It is hard to believe a year has already come and gone. As the August 2017 National AFS meeting approaches, I prepare to transition to past-president and I will pass the president baton to the very capable hands of Laurie Earley. This is a time for reflection.
Our Chapter has much to be proud of over the past year. With Laurie’s leadership and the support of some wonderful and dedicated volunteers, we had our 51st Annual Chapter Meeting in Eureka, CA. It was a huge success with over 300 students and professionals in attendance. The chapter recognized 4 professionals for the dedication and work they gave to our profession, along with 7 students for presentations (both oral and poster) highlighting their research.
Over the year, we provided support to students and subunits through project and travel grants, outreach, and participation with subunit members, honored our award recipients for their efforts in representing our profession at the highest levels, and provided continuing education classes for professionals and students. This included the initiation of 2 new student subunits. We also provided comment letters on everything from scientific research permitting to dam removal.
However, it takes a collective effort to make a society like ours viable, and I want to share a heart-felt thanks to all the volunteer members on our Executive Committee. Specific recognition is needed for Ramona Swanson (Past-President), who continued to develop and move our annual strategic plan and report card forward to make sure Cal-Neva remains committed to transparent representation of our members. Lisa Thompson and Brittany Davis did an amazing job updating our website, making sure Cal-Neva remains connected to its members.
Cal-Neva, as a chapter of the American Fisheries Society, plays a vital role in our profession, and I hope that this coming year each member will find a way to serve the organization that serves you. We will continue to monitor legislation that affects wise fisheries management, and continue to provide affordable networking and continuing-education opportunities. If you have stepped up in the past, we thank you. If you have not yet, now is the time.
Finally, to all of you – the Cal-Neva members– I thank you for allowing me to serve you as president over the last year. It has been a joy, honor, and an experience that I will cherish always. I have met many new, interesting colleagues, made many new friends, and fully enjoyed it. I look forward to continuing to connect with our members over the following year and championing wise use of our funds, support of our student members, and increasing interest and development of professional certifications through AFS.
With Kind Regards – Joe Merz