Membership in the American Fisheries Society yields many benefits whether you are a student or professional, early or late in your career. The many benefits of society membership range from access to the latest fisheries research to meeting new colleagues to development of soft skills for your resume. Here is a quick overview of some of the perks of being an AFS member.
Professional Development to Go Further with Your Education and Your Career
"Every graduate student position and job on my resume is a direct result of being a member of AFS. I met Dr. Mike Allen from University of Florida through the AFS job page, Dr. Tom Kwak from North Carolina State University at an AFS meeting in Oklahoma City, my colleagues at The Fisheries Blog through the AFS student writing contest, and Smith-Root at AFS Trade Shows. Those opportunities would not have happened if I were not a member of AFS."
-Patrick Cooney, Certified Fisheries Scientist & Author and Co-founder of The Fisheries Blog.
Keep up with the latest in fisheries science...
- Subscribe to AFS journals for free (students) or a major discount.
- Receive the popular member magazine, Fisheries, every month including:
- Peer-reviewed feature articles and essays
- Columns by the AFS president, executive director, policy director, and more
- Updates covering conference announcements, Unit activities, letters, and publications
- Job announcements
- Attend and participate in the AFS Annual Meeting, where professionals from around the world come together to share current research, culture and management concepts.
"My favorite thing about a career in fisheries is the constant opportunity to learn something new. More often than not, that learning turns into something bigger. As a member of AFS, these opportunities can be as easy as walking through a door. As a member, you can attend any Section meeting or go to talks on subjects you know little about. For me, exploring new areas ignites ideas on how to look at a research question from a different angle. These sparks often turn into other questions, then ideas, then discussions, and suddenly you have a collaboration going. Thinking back on the mentors and colleagues in my career, most (if not all) somehow link back to AFS. That is a pretty amazing source of fisheries brainpower."
- Julie Claussen, Research Biologist, University of Illinois
Strengthen your skills and build your resume...
- Become certified as an official Fisheries Associate or Professional through Professional Certification (and receive a discount on professional certification!).
- Participate in Continuing Education workshops held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting (and soon to be available online).
- Build editorial experience by serving as a peer reviewer or on an editorial board.
- Gain leadership experience and organizational skills through serving on working committees or Executive Committees (e.g., President).
One of the primary purposes of the American Fisheries Society is to facilitate professional development of its members. Professional development is an ongoing process that starts with formal education and continues throughout your career. The AFS provides many opportunities for professional development, including Continuing Education courses at meetings and online (coming soon!). These opportunities culminate in Professional Certification from the American Fisheries Society. Certification is a formal recognition of academic and professional achievement of specific standards, as well as continued dedication to learning and professional growth.
Be recognized for your hard work...
- Earn prestigious awards recognizing excellence in science, teaching, public outreach, and other categories.
- Receive support for travel to meetings and workshops.
Network with Colleagues from around the World
Share and disseminate your work...
- Publish peer-reviewed manuscripts in some of the most highly-respective fisheries journals in the world.
- Present a talk or poster at the AFS Annual Meeting, Division meetings and associated conferences, and Chapter meetings.
- Get involved in a Technical Committee within your Division.
- Publish work from a symposium in peer-reviewed proceedings, which often become the go-to references for years to come.
Get involved in work that matters to you...
- Join one of our 23 special interest Sections and collaborate with like-minded professionals from around the world.
- Keep up with colleagues nearest to you by joining your local Chapter and regional Division.
- Grow your network by attending meetings and getting involved in special projects, and access that network through our members-only directory.
- Enjoy volunteer service opportunities and help set industry standards.
"AFS is and always has been comprised of hardworking devoted curious knowledge seekers, wisdom recipients, and mentors. Those wonderful people with the live hearts and the live minds that unselfishly give their talents to something bigger than themselves. Being an AFS member means I am part of this long line of passionate people that devoted their lives to protecting, enhancing, and conserving our world’s fisheries resources…it’s about having made a conscious decision to spend your brief flicker of time on this earth trying to make things a little better, and to me that is surely something to be proud of."
-Tom Lang, AFS Socioeconomics Section President Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Inland Fisheries Division
Save Money and Find New Career Opportunities
- Students receive free online journals.
- Receive major discounts on meeting registration and apply for travel award opportunities to offset meeting costs. Discounts are even bigger for students and young professionals!
- Enjoy discounts on books, symposium proceedings and other publications through the AFS Bookstore. (You wouldn't believe the deals at the end-of-meeting sleas each year at the Annual Meeting!)
- Request the members-only waiver for publication fees for journal articles.
- AFS membership shows your commitment to the profession and helps you get hired by employers.
- Access job listings and learn from AFS mentors.
How do I become a member?
First, determine which type of membership is best suited to you. There are six types of individual membership, each designed to meet different members' needs, and three types of institutional membership.
|Student||Fisheries + journals online||$20|
|Life Member I||Fisheries + one journal||$1,737|
|Life Member II||Fisheries||$1,000|
Please note: Individuals who are members of only their local Chapter are not considered to be full Society members.
When you join online, you will be directed to a membership tool where you can sign up with the appropriate membership type. After completing payment, you will be able to login to this website and take full advantage of the Members Only Area! Or you can fill out a PDF Print Membership Application.
Want more testimonials from real members?
Through the AFS magazine and meetings, we get updated information on policies, endangered/invasive species, management methodologies, and on the recent advances in fisheries science, among others. Also information on new devices and equipment is particularly of importance. We are dedicated to the study of the taxonomy and ecology of planktonic stages of fish larvae and cephalopods from marine environments, respectively. We found information useful or potentially applicable to the marine environment. We are also able to talk with colleagues about how similar problems in freshwater systems in North American rivers or ponds could be focused to get solutions in our country. Being a member of AFS represents a bonus in our career.
-Roxana De Silva-Dávila, Profesor-Investigador, CICIMAR-IPN
"My favorite thing about a career in fisheries is the constant opportunity to learn something new. More often than not, that learning turns into something bigger. As a member of AFS, these opportunities can be as easy as walking through a door. As a member, you can attend any section meeting or go to talks on subjects you know little about. For me, exploring new areas ignites ideas on how to look at a research question from a different angle. These sparks often turn into other questions, then ideas, then discussions, and suddenly you have a collaboration going. Thinking back on the mentors and colleagues in my career, most (if not all) somehow link back to AFS. That is a pretty amazing source of fisheries brainpower."
-Patrick Cooney, Certified Fisheries Scientist & Author and Co-founder of The Fisheries Blog
AFS membership has been integral to my personal and professional development as a fisheries biologist. When I attended my first AFS Annual Meeting, I was terrified to talk to people, let alone present my undergraduate research! But, by the day of my talk, I had already met several professors and agency professionals, as well as students from other universities, and every single one that had said they would be at my talk was there. Rows of familiar faces, each with an encouraging smile; that’s what AFS is: support.
-Rebecca Krogman, Reservoir Research Biologist Iowa Department of Natural Resources
There are so many reasons to attend AFS meetings at any level–Chapter, Division, or international. You have amazing opportunities to hear the best and latest in fisheries and aquatic science, connect with old and new friends, and visit places you’ve never seen! But, for me, nothing reinvigorates my commitment to the profession like the parent Society Annual Meeting. In the afterglow of the meeting, I am brimming with new ideas for my teaching, research, and service!
-Melissa Wuellner, Assistant Professor, South Dakota State University
The best thing I did for myself as a student was to get involved in AFS. I met other students, fisheries professionals, and AFS leaders who provided advice, friendship, and mentorship. When I was ready to apply for jobs, those contacts were invaluable. I’ve managed to have more than a little fun through AFS, too!
-Tracy Wendt, Graduate Student, University of Montana
I’m proud to say that I am an AFS member as it is an integral component to my professional career. AFS has paid dividends for me as I have undertaken this journey as a fisheries biologist. My early involvement as a graduate student allowed me to network with fellow graduate students and fisheries professionals. Attending meetings and participating in the Continuing Education Workshops provided insight into novel approaches that propelled my research to a new level. Meeting folks from around the country allowed me to begin collaborative work on larger-scale projects. After working in the profession for a few years, I began to participate at both the Section and Chapter levels. Contributing within committees assigned to specific tasks has provided a whole new level of professional development and has led me to assume leadership roles at various levels. To me, AFS is more than meetings and journal access. It is a tool for me to stay relevant in the fisheries field, and I believe that all fisheries students and professionals would benefit from becoming a member.
-Marty Hamel, Large River Ecology Specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources
I joined AFS because on my first day of graduate school, my advisor said, “You absolutely need to join AFS now.” So, I did. It was some of the best advice I’ve ever been given. AFS has been instrumental to achieving my dream of a career in fisheries and has given me the opportunity to meet and form lasting relationships with other fisheries professionals. These days, I think of AFS meetings as my “battery charger.” I get a chance to discuss my work with other professionals and get their feedback, learn about interesting work that others are doing (some of which may give me new perspective on what I am doing), and catch up with friends I probably haven’t seen since the last meeting. I always walk away feeling reinvigorated, rededicated, and fortunate.
-Justin Davis, Fisheries Biologist, CT DEEP Eastern District Headquarters
I have been a member of AFS since 2004 and have met a great deal of people, especially as the communication officer for the Canadian Aquatic Resources Section. However, my best AFS networking experience occurred at the AFS Physiology Section meeting in Barcelona, Spain, where I met my partner Jen….who lived only a few minutes away from me in Ottawa, Canada.
-Caleb Hasler, Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign