AFS Procedures—Society Awards

Society Awards

Leader Ron Essig gives a Society Award for the AFS American Fisheries Society

Credit: American Fisheries Society

(Click to download the complete AFS Procedures UPDATED 8-29-16)

SOCIETY AWARDS

The Awards Committee, a Standing Committee within the Society, is responsible for overseeing most Society awards. However, several Society awards are administered by other Standing Committees or Sections. The Unit Services Coordinator is the Staff contact person for award chairs. Award recipients are formally announced during the Annual Meeting. See also the Standing and Special Committees section for more information about the Awards Committee and Publications Award Committee.

 

Award of Excellence

Background:  This award was established in 1969 and is the Society’s highest award for scientific achievement. The award is presented to a living person for original and outstanding contributions to fisheries and aquatic biology. Eligibility is not restricted to AFS members. The award consists of a bronze medal, a certificate mounted in a plaque, and travel and related expenses if needed (no greater than $1,000) to attend the Annual Meeting for presentation of the award.

Committee composition: The Chair, plus at least six others, appointed by the AFS President.

Duties: Seeks nominations and selects the recipient of the Award of Excellence by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures and by developing and implementing a method for selecting a recipient from among the candidates submitted (no more than one recipient per year may be selected; the committee may vote to select no recipient).

Criteria:  A monumental work; original techniques or research methods; new, fresh ideas, viewpoints, or data that contribute remarkably to conservation management or basic understanding of aquatic resources; a new, successfully executed fishery research or management program of national or international importance; imaginative and successful programs in fish conservation, education at any level of teaching or graduate student guidance; important faunal or ecological discoveries or new taxonomic criteria; research especially beneficial to mankind; interdisciplinary research involving leadership in team efforts in the laboratory or field; or multiple successful efforts in a variety of fields such as biology, public understanding, technical and popular writing, laboratory and field research, inspirational leadership, and enunciation of principles. The nomination should include a CV and supporting letters in addition to the main nomination letter. Include the nominee’s title and full contact information (address, email, and phone).

Specifications and limitations: The award will only be made in such years as there is substantial or unanimous agreement among members of the Award of Excellence Committee that an award is justified.

 

Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award

Background:  This award, known as the "Sully," was created in 1991 and was first awarded to Carl Sullivan shortly before his death. It is awarded annually in his memory. It is given to an individual or organization, professional or nonprofessional, for outstanding contributions to the conservation of fishery resources (as opposed to the Ricker award’s focus on aquatic resource conservation). Eligibility is not restricted to AFS members. The award consists of a fish carving. Accomplishments can include political, legal, educational, scientific, and managerial successes.

Committee composition: This subcommittee is composed of the AFS President-Elect as Chair; three AFS Section representatives who are presidents in the year of their appointment; three members representing the conservation, recreational fishing, and commercial fishing communities respectively; and the First Vice-President. Appointments of subcommittee members are made by the President-Elect, following consultation with the President and First Vice-President. The Chair serves 1 year, the other members serve 3 years, with two members rotating off annually.

Duties: Seeks nominations and selects the recipient of the award by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures. The recipient will be selected by a majority vote of the subcommittee following a review of the nominees’ qualifications. The nominations of unsuccessful candidates are to be automatically carried forward so that the candidate is considered three times before re-nomination is necessary. Nominations should be forwarded to the Unit Services Coordinator and First Vice-President.

Criteria:

  1. The recipient must have made a substantial contribution, of national or international significance, with a high probability of focusing attention of the fisheries community on the continuing need to use our fisheries resources wisely. The contribution may be single or lifelong, focused on broad, site-specific, or geographically extensive accomplishments.
  2. The recipient’s contribution will likely become widely known in the fisheries community because it will effect substantive beneficial changes in the understanding, management, or use of fishery resources.
  3. The recipient’s contribution may be in any area of fishery conservation, including research, management, education, public service, or leadership which effects a positive change benefiting fishery resources.

The nomination should include a CV and supporting letters in addition to the main nomination letter. Include the nominee’s title and full contact information (address, email, and phone).

 

Distinguished Service Award

Background:  This award was established in 1980 and is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions of time and energy for special projects or activities by AFS members. The number of recipients may vary from year to year, with no mandatory number to be selected. A single member, a group of members, and AFS staff are eligible candidates. The award consists of a certificate mounted in a plaque.

Committee composition: Chaired by the AFS President-Elect with at least two other Governing Board members or immediate past members, each representing a different Division and appointed by the AFS President.

Duties: Seeks nominations and selects the recipient(s) of the AFS Distinguished Service Award by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures. The committee screens and distributes the final list of candidates, with a biographical sketch or nomination statement for each, to the AFS President. The President facilitates a vote by the Governing Board to select award recipients.

Criteria: Criteria are given above in the Background section.

 

Emerging Leaders Mentorship Award Program 

Background: This Program was established in 2009 and provides support to those who have demonstrated a commitment to be an active Society member and to serve the Society as a unit leader and possibly as a Society Officer.  The number of awardees may vary from year to year, but no more than four will be selected in any single year.

Committee composition: The Committee composition will consist of at least four committee members (one from each Division), the AFS Past-President, and a previous ELMA Program mentee (who is selected by the current AFS President).  The Committee Chair will be selected by the AFS President, and the Chair will be responsible for formally contacting Division Presidents with a request that they designate a member of their Division to serve on the Committee (e.g., Chair of the Division Membership Committee).  The Chair will: (1) screen the applicants and narrow the number to be presented to the Committee (based on whether or not nominee is a member in good standing, submission package is complete and submitted on time); (2) distribute the final list of applicants, with the completed application package for each, to the Committee.  The Committee will select up to four recipients (preferably one from each Division) to receive the award.  When the names of the awardees are announced, the AFS President will advise each recipient in writing of her/his selection and designate the mentor for each awardee (see Application Submittal Procedures).

Committee Duties:  Seek applicants and annually select recipients of the AFS Emerging Leaders Mentorship Award as follows:

  1. By October of each year, the Chair sends his or her contact information to both the Unit Services Coordinator and the Chair of the Awards Committee.
  2. Nominations are due April 1 and are sought in multiple ways:
    1. The Chair encourages Committee members to solicit nominations from their respective Divisions.
    2. The Unit Services Coordinator solicits nominations for all Society awards in the December/January issue of Fisheries; those award notices must be sent to the editor of Fisheries in October. The Unit Services Coordinator also sends at least one reminder notice prior to the April 1 nomination deadline.

Criteria: Criteria are given above in the Background section.

 

Emmeline Moore Prize 

Background:  AFS established a career achievement award, named after the first female AFS president, Emmeline Moore (1927-1928), to recognize efforts of an AFS member in the promotion of demographic diversity in the society. This award is presented to a member who demonstrates strong commitment and exemplary service to ensuring equal opportunity access to higher education in fisheries and/or professional development in the broad range of fisheries science disciplines. Qualified nominees must exhibit clear evidence of service and commitment to diversity initiatives, including a strong research or fisheries management leadership background, public understanding of diversity issues, technical and popular writing, and inspirational leadership. Candidates should also have enunciated principles that lead to greater involvement of under-represented groups in fisheries science, education, research or management. The award consists of a bronze medal, a certificate, and travel and related expenses if needed (no greater than $1,000) to attend the AFS Annual Meeting for presentation of the prize.

Committee composition: The Chair, appointed by the AFS President, plus the presidents of the following Sections if active: Equal Opportunities Section, Education Section, International Fisheries Section, Canadian Aquatic Resources Section, Fisheries Administration Section, Fisheries History Section, Native Peoples Fisheries Section, and at least one AFS member at large. The chair may be one of the Section Presidents named above.

Duties: Seeks nominations and selects the recipient of the Emmeline Moore Prize by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures and by developing and implementing a method for selecting a recipient from among the candidates submitted (no more than one recipient per year may be selected; the committee may vote to select no recipient).

Criteria:

  1. The recipient has made outstanding contribution to improvements in access to higher education or the fisheries professions by under-represented groups.
  2. The recipient has made multiple successful efforts in a variety of fields such as biology, public understanding, technical and popular writing, inspirational leadership, and enunciation of principles that lead to a greater involvement of under-represented groups in fisheries education, research and management.
  3. This award is a career achievement award.

The nomination should include a CV and supporting letters in addition to the main nomination letter. Include the nominee’s title and full contact information (address, email, and phone).

Specifications and limitations: The award will only be made in such years as there is substantial or unanimous agreement among members of the Emmeline Moore Prize Committee that an award is justified.

 

Excellence in Fisheries Education Award 

Background:  The Excellence in Fisheries Education Award was established in 1988. The award is presented to an AFS member to recognize excellence in organized teaching and advising in some aspect of fisheries education. Nominees may be involved in extension or continuing education, as well as traditional or online college and university instruction. The award includes a monetary reward and a certificate mounted in a plaque.

Committee composition: The award is administered by the AFS Education Section.

Duties: Selection of the award recipient; details determined by the AFS Education Section.

Criteria:  Nominees must have been actively engaged in fisheries education within the past 5 years, and have had at least 10 years of professional employment experience in fisheries education. Two or more people may serve as nominators, but at least one nominator must be an AFS member. The nomination should include a CV and supporting letters in addition to the main nomination letter. Include the nominee’s title and full contact information (address, email, and phone). Letters documenting the contributions of the nominee (awards, descriptions of exemplary service, innovations, number of students taught and advised, and post graduate achievements of former students, etc.) are used to evaluate nominees.

 

Excellence in Public Outreach Award

Background:  This award was established in 1998. It is presented to an AFS member who goes the "extra mile" in sharing the value of fisheries science/research with the general public through the popular media and other communication channels. Evidence of the nominee teaching others how to communicate with the public also is weighed in the selection process. The award consists of a certificate mounted in a plaque.

Committee composition: The award is administered by the AFS External Affairs Committee.

Duties: Selection of the award recipient; details determined by the AFS External Affairs Committee.

Criteria: Two or more individuals may act as nominators, but at least one nominator must be an AFS member. Entries must include a biographical sketch of the nominee (not to exceed three pages) and supporting evidence of communicating the value of fisheries issues/research to the general public through the media and other communication channels, plus any evidence of teaching others about communication with the public. The award recipient will be selected according to the following criteria: 1) Published articles about research or fisheries management in lay publications; 2) experience as a spokesperson for fisheries issues with the media and public; 3) experience teaching others about the importance of communication with the public through course work and or projects; and 4) other examples of personal and professional efforts to educate the public about fisheries issues. The nomination should include a CV and supporting letters in addition to the main nomination letter. Include the nominee’s title and full contact information (address, email, and phone).

 

Golden Membership

Background:  These awards were first presented in 1988 to recognize 50 years of AFS membership. The award is a certificate mounted in a plaque.

 

Honorary Membership

Background:  This award is documented under Article II (a) (3) of the Constitution. Briefly stated, Honorary Members are nominated upon presentation of a petition, signed by at least 100 active AFS members, and approval is subject to a vote by the membership. Since 1989, however, sometimes the process has been formalized by the appointment of a Special Committee by the AFS President to provide nominating petitions. Upon election to Honorary Membership by a 2/3 majority of the voting members, the individual receives permanent dues-free membership and is awarded a certificate attesting to the honor.

Criteria: Presented to individuals who have achieved outstanding professional accomplishments or have given outstanding service to the Society.

 

J Frances Allen Scholarship 

Background: This $2,500 scholarship was established in 1986 honoring Dr. Allen, who pioneered women’s involvement in AFS and in the field of fisheries, with the intent of encouraging women to become fisheries professionals. It is awarded annually to a female doctoral candidate who was an AFS member of record by the end of the year preceding application. The applicant must be conducting aquatic research, which includes all branches of fisheries science and practice.

Committee composition: Administered and determined by the AFS Equal Opportunities Section

Duties: Selection of the award recipient; details determined by the AFS Equal Opportunities Section

Criteria: Recipients are selected with emphasis placed on research promise, scientific merit, and academic achievement.

 

John E. Skinner Memorial Award 

Background: This award was established in 1978 in memory of John E. Skinner, former President of the California-Nevada Chapter and the Western Division. The fund provides monetary travel awards to deserving graduate students or exceptional undergraduate students who are active in the fisheries discipline, current AFS members, and who would like to attend the annual meeting. The award consists of a certificate mounted in a plaque.

Committee composition: Recipients are chosen by a committee of the AFS Education Section with composition determined by that section.

Duties:  Selection of award recipients; details determined by the AFS Education Section.

Criteria: Selections are based on academic qualifications, professional service and promise, and reasons for wanting to attend the meeting. Generally, only partial travel support is available in order to distribute the awards to a larger number of deserving recipients. In 2003 a goal was added to have a minimum of one qualified student from Canada and one from Mexico.

 

Meritorious Service Award

Background:  This award, first presented in 1986, is awarded annually to an individual AFS member for unswerving loyalty, dedication, and meritorious service to AFS over a long time; and for exceptional commitment to AFS programs, ideals, objectives, and long-term goals. The award consists of a plaque.

Committee composition: The chair and four other members of this subcommittee, one of whom is the Second Vice-President, are appointed by the AFS President.

Duties: Seeks nominations and selects the recipient of the award by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures and by developing and implementing a method for selecting a recipient from among the candidates submitted (no more than one recipient per year may be selected; the committee may vote to select no recipient).

Criteria:  Criteria are given above in the Background section. The nomination should include a CV and supporting letters in addition to the main nomination letter. Include the nominee’s title and full contact information (address, email, and phone).

 

Outstanding Chapters and Student Subunit Awards

Background:  The Outstanding Chapter Award was established in 1991 to recognize outstanding professionalism, active resource protection and enhancement programs, and commitment to the mission of the Society. In 2003 the award was broken into two categories, one for a chapter having fewer than 100 members (Small Chapter) and another for a chapter with 100 or more members (Large Chapter). In 2004, a third award for a Student Subunit was added. The award consists of a certificate mounted in a plaque.

Committee composition: The four committee members are the AFS Divisions’ immediate Past-Presidents. The AFS President chooses a Chair from among them.

Duties: Seeks nominations and selects the recipient of the award by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures. Distributes Outstanding Chapters and Student Subunit Award Applications among Chapters, Student Subunits, and Divisions, and informs them of procedures.  Chapters and Student Subunits must submit applications to their Division Presidents for consideration. Division Presidents may nominate up to one large Chapter, one small Chapter, and one Student Subunit from their Divisions.  Committee members evaluate and vote on the three categories of outstanding chapters as follows: 1st Place Vote- 4 points; 2nd Place Vote- 3 points; 3rd Place Vote- 2 points; 4th Place Vote- 1 point.  For each category, the Chapters or Subunit with most total points is the recipient.  In the case of a tie the Chapters or Subunit with the most first place votes wins.  If the tie still stands, two awards are given.

Criteria:  The awards are to be given to Chapters and Subunits that exhibit a commitment to the mission of the Society by actively working to achieve the goals set forth in the Society’s Strategic Plan. The criteria are described in the Outstanding Chapters and Student Subunit Award Applications, available on the AFS website.

 

President’s  Fishery  Conservation  Award

Background:  This award, established in 1995, is presented in two categories: (1) an AFS member or unit, and (2) a non-AFS individual or entity, for singular accomplishments or long-term contributions that advance aquatic resource conservation at a regional or local level (as opposed to the Ricker and Sully awards’ focus on national or international accomplishments). The award consists of a plaque.

Committee composition: This award is administered by the Past President’s Advisory Council. The AFS Immediate Past-President serves as chair of the Council and all living past-presidents are Council members.

Duties: Seeks nominations and recommends possible recipients of the award to the AFS President by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures. The Council will review qualifications of all nominees. A ballot will be provided to each council member to vote for one of three options for each nominee: 1) “yes, qualifies for the award”; 2) “no, not this year but retain in the pool for the next two years”; or 3) “no, not qualified, remove from further consideration unless re-nominated in a future year.” Unsuccessful nominees from a given year will either be removed from the pool if deemed unqualified by a majority of voting Council members, or will remain in the pool and be eligible for reconsideration for the two immediately following years. Nominees who receive affirmative votes from a majority of voting members shall be recommended to the AFS President. The AFS President makes the final decision on awards.

Criteria: Criteria are given above in the Background section. A nomination package should include a strong and detailed letter describing the nominee’s accomplishments and the evidence for being “significant at a regional or local level.” If the nomination is for an individual, include a CV if possible. Nominations may be supported by multiple individuals by signing one nomination letter, or by submitting supporting letters in addition to the main nomination letter. Include the nominee’s title and full contact information (address, email, and phone). Nominations for the AFS Individual or Entity category should include an endorsement from a relevant AFS Unit (Chapter, Division, or Section) attesting to the member’s activity in the Society.

 

Publication Awards

Background:  These awards have a long history, starting with an award to the best paper in the oldest journal, The Best Paper in the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. As new journals were published, each of these also presented annual awards for best papers. The recipients are selected by the Publication Awards Committee, appointed by the AFS President, with a member or members selected by the Editor of each of the AFS journals. The award consists of a certificate mounted in a plaque.

The awards are as follows: 1) the Robert L. Kendall Best Paper in the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society for the year preceding presentation; 2) the Mercer H. Patriarche Best Paper Award for the North American Journal of Fisheries Management for the year preceding presentation; 3) the Best Paper in the North American Journal of Aquaculture for the year preceding presentation; 4) the Best Paper in the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health; and 5) the Best Paper in Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science  for the year preceding presentation.

Committee composition, Duties, Criteria: See Publication Awards Committee

 

Retired Members Travel Award for the AFS Annual Meeting

Background:  This award is to enable dues-paying, retired Society members to attend an annual meeting when their participation benefits the Society.  A maximum of $1,500 may be awarded for reimbursable expenses.  Multiple awards may be given in any year, subject to the total available amount specified in the AFS budget.

Committee composition:  The chair of the Past Presidents’ Advisory Council chairs the committee and will appoint two other members of the committee from the Council.

Duties:  Select the recipient(s) by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures.  The committee selects potential recipients of the award, and the chair may negotiate with potential recipients to maximize the number of awards.  The chair informs recipients of the amount they will be reimbursed and also informs the AFS Unit Services Coordinator and the Executive Director.

Criteria: The award is based on the totality of the contribution that the applicant will make to the AFS Annual Meeting that is deemed beneficial to the Society.  The committee will consider the activities in which the applicant will participate, other relevant information provided by the applicant, and supporting letters.  Justifiable reasons include: major participation in Society governance (e.g., in a major Society committee meeting), reception of a Society-level award, or speaking at a Society-wide component of the meeting (e.g., keynote address in a major Society-sponsored symposium).  If the applicant is representing another organization or Society unit, the responsibility for support should reside with that organization or unit.  Applicants are viewed more favorably if they show a contribution to travel costs from another party or one's own funds.

 

Steven Berkeley Marine Conservation Fellowship

Background:  This fellowship was created by AFS in 2007 to honor the memory of Steven Berkeley, a dedicated fisheries scientist with a passionate interest in integrating the fields of marine ecology, conservation biology, and fisheries science to improve fisheries management. Berkeley was a long-time member of AFS and a member of the first Board of Directors of the Fisheries Conservation Foundation. The fellowship comprises a competitively based $10,000 award to a graduate student actively engaged in thesis research relevant to marine conservation. Research topics may address any aspect of conservation; a focus on fisheries issues is not required.

Committee composition: The award is administered by the AFS Marine Fisheries Section

Duties: Selection of the award recipient; details determined by the AFS Marine Fisheries Section.

Criteria:  The fellowship will be awarded on the basis of the relevance of the proposed research, academic achievement, and anticipated future contributions by the applicant.

 

Student Paper-Poster Awards 

Background:  These awards were established to recognize excellence in research and communication skills among students. The awards are administered by the Education Section and recipients are selected by a committee of abstract reviewers and presentation judges. Awardees are announced during the annual meeting during the year of presentation.

AFS/ SEA Grant Best Student Paper Award

Background: This award is co-sponsored by AFS and Sea Grant. One paper is selected each year. The student presenting the papers receives a check for $450 and a plaque. Students selected for an Honorable Mention receive a plaque but no monetary compensation.

AFS Best Student Poster Award

Background: This award is sponsored by AFS. One poster is selected each year. The student presenting the poster receives a check for $450 and a plaque. Students selected for an Honorable Mention receive a plaque but no monetary compensation.

Committee composition: Recipients are chosen by a committee of the AFS Education Section with composition determined by that section.

Duties:  Selection of award recipients; details determined by the AFS Education Section.

Criteria: Based on the significance of the material presented and the quality of the presentation. Details determined by the AFS Education Section.

 

Student Writing Award

Background:  Undergraduate and graduate students are asked to submit a 500- to 700-word article explaining their own research or a research project in their lab or school. The article must be written in language understandable to the general public (i.e., journalistic style). Students may write about research that has been completed, is in progress, or is in the planning stages. Selected authors receive a plaque recognizing their achievements during the Business Meeting at the AFS Annual Meeting. The selected articles are published in Fisheries.

Committee composition: The award is administered by the AFS External Affairs Committee.

Duties: Selection of the award recipient; details determined by the AFS External Affairs Committee.

Criteria:  The papers are judged according to their quality and their ability to turn a scientific research topic into a paper for the general public. Examples of past selected papers may be found in Fisheries.

 

William E. Ricker Resource Conservation Award

Background:  Established in 1995, this award is given annually, if warranted, to an individual or organization for singular accomplishments or long-term contributions that advance aquatic resource conservation (as opposed to the Sully award’s focus on fishery conservation) at a national or international level. Eligibility is not restricted to AFS members. The award consists of a plaque.

Committee composition: This award is administered by the Past Presidents’ Advisory Council. The AFS Immediate Past-President serves as chair of the Council and all living past presidents are members of the Council.

Duties: Seeks nominations and selects the recipient of the award by fulfilling duties as described in the Awards Committee Section of the Procedures. The Council will review qualifications of all nominees. A ballot will be provided to each council member to vote for one of three options for each nominee: 1) “yes, qualifies for the award”; 2) “no, not this year but retain in the pool for next two years”; or 3) “no, not qualified, remove from further consideration unless re-nominated in a future year.” Unsuccessful nominees from a given year will either be removed from the pool if deemed unqualified by a majority of voting Council members, or will remain in the pool and be eligible for reconsideration for the two immediately following years. The recipient must receive affirmative votes from a majority of voting members.

Criteria:  Criteria are given above in the Background section. A nomination package should include a strong and detailed letter describing the nominee’s accomplishments and the evidence for being “significant at a national or international level.” If the nomination is for an individual, include a CV if possible. Nominations may be supported by multiple individuals by signing one nomination letter, or by submitting supporting letters in addition to the main nomination letter. Include the nominee’s title and full contact information (address, email, and phone).

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Page last updated July 5, 2016