The 63rd Annual Business Meeting of the Northeastern Division was held in Newport Rhode Island, and featured a Fisheries Professionals Reception. Peter Aarrestad, Director of Inland Fisheries for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; Chris O’Bara, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources; AFS Executive Director Doug Austen; and AFS President Donna Parrish addressed the attendees. The NED meeting was in conjunction with the 71st Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference on 19—21 April 2015.
NED President John Cooper summarized the discussions between the Division, the Northeast Section of the Wildlife Society, and the Directors and Administrators of fish and wildlife for planning future conferences. The usual presentation of committee reports was replaced by a powerpoint slide loop run during the reception. Committee report summaries can be downloaded here: 2015 committee report.
The Dwight Webster Memorial Award, the most prestigious award given by the Northeastern Division, is given in honor of Dr. Dwight Webster, who was twice President of the Northeastern Division, and was a faculty member at Cornell University for more than 40 years. The award recipient was Dr. Donna Parrish (above), the Unit Leader of the Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Research Professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. Donna teaches a course on the Ecology of Fishes and graduate seminars on aquatic ecology and watershed science, on becoming a successful scientist, and integrating natural science and social science. Donna became a member of the American Fisheries Society in 1982 and is the current President of the Society. She is also a Past President of the Education Section and the Northeastern Division. She has served on numerous committees for the society on awards, strategic planning, membership, and publications overview. Donna was instrumental in establishing the J. Frances Allen Scholarship in 1986, and is a co-author of the recent article in Fisheries magazine titled ‘J. Francis Allen: Pioneer of Women in Fisheries.’
The President’s Award was given to Paul Perra (above), who is the coordinator for recreational fisheries with the Greater Atlantic Region of NOAA Fisheries Service where he contributed to the implementation of the Marine Recreational Information Program and Artificial Reefs Initiatives. Paul led the interstate management fisheries program of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for about two decades and was a major contributor in the recovery process of Atlantic Coast striped bass. Paul joined the American Fisheries Society in 1976 and served the Northeastern Division as Secretary-Treasurer and President, was a member of the steering committee for the international symposium ‘Challenges for Diadromous Fishes in a Dynamic Global Environment’ published by AFS in 2009, and organized and moderated the symposium ‘Northeast Atlantic Striped Bass Fisheries Management, Past, Present, and Future,’ and was instrumental in developing the AFS policy statement on bycatch of marine fish.
The Meritorious Service Award was given to Greg Kozlowski, a fisheries biologist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Region 1 (Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island) where he writes popular articles for the New York Conservation magazine for Kids and contributing to the DEC website, in addition to his regular duties. Greg became a member of AFS in 1998 and has served AFS, the Northeastern Division, and the New York Chapter as an audio-visual technologist at several meetings. Greg also served as the Division’s website manager for seven years.
Two students were recognized for excellence in presentations: Connor Capizzano, University of New England, was awarded the best paper presentation ‘Estimating and mitigating post-release mortality of Atlantic Cod in the Gulf of Maine’s recreational rod-and-reel fishery’, and Andrew Ransom, University of Connecticut, was given the best poster award for “Investigating genetic similarity among extant bridle shiner populations in Connecticut: prerequisite information for restoration of extirpated locales.”
The Moring Student Travel Award was given to Lucas Nathan, University of Connecticut, who presented a poster ‘Using genetics and cost-distance modeling to uncover stream network features that structure Brook trout populations.’ The Moring Award is named in honor of the late Dr. John Moring, Professor of Zoology and marine sciences at the University of Maine.
The Division ceremonial walking stick, carved by Dr. Robert Carline, was presented to Richard Hames, who joined AFS in 1956, and has the longest AFS membership within the Division. Previous winners (and year joined) were Edwin Cooper (1940), Saul Saila (1949), Thomas Dolan (1954), and Philip Briggs (1956).
The results of the Division elections (held earlier) were Justin Davis as Vice President (above), and Scott Craig as the Division Representative to the AFS Nominating Committee. The current officers, President John Cooper, President-elect Kristen Ferry, and Vice President Jason Vokoun (below) will remain in office until the AFS Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. Secretary-Treasurer Chris Millard remains in office until 2016.
—John Cooper, President
Accompanying pictures taken by Chris Millard