President’s Plan of Work

Work Plan: Bob Hughes, President September 2013-August 2014

Theme: From Fisheries Research to Management: Thinking and Acting Locally and Globally

The mission of the American Fisheries Society is to advance sound science, promote professional development, and disseminate science-based fisheries information for the global protection, conservation, and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems.  The three overarching goals of the 2010-2014 AFS Strategic Plan are global fisheries leadership, education, and membership value.  Therefore, I plan to sustain the work of our three preceding Presidents regarding education and society governance, which are designed to promote professional development and increase membership value.  In addition, I will work with our new Executive Director to increase the role of AFS in the areas of aquatic resource conservation by better communicating fisheries and aquatic science nationally and globally to further increase membership value.  More detailed work objectives are listed below.

Goal 1: Global Fisheries Leadership

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

  • Assist in the planning and implementation of the 144th AFS annual meeting in Quebec City, Quebec 17-21 August 2014, including development of symposia with speakers from multiple continents.

  • Work to co-convene AFS annual meetings with related subject meetings or symposia (e.g., Larval Fish, Propagated Fish, Whirling Disease, Neotropical Biodiversity).

  • Promote publication of papers from the Hatcheries and Management of Aquatic Resources (HaMAR) session at the 2013 annual meeting in a special issue of The North American Journal of Aquaculture and revise existing AFS hatchery guidelines as needed.

  • Participate in the annual meetings of the AFS Southern Division, North Central Division, and Western Division.

  • Participate in the annual meetings of the China Society of Fisheries, Korean Society of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, Japan Society of Fishery Science, and the Fishery Society of the British Isles, and host their Presidents at our annual meeting.

  • Complete formal collaborative agreements with the above Societies and with the Brazilian Society of Ichthyologists.

  • Represent AFS on the Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies.

  • Strengthen liaisons with marine labs, other aquatic science societies and the National Science Foundation by contributing to a national/continental climate change action plan.

Objective 1.2. Increase science-based fisheries conservation by increasing interactions with AFS members and government policy makers.

  • Expand the Resource Policy Committee’s size so that it can revise or eliminate more outdated policies (e.g., mining) and develop new ones (e.g., population and economic growth).

  • Together with the Executive Director, play a greater role in contributing to federal climate change and fisheries and aquatic/marine policy and strategy by participating in or facilitating peer and program meetings and reviews.

  • Together with the Executive Director, brief Capitol Hill and agency staff on pertinent fisheries and aquatic conservation challenges.

  • Encourage the USEPA to incorporate standard fish assemblage sampling in its National Lake Assessment, perhaps with the assistance of state fishery agencies.

  • Encourage standard sampling methods for fish populations and assemblages as recommended in Bonar et al. (2009).

  • Clarify general relationships (meeting attendance, leadership service) via an MOU between AFS and federal agencies (e.g., USFWS) if this has not already been accomplished satisfactorily.

Objective 1.3. Promote fisheries conservation through development and dissemination of public outreach materials.

  • Post press releases regarding policy statements, letters, and politically and scientifically important research published in AFS journals on the AFS website, with the assistance of the web master.

  • Develop and disseminate press releases regarding policy statements, letters, and politically and scientifically important research published in AFS journals with the assistance of journal editors.

  • Investigate the feasibility of developing and promoting a national GIS fish database similar to the Western Native Fish Database developed by the Western Division.

Goal 2: Education

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.

  • Continue the work of the special committee regarding AFS accreditation of professional fisheries programs as needed.

  • Amend the Constitution to facilitate members serving on the Board of Professional Certification.

  • Assess and report on the success of the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program regarding student career progression.

  • Amend the Constitution to make the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program Special Committee a standing committee.

Goal 3: Membership Value

Objective 3.1. Determine and respond to the needs and opinions of AFS members.

  • Assess reasons for and possible solutions to apparent membership declines, reduced interest in accepting leadership positions, and hosting annual meetings with the assistance of the Membership and Member Concerns Committees.

  • Conduct a survey of state fisheries agencies to determine how they conduct research and monitoring, whether they have a formal research division, and what they publish and where.

Objective 3.2. Enhance participation of students and professionals at all levels of the society to assure recruitment, retention, and leadership development into the future.

  • Follow up on the affiliate membership issue discussed at the 2011 Governing Board retreat by amending the appropriate AFS documents if necessary, with the assistance of the Membership and Member Concerns Committees.

  • Review options for an AFS Facebook/Twitter account that might be attractive to younger members as a communication and recruitment tool, with the assistance of Staff.

  • Improve on a program to encourage minority student attendance at AFS annual meetings with the assistance of the Equal Opportunities Section.

  • Fund a young professionals leadership mentee program.

Objective 3.3. Promote diversity within AFS and the fisheries profession.

  • Actively seek minority and female leadership mentees and committee chairs in addition to Caucasian males.

  • Actively seek to develop chapters or other units in other American nations.

  • Work to develop an MOU and funding with federal agencies (FWS, NMFS, USFS, USBLM, ACOE, USEPA) for a university scholarship program administered by AFS for minority students.

  • Survey our current minority and female members to assess their impressions of AFS inclusiveness, and suggest how this could be improved.

Objective 3.4. Develop innovative and cost effective methods to make fisheries science and management information readily available to AFS members, nonmembers, and all levels of government entities worldwide.

  • Develop a proposal for a new AFS open-access, peer-reviewed, poster-format journal to facilitate dissemination of information from scientists and managers with little time or resources to publish.

  • Continue working with AFS journals to reduce submission to publication time to less than one year.

  • Continue working with the journal editors, the Publications Oversight Committee, and Taylor and Francis to raise our journal impact factors, increase the number of non-North American articles published, and enhance our journal marketing globally.

  • Continue working with the Publications Oversight Committee to make AFS journals more accessible to non-English speaking readers and authors.

  • Request plenary speakers and symposium co-chairs to prepare synopses of their talks and sessions for publication in Fisheries.

Objective 3.5. Practice good governance and organizational management.

  • Continue the work of the special committee on AFS governance regarding the size, functions, and structure of the Governing Board and Management Committee.

  • Continue to improve and rigorously evaluate the website and online member database and management system.  Engage ESAB representatives in reviewing new database vendors and new on-site web staff, as appropriate.

  • Allocate web and IT staff time to assist in implementation of a standard template for AFS Unit web pages, to identify out of date web sites, and to invite units to participate in web presence hosted by AFS.  This change would subsidize the cost of web development and hosting for AFS divisions, chapters, and sections, if they chose to participate.  However, the overall cost would be negligible, as the staff would already be in place and on the payroll.

  • Have AFS staff provide lists comparing chapter and CARS members with AFS members residing in those geographic areas.

  • Facilitate the ability of members to comment on draft resolutions.

  • Facilitate the ability of members to edit their membership profiles.

  • Ensure that annual and mid-year Governing Board minutes and reports are archived within two months of the meeting and placed on the AFS website for member reading.

  • Update the AFS Procedures Manual regarding award procedures and membership/member concerns.

  • Update the AFS Advocacy Policy.

  • Review and update the Strategic Plan as needed.

  • Focus the Management Committee agenda on strategic planning, as well as fiscal and policy issues.

  • Review and report on annual meeting bidding and hosting issues.

  • Implement an electronic mid-year meeting of the Governing Board.

  • Cease travel subsidies for unit officers to travel to the mid-year Governing Board meeting.

  • Increase Management Committee strategic oversight of key Bethesda staff positions.

  • Incorporate both the Trade Show and Continuing Education income and the Trade Show and Continuing Education costs into the annual meeting budget.

  • Continue to ensure that AFS remains financially secure.