Happy New Year, Cal-Neva Chapter! As we dive into 2019, it’s hard for me to fathom that I’m already nearly a third of the way through my term as President. Past-President Laurie Earley told me while I was developing my to-do list and preparing to take the reins that a year sounds like a long time, but it’s gone in a flash. This sentiment has been echoed to me from all levels of AFS, and boy does it ring true! So, now seems as good of a time as any to reflect a bit on some of our achievements so far and mention things to come over the next several months. I’ve written up my thoughts on what I’d like to achieve before the end of my term in a President’s Annual Plan of Work and we have posted it to our Chapter’s Governance page. To keep the work plan manageable, it is framed around a few focused subject areas. Admittedly it’s no Lord of the Rings, but I encourage you to take a look at this short summary of what I hope to accomplish and gain a little insight into the direction of the Chapter in coming months. I’m happy to say that we have progressed quite a bit on many of these items already.

Also worth noting is that we had a very productive Cal-Neva ExComm Retreat, here in Sacramento. Though the word retreat sounds like perhaps we were flitting off to somewhere with palm trees and drinks with umbrella hats, in truth this day-long meeting allows us to conquer some topics that may be too lengthy for our monthly calls. It also provides an opportunity for us to meet face to face with some of our members who otherwise cannot attend in person. And while sparse on the Mai Tais, we were provided with a very comfortable meeting space courtesy of Lisa Thompson and Regional San.

Some noteworthy items from the meeting are that we voted to double the amount available for Small Grants, approved a 2019 Annual Budget, dissolved two defunct committees (FIN committee and International Committee), changed the Native Fishes Committee from an Ad-hoc Committee to a Standing Committee, and approved a new Diversity and Outreach Standing Committee. I am personally very excited about this last committee, chaired by Esther Tracy (formerly the International Committee Chair), as it is one of the larger items in my work plan. I look forward to working with Esther to develop strategies to diversify our Chapter and reach out to folks who may not otherwise be aware of who we are and what we do. We also discussed providing registration support to help the Interagency Ecological Program to conduct its Annual Workshop and following the retreat we voted to approve an agreement formalizing our support. This sort of partnership with other organizations is one way to facilitate collaborative science and broaden our Chapter’s impact within our region.

And speaking of collaboration, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Joint Meeting of The Wildlife Society and the American Fisheries Society in Reno in 2019. Preparations are ramping up, and the Chapter is actively working with the Western Division and the Society to try and bring the best experience possible, including some local flare and focus. As you saw in our most recent announcement, the Call for Symposia is now open. Remember, our normal Chapter Annual Meeting will not be held this spring, as we will be focusing on the Society meeting and incorporating many of our Chapter meeting elements into that effort. So if you have an idea for a symposium, a paper, or a poster, I encourage you to submit it over the coming months as each opportunity arises. It would be great to show other Society members and the terrestrial contingent the wonderous biodiversity of aquatic life we have here in the California-Nevada Region!