Leanne Roulson Becomes President of the American Fisheries Society

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 2, 2021

Contact: Beth Beard
E-mail: [email protected]

Leanne Roulson Becomes President of American Fisheries Society

(Bethesda, MD) – Leanne Roulson, F-PC, a fisheries biologist and environmental policy specialist with Salus Resources, Inc., in Bozeman, Montana, became the 137th President of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) at a virtual meeting of the AFS Governing Board on August 12, 2021.

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.

“Leanne’s extensive involvement with AFS at the Chapter, Division, and Society levels brings her a thorough understanding of AFS and our members,” said AFS Executive Director Doug Austen. “In addition, her experience in science communication and working with state and federal government agencies on a variety of environmental projects will be valuable assets for our outreach and policy efforts.”

Roulson received her B.S. in biology at the University of Oregon and her M.S. in fish and wildlife management at Montana State University, where she now teaches a science communication seminar. She is a Certified Fisheries Professional with more than 20 years of experience working in natural resources consulting and she manages environmental policy projects involving energy (hydropower, solar, oil, and gas), mineral development, land management, and transportation across the western and southeast United States. Roulson conducts ecological surveys for fish and other aquatic organisms, riparian and wetland assessments, and mitigation planning. Her policy experience includes wild and scenic rivers planning, public meeting facilitation, comment analysis, agency consultation, and large-scale environmental impact statements and environmental assessments for federal and state agencies throughout the western United States.

“My career has shown me that policy and regulations must be built on the best, most current science to function well. It is incumbent on those who develop scientific knowledge to make it accessible to the decision makers,” Roulson. “Especially in this era of climate change, we cannot expect good decisions unless our leaders are working with accurate, relevant information.”

Roulson’s plan of work for the coming year includes the following priorities:

  1. Increase AFS engagement and interactions with other professional societies on large-scale issues such as environmental policy and climate change.
  2. Continue to address the need for support of scientists from diverse demographic groups in fisheries, specifically to increase long-term retention of scientists who are members of one or more marginalized groups.
  3. Continue work of AFS past presidents to encourage outreach and communication of fisheries science by fisheries professionals to the general public and policy makers.
  4. Support the Joint Aquatic Science Societies Meeting (JASM 2022) and AFS 2022 Annual Meeting and plan for a successful transition to in-person meetings and/or continued blended meeting formats.
  5. Keep the organization of AFS up to date and provide resources relevant to members and leadership.

“I am honored to serve as president of AFS, which has a 150 year history of working for fish, fisheries, and aquatic resources in North America and around the world,” Roulson said. “In the coming years, I would like to see AFS develop ways to respond to emerging science so that we can continue to be a source for best practices, professional growth, and inspiration in the fisheries world.”

Although Roulson officially took office in August, Past President Brian Murphy will continue as host of the 2021 AFS Annual Meeting in Baltimore, which was rescheduled from August to November of this year. Roulson will preside over the 2022 Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington, next August.

“We look forward to working with Leanne and hope to conduct a formal installation in person at our Annual Meeting in Baltimore in November,” said AFS Executive Director Doug Austen. “We also thank Past President Brian Murphy for keeping up the momentum on many important efforts during an eventful and challenging year.”

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