Diversity and Inclusion Awards


This page contains information on the Diversity & Inclusion Service Award and Diversity & Inclusion Mentorship Travel Grant presented by Western Division Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


Diversity & Inclusion Service Award – The WDAFS Diversity & Inclusion Committee presents this award to an AFS Western Division Member who has exhibited service and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the fisheries profession. The purpose of this award is to celebrate every day, unsung heroes who dedicate their time and passion to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. There is no cash gift associated with this award, although the award recipient will receive a certificate.

To nominate someone for the D&I Service Award, Please navigate to this link to submit your nomination. Submissions consist of responding to how this person(s) has contributed to diversity, equity, and inclusion 1) in the American Fisheries Society and within the Western Division, 2) within the workplace or academic setting, and/or 3) in the community and beyond non-AFS and workplace groups?. You will need to create an account to access and submit your nomination. Thank you for taking the time to make a submission.

Diversity & Inclusion Mentorship Travel Grant – The WDAFS Diversity & Inclusion Committee presents this award to a promising student or early career professional interested in developing diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership skills. For the duration of the year, the award recipient will receive mentorship by Diversity and Inclusion Committee members and have the opportunity to participate in Committee activities. Preference will be given to applicants from underrepresented identities in the fisheries field. AFS membership is not required to apply to this award. Please include information detailing the applicant’s interest in fisheries and in developing diversity, equity, and inclusion-related leadership skills, and any additional materials as needed (e.g., letters of recommendation, resume, etc.).

The recipient of the D&I Mentorship Travel Grant will receive up to $1,000 (USD) for meeting registration, travel costs, and one year of AFS membership (if needed) to attend the 2024 American Fisheries Society annual meeting. This meeting will be held in Honolulu, Hawai’i September 15-19, 2024.

Applicants will be ranked on the following criteria:

  1.   Applicants who plan to actively participate at the 2024 annual meeting. This can include presenting an oral or poster presentation, assisting the planning committee, moderating a session, etc.
  2.   Applicants who are active (or interested in becoming active) in a sub-unit, Chapter, Western Division, or the Society.
  3.   Applicants who indicate a strong interest in fisheries, oceans, aquatic science and management.
  4.   Applicants who are a student or early career professional.

Travel Grant Reimbursement

Receipts must be submitted to the WDAFS Secretary-Treasurer within 30 days of the annual meeting, typically by email. Instructions for reimbursement will be provided when successful applicants are notified. The travel grant recipient will be notified prior to abstract and early registration deadlines for the annual meeting.

**WDAFS recognizes that some students and professionals may not have the financial status to pay for meeting registration on a reimbursable basis. As such, WDAFS is considering ways to immediately reimburse travel award winners prior to the meeting for early registration. Please indicate if immediate reimbursement is requested in your application. Reimbursement will not exceed the amount awarded.

Please send your nomination materials to diversityinclusion@wdafs.org by April 15, 2024. If you have any questions about these awards, please contact us at diversityinclusion@wdafs.org.

Past D&I Award and Travel Grant Recipients


D&I Service Award:
Eric Billman
Jessica Buelow
Keats Conley
Catharine Coykendall
Kat Gilles-Rector
Robert Hand
Sammy Matsaw
Christine Stewart
Hannah Swain
Joe Thiessen
Rob Van Kirk


No award given


Cheryl Barnes – D&I Service Award

Taylor Preul – D&I Mentorship Travel Grant


Cheyenne Owens – D&I Service Award

Karli Tyance – D&I Mentorship Travel Grant


Dr. Zach Penney – D&I Service Award

Jesse Gordon – D&I Mentorship Travel Grant