Rising Star Award

Fish Habitat Section of the American Fisheries Society

 “Rising Star Award for Outstanding Early-Career Contributions in Fish Habitat Conservation”

Background: This award recognizes the outstanding early-career contributions of students and early professionals in the field of fish habitat conservation. This fills a need to recognize the achievements of individuals who achieve early-career success on projects related to fish habitat research, policy, management, education, project implementation, communications and outreach, or some other endeavor in freshwater, coastal, and/or marine environments. The Rising Star Award will be administered as an American Fisheries Society (AFS), Fish Habitat Section (FHS)-level award in association with the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) and NOAA Fisheries.

Eligibility Requirements: To be considered the nominee must be a graduate student (MS or PhD) or an early-career professional who completed the project(s) they are being recognized for within 10 years of graduating with their terminal degree. The nominee does not need to be a member of AFS nor do they need to be a FHS member. If the nominee receives the Rising Star Award they will be encouraged to attend the AFS Annual Meeting, and specifically the FHS Business Meeting to receive the award.

Nomination Process: Nominators should submit nomination packages to AFS-FHS past-President and Award Chair Kimberly Dibble at [email protected] by Monday, May 1, 2023 that includes the following:

1. A letter of support (no more than 5 pages) for the nominee that includes:

a. The name of the nominee, their current employer and position title, their affiliation when they worked on the project(s) they are being nominated for, and a relative time frame during which the nominee did the work.

b. A description of the nominators’ relationship with the nominee. Please include any information that could be considered a conflict of interest.

c. Description of the nominees’ actions that merit the Rising Star Award. This should include information on projects or activities the nominee was involved in, how those projects contributed to fish habitat conservation in freshwater, coastal, and/or marine environments, their respective role in those projects, project partners and stakeholders, long-term success rates, project longevity, and any other pertinent information.

d. A clear statement of how the project contributed towards the mission, goals, and/or objectives of AFS, the AFS-FHS, NFHP, and/or NOAA Fisheries.

e. 1-3 letters of support from partners, sponsors, or collaborators.


2. A Curriculum Vitae or Resume for the nominee.


3. Proof of Eligibility—copies of unofficial transcripts, a copy of the nominees’ terminal degree, or a letter from the university containing the nominees’ graduation date.


Selection Process: Selection for this award will be conducted by a committee comprised of (at minimum) two current or past AFS-FHS executive committee members (President-Elect, Past Officer), one representative from the NFHP Board of Directors, and one representative from the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation. Full nomination packages will be evaluated by the review panel using the following evaluation criteria:
1. Scientific merit and quality of the project

2. Relevance and applicability to the mission, goals, and objectives of AFS, AFS-FHS, NFHP, and NOAA Fisheries

3. Coordination and engagement with partners and stakeholders

4. Nominees’ qualifications, including work experience and scholastic excellence


Award Process: The award will be presented at the 152nd Annual AFS Meeting in Spokane, WA (see https://afsannualmeeting.fisheries.org/) by the recipient of the Stanley A. Moberly Award for Outstanding Contributions in Fish Habitat Conservation (also to be given in Spokane). The Rising Star recipient(s) will receive a plaque honoring their early-career achievements, a monetary contribution to be put toward a Fish Habitat Partnership of their choice, and recognition via social media and other outreach efforts with AFS, the AFS-FHS, NFHP, and NOAA Fisheries. If the Rising Star recipient cannot attend the meeting in person, arrangements will be made to virtually present the award during the AFS-FHS Business Meeting.