It is time for 2016 Western Division officer elections. This year we have one candidate for the position of Vice President. It is a one-year term that automatically advances to President Elect, President, and then Past President (four-year commitment). The candidate is Jackie Watson from Utah. Please read her candidate biography below and then click here to vote. Voting closes on Friday, March 11.
I earned a M.S. degree in Aquatic Biology from Texas State University-San Marcos in 2006. My research focused on native and nonnative fish-habitat associations in a headwater Pecos River tributary and the effects of a large-scale flood on those associations. This west Texas research solidified my passion for working with the multifaceted demands placed on our natural resources; particularly in arid regions. I have been working with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources since 2006. For eight years I worked on conservation of a federally endangered species as a member of the June Sucker Recovery Implementation Program. In September 2014, I began working in fisheries management as a Blue Ribbon Fisheries Biologist. Both positions have illustrated the ever-present and increasing demand for balancing aquatic resource needs through strong partnerships, accurate communication, and good science.
I have been an active member of the American Fisheries Society and Texas Chapter since 2003 and Utah Chapter since 2006. I have served on the Texas Chapter Editorial Committee (2004-2005), as Utah Chapter Secretary-Treasurer (2009-2011), and in the Utah Chapter Presidency (2011-2015). My AFS involvement ranks as one of the most valuable and rewarding aspects of my career. Serving in these capacities I have gained a greater appreciation for the sound science, advocacy, professional standards, and professional development AFS provides. It is my goal to ensure the prestige of this Society is recognized and maintained.
Our AFS leaders have worked tirelessly and successfully to ensure this organization is financially stable and to improve communication at all Society levels in order to benefit members. If elected I will work to advance these efforts. In particular I would like to focus on increasing communication and interactions between Chapters, at both Division and Society levels, so that all Chapters have an opportunity to be effective and successful. Similarly, I will promote opportunities that allow shared success of our student subunits, increase number of universities with active subunits, and increase Society participation by students. I will continue to increase Society benefits to members through travel, small project, and professional certification grants. Additionally, I would like to explore funding opportunities that allow AFS participation to be more affordable to our members. Finally, I will continue to emphasize the value of the American Fisheries Society. The public, the profession, and our members need to recognize, respect, and promote the reputation of the American Fisheries Society and I will do my best to make it happen.
The newly formed Resource Policy and Environmental Concerns Committee is up and running! Check out our updated webpage to learn about the committee’s function and to see which environmental issues the Western Division has taken on over the past several years.
The Western Division of the American Fisheries Society is proud to announce that the 2016 Annual Meeting will be co-hosted by the California-Nevada Chapter in Reno, Nevada. The meeting will be held from March 21-24, 2016 at the Grand Sierra Resort. For more information please visit the meeting website at: http://wd2016.fisheries.org/