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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.


  Chairman Prof. Dr. Hauke Jöns, Managing Scientific Director, NIhK, Wilhelmshaven
  Deputy chairman Dr. Andreas Hüser, Director of Archaeology, District of Cuxhaven
  Deputy chairman Dr. Rolf Bärenfänger, Director of the East Frisian Landscape, Aurich
  Deputy chairman Dr. Michael Brandt, Director of the Oldenburg Landscape, Oldenburg
  Secretary Dr. Martin Segschneider, Wilhelmshaven
  Committee Members:  
  for the scientific institutes Prof. Dr. Franz Bairlein, Managing Scientific Director, Institute for Ornithology, Wilhelmshaven
  for the local societies Dr. Nicola Borger-Keweloh, Bremerhaven
  for the districts NN
  for the towns and parishes Ingo Hashagen, City Director ret., Jever
  for other public bodies Dr. Jan Kegler, Aurich
  for water management Klaus Jensen, Wangerland, District of Friesland
  Scientific Advisory Board:  
  History Dr. Gerhard Wiechmann, Oldenburg
    Dr. Paul Weßels, Library of the East Frisian Landscape, Aurich
    Dr. Axel Behne, Archiv for the District of Cuxhaven, Otterndorf
  Archaeology Dr. Andreas Hüser, Museum Bederkesa Castle , District of Cuxhaven
    Dr. Jana Esther Fries, Lower Saxony Heritage Service, Oldenburg
  German Ethnology/Folkloristics Dr. Michael Schimek, Museum Village Cloppenburg
  Geosciences Dr. Achim Wehrmann, Senckenberg-am-Meer, Wilhelmshaven
  Biosciences Prof. Dr. Franz Bairlein, Institute for Ornithology, Wilhelmshaven
  Water management Klaas-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 Chairman Prof. 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