Section Formation

Checklist for Approval of American Fisheries Society Sections

SECTIONS are units defined by professional interests, and are intended to advance the Society’s objectives within the various disciplines of fisheries science and practice. Sections have no geographic boundaries.

  • A petition to create a new Section must be signed by at least 100 Active Members.
  • A new Section must demonstrate at least 50 membership pledges to becomes official.
  • Section presidents are members of the Society Governing Board and shall report on Section activities at Governing Board meetings.
  • The Section secretary-treasurer shall send minutes of the annual Section business meeting to the Executive Director within 30 days after the meeting is held.
  • Sections may levy dues and special fees to meet expenses.
  1. Seek guidance on the process. Contact the Society’s Constitutional Consultant, John Boreman (jgboremanjr@gmail.com or 919-998-8145), as early in the process as possible to make sure the necessary steps for establishing a Section are understood.  The Constitutional Consultant can provide example documents (e.g., petitions and bylaws) to help facilitate the approval process.
  2. Prepare a petition and secure membership pledges. A petition to establish a Section, clearly defining the Section’s membership criteria and intended purpose, must be signed by at least 100 Active Society Members.  At least 50 membership pledges must be secured and indicated on the petition.
  3. Prepare a slate of officers. The slate of officers should include at least a president, a president-elect or vice-president, and a secretary-treasurer or secretary and treasurer.  Note that all officers must be Society members.
  4. Submit petition and slate of officers to the Unit Services Coordinator. Submit petition and slate of officers to the Society’s Unit Services Coordinator, Jasmine Sewell (jsewell@fisheries.org or 301-897-8616 x205), with a copy to the Constitutional Consultant.  The Unit Services Coordinator will start a file for the Section, review the names on the petition to verify at least 100 dues-paying members, and coordinate with the Constitutional Consultant.
  5. Prepare bylaws and submit them to the Constitutional Consultant. Prepare bylaws following the recommended Society format to ensure conformance with the Society’s Constitution, Rules, and Procedures.  The Constitutional Consultant will work with you to make the necessary edits before presenting the bylaws to the Management Committee for approval.
  6. Wait for Management Committee review and Executive Director notification. The Constitutional Consultant will then bring the bylaws before the Management Committee, Governing Board, then AFS membership for approval, because addition of a section requires amending the AFS Rules.  Upon approval by AFS membership, the bylaws will take effect after receiving written notice from the Society’s Executive Director.