President’s Plan of Work
American Fisheries Society
2012-2013 President’s Plan of Work
“Preparing for the Challenges Ahead”
John Boreman, President 2012-2013
The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is evolving, as it has been throughout its history.
Initially created to address fish culture issues, AFS is now composed of over 9,000 members
representing a wide range of scientific and managerial disciplines organized into four
regional divisions, 48 chapters, 55 student subunits, and 21 sections. The three elements of
the AFS mission, advancing sound science, promoting professional development, and
disseminating fisheries-related information, are interdependent. One element cannot exist
without the other two if AFS is to remain relevant. The plan of work for 2012-2013 will
primarily focus on promoting professional development, while still being attentive to the
other two mission elements.
Professional development involves education, training, and mentoring, each of which plays
a unique role in helping an individual perform his/her duties with competence. Education,
in the form of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, provides the basic building
blocks of knowledge. On-the-job training enables the individual to acquire skills that are
essential for performance of assigned duties. One-on-one mentoring provides immediate
feedback on job- and career-related issues from someone who has had similar experiences,
or who can share in solving problems. In recent years it is becoming more and more
apparent that training and mentoring are just as important, if not more important, than
basic education in the milieu of continuously evolving and expanding responsibilities of
Mentoring, training, and education also constitute one of the three overarching goals of the
AFS Strategic Plan for 2010-2014: “AFS will facilitate life-long learning through world-class
educational resources at all academic levels and provide training for practicing
professionals in all branches of fisheries and aquatic sciences.” As stated in the AFS 2020
Vision, the Society has vowed to “support recruitment, training, and retention of fisheries
professionals with a diverse array of technical skills to meet the needs for workforce
continuity and adaptability.” Life-long learning is a key to success for any professional, and
the goal of my 2012-2013 plan of work is to reinforce and enhance the AFS commitment to
its members to provide and support opportunities within and outside the Society that will
ensure that we are ready to face the professional challenges that lie ahead.
Goal 1: Global Fisheries Leadership
AFS will be a global leader providing information and technical resources for the
sustainability and conservation of fisheries resources.
Objective 1.1. Promote fisheries conservation throughout North America and the
world, at all levels of government and society, and among all levels of AFS by
supporting sound science and networking opportunities.
• Assist with planning and organization of the 143rd annual meeting in Little
Rock, Arkansas: “Preparing for the Challenges Ahead”
Objective 1.2. Increase science-based fisheries conservation by increasing
interactions with AFS members and government policy makers.
• Re-institute briefings on Capitol Hill on key challenges that are facing
• Continue the Resource Policy Committee’s revision of and proposals for new
policy statements and resolutions.
Objective 1.3. Promote fisheries conservation through development and
dissemination of public outreach materials.
• Continue updating the AFS website and web services following the
recommendations of the Electronic Services Advisory Board.
Goal 2: Education/Continuing Education
AFS will facilitate life-long learning through world-class educational resources at all
academic levels and provide training for practicing professionals in all branches of
fisheries and aquatic sciences.
Objective 2.1. Encourage educational institutions at all levels to maintain excellent
academic programs in fisheries sciences and related disciplines to assure
recruitment of fisheries professionals that meet the needs of employers.
• Update the master list of all colleges and universities in North America (U.S.,
Canada, and Mexico) that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in
• Establish a special committee to determine if AFS should be accrediting
colleges and universities that offer degrees in the fisheries-related
disciplines. The committee should draw on the experiences other natural
resource societies have had with accreditation programs. The committee
should also fold professional certification requirements into its assessment.
Objective 2.2. Ensure that the fisheries professional certification program reflects
the integration of many sciences relevant to fisheries while ensuring its recognition as a mark of scientific excellence and expertise.
• Determine if the educational and training requirements of the professional
certification program are still relevant to the needs of the profession.
Objective 2.3. Provide a wide array of continuing education opportunities using
innovative methods to reach the widest possible audience of fisheries professionals.
• Implement the Continuing Education Committee’s Distance Education Plan.
• Develop and implement web-based opportunities for accessing continuing
education courses and recordings of sessions in AFS-sponsored scientific
Goal 3: Value of Membership
AFS will serve its members and fisheries, aquaculture, and aquatic science
constituencies to fulfill the mission of the Society.
Objective 3.1. Determine and respond to the needs and opinions of AFS members.
• Follow up on issues arising from the compensation survey of fisheries
professionals, including the compensation benefits associated with AFS
• Continue efforts to retain AFS members, especially young professionals, and
to recruit students into AFS.
Objective 3.2. Enhance participation of students and professionals at all levels of the
society to assure recruitment, retention, and leadership development into the
• Resolve the affiliate membership issue discussed at the 2011 AFS Governing
Board Retreat either through changing the AFS Procedures Manual,
amending the AFS Constitution, or through other means.
Objective 3.3. Promote diversity within AFS and the fisheries profession.
• Promote diversity throughout AFS, as well as the fisheries profession in
general, with the assistance of all AFS Sections.
Objective 3.4. Develop innovative and cost effective methods to make fisheries
science and management information readily available to AFS members and all
levels of government entities worldwide.
• Continue exploring and implementing virtual AFS meeting attendance
opportunities. Objective 3.5. Practice good governance and organizational management.
• Continue evaluating Society governance, including the size and structure of
the Governing Board.
• Promote and improve online membership tracking for all units.
• Ensure that electronic archiving of Governing Board and Annual Meeting
minutes and reports becomes a routine practice.
• Conduct a search for a new AFS executive director.