The American Fisheries Society has developed a variety of guidelines and toolkits to help Units grow and maintain themselves effectively. If you are a new Unit leader, check out the Unit Leaders Guide for a start, and be sure to investigate the resources available for ensuring appropriate bylaws changes, meeting conduct, change of officers, and many other technicalities of running a Unit successfully.
Need help with committee and volunteer organization? Trouble with funding? Check out the guidelines on running a trade show or silent auction. There are tons of tools here for you to use in your AFS Unit!
New: For those Units which have had to convert their meetings to virtual during the pandemic, check out our Virtual Meeting Guide.
Unit Leader Webinars
- Updated Units Presentation for 2020 – AFS officers and staff have created an abridged version of the 2019 Unit Slides for all 2020 Unit Presidents to pass on to their membership: 2020 Unit Slides
- Winter 2019 Units Presentation – AFS officers and staff created this presentation to be shown at winter/spring 2019 Unit Meetings: 2019 Units Video
- If you will not be able to play a video, the PowerPoint sides and script are available here:
- Recording from January 2019: How to Run a Meeting under Robert’s Rules
- Recording from May 2018: Topics include Student Subunit resources, Policy Update, Governing Board Reporting Tool, Unit Reminders
Code of Conduct
The AFS Governing Board approved this AFS Meetings Code of Conduct in January 2019, to serve as a guide for attendees of all AFS Divisional, Chapter, Section, and National Meetings.
Unit Leaders Guide
Congratulations! You’re an active AFS member involved in Unit leadership! Serving as a Unit officer or in another leadership role can be immensely satisfying and a fulfilling part of your ongoing development as a fisheries professional. That said, Unit leadership can also be intimidating. Confidence, in any arena, comes from being able to predict the likely outcome. We lack confidence when we don’t know what the result of our involvement will be…and we often assume the worst! The more you prepare and the more you do something, the more you can be sure of the outcome. There are a number of ways you can gather the knowledge and experience to be an effective Unit leader. A great way to learn about leadership is to participate in Leading at All Levels, a continuing education offered free-of-charge at every AFS annual meeting and periodically in other venues. The Emerging Leader Mentorship Program is another way for selected AFS members to gain additional experience and exposure to the inner workings of Society business and governance. Naturally, most Unit leaders learn from their predecessors, and this is especially true of officers in a succession path, moving from vice-president to president-elect to president. Society and Unit bylaws and procedures are also essential resources for becoming familiar with the structure and function of AFS and its Units. This Unit Guide is meant to be a supplement to these other means of increasing your confidence and competence as a Unit leader. If you’re just getting started with AFS, use this as a “how-to” guide to the basics of leadership, keeping your Unit well-organized, and resources available via the AFS headquarters office. Nothing can take the place of experience, but this guide is intended to help you address immediate questions about Unit leadership and set a course to becoming an effective leader.
This document was created by Jesse Trushenski, with additional content provided by Jim Bowker, John Boreman, Dan Cassidy, and other AFS staff.