Awards Committee

Chair: Peter Westley Email

Background and mission:
The committee was established to recognize excellence in professional performance and outstanding contributions to Alaska fisheries. The Awards Committee is responsible for the Meritorious Service Award, Alaska Chapter Service Award, the Best Student Presentation Awards for papers and posters presented at the annual Alaska Chapter meeting, and Almost Darwin Award. The nomination deadline is February 15.

A. Meritorious Service Award

  • Solicit nominations by publishing a nomination form in the fall and winter issues of the newsletter. Awards Committee members may not nominate candidates. Nominations do not have to come from AFS members, nor do nominees need to be active AFS members. Nominations can be based on an outstanding contribution in any area of Alaskan fisheries, including research, management, education, planning, industry, and policy development.
  • The contribution or accomplishment of the candidate must be recent and not the result of many years of effort; recognition of career-long contributions is more appropriate for the Wally Noerenberg Award.
  • The selection will be determined by the strength of the nomination and an evaluation of the accomplishment. The Committee will work towards consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, then the selection will be by majority vote. The Committee has the option of rejecting all nominees.
  • If conflicts of interest occur between Committee member and nominees, then those members will abstain from participating in the final selection process for those nominees.
  • The final selection will be forwarded to the Chapter Executive Committee for final approval. The Awards Committee chair will notify the recipient. The award, a personalized, engraved plaque, will be presented by the President at the next Alaska Chapter annual meeting. The committee chair is responsible for procuring the plaque.
  • Nominations are good for the current year and for one year thereafter. Individuals not selected must be re-nominated for reconsideration after this time period has lapsed.

B. Best Student Oral and Poster Presentation Awards

  • Presentations will be evaluated by all Awards Committee members present at the annual meeting. Beginning in 2007 awards presentations are for best Student paper and poster only. Each judge will score every paper and poster using the established rating sheet. If there are concurrent sessions, the chair of the Awards Committee shall assign judges to specific sessions to ensure all papers are rated. Two categories of presentations will be considered: Best Paper and Best Poster.
  • The award in each category will be determined by the highest average score. In the event of ties, the judges will discuss the merits of the top papers and attempt to reach a consensus; but, if a consensus cannot be reached, the selection will be by a simple majority vote.
  • If there is only one presentation in a category, no award will be given for that category. Only one award will be presented to each individual.
  • The Awards Committee chair will announce the best paper award at the close of the Chapter meeting. Student award recipients will receive a monetary prize in recognition of their work.

C. Chapter Service Award:
The Chapter Service Award was established to award outstanding service to the Alaska Chapter of AFS. These candidates should have been involved in some or all of the following activities:

  • Active participation in standing or ad-hoc committees,
  • Made important contributions to advance the current objectives, long-term goals or stature of the Chapter and fisheries professionals,
  • Contributed a significant amount of time to Chapter activities and/or improved public awareness of the Alaska Chapter and Chapter activities,
  • Encouraged development of students as fisheries professionals through recruitment and involvement as Chapter members; and,
  • Recruited fisheries professionals as Chapter members.

D. Almost Darwin Award:
The Almost Darwin Award recognizes the most humorous and outrageous fisheries faux pas of any fisheries professional. The nominees must have committed the faux pas within the last calendar year. A photo or video of proof needs to be submitted along with the story to the Awards Committee.