Section Minutes – 2014

Meeting Minutes

AFS Fish Habitat Section

American Fisheries Society

2014 Annual Business Meeting

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Sunday 17 August 2014 4:00 – 5:30 pm, Convention Center Room 2101

Action Items highlighted in Red

Present Section Officers: Kyle Hartman, Past President; John Sweka, President; Tom Bigford, President Elect; Sheila Eyler, Secretary/Treasurer

  1. Call to order – John Sweka, FHS President called meeting to order
  2. Determination of Quorum – John Sweka Quorum met (13 members including 4 officers)
  3. Recognition of officers and other guests – John Sweka
    1. AFS Representative – Joe Margraf
    2. Doug Austen and Sara Gilbert Fox from the Society also attended later in the meeting
  4. Current AFS Issues – AFS Leadership
    1. Statement by Joe Margraf welcoming Section to AFS meeting. The Society is well and healthy.  Doug Austen is the new Executive Director, and Tom Bigford now also works for AFS.  Jose also invited Section officers and members to attend the Society Business meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
  5. President’s Comments – John Sweka
    1. This is the Section’s 5th year and Annual Meeting. The meeting was held on Sunday afternoon to have it conducted before the Section sponsored Dam Impact Symposium to begin on Monday afternoon.  The Section may consider a different time and date at future meetings to be more accessible to Section membership.
    2. Update from the Governing Board meeting – communication within the Society through the Fisheries Magazine is being reconsidered. The Society is considering if the publication should be more of a journal or popular type periodical.
    3. The Society is working on improving communications and will be unveiling a new website in September.
    4. The Section launched a new website under the parent website last week. The new site is much cleaner.
    5. The Governing Board expressed satisfaction with Doug Austen as the New Executive Director
    6. Tom Bigford indicated that Beverly Pike (AFS staff) is working on the Hutton Scholarship and Education topics. They are looking for new ideas and inputs and the Section might be able to with Beverly on an introduction to habitat course for members (or any other topic).
  6. Approval of minutes from 2013 Business Meeting, Little Rock AR – Sheila Eyler, FHS Secretary/Treasurer
    1. Motion to approve minutes by Kyle Hartman and seconded by Tom Litts, motion carries.
  7. Review of Financial Report – Sheila Eyler
    1. Current account balance
      1. The total account balance is $6,947.61
        1. Income from dues
        2. Primary expenses include donations for travel to Annual Meeting to other Sections, refreshments for the 2013 Annual Meeting, IRS re-application fee, and certificates and student presentation award.
      2. Nonprofit status with IRS
        1. Amanda Rosenberger has been working on getting reinstated since the previous Annual meeting.
      3. Committee Reports
        1. Web Site/Facebook – Kyle Hartman/Tom Lang
          1. Habitat Section has a new website under the parent site
          2. Amanda suggested making a link to the Facebook account from the new website and vice versa. John has been posting meeting information recently and invites others to post and check the Facebook site.
  • Tom Bigford’s Fish Habitat Articles should be posted to the website. Tom will work on this.
  1. Digital revolution recycles information from website through Facebook (suggested by Tom Litts) but we might need permission, particularly for AFS publications.
  2. Sarah Gilbert Fox from AFS suggests that we should post 3-4 times on Facebook weekly.
  3. Tim Birdsong suggested getting a student involved in the Facebook page management. They would be helpful in creating a flashy site (i.e. What’s that Bug Wednesday).  Posts like that really increased the Southern Division’s Black Bass group views.
  • Possibly add projects done by the Fish Habitat Partnership to tap into Watershed Alliance and Community groups so that they post on our page.
  • John has requested help from members and/or students to manage website
  1. Student Presentation Awards – John Sweka
    1. Best 2013 Student Presentation was awarded to Konstantine Rountos for “The Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms on Early Life Stages of Estuarine Forage Fish”. He received a certificate from the Section and a check for $100.
    2. We will do a similar student award in the 2014 Dam Impacts Symposium
  2. NFHP and FHS Award – Tom Bigford/John Sweka
    1. Similar to the Nancy Foster Award. We are working with Ryan Roberts (NFHP).  We have a few categories 9academic, vision, education). Nominations are due September 19th.  Nominations can be individuals or groups.
    2. The Coastal Summit outside of Washington D.C. on November 2-6 is when the ward will be given out.
  3. Membership Poll for FHS Activities – Bill Janowsky/John Sweka
    1. Bill Janowski has put together the poll and put to the membership to get direction from membership for future activities of the Section.
  4. Old Business – John Sweka
    1. Symposium – Dam Impacts on Fishery Resources (Water Quality, Bioengineering, Fish Habitat Sections)
      1. We co-sponsored the symposium with the Bioengineering and Water Quality Section. The symposium would be held in Room 202 starting Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning.  There was a good turnout with 36 presentations.
    2. Best Student Paper Award – Solicit judges for student presentations
      1. Five students in the Dam Impacts Section
      2. John will give evaluation papers to people who will help judge presentations
  • The Section should encourage students to present in a symposium, in increases the odds of winning.
  1. NFHP and FHS Award – Solicit reviewers for award nominations
    1. We need 2 reviewers from the Section and 2 from NFHP
      1. Amanda Rosenberger and Tim Birdsong volunteered to review for the Section
      2. They will verify no conflicts, Tom Litts also volunteered if needed.
    2. New Business – John Sweka
      1. Poll results and identify leads
        1. 135 responses to poll (good turnout), included questions on symposium ideas, continuing educations, and workshop topics that had been identified at the 2013 meeting
        2. Symposia (2015 Portland, OR meeting)
          1. Habitat changes related to climate change
          2. Habitat structures
  • Workshops (any time) – multi-day training
    1. Habitat restoration and tools for implementation
    2. How to get funding (grant proposal writing)
  1. Continuing Education (2015 Portland, OR meeting) – one day
    1. Software everyone should know (focus on Habitat Assessment)
    2. Habitat Restoration tools and implementation
      1. Tom Bigford suggested passing these ideas on to Beverly and indicate it came from a membership survey with a good turnout
    3. Section needs help to head up effort for the Portland meeting.
      1. Tom Litts suggested use of sidescan sonar to determine fish interaction with habitat. There will be a symposium in Portland related to sound and Habitat Section could possible co-sponsor with that symposium.  His company already teaches a class on GIS (Intro and Advanced) and hope to do them again next year.  The Section needs to follow up with Tom.
      2. Doug Austen indicated that Beverly’s strength is distance learning so we should consider something that can be packaged to be sent out to the field if they can’t come to the annual meeting. There is a remote sensing office in the AFS building looking for ways to work together.  They are requesting a couple of people to be on a conference call with the Society for photography and remote sensing.
      3. Amanda said to reach out to individuals who would be best to lead the symposium to start the process and encourage students to participate
      4. Doug indicated that NFWF may be able to translate climate change issues into Aquatics
      5. Amanda suggested topics for workshops that lend to books or text to help with membership and Section recognition.
      6. Section needs to start to identify experts to develop workshops or symposium (these will need to be submitted to the Society by December). We need to hit top priorities first since there might be competing symposiums and workshops.
      7. Action Item – member content experts to start soliciting ideas and plans for workshop/symposium by October.
    4. Nomination Committee – Kyle Hartman
      1. Send Kyle any nominations for President Elect and we will need to have a vote sometime this year
        1. Tom Lang may be interested in running for President Elect
      2. Start to get people involved in Section to get new officers
    5. Other
      1. None
    6. Adjourn
      1. Motion made by Joe Margraf, second by Amanda Rosenberger