FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2021
Contact: Beth Beard
E-mail: [email protected]
Miguel Garcia-Bermudez Elected Second Vice President of American Fisheries Society
(Bethesda, MD) – Miguel Garcia-Bermudez, Ph.D., Fish and Wildlife Administrator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Science Application Program (U.S. Caribbean), was elected Second Vice President of the American Fisheries Society (AFS). This vote will make Dr. Garcia president of AFS in 2024-2025.
Founded in 1870, 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.
“As founder of the AFS Puerto Rico Chapter, Dr. Garcia brings unique insights into how to broaden our membership appeal and ways to reach out to fisheries professionals throughout the Americas,” said AFS Executive Director Doug Austen.
Dr. Garcia earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Puerto Rico before becoming a first-generation Ph.D. in his family at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
“I understand the sacrifices we all make, and the support we all need to pursue our professional goals, especially as someone who was a parent going through graduate school, while also facing challenges that were associated with English being my second language,” said Garcia. “As President of AFS, I will prioritize and continue to enhance the support of Student Subsections and the unique academic pathways we all take so that we can collectively make our greatest contributions to the natural world.”
Prior to joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, Dr. Garcia had a 25‐year professional career at the local level for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources (PRDRNA), eventually becoming Director of Fisheries and Wildlife. He takes pride in his work to help catalyze and support the professional development of agency staff, including establishing cooperative agreements with academic institutions in the mainland USA and founding the AFS Puerto Rico Chapter.
“Importantly, AFS serves as the network for collaboration and sharing of information beyond our state and territory borders,” Garcia said. “I believe that I have a unique and strong understanding of the ways in which we can further enhance these networks and develop even greater collaboration across borders and beyond our local agencies.”
Dr. Garcia has also served as Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion (May 2020) and in the fisheries field, Puerto Rico Delegate for the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council, and President of the Puerto Rico Chapter of AFS. He also led the inclusion of Puerto Rico in the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership in 2016, steered hosting of the first ever AFS Southern Division Meeting outside the continental USA in San Juan in 2018, and co-led the first Latin American Caribbean Theme Day session during the recent AFS Virtual Annual Meeting in September 2020.
“We look forward to formally welcoming Dr. Garcia to the AFS officer corps at our August Governing Board meeting and introducing him in person at our Annual Meeting in Baltimore in November,” said AFS Executive Director Doug Austen. “We also heartily thank Brad Parsons for standing for election and appreciate his many years of service in the Society and the fisheries profession.”
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