Joe Margraf Becomes President of American Fisheries Society

August 24, 2016
Contact: Martha Wilson
[email protected]

Joe Margraf of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, has become the 132nd President of the American Fisheries Society. Margraf supervises the western Cooperative Research Units of the U.S. Geological Survey, but will be retiring from that role shortly. He assumed office on August 24, 2016 at the AFS 146th Annual Meeting in Kansas City, succeeding Ron Essig, who became Immediate Past President.

“I am honored to begin my tenure as president of the American Fisheries Society and humbled to follow in the footsteps of so many impressive leaders before me. I look forward to taking action on several priorities, including increasing the relevancy and visibility of our profession and our journals, better aligning our professional certification program with employer needs, expanding distance learning options, and increasing our membership and fundraising development efforts,” Margraf said.

After receiving his B.S. degree in fisheries from Cornell University in 1970, he went to work in New Jersey for an ecological consulting company. He then completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in fisheries at Texas A&M University and again went into ecological consulting, this time in Texas. In 1980, Margraf joined the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Ohio State University. He moved to West Virginia in 1987 to start a new Co-op Unit at West Virginia University, and then established another new Co-op Unit at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 1995. In 1999 he moved to Alaska to work with the co-op unit in Fairbanks. Since 2010, Margraf has been the supervisor of western Co-op Units.

An AFS life member, Margraf’s long and active role in AFS includes service as president of the Texas A&M, Ohio, and West Virginia Chapters; president of the Western Division; and president of the Education and Fish Habitat Sections. Margraf also served as the AFS Constitutional Consultant and has worked on numerous committees. He received the AFS Distinguished Service Award in 2001 and the Meritorious Service Award in 2009.

“Joe sets a great example with his long and continuous history of AFS involvement,” said AFS Executive Director Doug Austen. “The AFS staff looks forward to working with him to provide ever-increasing value to our members and to position the Society for new growth and a vibrant future.”


Founded in 1870, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science society. The mission of AFS is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. With five journals and numerous books and conferences, AFS is the leading source of fisheries science and management information in North America and around the world.