By Jeff Schaeffer
It is with mixed emotions that this month we bid farewell to Sarah Gilbert Fox, our long-standing managing editor at Fisheries. Fox is leaving us to return to the world of creative writing (rumor has it that her fifth Great American Novel is forthcoming -see her work at: sgfoxportfolio.wordpress.com), and a broad range of personal endeavors that were on hold for far too long. We are sad to see her go, but filled with joy that she is going back to her one great passion.
We owe Fox a huge debt, because for quite some time she was the face of Fisheries, and facilitated its continuing evolution into what is clearly a modern, well-designed professional society magazine. She did this almost entirely through force of personality, by knowing everyone in AFS, and by forging deep, personal connections with people across the Society. Her passion was pervasive, her touch deft, and her commitment to AFS was deep. We will miss her, but wish her the best in her new life. And of course, many of us will remain connected to her via social media and likely Amazon pre-orders of her new books.
Our new managing editor will be Sarah Harrison. She is an experienced science writer and has taken on an ever-expanding role. The most recent issue of Fisheries is largely her work. Harrison brings some new and welcome skills to our group that we hope to use in new and creative ways on the magazine side of publication. Please welcome her as she grows her new role.
Perhaps the best thing that Sarah Gilbert Fox brought to AFS was her sense of cognition in the face of mayhem. Fisheries is a monthly publication, and the week prior to printing is always a source of stress. The features and articles need to be perfect and accurate, authors are submitting changes to page proofs, the printed version has to be eye-catching, and it all has to fit into a precisely defined print space. It is a lot like moving to a new place you have never been before, and wondering how all the furniture and oddly-shaped boxes can possibly fit into the back of the truck. Inevitably, there would be a host of last minute changes and corrections. Fox would often stay up all night fixing our mistakes, but every issue came together on time despite a myriad of last-minute, eleventh-hour tweaks. And the content kept getting better and better, especially when we simply unleashed her vast creative energy.
Although Fox is leaving, there is one connection with AFS that will remain inviolate. Whenever one of us would mess things up so badly, such that it required her to stay up all night, we would get an email or phone message that stated, “You owe me one dinner.” This was, of course, a kindhearted and humorous way of letting you know that you had created a real mess that took great effort to clean up. Sarah Harrison never owed any dinners, Olaf Jensen (co-chief science editor) owes two, and my total was somewhere between 118 and 137 (19 dinners are still in mediation). Fox, you will be my friend forever, and you will get every single one of those dinners.