2021 Symposia


Incorporating adaptive management planning in aquatic habitat conservation efforts in Alaska
Organizers: *Deborah Hart, Neil Stichert
Primary contact: coordinator@sealaskafishhabitat.org; 907-723-0258

Aquatic ecosystems across Alaska are rapidly experiencing the impacts from large climatic variability events within short periods of time; for example, extreme drought conditions in southeast Alaska in 2019, followed by elevated precipitation events in 2020. Incorporating adaptive management planning is needed to help aquatic scientists and natural resource managers in addressing important aquatic habitat conservation needs under these extreme and variable climate conditions. The goal of this symposium is to bring together aquatic scientists and natural resource managers from across a broad range of disciplines and representing a diverse array of aquatic ecosystems to share their recent research on aquatic species and climate vulnerability in Alaska, how vulnerability assessments are informing management decisions, and facilitated group discussion leading to a set of recommendations and prioritized steps for incorporating adaptive management planning in the future.

Applied research and agency programs to advance the use of human dimensions science in fishery management
Organizers: *Robert Murphy, Brad Harris
Primary contact: rdmurphy@alaskapacific.edu, 413-575-5230

We have historically managed fish populations primarily using biological data, including information on the population dynamics and characteristics of the fish itself. However, shifts in management strategies throughout the United States have led to a recent focus on better engaging fishery stakeholders, incorporating fisher knowledge, and developing pathways to assess stakeholders’ perceptions and the ways in which regulatory strategies could impact fishers and fishing communities. Finding approaches to systematically incorporate the human dimensions of fisheries into management programs that are designed to utilize biological data presents many challenges, including the diversity of stakeholder interests and values that can exist even within a single fishery. Fortunately, advancements in human dimensions science have led to the development of new techniques for qualitatively and quantitatively synthesizing stakeholder perceptions and knowledge. State and federal agencies have also worked toward better engagement and structured pathways for the inclusion of social information. In this symposium, you will hear from researchers pushing the envelope with new techniques and from agency representatives that will discuss ways in which their agencies have worked to improve stakeholder participation in management. We will conclude with a panel session where the focus will be on the future of human dimensions science in fisheries management.

Indigenous fisheries in Alaska and issues of equity
Organizers: Jessica Black, *Courtney Carothers, Stephanie Quinn-Davidson
Primary contact: clcarothers@alaska.edu

The fishery systems in Alaska are Indigenous fisheries. People and fish have been closely entwined here for at least 12,000 years, and by Indigenous accounts much longer. Deep knowledge and stewardship systems developed over millenia continue to guide respectful relationships and practices across the Indigenous communities of the state. And yet, in western fisheries education, science, and management systems, this stewardship and depth of knowledge is rarely acknowledged nor drawn upon. Indigenous fisheries are under great threat from exclusion and dispossession. This session features a panel of speakers and a hosted dialogue to follow exploring issues of equity for Indigenous peoples and fisheries. We also discuss equity and inclusion more generally as fundamentally central considerations in education, science, and management, greatly in need of amplification and attention.

Fisheries genetics in Alaska
Organizers: *Sara Gilk, Wes Larson, Megan McPhee
Primary contact: sara.gilk-baumer@alaska.gov

In recent decades, significant advances have been made in the development and application of molecular and quantitative genetic methods.  Meanwhile, genetic methods are being widely applied to address management and conservation issues, as well as contribute to our understanding of evolution and ecology of a variety species across Alaska.  This symposium will highlight recent advances in fisheries genetics and genomics as applied to issues of interest in Alaska.

eDNA: a versatile and increasingly useful tool for environmental survey and monitoring under challenging logistical conditions
Organizers: *Andrés López, Trey Simmons and Deborah Hart
Primary contact: jalopez2@alaska.edu, 907 474-7828

The indirect detection of species in various habitats through analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) is quickly becoming an important tool in natural resource research and management. Over the past 12 years, eDNA-based techniques have been continuously refined, extended and validated. These techniques are now sufficiently well developed to be considered for wide deployment in ecosystem surveying and monitoring efforts in Alaska, where remoteness and seasonal conditions commonly present special challenges. This symposium will highlight ongoing and future eDNA-based research taking place in Alaska. It will serve to engage the community of Alaska-focused eDNA research and monitoring groups in a conversation regarding present challenges and future opportunities for this approach.

Coming Together for the Love of Fish Film Festival
Organizer and contact: Deborah Hart, coordinator@sealaskafishhabitat.org; 907-723-0258

A silver lining from this time of COVID is how quickly and efficiently we are collectively embracing the virtual world – and one of the best ways to highlight the Love of Fish is through film. We are also in a time when many aquatic scientists and managers have added new tools to their tool box, including time-lapse photography, GoPro capacity and drones. The goal of this symposium is to bring together a collection of films from the AFS membership to highlight ways they are Coming Together for the Love of Fish.

Contributed Paper Topics

Marine topics
Population and Community dynamics
Climate change impacts on aquatic habitat
Other – give us some key words when you submit your abstract if nothing fits above

For more details on presentation and poster guidelines follow this link: