Elections for Executive Officer positions and Vote on Bylaws changes

In spring 2018 the Chapter elected two new Executive Officers, to the offices of President and Secretary. The incoming President-Elect is Rob Titus, and the incoming Secretary is Kathleen Berridge.  The elected candidates’ statements are below. 

We offer a huge thank-you to outgoing Past-President Joe Merz and Secretary Stephanie Theis for their dedicated service to the Chapter!

The AFS Cal-Neva Chapter also voted on proposed changes to the Chapter Bylaws, which were approved. Details are at the bottom of this page.


Rob Titus – Hello, Cal-Neva membership! My name is Rob Titus, and I am running for president-elect of the Cal-Neva Chapter. I am excited about running for this post, but before I talk more about why I would like to serve Cal-Neva AFS in this capacity, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself, my background, and some of the things that have influenced my interest in fisheries and conservation of aquatic ecosystems.

Where I have lived and the outdoor activities I have engaged in while living in those places have shaped my curiosity and interest in nature and natural resources. Many of us probably share a similar personal history in this regard. I grew up on the banks of the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada, fishing for trout, swimming, and otherwise exploring the riparian and aquatic environments that were such a defining part of my immediate world. Those experiences were formative in developing personal connections to the outdoors and outdoor recreation, to natural environments and the resources they produce, and to conservation as a utilizer of those resources. My family translocated to northern California when I started middle school, and my horizons expanded greatly as I began to explore the ecological and biological diversity that defines California. Even though I started university as a music major, my passion for the outdoors and biological conservation eventually won out, and I transferred to Sac State, where I came under the tutelage of fisheries professor Dave Vanicek, who also happened to be one of the founders of the Cal-Neva Chapter. With this major shift in educational goal, I had a lot of learning to do, which continued through the completion of my Bachelor’s and Master’s work in biological sciences at Sac State, training in limnology at Uppsala University in Sweden, and my doctorate work on anadromous brown trout ecology at Uppsala.

I started my professional career as a fishery biologist when I completed my Bachelor’s degree, doing stints with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California Department of Water Resources, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation working in areas ranging from wild trout fisheries, Delta fish passage, and the ecology of water quality and fishes in the San Francisco Bay-Delta system. Following my training in Sweden, I returned to California for a post-doc position with Don Erman at the University of California, working at both the Sagehen Creek Field Station on trout ecology and on central coast steelhead. That work groomed my transition into a career position with CDFW, which continues today. My 25 years of work with the State has been diverse, typically addressing long-term issues associated with instream flows and temperatures, water rights, fish population and community monitoring, scale and otolith applications for age-and-growth and stock identification, sport fishery monitoring and research, endangered species conservation, and more. My learning continues not only through my professional engagement, but also through my secondary career as a part-time lecturer and adjunct professor in biological sciences at Sac State. In this role, I teach courses in fisheries, ecology, and natural resource conservation, mentor graduate students, and recruit graduates into our field.

Serving as president of any organization requires leadership skills and vision. I feel qualified to serve in a leadership role based on 14 years of experience supervising large programs at CDFW, nearly 20 years of teaching and mentoring students at Sac State, and previously serving as president of a non-profit cultural organization for 3 years. My vision for serving as president of Cal-Neva is to continue the mission of the Chapter per its strategic plan with an emphasis on recruitment of students and early career professionals, public outreach to affirm the societal relevancy of our profession, and to re-engage the fishery management sector of our profession in the proceedings of the Chapter and its annual meeting.


Kathleen Berridge – My interest in aquatic life started at a young age, in and around the ocean. From hours spent snorkeling to several trips to the local aquarium, I have always been drawn to life underwater. My name is Kathleen Berridge, I grew on the beaches of San Diego, California. For college, I moved inland to attend the University of California, Davis. At first, I was hesitant to live so far from salt water but over time, I was introduced to the world of freshwater fisheries. Working on projects in the Sacramento Delta, I realized the opportunity to use my interest in the aquatic ecosystem to direct my career choices. Since I graduated UC Davis, with a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Biology degree in 2013, I have worked in freshwater aquatic ecology, with an emphasis on fisheries. I am currently working at Environmental Science Associates. Early on in my professional career, I was fortunate to attend several American Fisheries Society conferences. AFS benefited my career development by giving me the opportunity to learn about existing research, present my own research, and communicate with other science professionals. I am interested in serving as Secretary for AFS because I believe it is important to support scientific research and sustainable management of fisheries resources. I would also like expand my experience with AFS and get more involved in the science community.


In Article 4 of the Bylaws, the Executive Committee proposes DELETING the following language: “An elected officer shall be ineligible for reelection to the same office for one year after the term expiration date.”

The Executive Committee approved (January 18, 2018) this revision in Article 4 to allow officers to stand for reelection without a gap (which would be one year for President cycle, two years for Treasurer or Secretary). This preserves flexibility for fielding candidates for officer positions and helps maintain institutional knowledge. Other Chapters in the Western Division do not have this condition in their Bylaws. This change is acceptable to the Society’s Constitutional Consultant.

In Article 6 of the Bylaws, regarding members of the Executive Committee, recommend simply stating that Presidents of Student Subunits are members. Propose deleting the specific subunit names, since these may change or more may join in future.

The document showing the proposed changes to the AFS Cal-Neva Chapter Bylaws may be viewed here.