No SLO-Down Here: SCMBAS Makes the Most of the Cal-Neva Annual Meeting

Over the past three years, the Santa Cruz-Monterey Area Subunit of the American Fisheries Society (SCMBAS) has sent a large contingent of students to the California-Nevada Chapter Annual Meetings. This year was no exception, with ten SCMBAS members making the journey to San Luis Obispo to present their work, network with other students and professionals, and participate in meeting organization/planning. We highlight a few of our favorite moments from this year’s meeting below.

SCMBAS participated in pre-conference planning

As the closest student subunit to the conference venue, SCMBAS members were able to play an important role in the planning the meeting. We chaired the Student Social, Photography, Local Arrangements, Spawning Run, and Signage/Artwork committees. It was enlightening to observe how meetings are planned and organized, and our members gained an appreciation for the level of complexity involved. We thank the California-Nevada Chapter for extending this leadership opportunity to us and look forward to assisting with future meetings.

Members made connections with other subunits

One of the best experiences at this year’s meeting was being able to interact with students from the two other California student subunits (Humboldt State University and Sacramento-Davis). The student social at Buffalo Wild Wings, organized by SCMBAS member Nick Macias, was well-attended, and provided an opportunity for students to meet one another. The presidents of the three units (Katherine Dale, SCMBAS; Sean Luis, Sac-Davis; and Aubrey Arevalo, HSU) met up an additional time over a beer at Barrelhouse Brewing in downtown SLO. This meeting gave rise to a tri-subunit event.

Research was presented in posters and presentations

Eight of the ten attending SCMBAS members gave talks or posters at the meeting. These included such diverse topics as the movements of invertebrates in rivers, genomic analyses of isolated fish populations between Mexico and California, migration decisions of juvenile salmon made in response to predation pressures, morphological implications of body shape on fish dispersal, distribution of “ghost” PIT tags in rivers, and ontogenetic niche shifts in young sturgeon.

SCMBAS was recognized for multiple accomplishments

SCMBAS members Megan Sabal, Katherine Dale, and Sabrina Beyer swept the Best Student Paper contest, winning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively. We were also honored to be formally recognized for winning the 2017 Best Subunit of the Western Division of AFS. We additionally presented information
about our past, current, and upcoming events/accomplishments at the Cal-Neva business lunch. SCMBAS (and the other student subunits) have been very busy over the last year, organizing a variety of outreach events, educational initiatives, social gatherings, workshops, seminars, and fundraisers.

Our trip to SLO would not have been possible without the support of the California-Nevada Chapter, and we would like to extend our deepest thanks to them. See you in Reno in 2019!

Blogpost by Kat Dale, SCMBAS Student Subunit

See a pdf version of this post here.