AFS SNEC DEI Discussion – Readings for March 17

Listen to the AFS DEI Podcast Episode 14: Inclusion can happen now and here’s how

or, read some of the same content here:

Discussion Questions:
-What thoughts or examples came up for you as you listened to or read these resources?
-Think back to the first time you attended any type of AFS event. How did you feel?
-If you are comfortable sharing – give an example of a time when you wish someone stepped up to help you through a difficult social interaction that involved some type of bias?
-What can AFS SNEC and NED do to create a more inclusive environment in our in-person meetings and events?

AFS SNEC DEI Discussion – February 2022 readings

The next AFS SNEC – Diversity Equity & Inclusion Discussion Group will take place tomorrow, Thursday 2-17-22 at 2:00PM.

Please listen to the AFS Equal Opportunities Section podcast on “Two-Eyed Seeing: An Indigenous Framework to Transform Fisheries” . It’s 60 minutes. Put it on while you’re washing dishes, or folding laundry, or working out 😊
And/Or Read the paper “Two-Eyed Seeing”: An Indigenous framework to transform fisheries research and management

Discussion Questions
-What ideas and questions came up for you as you listened to or read this content?
-Have you had any experiences as a Native/Indigenous person working with US state or federal fisheries managers on fisheries research?
-Have you had any experiences working on fisheries or natural resources management issues or doing scientific research alongside Native/Indigenous peoples and communities?
-What can AFS SNEC and NED do to promote opportunities for ‘two-eyed seeing’ in fisheries research in our area?

Podcast Description:
Lian Guo and Aaron Bunch collaborate on a great conversation with Dr. Andrea Reid. Have you ever thought about the history of the land you are on right now? Look around you. Many places are named after Native American/Indigenous Peoples. Dr. Reid discusses many important aspects of the relationship between Native/Indigenous Peoples and Fisheries. She discusses her open access paper which defines the concept of Two‐Eyed Seeing (Etuaptmumk in Mi’kmaw) which embraces “learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing, and to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all,” as envisaged by Elder Dr. Albert Marshall. Please visit the podcast link to access more resources related to this episode.

Reading for 1-20-22 AFS SNEC Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Discussion Group

Please listen to the “Financial Disparity in Fisheries Science” podcast at this link: .

If you have additional time, skim this article too .

We will discuss any aspects of either resource that stood out to participants.

As a starting point for discussion: The podcast brings up barriers to entering academia and fisheries science that are related to people not understanding academic culture. Can you think of how such barriers might be at play in your own organization or in fisheries science in general? What concepts of “fisheries culture” might we take for granted that might not actually be widely understood and thus serve as a barrier to entering this field?

The Zoom meeting link was sent in a SNEC listserv email on 1-14-22. If you cannot find it please email [email protected]

SNEC Winter 2021-22 Newsletter

Read all about what your SNEC colleagues are working on!


SNEC supports a new generation of biologists
Give yourself a big pat on the back! Thanks to the contributions of our members, SNEC was able to make a donation to the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program which provides paid summer internships and mentoring to high school students interested in fisheries.

New Newsletter Format
The communications committee is testing a new newsletter format. Please feel free to share feedback with us by emailing Abigail Archer or George Maynard, and submit your own content for the next edition anytime using our new Google Form.

SNEC Winter Meeting Updates
For our Winter 2022 Science meeting, we are going to incorporate COVID precautions and offer multiple attendance options. Instead of having a large, one day event, we will offer three, mini-symposia (2-3 hours) throughout the region at:
UMass Amherst, 1/21/22 at 2pm at Holdsworth Hall
UCONN Storrs, 1/22/22 at 10am at the Biology/Physics Building
UMass Dartmouth SMAST in New Bedford, 1/26/22 at 2pm at the East Building

Masks will be required for in-person attendance, and the talks will be live streamed to provide the option for virtual attendance. We also hope to record the sessions so they can be viewed at a later time. Registration is now open here – please be sure to select the correct event for in-person registration! Registration will be closed the day prior to the events, so don’t wait!
Please submit abstracts here, we need your content to make these sessions successful!! Abstract submission will close Friday, January 7 (Note that priority will be given to submissions from students and professionals based in the geographic region of the meeting.) Questions regarding abstract submission can be sent to [email protected].

Member Submitted Content
Photo Essay: Aquaculture and Acidification Project
Submitted by: Abigail Archer, Fisheries & Aquaculture Specialist with Woods Hole Sea Grant and Barnstable Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
Picture of Abby
Follow along in this photo essay as Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension respond to a question asked by members of the Massachusetts shellfish aquaculture industry. Lab studies show that shellfish exposed to acidic conditions will have poor growth and survival. Is this happening now in the waters of Cape Cod? Will oysters and quahogs exposed to varying acidic conditions in their natural environment also have differences in growth or survival? Or will other conditions in the environment like the amount of food available, balance out the effects of acidic water?

Identifying Common Approaches and Needs for Fisheries Dependent Data
Submitted by: Gavin Fay, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology
Click here for more information about the Openscapes champions workshops for Northeast fishery dependent data and open data science, organized by Gavin Fay (UMassD), Andy Jones (NOAA NEFSC), and Julie Lowndes + Anna Holder (NCEAS). This 2 month program brought together students, faculty, NOAA scientists, and other researchers through the region to discuss collaborative work practices, group work culture, and all things open data science. This workshop series was a great partnership between academic and NMFS in the region to improve workforce capacity.

The Future of Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Biodiversity
Submitted by: Michelle Staudinger, Science Coordinator, DOI Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center Updates from the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC):
A team of NE CASC researchers is working in collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS) in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (BOHA) to address the risks from sea level rise, coastal storms, warming waters, and non-native invasive species. For more information, check out the full story here…
The NE CASC will announce is spring 2022 webinar series in January. Past webinars are all recorded and available online here and cover pressing topics such as coastal resilience, climate refugia, tribal engagement, and more!

Recently Published Research

A review of River Herring science in support of species conservation and ecosystem restoration.
Hare, J. A., D. L. Borggaard, M. A. Alexander, M. M. Bailey, A. A. Bowden, K. Damon-Randall, J. T. Didden, D. J. Hasselman, T. Kerns, R. McCrary, S. McDermott, J. A. Nye, J. Pierce, E. T. Schultz, J. D. Scott, C. Starks, K. Sullivan, and M. B. Tooley. 2021. A review of River Herring science in support of species conservation and ecosystem restoration. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 13: 627-664. (doi: 10.1002/mcf2.10174)

River herring—a collective name for the Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus and Blueback Herring A. aestivalis—play a crucial role in freshwater and marine ecosystems along the Eastern Seaboard of North America. River herring are anadromous and return to freshwater habitats in the tens to hundreds of millions to spawn, supplying food to many species and providing nutrients to freshwater ecosystems. After two and a half centuries of habitat loss, habitat degradation, and overfishing, river herring are at historic lows. In 2013, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries established the Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG) to synthesize information about river herring and to provide recommendations to advance the science related to their restoration. This paper was composed largely by the chairs of the TEWG subgroups and represents a review of the current state of knowledge of river herring, with an emphasis on identification of threats and discussion of recent research and management actions related to understanding and reducing these threats. Important research needs are then identified and discussed. Finally, current knowledge is synthesized, considering the relative importance of different threats. This synthesis identifies dam removal and increased stream connectivity as critical to river herring restoration. Better understanding and accounting for predation, climate change, and fisheries are also important for restoration. Finally, there is recent evidence that the effects of human development and contamination on habitat quality may be more important threats than previously recognized. Given the range of threats, an ecosystem approach is needed to be successful with river herring restoration. To facilitate this ecosystem approach, collaborative forums such as the TEWG (renamed the Atlantic Coast River Herring Collaborative Forum in 2020) are needed to share and synthesize information among river herring managers, researchers, and community groups from across the species’ range. Read the full paper..

Direct and size-mediated effects of temperature and ration-dependent growth rates on energy reserves in juvenile anadromous alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus)

Guo L. W., S. D. McCormick, E. T. Schultz, A. Jordaan. 2021. Direct and size-mediated effects of temperature and ration-dependent growth rates on energy reserves in juvenile anadromous alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus). Journal of Fish Biology (doi: 10.1111/jfb.14824)

Growth rate and energy reserves are important determinants of fitness and are governed by endogenous and exogenous factors. Thus, examining the influence of individual and multiple stressors on growth and energy reserves can help estimate population health under current and future conditions. In young anadromous fishes, freshwater habitat quality determines physiological state and fitness of juveniles emigrating to marine habitats. In this study, the authors tested how temperature and food availability affect survival, growth and energy reserves in juvenile anadromous alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus), a forage fish distributed along the eastern North American continent. Field-collected juvenile anadromous A. pseudoharengus were exposed for 21 days to one of two temperatures (21°C and 25°C) and one of two levels of food rations (1% or 2% tank biomass daily) and compared for differences in final size, fat mass-at-length, lean mass-at-length and energy density. Increased temperature and reduced ration both led to lower growth rates, and the effect of reduced ration was greater at higher temperature. Fat mass-at-length decreased with dry mass, and energy density increased with total length, suggesting size-based endogenous influences on energy reserves. Lower ration also directly decreased fat mass-at-length, lean mass-at-length and energy density. Given the fitness implications of size and energy reserves, temperature and food availability should be considered important indicators of nursery habitat quality and incorporated in A. pseudoharengus life-history models to improve forecasting of population health under climate change. Read the full paper..

Ovarian dynamics and fecundity regulation in blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis, from the Connecticut River, US.
Mouchlianitis F., E. T. Schultz, T. C. dos Santos Schmidt, J. P. Davis, K. Ganias. 2021. Ovarian dynamics and fecundity regulation in blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis, from the Connecticut River, US. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 37: 64-72. (doi: 10.1111/jai.14128; preprint at

We analyzed ovarian dynamics of anadromous blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis, in Connecticut River with the principal aim of exploring oocyte recruitment and how it shapes the fecundity pattern. We examined the oocyte release strategy and analyzed spawning cyclicity by linking oocyte growth to the degeneration of postovulatory follicles. Females were accordingly classified as pre-spawners, early and late active spawners, and oocyte recruitment intensity was compared among the different spawning phases. Oocyte recruitment occurred continuously and in parallel with spawning activity, a pattern which is diagnostic of indeterminate fecundity. However, both fecundity and oocyte recruitment intensity progressively decreased (tapered) throughout spawning, until the ovary was depleted of vitellogenic oocytes. There was no massive atresia of vitellogenic oocytes at the end of the spawning season, which is atypical of indeterminate spawners. We propose that tapering in oocyte recruitment and fecundity is an adaptation to the high energetic expenditure of the upstream spawning migration.
Read the full paper..

SNEC exists to encourage exchange of information by members of the American Fisheries Society residing or working within Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Find us online:
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Reading for 12-16-21 AFS SNEC Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Discussion Group

PDF of Reading Assignments

One of the World’s Most Powerful Scientists Believes in Miracles

“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.”

Isaac Newton

“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

― Abraham Joshua Heschel

“The worship of reason is arrogance and betrays a lack of intelligence. The rejection of reason is cowardice and betrays a lack of faith.”

― Abraham Joshua Heschel

“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore. Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.”

― Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion

“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion — its message becomes meaningless.”

― Abraham Joshua Heschel

Where the conversation has gone wrong:

“There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”

― Stephen Hawking


From the Templeton Foundation

What factors influence the ways that people react to the findings of science and the teachings of religions, particularly when they seem to intersect? 

Arguments and evidence certainly have a role to play. But what accounts for the wide spectrum of opinion about the relationship between science and religion? 

Why are some people persuaded while others are not by the same arguments and evidence? 

How do underlying psychological, social, cultural or other contextual factors shape the different ways people approach the relationship between science and religion in various settings and with respect to various issues?

Sir John Templeton’s philanthropic vision: harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.

Different and yet connected

Submit something for the Spring 2022 Newsletter

AFS SNEC is going to try out a new format for the quarterly newsletter and we need YOU to send us links about your recent accomplishments. One of the purposes of the Chapter newsletter is to spread the word about the interesting and impactful work that members are engaged in every day. The Communications Committee wants to make it easier for us all to share this information and learn from each other.

Submit your news and links in this new webform – it’s easy!

Did you recently publish a paper? Send the Communications Committee a link.

Did you give a virtual talk for a community event that was recorded? Send us the link.

Did your agency or organization feature your work on their website or in their newsletter? Send us the link.

Were you interviewed for a podcast series? Send us the link.

Have you done anything in the realm of communications & outreach that you’d like to share? Send us the link.

Emails to Newsletter Editor George Maynard are also welcome.  [email protected]

Submit your links by Friday April 8th,

A Message from the President – Volunteer Opportunities

Hello fellow members of SNEC!

I hope this email finds you all well as we approach the holiday season.

These are very exciting times for SNEC as I have a MAJOR announcement to provide you and I have some requests for your help. First the MAJOR announcement! At our last SNEC Board of Directors meeting held on October 12, 2021 the Board voted to create an extremely relevant and important new committee within the SNEC framework, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. The goal of the Committee is to discuss and take action on ways that the Chapter and the fisheries profession can become more inclusive, equitable, and diverse. The formal approved motion for this committee is as follows: “To create a new AFS Southern New England Chapter Committee called the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The goal of the Committee is to discuss and take action on ways that the Chapter and the fisheries profession can become more inclusive, equitable, and diverse. The Committee will consist of at least three members, one of which will be the President of SNEC. The work plan of the Committee will be determined annually through consultation with the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and the Committee membership.” The idea for the creation of this formal committee came from Doctor Ambrose Jearld Jr.’s keynote talk at the June 28, 2021 virtual SNEC Summer Meeting.

With the creation of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, we are looking for at least two SNEC members to step up and volunteer to be on this committee. As this is a newly founded and extremely relevant and timely committee, this is an excellent opportunity to participate in molding the direction of this committee. If you are interested in volunteering, please email me at [email protected].

In addition to needing volunteers for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, we are also in desperate need of some volunteers to fill some other crucial roles within the SNEC framework. Below are the current vacant positions. Please consider stepping forward and helping out.

1). Assistant Newsletter Editor (1 position)

              This position would work with our current Newsletter Editor (George Maynard) on creation of the quarterly newsletter. If you are interested in volunteering for this position, please email Abigail Archer ([email protected]) and George Maynard ([email protected]).

2). Professionalism Chair (1 position)

              The primary goals of the Professionalism Chair are to promote and evaluate the educational, scientific, and technical aspects of the fisheries profession and to acknowledge personal and institutional achievements in the profession. Because there is a large amount of duties associated with this position, the Professionalism Chair can recruit members to assist with these duties should they wish. If you are interested in volunteering for this position, please email me at [email protected]. Below are a list of the Professionalism Chair’s responsibilities:

  1. Overall administration of Chapter awards detailed in the SNEC Procedural Manual, notification of Chapter members of available awards, and solicits member input on nominees. Recommends award recipients to EXCOM.
  2. Arranges for certificates for award winners and certificate of appreciation for outgoing Chapter President.
  3. Distributes information on AFS Fisheries Scientist certification through various channels such as the newsletter and at Chapter meetings.
  4. Provides assistance to Chapter members seeking AFS certification.
  5. Expands the Chapter awards program through development of new annual, semiannual, or special awards as deemed appropriate by BOD.
  6. Administers Student Membership Scholarship Awards for students each year.
  7. Coordinates workshops and continuing education opportunities through collaborations with Chapter members and other regional professional societies.
  8. Prepares informational pieces on Chapter meetings and programs for dissemination via the Chapter’s website and newsletter, social media outlets, and/or AFS publications such as Fisheries or the Northeast Division newsletter, Fish Rapper. Takes photographs at Chapter meetings and other activities to be included in informational pieces.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this email, and I hope you will be able to step forward and help SNEC.


Chris McDowell, SNEC President