Early Career Professional Committee

Welcome to the Early Career Professional Committee of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society!


The mission of the Early Career Professional Committee (i.e., the committee) is to promote the education and professional development of early career professionals (ECPs) who graduated within five years. The committee focuses on the following goals to support its mission:

  1. Encourage ECPs of all backgrounds to attend WDAFS conferences.
  2. Develop workshops to educate ECPs about careers and skills.
  3. Create mentoring opportunities by introducing ECPs to scientists.
  4. Assist ECPs with finding employment in fishery sciences or related work.


The committee hosts webinars to educate ECPs about career pathways and technical skills. Webinars include panel discussions, skill workshops, resume critiques, and professional networking. Additionally, webinars are meant to allow ECPs to meet and learn from possible mentors. The committee allows students and ECPs to submit resumes and cover letters for review online via a Google form (https://forms.gle/TnhhcMP4EfV8gTSm6).

The committee uses social media to inform ECPs about professional resources. These resources include scholarships for attending conferences, job opportunities, and links to published studies. The committee primarily uses Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share these resources.

The committee helps develop the quarterly WDAFS newsletter. Its articles include reminders about professional services, advice relating to “soft” professional skills, and highlighting recent publications by ECPs. Additionally, it writes the Species Spotlight section, where ECPs can learn more about managed fishes and invertebrates.

To promote social diversity, the committee will promote the inclusion of under-represented groups in fishery science. It will encourage women and international ECPs to attend conferences, register for organization membership, and share their career backgrounds. The committee will collaborate with the WDAFS Diversity and Inclusion Committee to further this agenda.


The committee would like to have at least 1 member from each chapter in WDAFS. Please contact Tawni Riepe or Audrey Harris if you are interested in joining the committee, want more information, or have ideas about what you would like to see from the committee.

The committee encourages ECPs looking for job and volunteer opportunities to visit the following websites:

  1. American Fisheries Society Job Board
  2. California State University COAST Job Board
  3. Federal USA Jobs Website
  4. Government Jobs Website
  5. IUCN 7 Seas Website
  6. Schmidt Marine Job Board
  7. University of California Job Board