Wow, what a year! Remembering back to Reno (when I was elected for the President-Elect position) I recall having a variety of emotions, from being nervous to the feeling of excitement over this opportunity to serve the Chapter. I knew that my first priority, planning the 2017 annual meeting, was going to be a challenge. For those who don’t know, the incoming President-Elect is responsible for planning and chairing the Program Committee for the upcoming Annual Meeting. This certainly is no small feat, but luckily for me, I had participated on the Planning Committee and knew what I was getting into. No doubt, I couldn’t have organized this meeting alone, and I had a great group of professionals and students on the planning committee, that helped to make our 2017 meeting a success. Additionally, the individuals that participated in continuing education courses, field tours, plenary session, symposia, technical sessions, and our poster session, are another reason why the meeting was a huge success. I can’t thank everyone enough for all the hard work and dedication that goes into planning and participating in our Annual Meetings.
Now, seeing that August is right around the corner and I’ll be assuming the role of the Chapter President, I have a whole slew of new challenges ahead. Similar to the emotions I felt in 2016, I’m again both nervous and excited for the year that lies ahead. Nervous, since we’re living and working in a time of political uncertainty and we’re unsure how some new legislation may affect both our marine and freshwater systems. And, although we may have a reprieve from the recent drought conditions, we’re still seeing the effects of the last four years on our returning Chinook salmon and on other fish populations and landscapes across the region. With the current low numbers of fish we can look at this moment as a time to make a change, and emphasize the importance of the work we do as scientists and managers. We need to share our data and research, not only with our colleagues, but also with our communities and policy makers.
Moving forward, I plan to follow in the footsteps of both Ramona Swenson (Past-President) and Joe Merz (President) and will continue to shepherd their efforts over the next year. As Joe mentioned, Ramona helped to make the Chapter more accountable and transparent to our members, by developing the strategic plan and annual report card. Joe’s efforts included the review and response to several management decisions, provided letters of support on a variety of projects, and improving our process for reviewing sponsorship and donations. Under Ramona’s and Joe’s leadership, two new student subunits were created and we’ve greatly improved our Chapter’s process for supporting our student members. I plan for our Chapter to continue to provide fisheries expertise, educational opportunities, and to find additional ways to support our students and young-professionals. I hope we can get more involvement from all our members and I hope that we can improve the benefits of being a member of not only our Chapter but the Society as a whole.
In closing, I really hope that we can reinvigorate the participation of members and non-members, especially our colleagues in Nevada. Too often our Chapter’s Executive Committee and Planning Committee are California centric, and we can lose touch with the issues in Nevada. I can envision having both a California and a Nevada member as the Co-Chairs to a variety of committees and the first one that comes to mind is the Conservation Committee. With the 2019 National AFS and Wildlife Society meeting being held in Reno, NV, there is no time like the present for our counterparts in Nevada to become more active.
In trying to keep this message short, I look forward to this opportunity and please don’t hesitate to reach out and provide feedback on the Chapter’s mission or its role in the profession.