Summer 2016 Recap

Dr. Peter Auster delivers the keynote presentation.

Dr. Peter Auster delivers the keynote presentation.

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”.

Bill Duffy receives the Irwin Alperin Oustanding Member Award from Past President Heidi Fitzpatrick

Bill Duffy receives the Irwin Alperin Oustanding Member Award from Past President Heidi Fitzpatrick

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.

Meghna Marjadi (right) receives the Saul B. Saila Best Student presentation Award from Education Committee member Tracy Maynard (left).

Meghna Marjadi (right) receives the Saul B. Saila Best Student presentation Award from Education Committee member Tracy Maynard (left).

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.

Students presenting at the SNEC Summer Meeting (From left to right: Joshua Jacques, Kelly Cribari, Mary Yurkevicius, Molly Fehon, and Lucas Nathan)

Students presenting at the SNEC Summer Meeting (From left to right: Joshua Jacques, Kelly Cribari, Mary Yurkevicius, Molly Fehon, and Lucas Nathan)

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.

The President's Gavel is passed from Past President Heidi Fitzpatrick to new President Steve Dywer.

The President’s Gavel is passed from Past President Heidi Fitzpatrick to new President Steve Dywer.

SNEC would like to thank all those who attended the meeting and look forward to seeing everyone at the 50th Anniversary meeting in February.

Summer 2015 Recap

The 2015 summer meeting of the Southern New England Chapter was held on June 25 in the Claire T. Carney Library at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, MA. Sixty-nine persons were in attendance, including 25 students. Twelve presentations were made, including seven by students. Topics included an optical survey for Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder, genetic structure of Brook Trout in CT headwater streams, age validation of Monkfish, placing environmental monitors on lobster traps, trends and drivers of distribution overlap among pelagic migratory marine fishes, using citizen volunteers to monitor Alewife and Blueback Herring runs in coastal MA streams, timing of Winter Flounder larvae found in Narragansett Bay, factors affecting squid availability to fisheries, changing trophic structure and energy dynamics affecting Atlantic Salmon abundance, modeling bycatch of Yellowtail Flounder in the Georges Bank sea scallop fishery, effects of zebra mussels on the feeding ecology of early-stage Striped Bass in the Hudson River, and mapping the distribution of Massachusetts Bay Atlantic Cod spawning stocks using acoustic technologies. Abstracts of all papers are available on the Chapter’s website, found at www.snec.fisheries.org. Michael Fogarty, Chief of the Ecosystem Assessment Program in the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries, gave the meeting’s keynote address, entitled “Marine Ecosystem Production: Meeting the Food Security Challenges of the 21st Century”. Mike noted the need to increase global food supplies, particularly from aquatic sources, as the human population climbs towards a projected 9 billion people in 2050. Per capita consumption of food derived from aquatic sources has increased steadily in recent years and good estimates of production potential of marine ecosystems throughout the globe are needed. He demonstrated simple food web models being developed to estimate production potential of capture fisheries and mariculture efforts. The analysis used satellite-derived estimates of microplankton and pico-nanoplankton primary production coupled with ecological transfer efficiencies. Potential increases to fisheries could come from increased capture of krill, mesopelagic fishes, and cephalopods. Mariculture industries could also increase production of bivalves, crustaceans, and milkfishes.

Mike Fogarty presents

Michael Fogarty delivers the keynote presentation at the SNEC summer meeting 2015.

At the Chapter’s annual business meeting Treasurer Steve Dwyer reported that the Chapter has over $19,000 in assets and is in good financial shape. An ad hoc committee composed of Steve, Eric Schultz, and Don Danila recommended re-allocating the Chapter’s Vanguard portfolio to include a bond fund along with the present money market and stock market index holdings. A 60% stock/30% bond/10% money market ratio was put forth for consideration. The Board of Directors will decide on this at its next meeting. Professionalism Chair Bill Duffy once again noted the importance of members nominating individuals or organizations for the various Chapter awards, which have been scarce in recent years. Bill also reported on the Chapter support of a bid from Boston to host the 2018 Parent Society Meeting. However, Boston was not chosen as Atlantic City came in with a bid that was far less expensive. The Chapter might be able to pursue a venue such as Providence for the next Annual Meeting to be held in the Northeastern Division area during 2022. Sean Lucey asked members to provide content for the Chapter’s website, which has been updated and expanded in recent months. Items such as job postings and research summaries are particularly welcome. Sean also noted the success of the last joint SNEC/AIFRB dinner with more such joint ventures possible in the future. Andrew Ransom, immediate past-president of the UConn student sub-unit, reported that this group remains viable and active. The status of the Chapter affiliate membership category received much discussion among members. No action was taken at the business meeting, but the topic will be further discussed at the next Board meeting. Additional thoughts and suggestions will be solicited from Chapter membership via our listserv as to the future status of this membership type.

Irwin Alperin winner, Sean Lucey

Sean Lucey Receives the Irwin Alperin Outstanding Member Award from Professionalism Chair William Duffy.

Several awards were given in conjunction with the annual Chapter business meeting. Kristen Ferry, President of the Northeastern Division, presented the Division’s Best Student Poster Award to Andrew Ransom of University of Connecticut for “Investigating Genetic Similarity among Extant Bridle Shiner Populations in Connecticut: Prerequisite Information for Restoration of Extirpated Locales”, which was given at the April Division meeting in Newport. Chapter awards for students included Tracy Bauer of the University of New England, who received the Saul B. Saila Best Student Paper Award for her presentation at the previous winter meeting entitled “Abundance and Distribution of Ichthyoplankton around the Saco River Plume in Saco Bay, Maine”. Jessica Norstog of the University of New Haven won the Grace Klein-MacPhee Best Student Poster Award for “The Metabolic Costs of Osmoregulation in a Euryhaline Fish, Hogchoker (Trinectes maculatus)”. Jan-Michael Hessenauer of the University of Connecticut received a $500 Student Travel Award to defray the cost of attending the upcoming AFS National Meeting in Portland, OR.

Outstanding Organization Award

NEFSC Ecosystem Survey Branch wins the Outstanding Organization Award, received by Branch Chief Rob Johnston.

Rob Johnson, Branch Chief of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Ecosystem Survey Branch (ESB), accepted the Outstanding Organization Award for all the accomplishments of this unit. The ESB is responsible for one of the world’s longest scientific data time-series, the autumn (since 1963) and spring (since 1968) trawl surveys in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean as well as several other surveys. The data collected in these surveys have been invaluable in the stewardship of the aquatic ecosystem. Sean Lucey was presented the Irwin Alperin Outstanding Member Award for his many undertakings for the Chapter, including service as an officer, a stint as the Professionalism Chair, organizing a scientific writing workshop, helping to pursue the AFS meeting in Boston, and running the Chapter website. Dr. Jason Link of the National Marine Fisheries Service Woods Hole office was announced as the Award of Excellence winner for his many professional accomplishments and distinguished service to U.S. fisheries science, particularly in ecosystem science. Dr. Link has focused on the scientific merits of ecosystem-based marine resource management and is primarily responsible for the development of the tools and approaches that allow fisheries managers to deal with the impacts of climate change on marine resources. He also has successfully mentored many other students and fisheries scientists.

At the close of the business meeting, Glenn Chamberlain assumed the office of President. His first action was to announce that the now Past-President Heidi Fitzpatrick, who could not be at the meeting, would receive a Certificate of Appreciation for her services as President. Stephen Dwyer ascended to the office of President-Elect and Eric Schultz was elected as the new Secretary-Treasurer. The next Chapter meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held in January 2016 at the University of Connecticut-Avery Point. Note that this meeting will include posters as well as oral presentations. The 2016 summer meeting will be held at a location in Rhode Island.

Summer Meeting Recap

Prosek signing book

James Prosek signs a copy of his book, “Trout of the World”

Sixty-two persons, including 16 students, attended the June 18 summer meeting of the Southern New England Chapter at the University of Connecticut’s Wilfred B. Young Building in Storrs, CT. SNEC Board of Directors members Eric Schultz and Jason Vokoun, both on the university faculty, led the way in organizing this meeting along with considerable assistance from the UConn Student Sub-chapter members. The famously good ice cream from UConn’s Dairy Bar was also a welcome repast for attendees during the afternoon meeting break on a warm late spring day.

Following opening remarks by Chapter President-elect Heidi Fitzpatrick, fourteen presentations were made, including four by students. Topics included the CT DEEP catfish stocking and community waters fishing programs, status of marine ornamental aquaculture in the U.S., comparison of methods for back-calculating length-at-age of Atlantic salmon, monitoring American eel migration in a coastal CT stream, using natural tags to distinguish river herring natal origins, biodiversity and trophic structure of the Bear Seamount cephalopod community, guppy frequency-dependent mate selection, localized extirpation and genetic structure of CT bridle shiner, physiological effects of catch and release on summer flounder, an evaluation of subsistence harvesting of coastal resources in CT, and evaluating an environmentally-explicit stock recruitment model for Gulf of Maine Atlantic cod. Abstracts of all papers are available on the website. James Prosek, a noted artist and author from Easton, CT, gave the meeting’s keynote address, entitled “Joining Words to the World: How and Why We Name Things in Nature”. James recounted his growth as an artist, fisherman, and naturalist from his lifetime experiences and how these influenced his artistic interpretations of fish and birds, many of which he showed to the audience.

At the Chapter’s annual business meeting Treasurer Glenn Chamberlain reported that the Chapter has over $19,000 in available funds and is in good financial shape. Professionalism Chair Sean Lucey noted the importance of members nominating individuals or organizations for the various Chapter awards, which have been scarce in recent years. Members approved a motion that the Chapter will support a bid from Boston to host the 2018 Parent Society Meeting. At this time, this notion has received support from NOAA Fisheries-Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. It is hoped that other agencies and organizations within the tri-state region will join in and provide support or resources towards this meeting. Sean Lucey reported that the city of Providence is independently pursuing a bid for this national conference. Sean also asked for topics for workshops, which would be held for the benefit of Chapter members. The goal is to have a workshop organized and scheduled before next summer.

Student Award

Jan Michael Hessenauer receives the Sal B. Saila Best Student Presentation Award from Karina Mrakovcich

Several awards were given in conjunction with the annual Chapter business meeting. Jan-Michael Hessenauer of the University of Connecticut was awarded the Saul B. Saila Best Student Paper Award for his presentation at the last winter meeting entitled “Looking for Patterns of Fisheries Induced Evolution in Largemouth Bass Populations from Historically Fished and Unfished Lakes”. It was announced that Ryan Knotek of the University of New England won the Best Student Poster Award for “The Survival of Rajids Discarded in the New England Scallop Dredge Fisheries”. Kasey Pregler of theUniversity of Connecticut and Owen Nichols of the University of Massachusetts received Student Travel Awards to defray costs in attending the AFS National Meeting. Tracy Maynard was presented a Special Achievement Awards for her efforts on the Education Committee in promoting and recognizing student achievements. Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries was given the Award of Excellence for his outstanding work in the research and conservation of sharks, particularly the white shark in Atlantic waters.

At the close of the business meeting, Heidi Fitzpatrick assumed the office of President. Her first action was to present the now Past-President Syma Ebbin with a Certificate of Appreciation for her services while as President. Glenn Chamberlain ascended to the office of President-Elect and Stephen Dwyer was elected as the new Secretary-Treasurer. The next Chapter meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held on January 2015 at a location in Rhode Island. Note that this meeting will include posters as well as oral presentations. Also, pending additional planning, next summer’s meeting may be held at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth campus.

Summer Parking

The summer meeting will be held in room 100 of the WB Young Building on the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut. The Young Building is located at 1376 Storrs Road, Storrs-Mansfield CT, 06269. Parking on campus requires a visible permit to avoid ticketing, and UConn AFS students will be waiting for your arrival and give you an orange ‘one day permit’ to display on your dashboard. Students will be stationed at the roadside parking along Horsebarn Hill Road indicated with yellow arrows on the map. Another student will be stationed in the large parking lot near the red Polo Arena further down the road. During summer this part of campus experiences relatively light parking pressure in these student lots, so plenty of spaces will be available. A silver UConn passenger van will be roving along Horsebarn Hill Road to shuttle you to the meeting location if you desire or need assistance, otherwise it is about a 5-8 minute walk from the Polo Arena to the Young Building. Signage within the Young building will direct you towards room 100. See you on the 18th.

Keynote speaker revealed

SNEC is pleased to announce that renowned artist James Prosek will be giving the keynote presentation at this summer’s science meeting.  His presentation will be entitled “Joining words to the World: How and why we name things in nature”.  Learn more about James and his work on his website.