In October of 2019, the Sacramento-Davis AFS student subunit attended the joint American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society’s national conference in Reno, Nevada. Thanks to the generous student travel grant provided by the Cal-Neva parent chapter, the student subunit was able to fund four individuals’ full experiences at the conference and bring many more members along. In the span of less than a week, the subunit’s members had the opportunity to present their research, meeting professionals in the industry, learn applicable skills, and make connections with like-minded peers.
Conducting quality, rigorous science is critical to understanding the world around us and presenting those findings to an audience allows for actions to be taken. Conferences like the AFS TWS national conference allows students to share their findings with a broad audience that can help progress their research and extend their impact. Many students from the Sacramento-Davis student subunit presented their research, some in the form of posters and some as talks, but all with uniquely positive experiences. Emily Jacinto, a first-year master’s student, presented a poster with the beginning stages of her master thesis. Emily shared that she received useful insight on the direction of her research and additional questions to look at as she begins her graduate student journey. John Liu, a third-year undergraduate student, presented his first poster on research he is doing on shark data deficiency and said, “The encouraging words of all the attendees made for a great first experience.” To share high quality, scientific findings is at the core of the American Fisheries Society’s beliefs. Increasing the accessibility of this to students is critical and allows for further progression of science at an early stage of students’ development.
Surrounding students with individuals in all stages of their professional careers is a great way to spark excitement and enthusiasm for fisheries science. This joint conference had attendees of all backgrounds with varying experiences in many fields. Opportunities like these do not come by often but are extremely valuable for students who may not have access these resources otherwise. A recent UC Davis graduate, Caroline Newell, got the opportunity to meet people from all over the country that would make her AFS experience unforgettable. Caroline met a PhD student from Florida who does similar isotope analysis as she does and bonded over the same frustrations and confusions each experienced during their research. Together, however, they were able to share advice and resources that helped them overcome said challenges. Aaron Sturtevant, a fourth-year undergraduate student, got to experience his first scientific conference and was excited to see it all. Aaron took full advantage of the multidisciplinary nature of this joint conference and attended many talks of both the fisheries and wildlife sides. Bringing motivated, knowledgeable people together leads to great conversations and quality connections.
Because of the continued support from the Cal-Neva chapter, the Sacramento-Davis student subunit can offer its students the opportunity to experience these conferences and contribute to the scientific community. Thank you for supporting budding fisheries biologists!
The Sacramento-Davis Student Subunit of American Fisheries Society