st millennium in the region of the North Sea Coast”.
Nature conservation as well as the development of the environment and settlement history of our coastal regions are other recurring topics of debate. The Marsh Council provides dedicated support for volunteers, who frequently record significant findings on the natural- and settlement history of our region, thus rescuing them from destruction. Furthermore, volunteers cover various subject matters that are not comprehensively covered by the locally-based scientific institutions.
The scientific advisory board of the Marsh Council publishes an annual newsletter which gives account of current research and water engineering works, and reports on the activities of the various subject matters in the coastal area. The most recent volume is 55/2018. The newsletters for the last few years (54/2017, 53/2016, 52/2015, 51/2014, 50/2013, 49/2012, 48/2011 and 47/2010) as well as special edition  46/2009 in memory of Dr Waldemar Reinhardt can be downloaded as PDF-files.
The 12th edition of the directory of lectures can now be accessed online; it is edited by the Marsh Council and compiles the range of lectures (c. 125 topics) by numerous speakers from the coastal area, which are delivered at local societies, further education colleges etc.
The location for the annual general meeting (always in conjunction with a public lecture) changes frequently. The latest AGM took place at the Steinhaus Bunderhee on 6th April 2018.
The latest Marsh Council field trip visited Butjadingen on 2nd June 2018.



ChairmanProf. Dr. Hauke Jöns, Managing Scientific Director, NIhK, Wilhelmshaven
Deputy chairmanDr. Andreas Hüser, Director of Archaeology, District of Cuxhaven
Deputy chairmanDr. Rolf Bärenfänger, Director of the East Frisian Landscape, Aurich
Deputy chairmanDr. Michael Brandt, Director of the Oldenburg Landscape, Oldenburg
SecretaryDr. Martin Segschneider, Wilhelmshaven


Committee Members:

for the scientific institutesProf. Dr. Franz Bairlein, Managing Scientific Director, Institute for Ornithology, Wilhelmshaven
for the local societiesDr. Nicola Borger-Keweloh, Bremerhaven
for the districtsNN
for the towns and parishesIngo Hashagen, City Director ret., Jever
for other public bodiesDr. Jan Kegler, Aurich
for water managementKlaus Jensen, Wangerland, District of Friesland


Scientific Advisory Board:


Dr. Gerhard Wiechmann, Oldenburg

Dr. Paul Weßels, Library of the East Frisian Landscape, Aurich

Dr. Axel Behne, Archiv for the District of Cuxhaven, Otterndorf


Dr. Andreas Hüser, Museum Bederkesa Castle , District of Cuxhaven

Dr. Jana Esther Fries, Lower Saxony Heritage Service, Oldenburg

German Ethnology/FolkloristicsDr. Michael Schimek, Museum Village Cloppenburg
GeosciencesDr. Achim Wehrmann, Senckenberg-am-Meer, Wilhelmshaven
BiosciencesProf. Dr. Franz Bairlein, Institute for Ornithology, Wilhelmshaven
Water managementKlaas-Heinrich Peters, Executive Director Town Planning, ret., Brake
Museums, Exhibitions

Prof. Dr. Antje Sander, Direktor, Castle Museum Jever

Prof. Dr. Sunhild Kleingärtner, Managing director, German Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven


Honorary chairman, honorary members:

Honorary ChairmanProf. Dr. Karl-Ernst Behre, Managing Scientific Director, ret., Sande
Honorary members

Prof. Dr. Peter Schmid, Managing Scientific Director, ret., Bockhorn

Dr. Hajo van Lengen, Director of the East Frisian Landscape, ret., Aurich

Prof. Dr. W. Haio Zimmermann, Managing Scientific Director, ret., Bockhorn