Outstanding Chapter and Student Subunit Awards

WDAFS Outstanding Large Chapter, Outstanding Small Chapter, and Outstanding Student Subunit Awards

Each year, the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society recognizes the chapters and student subunit that best exemplify a commitment to the mission of the Society by actively working to achieve the goals set forth in the AFS Strategic Plan. We encourage you to nominate your chapter or student subunit for this award.

The information required to complete the nomination form will be used to evaluate nominees for the WDAFS Outstanding Large Chapter, WDAFS Outstanding Small Chapter, and the WDAFS Outstanding Student Subunit. Western Division Outstanding unit awardees will be forwarded to AFS for consideration for the Society-level awards as well. HOWEVER, note that AFS defines large chapters as those with 100 members or more, whereas Western Division is divided based on relative size. The five largest (based on AFS membership) chapters compete for the Outstanding Large Chapter award and the five smallest compete for Outstanding Small Chapter.

The five WDAFS Chapters eligible for the WDAFS Outstanding Large Chapter Award are: Alaska, Cal-Neva, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington-British Columbia.

The five WDAFS Chapters eligible for the WDAFS Outstanding Small Chapter Award are: Arizona-New Mexico, Colorado-Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.

If both awarded WDAFS Chapters meet the AFS criteria for a “large chapter”, the WDAFS Awards committee will decide which of the two recipients – either large or small chapter – to forward as WDAFS’s nominee for the AFS Outstanding Large Chapter Award. The Outstanding Student Subunit award recipient will automatically be nominated by the Division for the Society award.

As you respond to the award criteria, please be sure to address the unit’s efforts to address challenges identified by AFS, including:

  • Climate change
  • Weakening of the Clean Water Act
  • Insufficient funding
  • Pressures from increased globalization and urbanization
  • Lack of science-educated public that understand growing complex environmental issues
  • Embracing landscape-scale management of fisheries and research projects that extend across geographic or programmatic borders
  • An aging workforce that does not reflect the diversity of society and fisheries stakeholders

To meet member needs and thrive, AFS operations and business models must adapt to changes in technology and communications, such as:

  • Networking
  • Publications
  • Information exchange
  • Governance
  • Relevancy
  • Annual meetings and financial stability
  • Membership recruitment and retention

Note that the WDAFS evaluation period for the Outstanding Unit Awards is the preceding calendar year. Applicants for the WDAFS Outstanding Unit Awards should report on activities and accomplishments that occurred between January 1 and December 31 of the previous calendar year. This differs from the AFS Outstanding awards, which uses the 12-month period prior to the award nomination deadline. Before WDAFS award nomination forms are forwarded to the Society for consideration, units will have an opportunity to update the forms appropriately.


Past Outstanding Chapter and Outstanding Student Subunit Award Winners

Year Outstanding Chapter* Outstanding Student Subunit
2023 Large Chapter – Idaho Oregon State University Fish & Wildlife Club
2022 Large Chapter – Oregon Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay Area
2021 Large Chapter – Oregon
Small Chapter – Colorado – Wyoming
Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay Area
2020 Large Chapter – California-Nevada
Small Chapter – Colorado – Wyoming
Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay Area
2019 Large Chapter – Oregon
Small Chapter – Colorado – Wyoming
Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay Area
2018 Large Chapter – Oregon
Small Chapter – Arizona-New Mexico
Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay Area
2017 Oregon Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay Area
2016 Oregon Palouse (University of Idaho)
2015 Idaho University of Alaska, Fairbanks
2014 Idaho University of Montana
2013 Oregon University of Alaska, Fairbanks
2012 Washington-British Columbia Oregon State University
2011 Oregon Palouse (University of Idaho)
2010 Washington-British Columbia Unknown
2009 Oregon Palouse (University of Idaho)
2008 California-Nevada Palouse (University of Idaho)
2007 Oregon Unknown
2006 Oregon Unknown
2005 Oregon Unknown
2004 Alaska
2003 Colorado-Wyoming
2002 California-Nevada
2001 Colorado-Wyoming
2000 Oregon
1999 Oregon
1998 Alaska
1997 Unknown
1996 Unknown
1995 Oregon
1994 Oregon
1993 Oregon
1992 Alaska
1991 Idaho
1990 Washington-British Columbia (formerly
(split) North Pacific International Chapter) and
1989 Montana
1988 Montana
1987 Idaho
1986 California/Nevada
1985 Bonneville
1984 Colorado-Wyoming
1983 Humboldt
1982 Idaho
1981 Oregon


* Known previously as the “Chapter of the Year Award”, the Outstanding Chapter Award was initiated in 1982.