Pisces News
 Annual Meeting and Chapter Business
November 2015
In This Issue
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Consider not just getting an early start to your participation in a landmark joint venture between Cal-Neva and the Western Division AFS this March, but make this the year you become a mover and shaker within the Cal-Neva Chapter!  Opportunities abound, depending on the resources and talents you can contribute to this professional society - your committment creates excellence.
CalNeva Chapter President,
Ramona Swenson

Message from the President

Enduring drought. Warmer ocean. Declining fish populations. Competing demands outstripping available water. As California and Nevada grapple with these impacts, the role of fisheries professionals is more crucial than ever. I encourage all to become AFS members and take advantage of the many resources and opportunities AFS provides:
  • Broaden your knowledge through meetings, continuing education, and AFS publications.
  • Build your professional skills and credibility by presenting and publishing.
  • Enhance your network.
  • Develop leadership skills as an AFS officer or committee chair.
  • Give back by volunteering.
  • Enjoy lifelong friendships.
The Annual AFS Meeting in Portland in August highlighted the best AFS has to offer.

I and fellow officers Norm Ponferrada, Joe Merz, Stephanie Theis, and Jim Hobbs connected with dedicated officers in the Western Division who inspired with their energy and ideas, including President Hilda Sexauer (WY) and incoming President Jim Bowker (MT).

 The Society offered leadership training and panels on using new media to connect and communicate. I met with Executive Director Doug Austen, who announced the joint 20  19 meeting of AFS with The Wildlife  Society in Reno.

I attended a fraction of the 1,900+ talks, and quickly learned about valuable cutting-edge techniques, and conservation conundrums in common with California. We met many members while manning a booth to promote our upcoming 2016 WDAFS meeting. CalNeva members made a strong showing, including a large contingent from the Humboldt Student Subunit. Dancing in the streets with a crowd of fishheads will endure as a favorite memory.

We are now busy organizing to host the 2016 WDAFS Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada, March 21-24. The Annual Meeting will offer many opportunities to learn, network, and have fun. President-Elect Joe Merz's thought-provoking theme, "Fisheries, Society, and the Scientific Method: Challenging our perception of science, policy, and management," highlights the important role we fisheries scientists serve at the crossroads.

I encourage you all to attend. Keep in mind there are many ways to get to Reno. Your agency or company will be more receptive to attendance if you are presenting, or have a role in the meeting organization. Submit a symposium topic that is important for your agency, and take advantage of the opportunity to reach colleagues from other western states. Volunteer on a committee and be a part of a great team that will expand your own network. Students and interns can volunteer to work during the meeting to help offset registration costs, and are eligible for travel awards (check the website for upcoming information). There are many opportunities to get involved!

Dive in and get the most out of your Society and Chapter!

See you in Reno.

2016 Cal Neva Executive Committee Election

As the chair of the By-Laws and Nominations Committee, I wanted to take a moment to remind you that your Chapter needs your skills, passion, and perspectives to build a vibrant, inclusive, and multicultural corps of volunteer leaders. Volunteers are the driving force of professional and scientific societies such as CalNeva AFS.  Our mission can only be fulfilled through the time and knowledge volunteered by members just like you.  Volunteering also provides many benefits, including the opportunity to network with your peers, learn about trends and issues in fisheries, and gain leadership training and experience. Committees serve a vital function in the advancement of the Chapter's mission by providing the technical leadership that allows our Chapter to hold successful annual meetings, comment on resource policy, provide outreach and training opportunities, and the Pieces newsletter.
It Is Your Society ->Get Involved
By-Laws and Nominations 
-> Nominations are open for Chapter President (3-year term).  
The president's duties are to represent the Chapter and to chair the EXCOM. The president is also a member of the Western Division AFS, represents the CalNeva at the annual WDAFS meeting. The Chapter will announce the new President Elect at our Annual Chapter meeting in Reno co-hosted with WDAFS (March 21-24).

-> Executive Committee Vacancies: 
Conservation Committee Chair
International Committee Chair
Chapter Historian Chair

Description of all committees and vacancies.
Contact Sean Hoobler to apply for a committee appointment or submit your name for Presidental nomination.

Call for Sessions, Papers, and Posters 

This call for session topics and papers seeks oral and poster contributions relevant to the meeting theme, Fisheries, Society, and the Scientific Method: Challenging our Perception of Science, Policy, and Management.

Symposium Submission:
Symposium proposal submission deadline 11/30/2015
Accepted symposium proposals posted 12/14/2015
Deadline for symposium organizers to submit complete list of confirmed presenters and titles 1/30/2016
Contributed paper/poster abstract submission deadline 1/21/2016
Presenters contacted regarding abstract acceptance or refusal 2/21/2016

 Abstract Submission:
Abstract submissions are due 21 January 2016, and must include:
  • Type of presentation preferred (oral or poster);
  • A general statement of how it is related to the conference theme;
  • Presentation Title;
  • Author, full affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and email address;
  • Name of presenter and contact person if different from first author;
  • Students indicate participation in "best student paper or poster";
  • Text of abstract in 200 words or less

Program Co-Chairs: Cleve Steward and Joe Merz

Click here to e-mail Cleve & Joe 


Western Division Small Project Grants
WDAFS currently has project funding available for Division Chapters, Subunits, and other fisheries-related groups.

Grants are usually modest but can help get a project started or be used to complement other funding sources.

Applications must be received by the Western Division Past President no later than December 1, 2015 COB Mountain Time. Questions should be directed to WDAFS Past President Hilda Sexauer.

Evaluation Criteria and Application Procedures:

The mission of the American Fisheries Society 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." WDAFS objectives are to provide a forum for exchanging technical and policy information, promote understanding by regional, Federal, and state policy-makers of the nature and extent of fishery matters of concern to the membership, facilitate timely exchange of information to chapters and the general membership, and provide a vehicle for the active participation of individual members in Society business and professional activities.

Projects that clearly help achieve the AFS mission and Western Division objectives, either individually or collectively, will be prioritized for Division Grant funding over those that do not. To realize the greatest value from limited Division resources, projects addressing AFS goals and objectives, those with high visibility, and those with a greater fishery resource impact, will be given priority.  The Executive Committee will consider the following project elements when making grants funding decisions.

Does the Proposal:
  1. Promote the AFS mission and WDAFS objectives (described above)? Suggest reviewing the AFS Strategic Plan
  2. Incorporate and promote science-based management, conservation or understanding of fisheries resources?
  3. Elevate the visibility of fisheries issues to a broad audience?
  4. Need Division funding for completion of the project relative to other funding sources?
  5. Have potential for generating revenue to the Division?
Application Process (total pages = 3)
Applications over 3 pages will be disqualified.  Applicants MUST include all of the information requested in #3.
  1. A Western Division AFS member or sub-unit must submit the application.
  2. Applications must be received no later than 01 December 2015 (COB, Mountain Time) for consideration
  3. Applications must include the following information:
    • Project Titles
    • Name of requesting subunit or AFS member
    • Applicant's AFS member number
    • Name, address, phone number, fax number, and email address of contact(s)
    • Project description (limit project description to 1 page), addressing how the project fits into AFS and/or WDAFS mission and objectives
    • Estimated time to completion
    • Amount requested
    • Other funding sources and amounts provided
    • Disposition of unused funds
  4. Submit applications and direct questions to WDAFS Past-President Hilda Sexauer no later than 01 December 2015, close-of-business Mountain time
The Executive Committee will review applciations and notify successful applicants by 01 February 2016.

The grants funding process is contingent on the availability of funds. Anyone wishing to donate to the grants fund is urged to contact the Division President, Jim Bowker.

Eugene Maughan Graduate Student Scholarship

The Western Division is pleased to announce that applications for its
graduate-level  student scholarships are now being solicited.

This scholarship program provides up to $5,000 annually in scholarships to masters or doctoral students in the general area of fisheries science with one to three awards to individual students

Beginning in 2002, the Sustainable Fisheries Foundation established the William Trachtenberg Memorial Scholarship Fund, which augments the Western Division scholarship program. This fund provides up to $600 annually to a graduate-level student conducting studies on fisheries sustainability. Applications for the Western Division scholarship program will automatically be considered for the Sustainable Fisheries Foundation scholarship program as well. An award committee of five fisheries scientists from the Western Division will make the decision regarding the award of scholarships from both programs.

Selection criteria include demonstration of:
  1. Excellent scholarship as evidenced by grades in rigorous course work during the last 60 hours as an undergraduate and during graduate studies.
  2. Potential for future contributions to the fisheries profession through management, research, or teaching.
  3. Significant progress toward attaining a graduate degree in fisheries science with a defined thesis or dissertation project.
Application Criteria and Process:
  1. Applicants must be a member of the American Fisheries Society or have submitted 2016 membership materials by the time of application. AFS Member number should be placed on application.
  2. Applicants must have completed one semester or two quarters in a graduate degree program at a university within the geographic boundaries of the Western Division.
  3. Applicants must have a major field of study that is related to fisheries or aquatic science.
  4. Applicants must submit an application package (electronically preferred) that contains of each of the following:
    • A letter to the award committee that includes (three separate items):
      • A brief description of the student's degree program and the anticipated date of completion. 
      • A statement of the applicant's career goals and reasons for applying for the scholarship (up to 200 words).
      • A statement of the academic and professional activities and contributions to AFS and the fisheries science profession (up to 200 words).
    • Copies of a resume (including professional activities, pertinent publications, and scientific presentations) and graduate transcripts. Please list GRE scores in your resume; a copy of the original form is not necessary.
    • A one-page abstract outlining the goals, objectives, design, methods and expected outcome from the thesis or dissertation project.
    • Letters of reference from two faculty members (one must be the graduate students advisor) familiar with the student's background and abilities. Letters may be sent separately by the individual providing the reference.
The 2016 scholarships will be awarded at the annual meeting of WDAFS in Reno, Nevada, March 21-24, 2016. 

The application package should be sent (postmarked) no later than January 1, 2016 to:
Bob Gresswell, Western Division Scholarship Award Committee
2327 University Way, Suite 2
Bozeman , MT 59715

  WDAFS Meeting_ Reno 2016

Critical information regarding the business of scheduling your trip to Reno this coming March!
  • Early registration is OPEN! Give yourself plenty of time to schedule the trip with your employer, and take advantage of the lower registration rates by getting an early start.
  • Book your stay at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. Call (775) 789-2000.  Be sure to mention WDAFS 2016 to receive the special rate for meeting attendees!
  • Plan to volunteer.  The networking opportunities are valuable, and it may help legitimate business travel, should your employer ask.  Contact Patrick Crain to see how you can help!
  • Set up your personal or corporate donation to CalNeva to assist in the addition of special events, extra meeting benefits, student outreach, and other important society endeavors.  We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, all cash contributions and donations are tax deductible - contact Felipe La Luz or Jim Bowker for more information!