Student Involvement

The 2023 Alaska Chapter Meeting has many opportunities for students to be involved, to present research, and to network with peers and professionals. In years past, students and their research have been highlights of our Chapter Meetings, and we look forward to more of the same this year!

Chapter Meeting Travel Awards

Travel awards are available for graduate and undergraduate students to attend the Alaska Chapter Meeting/Conference in Fairbanks from March 27-31, as well as the Student Retreat. Travel award funding is available to cover the costs of flights, lodging, and/or meeting registration. In order to be eligible to receive travel award funding, students must 1) be enrolled as a full-time student in the Spring 2023 semester, 2) be a member (in good standing) of the American Fisheries Society – Alaska Chapter, 3) be available to volunteer during the conference, and 4) demonstrate financial need. If a student is requesting flight and/or lodging financial assistance, we are asking that the student volunteer 12 hours of time to the meeting, with at least 6 hours but no more than 8 hours of volunteer time occurring during the week of the meeting. If a student is only requesting meeting registration financial assistance (i.e., they have their own travel assistance or live local to Fairbanks), we are asking that the student volunteer 6 hours of time to the meeting, with at least 3 hours of volunteer time occurring during the week of the meeting. Additional criteria that will be considered when determining travel awards will include whether a student plans to present research at the conference, whether the student has demonstrated involvement in the Student Subunit/Chapter/Society, whether a student identifies as part of an underrepresented identity within fisheries, and whether a student is volunteering with the conference. A Google form will be shared at a later date via email for students to apply for Travel Award funding and linked here on the website.

Chapter Meeting Engagement Opportunities

During the Annual Meeting, there will be multiple opportunities for students to engage with professionals, grow their skills, and present their research. Professional development courses will be offered on Sunday and Monday (March 26-27) with subjects in science communication and data analysis in R. On Tuesday, March 28, there will be a catered Mentorship Mixer lunch with students and industry professionals. To present research, students have the opportunity of a poster session Wednesday morning and/or technical sessions throughout Tuesday through Thursday to present either 5- or 12-minute talks. Throughout the meeting week, there will be Affinity Group mixers during coffee/lunch breaks for individuals to connect with others of similar identities. There will also be many social events to network amongst professionals, including a film festival on Monday evening and casual socials on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. A formal banquet will be held Thursday evening, where awards for best student talks and posters will be bestowed. Friday will be a fun day filled with field trips.

Chapter Meeting Volunteer Opportunities

Students have played a large role in helping the Alaska Chapter’s Annual Meetings/Conferences in years past, and we hope to continue that tradition for this year’s event! In addition, volunteering time is a way for students to have their meeting registration costs completely covered and/or enhance their Travel Award application.

Prior to the meeting, students can solicit silent auction donations from businesses. These solicitations can be done for businesses throughout the state and are usually done over email. Proceeds from the silent auction directly go to support Travel Awards for the students, so please assist with this worthy cause! If students are interested in volunteering with the silent auction donation solicitations, please contact Jonah Bacon (student@afs-alaska.org) to express your interest as soon as possible!

Additionally, members of the Planning Committee are asking for assistance from students with a variety of different tasks (reference this spreadsheet). These volunteer opportunities are occurring both before as well as during the week of the meeting. As a student, working the registration table and/or any of these other meeting-related events will increase your exposure to meeting attendees and help immensely with networking!

Student volunteer opportunities PRIOR to the week of the meeting include:

  1. Website and Event platform – help with web design for the meeting website and/or social media posts.

  2. Program Book – Assist with assembling meeting program book (most work will be in early March after abstracts are due).

  3. Indigenous inclusion / Tribal liason – reach out to Tribal organizations, encourage participation in the meeting, and help make the meeting inclusive.

Student volunteer opportunities DURING the week of the meeting include:

  1. Affinity Groups (throughout meeting week) – Affinity groups will include: BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color), LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-spirit +), Disability, First Generation College Students (Past and Present), Dependent Caregivers, and Women and Underrepresented Genders. Need 1 student for each affinity group for a ~1 hour time commitment. Please contact Cheryl Barnes (deic@afs-alaska.org) directly to volunteer to help with an affinity group.

  2. Registration Desk Coordinator (throughout meeting week) – coordinate student volunteers so there is always one person at the registration desk.

  3. Registration Desk (throughout meeting week, 1 hour time blocks) – sit at the registration desk, communicate with meeting attendees, and help individuals register for the meeting.

  4. Professional Development (Sun, Mar 26 – Mon, Mar 27 day) – help setup the classroom and make sure the instructor is set for the day, disseminate and collect evaluations at the end of the classes.

  5. Welcome Social / Film Fest (Mon, Mar 27 evening) – help setup A/V for the Film Festival and drinks/hors d’oeuvres.

  6. Banquet (Thu, Mar 30 evening) – various small tasks related to the Banquet and coordination with Westmark Hotel.

  7. Spawning Run / Walk 5K (TBD) – specific tasks undetermined at the moment, but likely helping with the logistics and operation of the fun run/walk.

  8. Awards (throughout meeting week) – help to make sure judges have paper copies of score sheets for student talks, help tabulate scores and determine student winners (it would be best if this student is not presenting or participating in the competition).

  9. Field trips (Thu, Mar 30 evening – Fri, Mar 31 day) – set up ice fishing spot Thu evening, then help with a 4-6 hour ice fishing excursion Friday.

If students are interested in volunteering with the meeting in any of these capacities, please also contact Jonah Bacon (student@afs-alaska.org) expressing your interest!

Student Subunit Retreat

The AFS Student Subunit at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is sponsoring a Student Retreat from Friday, March 24 through Monday, March 27, which is the weekend immediately prior to the Alaska Chapter Annual Meeting/Conference. The Student Retreat will be held at the Twin Bears Camp, where students will have time to socialize, relax, recreate (ski, snowshoe, ice fish), go on field trips (Chena Hot Springs, Fairbanks, Aurora viewing), practice and get peer feedback on their AFS presentations, and spend a weekend together. The Student Retreat is open to all AFS student members (undergraduate and graduate students!). Please contact Garrett Dunne (Subunit President; gdunne@alaska.edu) or Jonah Bacon (Student Representative; student@afs-alaska.org) with further questions or to get involved. Further details, specifics, and communications regarding the Retreat will be published here on the website as well as via email as they are determined.

Please contact Jonah Bacon (student@afs-alaska.org) with any questions or concerns pertaining to student involvement with the Chapter Meeting or Erik Schoen (presidentelect@afs-alaska.org) with any questions pertaining to the Chapter Meeting as a whole.