Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee


The mission of the Alaska Chapter AFS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (AK-AFS 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!


Interested in joining us?

Check out information about DEIC membership here and contact deic@afs-alaska.org to submit a self-nomination.

Committee Members

Sara Gilk-Baumer

Sara Gilk-Baumer,  she / her (co-chair)
Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Madeline "Maddy" Lee

Madeline Lee, she / her (co-chair)
Kachemak Geospatial LLC

Mary Commins, she / her
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Lilian Hart

Lilian Hart,  she / her
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Teresa Fish

Teresa Fish,  she / her
Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Jeff Muehlbauer

Jeffrey Muehlbauer, he / him
USGS Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, UAF

Katie Russell

Katie Russell, she / her
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Keenan Sanderson

Keenan Sanderson, he / him
Ketchikan Tlingit and Haida Community Council

Harmony Wayner

Harmony Wayner,  she / her
International Arctic Research Center and Coastal Cultures Research


Affiliate Members

Donnie Arthur

Donald Arthur, he / him
Executive Committee Liaison
Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Anna Medina

Anna Medina, she / her
Student Subunit Liaison
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Travel Award

This award is intended to increase participation among individuals who identify as part of an underrepresented group in fisheries or a related discipline (e.g., in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, physical and/or mental abilities). Successful applicants will receive travel support to attend the annual meeting as well as a year-long AK-AFS membership.

Click here for more information about eligibility and to apply.

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 partnered with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (UAF CFOS) and the Alaska Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (AKSMM) to facilitate a joint fisheries and marine science mentorship program. The goal of this program is to pair students, early career professionals, and others with appropriate mentors, including peer mentors. We ask that participants commit at least 6 months to the program, though longer pairings may take place – depending on individual needs, interests, and availability.

Click here to sign up as a mentor, mentee, or both. Pairings are typically made in the fall and spring. If you are interested in a more immediate pairing, please email deic@afs-alaska.org. We also hold a mentorship mixer during the annual AK Chapter AFS meeting, so please join us then! Note: You do not need to be associated with AK AFS, UAF CFOS, or AKSMM in order to participate.

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. Our goal is to foster a greater sense of community, encourage positive support of our diverse communities, and reduce barriers to participation in fisheries.

Questions 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. Funds support travel for people with underrepresented identities to attend the annual meeting.

AFS DEI Resources

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


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.