The Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) of the American Fisheries Society held their Summer Science Meeting on June 16th. The meeting was held at the picturesque Save the Bay Center located on the campus of Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. Over seventy people gathered to hear a range of talks including presentations on Salmon tracking using satellite pop-up tags, blue-crab foraging impacts on Winter Flounder in New England waters, development of a spawning stock biomass estimate for Atlantic Mackerel, and the effects of culverts on the genetic structure of Brook Trout. The afternoon was highlighted by a keynote presentation by Dr. Peter Auster from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Auster spoke on the challenges in fisheries management that arise from the complex nature of marine habitats and the scales on which ecological processes act compared to the scale at which they are sampled. Of the ten presentations, five were performed by students vying for the Saul B. Saila Best Student Presentation award. Lucas Nathan from the University of Connecticut won with his presentation entitled “Evaluating the effects of culverts on fine scale genetic structuring of Brook Trout”.
In addition to the presentations, the chapter also held their annual business meeting. The business meeting was highlighted by the presentation of the SNEC professional awards. Dr. David Taylor was presented with the Distinguished Service Award for his service to the chapter’s Board of Directors specifically his role as the Program Chair and organizing the chapter’s Rhode Island meetings. William Duffy was presented with the Irwin Alperin Membership Service Award for organizing several workshops and an extended stay on the executive committee. The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) was recognized with the Outstanding Organization Award for their dedicated work with fishermen and fisheries science. The chapter also presented Special Recognition Awards to Dr. Richard McBride and Dr. Cate O’Keefe for their efforts in the Communicating Science Workshop held in March. In addition to the professional awards, Mathew Devine and Meghna Marjadi received the Grace Klein-MacPhee Best Student Poster Award and Saul B. Saila Best Student Presentation Award respectively for their presentations at the Winter Science Meeting. Lucas Nathan also received the SNEC Student Travel Award to help offset the cost of attending the National AFS meeting in Kansas City.
The two big developments from the business meeting were the acceptance of proposed by-law changes that allowed for the inclusion of a new University of Massachusetts Amherst Student Sub-Unit and the announcement of a two day 50th Anniversary SNEC meeting next year. The UMass sub-unit is the second student group to join SNEC, the other being the University of Connecticut. The 50th Anniversary meeting will be held in Mystic, CT, February 27-28, 2017, in conjunction with the Northeast Division of AFS. Further details will be disseminated via the SNEC website as they become available.
The business meeting concluded with the installation of the new executive committee. Glenn Chamberlain ascended to past-president as Steve Dwyer assumes the role of president. The gavel was passed by former past-president Heidi Fitzpatrick whose term on the executive committee is now over. Dr. Eric Schultz moved from Secretary/Treasurer to President-elect and announced the election of the new secretary/treasurer, Dr. Sara Turner.
SNEC would like to thank all those who attended the meeting and look forward to seeing everyone at the 50th Anniversary meeting in February.