Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee


The mission of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) is to foster a professional community where everyone feels welcome, respected, and supported. We advocate for policies and procedures that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in fisheries science and resource management. We also strive to remove systemic barriers to participation and serve as a resource to help recruit and retain individuals with underrepresented identities.

We are always looking for suggestions about how to improve one’s sense of belonging within our professional society. Click here to share your thoughts and ideas about how we can meet this lofty goal (e.g., specific events or programs, targeted workshops, meeting-related activities or initiatives)! It will take commitment from all of us to do the important and shared work of making fisheries more accessible within the Alaska Chapter of AFS. Please also feel free to contact us directly at deic@afs-alaska.org. We’d love to hear from you!

Please Note: All AFS members and meeting participants (attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, staff, service providers, etc) must abide by the American Fisheries Society’s Standards of Professional Conduct and Meetings Code of Conduct. Please use this anonymous form to report any violation(s) to the Alaska Chapter AFS’ DEIC. You may also contact any member of the Executive Committee or DEIC directly.

Committee Members

Cheryl Barnes

Cheryl Barnes  she / her (Chair)
University of Washington | National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA

Tyler Dann

Tyler Dann  he / him
Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Lauren Divine

Lauren Divine  she / her
Aleut Community of St. Paul Island

Janessa Esquible

Janessa Esquible  she / her
Orutsararmiut Native Council

Sara Gilk-Baumer

Sara Gilk-Baumer  she / her
Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Katie Russell

Katie Russell  she / her
Orutsararmiut Native Council

Keenan Sanderson

Keenan Sanderson  he / him
Ketchikan Tlingit and Haida Community Council

Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Travel Award

This award is intended to increase participation among individuals who identify as part of an underrepresented group (e.g., in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background) in fisheries science or related discipline. Successful applicants receive a year-long AK-AFS membership, registration waiver, and travel funds to attend the annual meeting. Click here for details.

Want to donate to the DEI fund or help with DEI-related efforts??? Contact us! We’d love to hear from you…

Mentorship Program

The AK-AFS DEIC has identified a need for greater representation and mentorship of students and early career professionals in our field. Thus, we are seeking individuals who belong to underrepresented or historically marginalized groups (e.g., in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic background) and would like to be paired with others based on shared identities and/or professional interests. The goal of this program is to foster a greater sense of community, encourage positive support of our diverse membership, and reduce barriers to participation in fisheries.

Please complete the AK-AFS Mentorship Interest Form to participate – as a mentor, mentee, or both. Your responses will remain confidential. Program participants will be asked to make a minimum 6-month commitment to their mentor or mentee, though longer pairings may take place depending on individual needs, interests, and availability.

Questions and additional comments can be sent to deic@afs-alaska.org.

History of the DEIC

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (formerly known as the Cultural Diversity Committee) was organized in 1992 to increase opportunities and encourage active involvement of Alaska Natives and women in the Chapter. A drive to establish two $10,000 Cultural Diversity Travel Award Endowments began in 1994. Initially, major donations were received from the Western Division and individual members. The Executive Committee matched several of these donations and contributed $3,000 of the proceeds from the 1998 AK Chapter meeting. The first $10,000 endowment was reached in 1999. This plus the additional $3,000 was increased to $15,000 by contribution from the Executive Committee in 2004. The principal continues to grow with support from AK Chapter members and funds support travel to attend the annual meeting.

AFS DEI Resources

National AFS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Western Division AFS Diversity & Inclusion Committee