SNRE was well represented at the Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This is largest and oldest annual fisheries meeting in North America, where the latest science about how to manage and understand fish populations, their aquatic habitat, and the people who work and recreate in fish-related activities (anglers, commercial fisheries, aquaculturists) is discussed. Although Arizona is not typically thought of as a state with extensive aquatic resources, water bodies such as sparkling mountain streams, big rivers including the Colorado, huge reservoirs such as Mead and Roosevelt and small urban ponds are well represented.
The students and faculty at SNRE showed that fisheries and aquatic resources programs at the University are going strong!
Four SNRE graduate students gave scientific talks at the conference. Taylor Ulrich spoke on using social psychology to improve the effectiveness of informal, education videos that feature native desert fish species. Larissa Lee presented on relationships between stream flow regimes and fish populations in Arizona streams as part of a symposium on Advancing Environmental Flows. Zach Nemec outlined his work on the specific types of habitat some of our native fishes need to survive. Chad Teal, who recently joined the school, gave a presentation on an environmental education center called the Miami Science Barge that worked towards educating underserved communities on science and environmental sustainability.
Students also participated in other meeting activities and won awards. SNRE undergraduate students Jeff Gronemyer, Betsy Grube, Victoria Ann Hoaglin obtained travel awards and joined graduate student Chad Teal to compete in the first ever AFS Quiz Bowl. This is a competition among fisheries schools to demonstrate who has the most knowledge about fisheries topics. The UA team placed a respectable 4th, which was quite impressive considering they were up against schools with much larger fisheries programs, many in the marine sciences! SNRE student Taylor Ulrich was selected by the executive committee of the Arizona and New Mexico Chapter of the American Fisheries Society to accept the Outstanding Small Chapter award on behalf of the chapter. Furthermore, Master’s student Larissa Lee received a 2018 AFS John E. Skinner Memorial Award which “provides monetary travel awards for deserving graduate students or exceptional undergraduate students to attend the AFS annual meeting.” She also placed third in the AFS spawning run, an annual 5K race for meeting participants. SRNE students volunteered many hours at the meeting to both help out and assist funding their travel.
Finally, Dr. Scott A. Bonar, leader of the Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and SNRE Professor of Fisheries was sworn in as President-Elect of the Society.
All in all, a very good showing by SNRE students and faculty!