Annual meeting, September 2010. Governing Board
AFS Governing Board Meeting
September 11, 2010
Westin Hotel Pittsburgh Convention Center
1. Call to Order, Declaration of Proxies, Determination of Quorum – AFS President Don Jackson called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m. He welcomed the Governing Board and guests and noted that there were a lot of things to go through. The meeting would operate by Robert’s Rules of Order. Each member can speak twice on a particular issue, and only members whose Sections have more than 50 members can vote but everyone is free to participate in the discussion. Jackson pointed out that this is a special day around the world as the ninth anniversary of 9/11 and asked for a moment of silence and reflection.
AFS is a leader in its discipline around the world and must be aware of its awesome responsibility as an instrument of peace and a positive touch. AFS has a long and distinguished history and he has been involved for a long time. He sees the faces and hears the voices of those giants who preceded us. Recently AFS lost one of those giants in the passing of Charlie Moseley last month. Jackson thanked Wayne for handling the expedited vote on the Distinguished Service Award for Moseley.
Jackson then recognized Pat Mazik, Program Chair for the 2010 Annual Meeting. She welcomed the Board to Pittsburgh, noting that there were over 900 oral and posters presentations and a trade show to look forward to.
Jackson read the names of the proxies for the meeting. Palma Ingles was the proxy for the Socioeconomics Section, Tom Bigford for the Estuaries Section, Cindy Kohler for the Introduced Fish Section, and Vicki Blazer for the Fish Health Section. Board members also introduced their mentees for the meeting. Jackson also introduced incoming Second Vice President Bob Hughes.
Constitutional Consultant Ira Adelman announced that a quorum was present. Jessica Mistak will be the next apprentice Constitutional Consultant. Introductions were made around the room.
2. Approval of Minutes – Jeff Kopaska moved that the minutes from the Mid-year Governing Board Meeting in Nashville in March 2010 be approved. Second by Gary Whelan. Ted Castro-Santos noted that his name was listed incorrectly. Motion passed.
3. President’s Report – Jackson said that this has been an incredible year, a real marathon. It was a privilege to serve with the Board and get to know you. His report reflects significant activities but is not comprehensive; every day was an adventure to do things that truly matter while moving forward with dignity and good order. Some issues were clearly scientific and some were clearly governance. Everyone has different perspectives so communication is critical. He received up to 200 e-mails per day and two-thirds required some action. People don’t contact the AFS President unless it is important. He had good discussions and tried to be available. You didn’t elect a born scientist but a man who is a poet who finds poetry in the discipline of science.
This year’s theme was “Merging Our Deeper Currents,” and we are continuing to do that. Everyone’s professionalism reflects their personality. Thank you for your support, trust, encouragement, collaboration—all of you are responsible for a good year.
4. Executive Director’s Report – Executive Director Gus Rassam said that it was his privilege to serve and to try to achieve your goals. He is not a poet like Don but he appreciates the mix of members and leadership. The Governing Board is unstinting in giving advice, direction, and criticism and he needs to know what direction to take.
There have been some changes in the past year in line with the AFS strategic future. We are using technology more efficiently and strategically, such as through electronic balloting, allowing better communication and more timely decisions. Technology is not enough but it can serve as a facilitator and provide transparency, fulfilling duties to AFS members. In trying to use technology as best as possible, AFS has set up a new grey literature site for agency reports and non-peer-reviewed information. Also, the AFS Blog is available for all of you to share information. The membership database is much improved, not optimal but still much better, and there will be more changes in the next few months. Some changes are not visible to the membership, and he thanked the Board for their cooperation despite occasional frustrations.
The actual work is done by the staff. Charlie Moseley was very valuable member of staff and his passing is the passing of an era of meticulous attention to detail that made AFS publications the premiere fisheries journals in the world. Beth Beard came shortly after Rassam’s arrival and they have enjoyed a very collegial relationship. He could rely on her to do tasks without much supervision, which is a very valuable thing in a small organization, and Fisheries looks much different today than 10 years ago.
We often neglect to mention our partners, such as the Coalition of Natural Resource Societies (CNRS), a somewhat informal group but producing projects already. They are taking baby steps to work toward common goals. For public policy, we can share communication and also organize special symposia (topic oriented meetings; TOMs). There was one this spring in Mississippi with TWS. The coalition also wrote letters to the governors of all the states to discuss the valuable contributions of fish and wildlife professionals and we had a good response from the states. The education discussion at yesterday’s retreat will help lead into a special CNRS TOM next year.
While the departures of staff represent change, the whole idea of scientific professional organizations is changing also, and will require meeting a lot of challenges. The attitude and perception of the role of societies of AFS is changing faster with younger generations. Sociological studies of “Millennials” show that the idea of “belonging” to a scientific organization is being challenged. We need to learn how to meet their needs while retaining core values.
One change this month is to our publishing endeavors from internal publishing to a commercial publisher (Taylor & Francis; T&F). Challenges have hit hard in publishing – all are facing the same challenges, especially with access. AFS could not survive as an independent publisher. Marketing and technology keep changing and we are a small organization with limited resources. Globalization causes emerging economies to begin using scientific literature. The world is much different than 5 years ago – China is using 3 times more scientific information. Last year we only had 5 subscriptions in China while other societies had over 200 library subscriptions. It was not an easy decision but the right decision. All who commented had valid reasons to consider.
34. Audit Committee – Rassam said that we did not have an Audit Committee until two years ago. We wanted the membership to look at the books so an independent committee can look at the budget and the audit report. Paul Perra is chair of the committee. Some deficiencies were pointed out, and some were more serious than others. Some from last year have already been dealt with. This year’s audit was a little late and just completed a motnh ago. The deficiencies are mostly related to receivables, such as invoices to members for page charges.
4a. 2011 Budget
Rassam said that the Management Committee went over the budget in detail on Thursday but please interrupt if you have questions. The budget is developed by looking a last year’s results and the results of this year up to this point in the year, while trying to predict the rest of this year and next year.
Dues, subscriptions, and miscellaneous – These are the main sources of revenue, and most dues and subscriptions are in by this point in the year. The Annual Meeting revenue is all guesswork but expenses are more predictable. Investments and grants are also guesswork, since grant money may come in one year and the expenses may come in a different year.
Dues revenue overall is constant, with Young Professional membership back up and predicted to continue in 2011. Student membership is also up. Without membership, everything else is meaningless. Steve Chipps asked why Young Professional membership is back up. Were there any clues in the survey? Rassam replied that economic reasons had been cited in the survey for the previous decline, and also some people were unaware of the 3-year limit on Young Professional membership. Mark Hartl asked what portion of the membership was international and Rassam answered that it is less than 10%. Hartl said that he had seen a marked drop in his Section, with international members finding it difficult to pay online and having to fax in their credit card numbers. Rassam said that the increasing protections and filters on credit cards can cause problems, but overall international membership is growing.
Library subscriptions are the main source of income for AFS, with other operations consuming more funds than they produce. Library revenue will go down due to the agreement with T&F. They will produce the journals and return 50% of the revenue. In a few years we should see increased revenue due to increased marketing. There is $625,000 in guaranteed income next year, plus the consortia income.
There is little current market for us in Asia and Latin America. T&F is a huge company that has been around for a long time. They publish their own journals and journals for societies like us, and have offices in Asia and Brazil. Consortia opportunities will be negotiated separately. We have consortia in Japan and Canada already but more are possible.
This is a minimal revenue figure and we should get more. The goal is recover from the losses of the past two years since we had positive income up until 2008, when we had to dip into the reserves. Another goal is not to have any surprises during the transition. For individual subscriptions, we will now get one-half of the revenue.
Bill Fisher asked if library subscriptions are going down. Rassam replied that this was just the guaranteed minimum figure. Bill Franzin asked if T&F could predict what to expect in terms of increase. Rassam said that they could not, but for example, when the Estuarine Research Foundation moved their journal to Springer, they had a 150% increase, mostly from Chinese consortiums. The government there is highly centralized, as are agencies and universities. Libraries prefer consortia agreements to give everyone access and negotiate only the price.
Rassam explained that AFS still sets the prices and will maintain absolute editorial control. We are only giving up the marketing and printing expenses. We can suggest to T&F how to market the journals and have recommended that they exhibit at the Division meetings and at the 2012 World Fisheries Congress. They will also exhibit at Shanghai, Beijing, Brazil, Argentina, and India. Tom Bigford noted that T&F also represents the Coastal Management Journal, so it could be a connection for us. Kim Scribner asked if AFS members would receive any discounts on T&F books and journals and Rassam replied that they would get a discount on books plus one other free T&F journal.
Jackson recognized Leroy Young, chair of the 2010 Annual Meeting Arrangements Committee, who welcomed the Board to Pittsburgh and said that their hard-working team was there to help as best they can.
Rassam said that Annual Meeting revenue fluctuates and this only shows the net but does not take into account staff time. Sponsorships make a big difference since we try to keep registration fees low. Fees have increased by 30% over the past few years – they used to be under $300 and the higher rates may be affecting meeting attendance. Rassam recommends not increasing the fee any more for a few years. Nashville was the lowest meeting attendance in 12 years, and this meeting will be lower still. It is not just a money issue but meetings are a vital part of AFS activities and members are missing opportunities for interaction. Annual Meetings held in the Western Division typically have more people though do not necessarily make more money. This is a conservative estimate of revenue and there will be more a detailed presentation later today on the 2011 Annual Meeting budget.
Book sales are up but basically flat. AFS keeps prices down and does not aim to make money on books. The budget does not include staff time. Books are not included in the T&F contract for the near future. TWS recently contracted their journals to Wiley and their books to Johns Hopkins, but they are a much smaller book publisher than AFS. The royalties line item represents 1/7th of the $1 million sign up bonus, which is being spread out for audit and tax purposes.
There has been some savings in salaries and benefits, which are mostly stable. There is a slight increase for raises and some savings in benefits due to negotiations on health insurance. We are returning to the 2008 level of staff expenses even with the pressure on health insurance benefits. AFS offers a pension plan with a 10% annual contribution and employees are vested after 3 years. A small organization cannot compete on salary so we try to offer good benefits and Rassam estimates AFS is in the 60th percentile for benefits in the DC area.
Travel may be budgeted a little low – it represents travel for the officers and executive director, which has been cut since the last World Fisheries Congress.
AFS is no longer responsible for printing and production expenses, except for book costs and their handling and storage. Jackson pointed out that although revenue has dropped by $200,000, AFS will save $450,000 in expenses. Rassam noted that postage will also decline by half because T&F will now pay that for the journals and Fisheries. Kopaska asked about the cost of web hosting. Rassam said that it was a negotiated contract. Arway asked if the journals will now be hosted by T&F. Rassam said that the transition should be seamless and the new web site will be better than at Allen Press. AFS has been printing its journals at Allen Press for over 30 years and T&F will continue to use Allen Press for printing though not for web hosting. As a smaller company, Allen Press is not as able to keep up with new technology.
Bank charges are a big item and are expected to go up due to more Annual Meeting registration charges – we are projecting bigger attendance in Seattle. Depreciation includes large software and hardware purchases where the expenses are spread out over a few years. Meeting expenses mostly represents Governing Board meetings, including this meeting, which is not counted against the Annual Meeting budget. The Trade Show has a record 62 exhibitors, but this is dependent on traffic, lagging a couple years. Rugge asked if there is anything else that can be done in term of meeting arrangements to lure more exhibitors. Rassam replied that there is a social in the Trade Show hall and there are also posters on exhibit. The new circular design for the booths has been popular with the exhibitors.
Overall, expenses have been reduced more than revenue and it is flat budget outside of grants and contracts. For grants, money is promised but not always delivered and this has happened for two years in a row. This is difficult to deal with and affects the bottom line in various years. Grants are used for the Hutton Program, Annual Meeting, and projects like surveys. For the Hutton Program, we have paying the scholarships even when we have not received all of the funds, so we have reduced the number of scholarships offered. Boreman asked if AFS still receives funds from federal agencies for the Hill briefings. Rassam said no, the funds used to come from NOAA, and he thanked Peter Fricke for following up on delayed grant money for AFS. Rassam requested that the Board remind their agencies of their special relationship with AFS, and having MOUs with some agencies has helped stabilize the funding process. The investments line item represents unrealized and realized gains. Although the investments are recovering, they are still down 15% from their 2007 level.
Outside of investments, this is a slightly positive overall budget. AFS is back on track financially after a 2-year dip. This due to changes that the Board helped to make, especially the T&F agreement. There should be no need to dip into the reserves next year.
Jackson thanked Rassam for an outstanding report. The Management Committee discussed the budget on Thursday afternoon in even greater detail and recommends approval of the budget.
Bob Curry moved to approve the 2011 budget as presented. Second by Porath.
Kopaska asked if Farasha Euker is still working at AFS full time. Rassam replied that she was under contract to do so. Kopaska noted that TWS had a much better presentation of information about the Gulf oil spill on their web site than AFS.
Kopaska moved to amend the budget to allocate $25,000 to the Electronic Services Advisory Board to do a scope analysis for the redesign and update of the web site. Second by Janssen.
Adelman and Boreman discussed whether this was better presented now or under “new business” and agreed that now was acceptable.
Kopaska explained that a scope analysis of a web site reveals what you have, where you want to go, and what it will cost to get there. It may not cost as much as $25,000 but that is a typical budget. Hartl asked that if we are looking at the budget, perhaps we could also improve the online payment system. Perra noted that we are working hard to get into the black and he would also prefer a more fleshed-out proposal. Porath said that the North Central Division recently analyzed their own web site and asked their Chapters to report back to them. The web site has improved but that doesn’t mean you can stop working on it.
Curry asked Rassam what he thought about the motion in relation to the budget. Rassam said that it should not be a problem financially but the issue is not the web site itself but the information flowing through it. You can have a nice web site but the information may not be there. We need thing of it in terms of AFS services and how to meet the demands. The new web site for grey literature was established at minimal cost, but people need to use it or it is difficult to collect the information.
Chipps spoke in support of the motion, saying that they heard at the retreat yesterday that even university web pages can be poor and students won’t tolerate that. He recently found that it is difficult to follow the links to the AFS Student Subsection web page. Rulifson asked why we need to spend $25,000 to explore problems that are already identified. Kopaska said that Farasha Euker is good at building web sites but analysts take a more broad view to providing information effectively to constituents. The analysis is not that expensive and can help save money later.
Fisher noted that Jennifer Nielsen started the Electronic Services Advisory Board (ESAB) during her term as president to try to build a member-centric web site that would be timely and appropriate and create an enhanced international profile. Mike Colvin said that the web site is the main portal for students and we are losing recruitment. Steve Lochmann said that we just made a major move in publishing and our web page is a major marketing tool.
Leanne Roulson asked what the proposal would include, because we need more details. Rugge asked who would be accountable for overseeing this project and reporting on problems and progress. Hubert suggested that we could budget for this now, and then allocate the money later when a proposal is developed. Jackson noted that Hubert will direct this but would Kopaska accept the charge to develop a proposal? Kopaska said that he would. Franzin asked why this wasn’t in the Fisheries Information and Technology Section’s report and Kopaska said that he found out about the charge to ESAB after his report was submitted. Jackson said that ESAB would provide the proposal. Perra asked if the proposal would be voted on the Management Committee and Jackson said that it would when it was ready. Kopaska said the proposal would be ready by the Mid-year Meeting at the latest, perhaps faster if ESAB Chair Andy Loftus were in charge. Jackson said that the officers and Executive Director would discuss the schedule for the proposal with Kopaska. Rassam noted that the study may generate action items that will require funding that will need to be considered independently of this proposal.
Motion passed (two abstentions).
2011 budget as amended passed.
64. World Council of Fisheries Societies – Rassam reported that the council met informally in Belfast to continue planning for the 6th World Fisheries Congress in May 2012. The Mexican Fisheries Society has requested the council consider their meeting in Mazatlan next year for an inter-Congress meeting. Belfast was an inter-Congress meeting where AFS had a symposium planned by Doug Beard. In other news, the council now has its own web site rather than just a page on the AFS site.
Break 10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
5. Constitutional Consultant’s Report – Adelman noted that the Board approved two amendments to the AFS Constitution for a vote of the membership. One authorizes electronic voting and the other recognizes the Student Subsection president as a nonvoting member of the Governing Board. No changes were made to the Rules but the Procedures were changed at the Mid-year Meeting to modify the procedures for uncashed Unit checks and the electronic voting options.
Two bylaws changes are to be voted on today. The Cal-Neva Chapter is removing Procedures from their bylaws and putting them in a separate document to make them easier to deal with in the future.
Boreman moved to accept the changes to the bylaws of the Cal-Neva Chapter. Second by Lori Martin.
Jackson said that this change would also make the work of the Governing Board easier since they would no longer need to approve minor procedural changes for the Chapter.
Adelman said that Indiana Chapter was changing its bylaws to recognize the Manchester College Student Subunit. The Subunit’s bylaws were already approved by the Governing Board in an electronic vote.
Porath moved to accept the changes to the Indiana Chapter bylaws. Second by Essig.
16. Fish Culture Section – Jesse Trushenski moved that an affiliate member subscription rate be established for those members of AFS Units with established affiliate membership categories wishing to purchase subscriptions to AFS publications. (1) Affiliate members in good standing according to the stipulations set forth in the relevant AFS Unit’s bylaws will be allowed to subscribe to AFS journals (electronic subscriptions only) at a rate that is less than the cost of non-member subscriptions and more than the cost to AFS members. The actual cost(s) of the affiliate subscription(s) will be recommended by the AFS Executive Director and is (are) subject to approval by the Governing Board. The cost(s) can be modified at any time by action of the Governing Board. (2) Affiliate members will not receive subscriptions to Fisheries. This publication is only available to AFS members. Second by Chipps.
Trushenski said that the motion was not related to validity of affiliate memberships, as they already have access to AFS publications. Fish Culture Section (FCS) affiliate members buy FCS membership and then buy the journals from AFS, which is logistically difficult. The Fish Health Section also has affiliate members but they do not buy subscriptions at member rates. FCS is seeking to resolve this inconsistency and make it fair for all Units with affiliate membership categories.
Jackson reminded the Board that the FCS bylaws require affiliates to purchase journals and those bylaws were approved the Governing Board. He noted that the Management Committee did not vote in favor of this motion.
Boreman asked if the motion applies to any Section. Trushenski said that only the FCS and Fish Health Section currently had affiliate members but this should resolve the issue for the future if other Section wanted to offer this. Margraf said that while no other Sections offered this, at least 20 Chapters had some sort of affiliate memberships. He is concerned about how to track these affiliate members. Castro-Santos asked what the difference was in the member vs. non-member rate for journals. Rassam said that it was $35 vs. $200 (institutional rate).
Curry said that this motion has larger implications and could become a can of worms. Perhaps we could continue the discussion in a smaller group which could vet the ramifications, such as an ad hoc committee. Rassam said that AFS has always recognized the special status of these two Sections and these journals struggle for both subscriptions and manuscript submissions.
Jackson said that this issue has deeper currents. AFS was founded as a fish culture group and there are serious questions today about whether aquaculture members are mainstream or tangential to the Society. We have reassured them that they are increasingly important in deep and frank discussions this year. We want to bring fish health and culture professionals into a comfort zone. As scientists we are cautious and worry about precedent but we must respect the bylaws and AFS Constitution. Maybe the motion could be more specific in its wording and perhaps those changes could even be made over lunch. Hubert said that this should not be rushed over in a hour or two and maybe the Membership Concerns Committee could work on that this year. Trushenski said the FCS would be amenable to that but the issue needs to be resolved. We may need to change the language to deal with this on the Chapter level. The affiliate category is not meant to be divisive; it is meant to bring back people into AFS and we will still encourage full membership. Margraf said that he could support this if it were specific to these two Sections and he would like to see a new motion.
Margraf moved to refer the motion to the Membership Concerns Committee to report back as soon as possible for action. Second by Gary Whelan.
Hartl said he was not sure if we should be encouraging affiliates if we are trying to increase our membership. Rulifson asked if the original motion needed to be tabled and Adelman said that the subsidiary motion takes precedence. Porath said that it is important to have a well-thought out discussion. Many Chapters have members who are not AFS members, up to maybe 50% of Division members.
Jackson acknowledged the arrival of Past President Bob Carline and asked Trushenski if she had anything else to report. Trushenski said that FCS has been very active and they are particularly proud of their joint symposium with the Fisheries Management Section at this meeting on restoration of shad and herring, which is the largest symposium this year. The FCS had its triennial meeting in San Diego and is financially stable. They are working with the Resource Policy Committee on a draft policy statement on the need for zero withdrawal sedatives for fish. They are also working on a new Working Group on Aquaculture Chemicals to fill a void left by the sunsetting of a federal group. They have issued a guide to the use of compounds. FCS is hosting a Spawning Aid Forum, which are important for use in conservation aquaculture. They are providing comments for FDA guidance documents on antimicrobials and feed, making sure that stakeholders are able to access the online and print comment systems. FCS formed an electronic continuing education module which will serve as a template for future AFS distance learning. The module on aquaculture drug core competencies was filmed and they created a DVD with supporting materials, which will be submitted to the Continuing Education Committee for approval later this year.
56. Resource Policy Committee – Tom Bigford said that the report in the book has been revised, and the report with the August 11 date is the correct version. The small differences should not affect the discussion today.
Bigford moved that the Governing Board approve the final policy statement on “Climate Change” for presentation to the American Fisheries Society membership for its approval. No second needed.
Bigford reminded the Board that the draft statement had been approved in Nashville for comments by the membership. Input from Units was received and the statement was revised and an announcement was published in Fisheries. The statement is due to the tremendous work of Colleen Caldwell. Jackson said that the Management Committee recommends approval and sending the statement to the full membership for a vote electronically, so as to involve all AFS members.
Bigford thanked the Board and noted that the statement had been in development for 10 years since the Annual Meeting in Phoenix.
Bigford moved that the Governing Board approve to present the draft policy statement on “Anesthetic/Sedative Use in the Fisheries Disciplines” to the American Fisheries Society membership for review and comment. No second needed.
Bigford explained that this would move the statement forward for publication and comment. Jackson said that we don’t want to rush and we want to stay disciplined but this statement could be valuable in opportunities coming up in Washington, DC.
Bigford thanked Trushenski and the FCS as the authors.
Bigford moved that the Governing Board approve the final policy statement on “Lead in Sport Fishing Tackle” for final presentation to the American Fisheries Society membership for approval. No second needed.
Bigford said that the revised report does not show substantive change and Paul Radomski took the lead on the process. Jackson said that the statement would move forward to the membership for a vote by electronic means if passed. The Management Committee did not vote in favor of the motion.
Curry thanked the Resource Policy Committee and said that they and Radomski had done a fantastic job. However, there were additional substantive comments since the end of the comment period, as well as new events at the national level and new information on this issue. The tackle industry is our partner and willing to help develop the policy.
Franzin noted that he voted for the motion in Management Committee meeting. The statement does not call for a ban on lead tackle and encourages collaboration with industry to reduce lead deposition in the environment. The statement should not be upsetting since it just calls for examination of the issue. Whelan disagreed, saying that the statement does call for the phase out of small lead sinkers and jigheads. More information should be considered and his state would not support this statement. Jackson noted that the statement was the result of a joint effort with TWS.
Curry moved to establish an ad hoc committee to address additional information on lead tackle in relation to the policy statement. Second by Essig.
Jackson said this would be an opportunity to be more thorough and sure of where we stand. Since the Resource Policy Committee was finished with its job, this would be a special committee appointed by the incoming president.
Bigford remarked that if the AFS can vote on a climate change statement that affects all of society, can we do the right thing on fishing tackle? The Resource Policy Committee can help the ad hoc committee and provide materials. Roulson said that she hoped there would be a schedule for this, since we don’t want to wait 10 years and the effects of lead are not unknown. Hubert said that he would ask the committee to report by the Mid-year Meeting.
Castro-Santos said this sounded like a ploy to slow down the statement. Is the new information coming from the tackle industry and is it enough to warrant the delay? Curry responded that the American Sportfishing Association was not involved in the development of the statement. We still need to get all of the information and the industry has done work on alternative materials, population vs. local effects, and also the effects on fish. Castro-Santos asked if the statement is about the health of fish or about the health of the environment. The problem is more at the ecosystem level, so what is the scope? Jackson said that clarification can come from the committee.
Jackson said that everyone has had a long time to review this document. This motion is a courtesy to AFS members who did not feel engaged despite opportunities for review and comment. We desire to be correct and also respectful to members. The special committee may not see these new concerns as valid but they will look at them. We still want to be timely as events are happening on this issue right now. Arway asked if people involved in the EPA risk assessment are patched into this discussion. They have come to some conclusions already on lead shot, and there are also Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies efforts on this. Hubert said that he would encourage the ad hoc committee to involve EPS, AFWA, and also the AFS Water Quality Section.
Motion passed (2 opposed, 1 abstention)
55. Resolutions Committee – Fisher said that the only resolution was the traditional resolution of thanks to the host committee.
Incoming President’s Plan of Work
Hubert said that his draft Plan of Work was presented at the Mid-year Meeting and he had received no comments on it. It is structured around the 2010-2014 AFS Strategic Plan. Under “World Wide Leadership,” the Seattle 2011 Annual Meeting has been under planning for 3 years. “Education” includes a TOM with CNRS on education. The “Value of Membership” will be addressed by the ESAB analysis of the web site. AFS is a phenomenal organization with strong volunteer spirit. He has only been turned down by volunteers who were already busy with other AFS volunteer activities. He looks forward to guiding the work of the committees and working with the Board. Jackson said that he appreciated the thoughtfulness and effort of Hubert’s Plan of Work.
12:00 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. – Lunch
12:55 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. – In camera session
32b. 2011 Annual Meeting budget – Hubert said that the 2011 Annual Meeting will be in Seattle and that planning has been underway for 3 years. All of the responsibilities have been delegated and committees are functioning already. Cleve Steward is the local co-chair and Eric Knudsen is assisting.
Steward said that he was not going to go through the budget line by line. This where we think we stand but we assure you of a great meeting. Hubert has been an inspirational leader and we are in good hands. The income will cover the expenses at 2,000 attendees. We have a strong local contingent and a fantastic program with Craig Busack and Dave Ward as program co-chairs. We started with the budgets from previous years. Some costs are locked in while others are best guesses. For example, they are still negotiating with the Seattle Center. They are providing the subtotal for each committee under different attendance assumptions. There is an active Student Subunit at UW involved in the planning. They have purchased Conference Exchange software for abstract submission and management – please provide feedback on your experience this year. The budget includes a 5% contingency and $40,000 has already been raised.
Knudsen said that 3,000 attendees is the goal. The last West Coast meeting in San Francisco had 3,000 and Anchorage had 2,700. They are pushing hard in promotions and have extra money budgeted for marketing, like the elegant posters that have been created. There are several sponsorship opportunities and they have made special efforts in fundraising. A special packet will promote both the trade show and sponsorships to a database of 400 potential sponsors. The list has been prioritized and includes primary contacts. The meeting committee invites you to be an ambassador for fundraising. The table in the handout shows the benefits of different sponsorship levels – $25,000 and $50,000 levels have been added. We need to raise our thinking to approach companies like Microsoft, Boeing, and Amazon. Steward added that there would be a meeting on Wednesday afternoon for anyone interested in participating.
Rassam said that development of the meeting budget is a joint process between the committee and the Executive Director. This is a balanced budget with the same registration fees as Pittsburgh. The details are dynamic but it will stay the same in the main parameters. We want attendance to be as high as possible without losing money.
Hubert moved to approve the 2011 Annual Meeting budget as presented. Second by Lochmann.
Margraf asked about the $50,000 site fee for the Wednesday evening off-site social. He explained that AFS used to hold socials off-site because it was cheaper than in the hotels and now the socials are extravaganzas that cost more. We used to wonder how to afford $20,000 for abstract submission software that saves program chairs half of their time but now we are spending $50,000 for socials that were originally planned to save money. Knudsen said that the number for the facility cost is still in negotiation and the committee will bring it down to a reasonable level or not sign it. Hartl noted that in his experience, all hotels look the same but people always remember such socials.
Hughes asked about the thumb drives for abstracts and whether they could be posted online instead. Steward said they would consider it if online access at the facilities is good. Many people read the abstracts later and thumb drives are always handy. Curry asked about the $10,000 budgeted for administrative assistance and Knudsen said it was for one or two people to help with putting documents like this together and it is not out of line with previous meetings.
6. Northeastern Division – Perra said that papers from the recent striped bass symposium will become an AFS book. The Division is hosting a marine ecosystem science and management symposium at this year’s meeting, with many posters by younger members. The Division is revitalizing its Rivers and Streams Committee.
21. Fisheries Information and Technology Section – Kopaska said it has been a quiet year but the Section is starting on projects like online video from the Annual Meeting with the help of the AFS staff.
7. Southern Division – Janssen said the report was sent late but is available online. The North Carolina Chapter won the Division’s membership challenge, with 73% of Chapter members also being parent Society members. They received a $250 prize which they donated to the Emmeline Moore Prize. North Carolina also hosted the Division’s Spring Meeting. They put together an awesome program and had 309 attendees. Most of the presentations are posted on the Division’s web site. Also, there was a TOM on species introductions that had 50 attendees. Video of the presentations was streamed live to the web and many are still available online. The Alligator Gar Technical Committee held a joint symposium and they are going to turn into a full-fledged standing committee. The Catfish Committee also hosted a meeting this summer.
8. North Central Division – Porath said the Division collaborated on the 2nd Catfish Symposium with the Southern Division. There were 200 participants and many great comments on the plenary session with great talks on the diversity and meaning of catfish. They offered an international poster option, where international scientists could send their poster electronically and it was printed out and displayed for them. The Division is working on a resolution on the ecological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Basin. There was motion last year to develop a resolution on economic growth but there was no new information since consideration of the parent Society statement and so they did not forward it to the membership.
9. Western Division – Roulson said three Chapters revised their bylaws. The Mexican Chapter meeting was in May and there was great attendance from other countries even though it had to be held a year late due to last year’s swine flu outbreak. The 2011 Mexico meeting will be held in Mazatlan. The Division held its meeting in Utah and a speaker on endocrine disrupting chemicals started an important discussion. The Division is working on resolutions on illegal introductions and the Pebble Mine in Alaska. They forwarded qualifications of experts to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their hatchery review. An opinion piece on the 1872 Mining Act was published in Fisheries. The Washington-British Columbia Chapter won the Division’s Best Chapter Award.
10. Bioengineering Section – Castro-Santos said the Section has 250 members. They hope to make their Continuing Education program a regular part of the Annual Meeting, maybe cycling through topics. CE is complicated by the fact the Section has to write letters for each attendee confirming their attendance for certification. The Section is sponsoring a symposium on hydrokinetic turbines at this year’s meeting and hoping to collaborate with other Sections on a tidal power session next year. The Section awarded its first annual Ned Taft Travel Award this year and encourages students to apply for the award next year. This is a challenge grant that the Section is trying to build into an endowment. The Section also recently had its curricula recommendations adopted by UMass.
11. Canadian Aquatic Resources Section – Gavin Christie said the Section’s report was late but available on the web site. The Section is working to increase the profile of the profession and the Society in Canada. They are starting a series of articles of fisheries networks in Canada for Fisheries. The Section sponsored the travel of 60 students to the Canadian Conference of Fisheries Research. The Section also has a new Facebook page and the Mid-Canada Chapter has been newly invigorated by Bill Franzin.
13. Education Section – Chipps reported that it is an exciting time for the Section given yesterday’s retreat topic, which also falls in line with the Strategic Plan. About nine papers from last year’s education symposium are being published in Fisheries. In book projects, Chipps thanked Hubert and Mike Quist for their work on the third edition of Inland Fisheries Management. Version 3 of Fisheries Techniques is in progress and Cecil Jennings is working on a book on scientific writing. The student colloquia are a new project, which the Section funded at Kansas and Colorado this year. Next year there will be one in Idaho. Students can share research, network, and get positive feedback. A student designed the new logo for the Section.
13a. Student Subsection – Colvin said that the Subsection has a new website assembled by students which looks great. The Section has published 8 Students’ Angle columns in Fisheries this year. They have revived the student reviewer database and are helping plan the colloquia. Many undergraduates are presenting at the colloquia. The colloquium being held at this meeting will address the Governing Board retreat topic by discussing how curricula changes relate to students.
14. Equal Opportunities Section – Larry Alade said there was no written report this year and it has been a slow year. The Section is planning for their annual luncheon, cosponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and including a speaker from NOAA. Five students received travel awards, which were funded by the North Central Division, Southern Division, Estuaries Section, Genetics Section, Management Section, Fisheries History Section, and various Chapters. A new president will be taking office after this meeting. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided funds to encourage participation by Native students. Two will be at the EOS luncheon and Incoming Governing Board Breakfast. We are hoping for more response and we need to learn how to reach out to this community.
15. Estuaries Section – Bigford reported that the Section has been working on student travel projects. The Nancy Foster Award will be presented to Chuck Rabeni at the University of Missouri. The Section works closely with the Marine Fisheries Section, and they share a business meeting. They also hope to work closely with the Fish Habitat Section.
17. Fish Habitat Section – Margraf said that changing jobs and moving has cut into his time for the Section. The Section will hold a business meeting on Monday. Please amend their report to correct “1999” to “2009.”
18. Fish Health Section – Vicki Blazer reported that the Section’s Continuing Education Committee has been very active, and the Section offers two certificates. The Section is working to become a registered provider of veterinary education. The Section held an international symposium in Tampa with more than 200 attendees from 30 countries, and it gave out 10 student travel awards.
19. Fisheries Administration Section – Curry said the Section is announcing its Sport Fish Restoration project awards. The actual awards are presented to the state agencies at their commission meetings. The Section is collaborating with AFWA on its fisheries-related committees and is trying to stay in front of the state directors. The Section is also involved in the Wildlife Management Institute conference, where it is putting on a NFHAP workshop. The Sport Fish Restoration program is coming up for reauthorization soon, and the Section is working with the Fisheries Management Section on a 2012 celebration of the 75th anniversary of the “user pays” system.
20. Fisheries History Section – Whelan said that it was not the most productive year for the Section. They did complete a chapter for the Inland Fisheries Management book. The Section has been making slow progress on its web site. Next year the Section will have a new president, Randi Smith, who is a professional curator and can provide expert advice. The Section wants to bring the AFS headquarters’ records to long term, climate controlled storage. A new project is have a historical booth about the fisheries history of each year’s Annual Meeting site.
23. Fisheries Management Section – Essig said that the Section has been working on several book projects, such as the Inland Fisheries Management book, Biology and Culture of Walleye and Sauger, and the proceedings of the catfish symposium. At this meeting, the Section is sponsoring the Restoration of American Shad and Herring symposium and the connectivity symposium. The Hall of Excellence Award is being presented to Fred Harris and Dirk Miller will become the Section president next year.
24. Genetics Section – Scribner said that the Section has been focusing on membership service, as described in a recent Students’ Angle column about the Section in Fisheries. The Section has sponsored several symposia, such as on salmon genetics and marker development, and is working with other Sections of the applications of genetics in areas such as cultured fishes and population connectivity. The Section expanded it student travel awards, sponsoring four students to other symposia and two to the AFS Annual Meeting.
25. International Fisheries Section – Rugge reported the Section sponsored students in an exchange program with the Fisheries Society of the British Isles. They sponsored three researchers to go to a symposium at the Ensenada meeting of the Mexico Chapter. They are trying to generate new participation in the Section and have a new outreach coordinator to find needed young blood. Their third annual meeting will be in May in Mazatlan, with the theme being on ecosystem approaches in a changing climate. Hughes asked if international guests are identified on their name badges at the Annual Meeting. Rugge said that it is a challenge to identify them since they do not identify themselves. Hughes said that other could make them feel more welcome if they are identified.
26. Introduced Fish Section – Cindy Kohler said the Section is working on its electronic communications. It has improved its web site with images of introduced fish, has an active Yahoo group, and posted presentations from last year’s carp symposium online. The Section is working on a draft policy statement on illegal introductions. The Section is currently without a president elect and Duane Chapman is seeking nominations.
27. Marine Fisheries Section – Rulifson said that the Section sponsored an energy production and coastal zone symposium this year and would be doing hydrokinetics next year. The Section wants to do a big symposium on tidal and wind power next year in Seattle and would like for many Sections to get involved. The session will include the Great Lakes and is prompted by a new initiative in Puget Sound. Sessions on sharks and ocean acidification may also be considered. Jim Cowan wrote a white paper at Jackson’s request on the Gulf red snapper harvest quota. The Section is working on a strategic plan after several requests for funds for various initiatives. Rulifson thanked everyone for their support during his recent illness and said that Ken Beal would be the incoming Section president.
29. Physiology – Hartl said that the Barcelona Congress on the Biology of Fishes attracted 600 attendees. A USDA grant enabled the Section to waive registration fees and fund travel for 33 students, and the one-third of the meeting attendees were students. The Section is sponsoring a symposium with the Fish Culture Section and is giving its lifetime achievement award to Steven Perry. The upcoming MASTS meeting in Scotland includes two research themes and he would like to foster links with that meeting.
30. Socioeconomics – Ingles said that the Section has a new president elect and that Peter Fricke is serving as the treasurer.
31. Water Quality Section – Emery said the Section had a productive year due to new efforts to be more engaged and active, and to improve awareness and communication. Membership is one way to measure success and the Section’s membership has increased from 243 to 540 members. Regular members increased from 203 to 248 while students increased from 40 to 288.
44. Meeting Oversight Committee – Jackson said that John from Arkansas Tech University, was charged with looking at virtual meeting attendance. A survey is also being sent out by the Membership Concerns Committee. There was an opportunity to look at various options at the recent TOM meeting at Mississippi State. There is a desire for this from members who can’t attend these meetings. Technology and costs are moving targets and this may need to be decided on a case by case basis.
The committee is also looking at outsourcing some Annual Meeting tasks, but they are in the initial stages. There are hundreds of such services and we need to decide what aspects to outsource. Some societies outsource their entire meeting.
The TOM was a model for future meetings. The live video feed was viewed by 30-40 attendees at any one time, with many virtual attendees from labs and universities.
56. Resource Policy Committee – Bigford said that the fisheries chemicals draft policy statement would be addressed first, but then the committee would look at three existing policy statements to see if they need to be revised or rescinded. The committee will work with the Sections on these.
BP Oil Spill Initiative – Boreman said that with 9,000 members, we have a lot of volunteer talent. Our role should be to assist federal agencies to conduct research and monitoring, review proposals, and design statements of work. Members can also provide data or help ferret out data, develop summary documents and public information documents, and generally ensure that the best information is available for making decisions. The task force is small group of members who can assemble quickly and marshal forces.
45. Membership Committee – Boreman will co-chair the committee with Fisher. The mentee program will continue to be formalized, with better criteria, evaluations and feedback. It is a long commitment to come for the full Governing Board meeting and Annual Meeting so perhaps we need a more realistic stipend. The committee will bring recommendations to the Mid-Year Meeting.
New Business – Trushenski remarked that the situation in Haiti and the Gulf oil spill shows that members have the will to do something to help. Restoration of aquaculture in Haiti is a critical project. Many members are not sure how to help personally. They have a lot of expertise but don’t know how to apply it. They need a mechanism to figure out how to help. There are opportunities to assist but now they feel helpless. She will discuss this with the International Fisheries Section. Groups like Aquaculture Without Frontiers have helped to restore aquaculture in a sustainable manner. The Fish Culture Section is committed to working on this. Jackson noted that there are different types of disaster relief. Hurricane Katrina affected fisheries professionals personally, while the BP oil spill requires the resources of a scientific organization. We have no vested interest in Haiti but have a sense of professional responsibility to help.
Jackson said that it was a privilege to serve as president and preside over Governing Board affairs. He thanked the board for their guidance.
Porath moved to adjourn. Second by Janssen.
Meeting adjourned 4:45 p.m.