Standing and Special Committees are essential to help conduct the Society's affairs.

Committees are a volunteer-driven component of the American Fisheries Society, composed of only a few members with a special interest and enthusiasm for a project. Members are welcome to volunteer on any committee at any time! Although Committees are not technically "Units" like Chapters or Sections, they are absolutely essential components of the American Fisheries Society. Standing Committees are defined in the AFS Procedures and exist long-term to address long-term challenges or recurring business. Special Committees are typically short-term and exist ad hoc to address special issues not included in the AFS Procedures.

Committees are typically led by one or two Committee Chairs, who oversee the work being done. Committee Chairs are oftentimes the best person to contact if you have questions regarding the committee's work.

Any member of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is welcome to serve on AFS Committees. Volunteer to serve on a committee today!

Standing Committees

  • AFS FELLOWS SELECTION COMMITTEE receives nomination packets and elects deserving nominees as new Fellows.
  • ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE makes the physical arrangements for the annual Society meeting, administers registration, collects all fees, and generates publicity for the meeting. The Chair also serves as General Chair for the annual Society meeting, providing overall coordination of the other committees related to the annual meeting of the Society (Program, Continuing Education, and Raffle as they relate to the meeting). The Chair is selected at least two years prior to the meeting. (see Article III. 1. C. ii.)
  • AUDIT COMMITTEE conducts an audit of Society finances and provides a report to the Executive Director and President concerning the results and any recommendations.
  • AWARDS COMMITTEE nominates candidates for Society-level awards including the Award of Excellence, Carl R. Sullivan Conservation Award, Distinguished Service Award, Emerging Leaders Mentorship Award Program, Meritorious Service Award, Outstanding Chapter Award, President’s Fishery Conservation Award, William E. Ricker Resource Conservation Award, and any other such awards as may be approved by the Governing Board.
  • BOARD OF APPEALS considers appeals from fisheries professionals whose applications for original or renewed certification have been denied by the Board of Professional Certification. Only Certified Fisheries Professionals may serve on the board.
  • BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION certifies fisheries professionals based on standards and requirements adopted by the Governing Board. Only Certified Fisheries Professionals may serve on the Board. Board members’ terms are three years.
  • CONSTITUTIONAL CONSULTANT assists and advises the President on parliamentary procedure at all meetings of the Society, Governing Board, and Management Committee. The Constitutional Consultant reviews all proposed amendments to the Constitution and assists the Executive Director with their presentation to the members prior to a vote. The Constitutional Consultant reviews all proposed amendments to unit bylaws and bylaws of new units for conformity with the Society’s Constitution, and presents them to the Governing Board with recommendations for approval. The Constitutional Consultant serves for one year as an Apprentice before being the lead consultant for a minimum term of two years.
  • CONTINUING EDUCATION COMMITTEE assesses the continuing educational and training needs of the fisheries profession and works in close coordination with the Society’s Chapters, Sections, and Divisions to develop a comprehensive continuing education program. The Committee sets criteria and guidelines to ensure appropriate quality control of all continuing education activities sponsored by the Society. Continuing education activities sponsored by the Society are approved by the Committee.
  • ELECTRONIC SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD provides oversight and coordination for electronic membership services, including those pertaining to AFS communications, publications, meetings, unit functions, and the content and structure of the AFS website. Its goal is to maintain high standards of technical content and presentation, ease and continuity of membership access, and review of new electronic tools for membership services according to policies set forth in the current Strategic Plan of the Society.
  • ENDANGERED SPECIES COMMITTEE provides leadership for the Society on issues affecting endangered species and their ecosystems. The Committee provides technical assistance to all levels of the Society on issues concerning endangered species.
  • ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE educates members about the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Committee also will periodically review and update these standards. The Committee is the authorized body to review any cases regarding ethics forwarded by the Society President. The Committee will determine any procedures for evaluating professional conduct, with special care devoted to maintaining a balanced and fair assessment. The Committee shall maintain confidentiality with respect to all cases and is authorized to review the facts and findings of all prior ethics cases in which the cases may provide precedent or guidance to the Committee in reaching a decision.
  • EXTERNAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE deals with matters that will enhance the visibility of the Society to the media and general public and increase the Society’s interaction with the sport fishing, commercial fishing, aquaculture, processor, and distributor segments of the fisheries community. In addition, the Committee is to promote activism for aquatic habitat and water quality issues.
  • HUTTON COMMITTEE oversees the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program, a summer mentoring program for high school students designed to stimulate interest in careers in fisheries science and management among groups underrepresented in the fisheries professions.
  • INVESTMENT COMMITTEE reviews Society investments and provides recommendations to the Executive Director and President concerning current and potential investments of AFS funds with the overall goal of growing capital.
  • LIAISONS enhance communication and cooperation between the Society and allied professional societies, councils, federations and boards.
  • MEETING OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE provides overall meetings review for the Society to ensure coherent planning and development of Society and unit meetings.
  • MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE maintains or increases Society membership and recommends appropriate measures to attract new members and retain existing members. Monitors attitudes of members toward the Society by means of surveys, correspondence, and other avenues of communication. Recommends programs to address membership professional needs and problems.
  • NAMES OF AQUATIC INVERTEBRATES COMMITTEE deals with matters concerning the common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates, and prepares checklists of names to achieve uniformity and avoid confusion in nomenclature. The Committee coordinates its activities with those of other organizations worldwide. The Chair is custodian of the master checklists.
  • NAMES OF FISHES COMMITTEE deals with matters concerning common and scientific names of fishes, and prepares checklists of names to achieve uniformity and avoid confusion in nomenclature. The Committee coordinates its activities with those of other ichthyological organizations worldwide. This is a joint committee with the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. The Chair is custodian of the master checklist.
  • NOMINATING COMMITTEE names a slate of candidates for the Society offices of President-elect, First Vice-president, and Second Vice-president according to procedures approved by the Governing Board; it must name at least two candidates for Second Vice-president. (see Article III. 3 B. i.)
  • PAST CONSTITUTIONAL CONSULTANT’S ADVISORY COUNCIL provides parliamentary advice and support to the Constitutional Consultant. Identifies candidates for the Apprentice Constitutional Consultant position.
  • PAST PRESIDENTS’ ADVISORY COUNCIL identifies ways or develops an organizational structure for greater participation by retirees. Identifies candidates for Honorary Membership in the Society
  • PROGRAM COMMITTEE assembles and administers the program for the annual Society meeting. The Chair is selected four years in advance. (see Article III. 1. C. iv.)
  • PUBLICATIONS AWARD COMMITTEE evaluates papers published in the five journals by the Society and annually selects the single paper from each journal to receive the “Best Paper Award”.
  • PUBLICATIONS OVERVIEW COMMITTEE provides overall publication and editorial review for the Society to ensure coherent planning and development of Society and unit publication programs.
  • RAFFLE COMMITTEE organizes and conducts a Society raffle held in conjunction with the annual meeting with proceeds going to AFS and distributed by the Governing Board.
  • RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE drafts resolutions, screens and edits resolutions submitted to it by officers, members, or units, and upon approval of the Governing Board, presents its slate of resolutions for vote at the annual Society meeting.
  • RESOURCE POLICY COMMITTEE helps the Society identify and pursue opportunities to use best available fisheries and aquatic resource knowledge on activities related to the Society’s interests in science, management, policy, and education. Activities can be identified by the membership, by the President and Executive Director, or by the Society’s partners. Activities could include meetings, letters, formal presentations, or other actions with suitable audiences.
  • TIME AND PLACE COMMITTEE generates competitive proposals for the future site of the annual Society meeting, from which the Governing Board shall choose one site.
  • VOTE AUDITOR oversees procedures for electronic voting and officer elections. The Vote Auditor confirms the results of electronic votes (or for mail ballots, counts the election ballots), transmits the results to the President and Executive Director within 30 days of the closing date of the election or vote, and announces the results at the annual Society meeting or through other appropriate means. The Vote Auditor sends electronic results and/or mail ballots to the Executive Director, who shall hold them at least 90 days after the announcement of the results.


Special Committees

  • Communications
  • Constitution Revisions
  • Educational Requirements
  • Emerging Leaders Mentorship Award Program