Unit Guidelines

Everything you need to guide you to building and maintaining the most effective and engaging unit

Photo of members of the American Fisheries Society

Credit: American Fisheries Society

The American Fisheries Society has developed a variety of guidelines and toolkits to help Units grow and maintain themselves effectively.  If you are a new Unit leader, check out the Unit Leaders Guide for a start, and be sure to investigate the resources available for ensuring appropriate bylaws changes, meeting conduct, change of officers, and many other technicalities of running a Unit successfully.

Need help with committee and volunteer organization? Trouble with funding? Check out the guidelines on running a trade show or silent auction. There are tons of tools here for you to use in your AFS Unit!

If you're looking to start a new Chapter, Section or Student Subunit, make sure you refer to the guidelines provided.

For additional questions, please contact the Unit Services Coordinator or other Unit Staff Contacts.

Unit Leaders Guide

Preface

Congratulations!  You’re an active AFS member involved in Unit leadership!  Serving as a Unit officer or in another leadership role can be immensely satisfying and a fulfilling part of your ongoing development as a fisheries professional.  That said, Unit leadership can also be intimidating.  Confidence, in any arena, comes from being able to predict the likely outcome.  We lack confidence when we don’t know what the result of our involvement will be…and we often assume the worst!  The more you prepare and the more you do something, the more you can be sure of the outcome.  There are a number of ways you can gather the knowledge and experience to be an effective Unit leader.  A great way to learn about leadership is to participate in Leading at All Levels, a continuing education offered free-of-charge at every AFS annual meeting and periodically in other venues.  The Emerging Leader Mentorship Program is another way for selected AFS members to gain additional experience and exposure to the inner workings of Society business and governance.  Naturally, most Unit leaders learn from their predecessors, and this is especially true of officers in a succession path, moving from vice-president to president-elect to president.  Society and Unit bylaws and procedures are also essential resources for becoming familiar with the structure and function of AFS and its Units.  This Unit Guide is meant to be a supplement to these other means of increasing your confidence and competence as a Unit leader.  If you’re just getting started with AFS, use this as a "how-to" guide to the basics of leadership, keeping your Unit well-organized, and resources available via the AFS headquarters office.  Nothing can take the place of experience, but this guide is intended to help you address immediate questions about Unit leadership and set a course to becoming an effective leader.

Acknowledgments

This document was created by Jesse Trushenski, with additional content provided by Jim Bowker, John Boreman, Dan Cassidy, and other AFS staff.