The AFS Fisheries Information & Technology Section is conducting elections for the 2019-2021 cycle. As a current member, you are eligible and encouraged to participate. Please read the biographies of each candidate below, and then follow the link to vote. The election closes Friday, 2 August 2019.
If you have any questions, please contact Paul Venturelli, FITS President-elect, email@example.com or 765-285-8812. Thank you for your participation!
Dr. Jason Doll
Assistant Professor of Biology, Francis Marion University
Biography: After earning my MS from Ball State University, Muncie, IN in 2003, I worked as an Assistant Fisheries Biologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, then the Lake Michigan Biologist at Ball State University, and then the Fisheries Biologist for the Muncie Bureau of Water Quality. In 2011, I returned to Ball State University to pursue a PhD in environmental science. My doctoral work included stock assessments of Walleye and Hybrid Striped Bass in Indiana reservoirs. After earning my PhD, I stayed at Ball State for one year to teach introductory biology and statistics courses. From 2017-18, I was a post-doctoral research associate with the Quantitative Fisheries Center at Michigan State University working on a stock assessment of prey fish in Lake Huron. Most recently, I spent the last academic year (2018-19) as an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina. Beginning in August I will be starting a new Assistant Professor of Biology appointment at Francis Marion University in South Carolina. My current research is on population dynamics of Spotfin Chubs and Sicklefin Redhorse in the Little Tennessee River. Finally, I am a Bayesian and die-hard lover of R.
Interest, qualifications, and vision: I have been an active member of AFS since 2000 and I am thrilled for the opportunities that would come if you select me as your new president-elect. My service to AFS includes the executive committee of the Indiana Chapter of AFS (IAFS) between 2007 and 2011, IAFS co-chair of the communications committee for 11 years, IAFS certification committee chair, and IAFS Walleye technical committee representative. I have also been a member of FITS since 2000 when it was called the Computer Uses Section. Throughout my career I have been interested in how computers and technology can improve fisheries management. Although my computer and technology interest are primarily in software, such as R and data sharing tools to facilitate open science, I have always been intrigued by new technology such as low-cost side-scan-sonar. As a member of the FITS executive committee I would pursue opportunities to provide educational opportunities for AFS members in software designed specifically for fisheries applications. For example, there are numerous free online video tutorials on how to use R. I think similar tutorials on how to use popular fisheries R packages (e.g., FSA, fishmethods, and FLR) would be valuable and helpful to AFS member.
Dr. Tiffany Hopper
Natural Resources Specialist/Data Analyst, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Biography: I was born in rural Tennessee, where my wildlife biologist father instilled in me a love for hunting, fishing, and hiking as well as a passion for understanding how humans interact with nature. I was always drawn to applying ideas from diverse fields to solve real-world problems, leading me to an undergraduate double major in English and Biology at Murray State University. There, I also joined the Biology and Mathematics in Populations Studies program where I studied the impacts of human activities on disease vectors using state of the art modeling techniques. Still focusing on human interactions with the environment, I completed a Ph.D. in Biology with a focus in Marine Biology from Texas Tech University. At Texas Tech I developed new skills in data management and statistical programming that were crucial in my post-doctoral work exploring spatial and temporal patterns in shark distributions using datasets from multiple federal, state, university, and international partners throughout the Gulf of Mexico. I currently serve as a Natural Resources Specialist and Data Analyst for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division, where I help manage and analyze our 40+ year-long monitoring database to help shape the future of marine fisheries management.
Interest, qualifications, and vision: At TPWD, I regularly interact with a continually expanding legacy database containing millions of records from the 1970s-present. I am working with a team to migrate this database to a modern system and implement fully digital data collection using a tablet. These types of migrations are increasingly necessary as legacy systems stop being supported. One of my priorities is education about migrating legacy databases of all sizes and restructuring them to leverage the capabilities of newer systems. This also often provides opportunities to incorporate ruggedized devices for digital data collection with field-based error checking. Another priority for me would be continuing the current FITS initiatives on creating and maintaining standardized metadata. Without detailed metadata any dataset can be difficult to interpret and impossible to analyze, and metadata is critical when combining multiple datasets. Yet, many fisheries professionals don’t fully understand what metadata information is most important to record or what options exist for easy storage. FITS and its past leaders have done an excellent job of connecting fisheries professionals with the best current technological solutions, and I hope to bring my diverse skillset and drive to find novel, multi-disciplinary approaches to problems to help lead FITS into the future.