American Fisheries Society
The American Fisheries Society (AFS), founded in 1870, is the oldest and largest professional society representing fisheries scientists. AFS promotes scientific research and enlightened management of resources for optimum use and enjoyment by the public. It also encourages a comprehensive education for fisheries scientists and continuing on-the-job training.
The Alaska Chapter
The Alaska Chapter is the local organization in Alaska for the American Fisheries Society. Our Chapter was initiated in 1971 when a petition was sent to the National AFS, and it was approved by the Parent Society Executive Committee in September 1972. The initial meeting to incorporate the Alaska Chapter was held in Juneau in May 1974.
Eight months later, in January 1975, 80 registrants attended the first annual meeting of the Alaska Chapter at Juneau’s Baranof Hotel. Special guests included Jim Brooks, then the ADF&G Commissioner; Dr. Cameron Stevenson, then AFS President; and Senator Ted Stevens, who gave the keynote address. The Alaska Chapter was out of the gate at a hard gallop! Since then the Alaska Chapter has grown considerably and currently has over 400 members, making it one of the largest local chapters in the country.
The Annual Meeting continues to be the cornerstone of the Alaska Chapter. This gathering provides an opportunity for our membership to share information and learn about the spectrum of management and research for the conservation and utilization of aquatic resources in Alaska. Providing this forum as an opportunity to develop and enrich our profession remains a vital role of the Chapter.
As the Chapter has developed, the number and range of activities have evolved beyond the Annual Meeting to provide fisheries science development and communication opportunities, including regular, well-attended Continuing Education courses. The duties and responsibilities of officers and committee members of the Alaska Chapter have also increased as Chapter activities have expanded. To support Chapter activities, the Chapter maintains from 15 to 20 ad hoc committees.
Reflective of the diverse program of professional activities and accomplishments, the Alaska Chapter received the Outstanding Chapter Award from the parent society in 1995 and 1999.