This summary is intended to give individuals interested in leadership positions in the Fisheries Management Section of AFS an idea of what they are getting into. The Fisheries Management Section (FMS) is the largest of the Sections of AFS, with >850 members. FMS members work to develop new management concepts and techniques as well as programs in education and communication to solve fisheries management problems. The Section promotes exchange of fisheries management information and research through their newsletter, by sponsoring workshops, symposia, meetings, and special sessions on such topics as the role of fish culture and fisheries management, human dimensions of fisheries, urban fishing, trout stream habitat improvement, fisheries computer applications, and fish-marking techniques. The Section is also involved in continuing education short courses. The FMS is actively involved with legislative initiatives as well as governmental and private-sector activities which affect the quality and extent of all fisheries. The selection of activities for FMS involvement results from individual member initiative.
Terms for all positions on the Executive Committee are for 2 years beginning at the AFS Annual Meeting (end of August) of the year elected to office.
- President: Takes office after serving 2 years as President-elect. The President is ultimately responsible for all activities of the Section. The Section generally has 2-3 projects going at any one time, i.e. organizing symposia, conducting surveys, book projects, coordinating research efforts. These generally have been of the President’s choosing, often times coming about when serving as President-elect. However, there has been some AFS-directed efforts assigned to the Section in the past that have become the purview of the President.
The Section holds one business meeting annually, scheduled at the AFS Annual Meeting. The President is responsible for developing the agenda and chairing the meeting. The meeting is usually scheduled for 1.5 hours and has been held on Sunday in the past. The President also serves on the AFS Governing Board. As a member of the GB, the president is expected to attend the GB Meeting at the Annual Meeting (Saturday and Sunday), the AFS Business Meeting (Tuesday p.m.) and the incoming-GB breakfast (Wed. a.m.). AFS holds a Midyear Governing Board meeting (typically held in Bethesda, MD). The GB meets Friday-Sunday, usually in mid- March. If the President is elected (by the GB) to serve on the Special Management Committee (a subset of the GB whose charge is to conduct the business of AFS in between the scheduled AFS meetings), 1 day should be added to the time commitment at the Annual Meeting and the Midyear GB Meeting.. SMC hold monthly conference calls which usually last 1-1.5 hours. Section funds can be used for travel to these meetings, but institutional funding is encouraged.FMS informational meetings are held at the AFS Division meetings also. These are informational only and no voting on action items are to be done at these meetings. These meetings are generally set up and run by the Division Representatives. The President is responsible for developing an agenda and providing information to the Division Reps on what is covered on the agenda. The President has attended 1 or more of these meetings annually in the past (but is not required to do so).
The President is responsible for appointing members of any standing and ad-hoc committees. Currently, the only standing committee operating is the Awards Committee. The FMS administers 3 awards annually (Award of Excellence, Award of Merit, and Conservation Achievement Award). Soliciting nominations and selection of recipients is the charge of the Awards Committee. The President notifies the recipients by letter. FMS also has annual inductees into its Hall of Excellence, but this is the charge of the President-elect. Currently, FMS has 1 active ad-hoc committee, the Outreach Committee.
FMS publishes 3 newsletters annually. The President has a column in each of these newsletters (the topics of which are left solely to the author). The President is also responsible for the timely distribution of the newsletter by the editor (a task that has been difficult in the past).
The President must keep other members of the EXCOM informed as to his activities in between scheduled meetings. Generally, all AFS correspondence comes directly to the President and he/she is responsible for dealing with these matters. If matters arise in between scheduled meetings that require action by the Section, the President should poll the members of the EXCOM as to any course of action. E-mail has made communication among EXCOM members much more efficient.
Time Commitment: This generally varies depending on the time of year. It gets busy around meeting time. A week for the AFS Annual Meeting. Three to 4 days for the Midyear Governing Board Meeting (this is over a weekend). Other than that, my best estimate would be about ½ day per week.
- President-elect: The primary job of the President-elect is to assist/observe the President to prepare for taking over the job. The 2-year term is intended to bring the President-elect up-to- speed on how Section business is conducted. This time should also be spent thinking about what special projects he/she would like to champion during their term as President. The only official duty of the President-elect is to select The Hall of Excellence Committee. The committee is chaired by the President-elect and consists of 1 member from each of the AFS Divisions and a member from Canada. The committee members are responsible for soliciting nominations and selecting appropriate individuals for induction. (In practice, the President-elect must shake the bushes to get these nominations). The President-elect should attend the FMS Business Meeting held at the AFS Annual Meeting (travel expenses can be deferred by the Section if needed). Any Divisional meetings that the President-elect can attend are a bonus, but his/her participation is encouraged.Time Commitment: Not a major time sink. I would estimate about ½ day per month.
- Past-President: Sits back, smokes cigars, smells the roses, all the while thinking about all that was accomplished during their 4 years in the saddle. That is unless the President decides to make them Chair of some committee.Time Commitment: That depends on how good they are at saying “no” to the President and how much they like cigars.
- Secretary-Treasurer: The Section historically has had an account balance of $20-25,000. The Section maintains an account with Merrill-Lynch in Ft. Worth, TX. The account does not transfer with a change in officers. The Secretary-Treasurer is responsible for circulating signature cards after new officers are installed. The Section writes about 10 checks per year (that would increase if special projects require funding). A monthly statement is received and filed. A financial report is prepared for the Annual Business Meeting and published in the newsletter. Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting are taken, transcribed, circulated to the EXCOM, and published in the newsletter. Travel assistance to the Annual Meeting is available if needed.Time Commitment: 1 day per month.
- Division Representatives: FMS has a representative from each of the 4 AFS Divisions. These individuals are charged with keeping the EXCOM, and ultimately the members, informed of any regional topics that should be addressed by the Section. They find a volunteer(s) to serve as a Regional Newsletter Editor (although the other officers generally help out) and assist that individual(s) in gathering short articles of regional interest for the newsletter. They are primarily responsible for setting up and hosting the informational meetings held at each Division Meeting. They also find a volunteer to serve on the Nominating Committee for election of new officers (this takes place once during their term). This office provides a great training opportunity to move up into other positions of leadership.Time Commitment: ½ day per month.
- Regional Newsletter Editors: This is the only office that is not elected, but appointed by the Division Representatives. These individuals (1 from each Division and 1 from Canada) are responsible for soliciting material for the newsletter from colleagues in their region. It is helpful if this individual is fairly well connected to colleagues outside of their agency/institution so that contacting potential contributors to the newsletter would be facilitated.Time Commitment: 1 day every newsletter (3 times annually).