MN AFS 2021 Election


Elections will be held for the following MN AFS Officer and Executive Committee positions:

  • 2021 President – Elect
  • Federal Representative
  • Academic Representative

Voting will occur in advance of the 2021 Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference and announcement of the winners for each position will occur at the MNAFS Annual Business Meeting. For more information, please contact our Nominations Committee Chair Edie Evarts (

Candidate Bios:

2021 President-Elect

President Nominee: Andy Hafs, Professor, Bemidji State University

President-Elect Candidate Andy Hafs. Photo provided by Andy Hafs (Bemidji State University)


My name is Andrew Hafs and I am currently a Professor of Biology at Bemidji State University (BSU). I have held this position since 2012. At BSU, my teaching focus is within the Aquatic Biology Program where I regularly teach Diversity of Life, Ethics of Fish and Wildlife Management, Limnology, Ichthyology, Fisheries Management, Fisheries Research, and Computer Applications in Statistics. I make sure the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is an important part of the aquatic biology curriculum at BSU by serving as the advisor to the Student Subunit of the American Fisheries Society, making sure the Fisheries Biology Emphasis meets AFS certification standards, and annually taking over 15 students to the Minnesota AFS Chapter meeting. Additionally, I have been the major advisor for 14 graduate students since 2012. Annually, I serve as the academic advisor for approximately 30-40 undergraduate aquatic biology students.

Prior to becoming a professor and moving to Minnesota, I grew up in Green Bay, WI, graduated from the University of Stevens Point – Wisconsin, received my MS at Arkansas Tech University studying population dynamics of smallmouth bass, PhD at West Virginia studying brook trout condition, and completed a post doc at the University of California – Santa Barbara studying bioenergetics of Chinook salmon.  Throughout my travels around the country as a part of my educational career, I was fortunate to have excellent advisors that encouraged my participation in AFS at the university, state, regional, and national levels. As result, I have developed a strong network of friends and coworkers across the country and I have no doubt that has helped me reach many of my career goals. The value of AFS is very clear to me and I have strived to advise my students in a manner that models those that have advised me in the past.

In addition to teaching and advising my students, research is a very important aspect of my job. I have published at least one article in a top fisheries journal annually over the past decade and hope for that trend to continue. I have strived to develop collaborations throughout Minnesota and the AFS state meetings have been instrumental in helping that process along. Of all the places I have lived and traveled to throughout my career, Minnesota and my current job have been by far the most rewarding. Running for President of the Minnesota Chapter is a great honor and if elected I would serve to the best of my abilities. I would do my best to promote all the great things the society is capable of so others can have many of the same experiences I have had.

Academic Representative EXCOM

Academic Representative Candidate: Kyle Zimmer, Professor, University of St. Thomas

Academic Representative Candidate Kyle Zimmer. Photo provided by Kyle Zimmer


I have a BA from Luther College, MA from St Cloud State University, Ph.D. from North Dakota State University (horns up!), and did a postdoctoral stint at the University of Minnesota. I am a professor in the Biology Department at the University of St Thomas, which I have called home for the last 17 years. I teach Biology of Sustainability, General Ecology, and Aquatic Biology. My research program has historically focused on ecology of shallow lakes, especially the influence of fish on shallow lake food webs. However, I have recently moved into deeper water, and more recently I have conducted research on impacts of zebra mussels on fish communities and energy flow in lakes, trophic ecology of cisco, and potential influences of stocking muskie on resident fish communities. I have been a member of both the state and national AFS chapters for a long time. I wish to serve as the Academic Representative to help strengthen the interactions between academia and the Minnesota Chapter of AFS. Many smaller schools across the state do not have formal fisheries programs (including St. Thomas), yet have faculty and students doing fisheries-related research. Increasing connectivity between smaller schools and MN AFS will benefit both the chapter as well as faculty and students doing fisheries research. Additionally, nearly all my research has been collaboratively with both the DNR and other universities around the state, giving me a broad perspective on fisheries issues at the state level. Lastly, St. Thomas does not have a graduate program, but undergraduates have always been a key part of my research program, and the most rewarding aspect of my career is training the next generation of AFS members. I feel our chapter should continue our work on engaging undergraduate and graduate students from across the state in fisheries science and AFS activities.

Federal Representative EXCOM

Federal Representative Candidate: Ryan Maki, Aquatic Ecologist, Voyageurs National Park

Federal Representative Candidate, Ryan Maki, during 2019 Shoepack Lake Muskie population assessment Academic Representative Candidate. Photo provided by Ryan Maki.


I am very pleased to be considered for the Federal Representative position on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. I grew up in northern Minnesota and have enjoyed its lakes since I was a young child. My parents started taking me on trips to the BWCA and to Lake of the Woods when I was three years old, and I have spent a huge portion of my free time on lakes ever since. My wife and I take our daughters camping and fishing every year, and it has been fun to see all of this come full circle.

I earned a B.S. in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and a M.S. in biology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. I conducted limnological research and monitoring on Lake Okeechobee for the South Florida Water Management District from 1999-2004, and I have served as an Aquatic Ecologist at Voyageurs National Park since 2004. I have been involved in a wide variety of fisheries work at Voyageurs National Park, including collaborative research on the effects of lake level management and aquatic invasive species on gamefish. I have also collaborated on fish population assessments and research and monitoring focused on coldwater fish habitat and mercury contamination in fish. I routinely work on fisheries projects with researchers and managers from universities, the Minnesota DNR, the USGS, the US FWS, and both provincial and federal agencies in Canada.

I understand the benefits and services that committees provide, and I have served on multiple committees. Through collaborative research and management and through serving on committees, I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with many members of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. I have also enjoyed attending multiple meetings of the Minnesota Chapter of AFS and attending national AFS meetings in St. Paul in 2012 and Tampa in 2017. These meetings and collaborative fisheries efforts have provided insight into numerous fisheries management issues. I appreciate the role of the American Fisheries Society and its Minnesota Chapter in supporting fisheries management.

Thank you, and I hope to have the opportunity to serve as the next Federal Representative on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.