Saturday, August 19

8 am – 5 pm

Bayesian I: Intro to Bayesian Inference Using Gibbs Sampling (BUGS) for Fish Biologists
Instructors: Benjamin Staton, Auburn University; Matthew Catalano, Auburn University

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There has been a large increase in the use of Bayesian methods to analyze ecological and fisheries data over the last decade. This increase is in part due to availability of Markov chain Monte Carlo methods in a variety of free software packages. Advantages of Bayesian methods include a formal approach to incorporating previous information into the analysis and parameter estimation of complex problems. This course will meet a growing need among fisheries biologists and researchers to apply Bayesian statistical methods to analyze fisheries data. A brief overview of Bayesian statistics will be provided, but the course will focus on practical application of the BUGS language for Bayesian inference using basic fisheries sampling data.

Student Member: $125
Student Non-Member or Young Professional Member: $150
Member: $175
Non-Member: $250

AFS members registering for both the Bayesian I and Bayesian II course will receive a discounted price that will cover the registration of both courses. Student Member: $225 Young Professional Member: $275 Member: $325

Instructors:

Matthew Catalano

Benjamin Staton

Beginning/Intermediate GIS for Fisheries Scientists
Instructors: Michael Moore, University of Missouri; Kayla Key, University of Missouri; Jodi Whittier, University of Missouri

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Course description

This course will serve as an introduction to using spatial data in a geographic information system platform with specific examples using the ArcGIS platform. Participants will learn fundamental concepts of using geographic information and gain experience applying those concepts to accomplish tasks that might be conducted by a fisheries biologist. The course will be a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises using examples that might be encountered by a freshwater or marine fisheries biologist.

 

Learning Objectives

This course will introduce participants to concepts and tools to manipulate spatial data to calculate simple statistics, conduct simple geostatistical analyses, interpolate between data points, build spatial networks such as for streams, and conduct aerial image classifications to identify gravel bars and road crossings in river systems using ArcGIS. Participants will be able to conduct basic spatial assessments by the end of the course and will have a working knowledge of the concepts and potential uses of the tools to conduct more advanced assessments on their own.

Lectures will focus on some basic principles of geoprocessing, geostatistical analyses, several approaches to interpolation, understanding the structure of spatial networks, and understanding image classification methods.

Participants will conduct self-paced exercises using provided data sets which will walk them through the learning objectives using examples that might be encountered by a freshwater or marine fisheries biologist. They will learn how to combine and otherwise manipulate spatial data layers to extract and summarize environmental metrics; create continuous spatial data layers based on empirical point data; use an elevation surface to create a stream network which could be used for watershed management, research, and understanding pathways of surface waters; conduct image classifications to identify structure that could influence river systems such as gravel bar locations, road crossings, and mill dams.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to apply to their own work the techniques discussed in brief lectures and practiced in exercises.

Student Member: $125
Student Non-Member or Young Professional Member: $150
Member: $175
Non-Member: $250

AFS members registering for both the Beginning/Intermediate GIS and Advanced GIS courses will receive a discounted price that will cover the registration of both courses.

Student Member: $225
Young Professional Member: $275
Member: $325

Instructors:

Kayla Key

Michael Moore

Jodi Whittier

NEW! Facilitation Training: Tips and Tools for Effective Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration – DAY 1
Instructors: Chelsea Crandall, Ph.D., University of Florida; Jynessa Dutka-Gianelli, Ph.D., University of Florida;  Joy Hazell, University of Florida

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Fisheries professionals are often called upon to work with stakeholders in their research, management, or policy programs. These interactions call for a set of skills that may not match the fisheries scientist’s or manager’s expertise. Working with a diverse group of stakeholders with divergent values, views and opinions can be a challenge, so the University of Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute and Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Lorenzen Lab is offering a two-day training in the skills, tools, and strategies to build trust and promote collaboration among competing interests. This interactive workshop will help you understand the differences between providing content expertise and facilitating groups to reach sustainable decisions. The training will consist of a mixture of presentations, group brainstorming activities, and interactive group exercises designed to give participants experience in using the tools provided. Space is limited to maximize the opportunity to practice the skills learned.

FOR BOTH DAYS:
Student Member: $225
Student Non-Member: $300
Young Professional Member: $275
Member: $325
Non-Member: $500

Instructors:

Chelsea Crandall

Jynessa Dutka-Gianelli

Joy Hazell

 

 

 

 

NEW! Fish Ageing
Instructor: Jessica Carroll, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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Attendees will learn the basics on how and why we age fish. Instructors will teach how to remove, section and interpret the age of fish with otoliths and other hard structures; why ageing techniques must be validated; why scientists must account for error in the ageing process; and the use of margin codes and standardization to improve accuracy and precision of age estimates. This course will also cover why ageing fish is important to fisheries; sampling design considerations to reduce bias, how to estimate age structure, growth rates, and mortality rates; and the use of age structured models to inform management decisions.

Student Member: $125
Student Non-Member or Young Professional Member: $150
Member: $175
Non-Member: $250

 

Sunday, August 20

8 am – 5 pm

Advanced GIS for Fisheries Scientists
Instructors: Michael Moore, University of Missouri; Kayla Key, University of Missouri, Jodi Whittier, University of Missouri

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Course description

This course will introduce participants to advanced concepts and tools for manipulating and summarizing spatial datasets using the ArcGIS platform. The concepts and basis of the tools will be applicable to other GIS platforms. Topics covered include: geoprocessing, interpolation, simple geostatistics, building spatial networks, and conducting aerial image classifications. The course will be a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises using examples that might be encountered by a freshwater or marine fisheries biologist.

 

Learning Objectives

This course will introduce participants to concepts and tools to manipulate spatial data to calculate simple statistics, conduct simple geostatistical analyses, interpolate between data points, build spatial networks such as for streams, and conduct aerial image classifications to identify gravel bars and road crossings in river systems using ArcGIS. Participants will be able to conduct basic spatial assessments by the end of the course and will have a working knowledge of the concepts and potential uses of the tools to conduct more advanced assessments on their own.

Lectures will focus on some basic principles of geoprocessing, geostatistical analyses, several approaches to interpolation, understanding the structure of spatial networks, and understanding image classification methods.

Participants will conduct self-paced exercises using provided data sets which will walk them through the learning objectives using examples that might be encountered by a freshwater or marine fisheries biologist. They will learn how to combine and otherwise manipulate spatial data layers to extract and summarize environmental metrics; create continuous spatial data layers based on empirical point data; use an elevation surface to create a stream network which could be used for watershed management, research, and understanding pathways of surface waters; conduct image classifications to identify structure that could influence river systems such as gravel bar locations, road crossings, and mill dams.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to apply to their own work the techniques discussed in brief lectures and practiced in exercises.

Student Member: $125
Student Non-Member or Young Professional Member: $150
Member: $175
Non-Member: $250

AFS members registering for both the Beginning/Intermediate GIS and Advanced GIS courses will receive a discounted price that will cover the registration of both courses.

Student Member: $225
Young Professional Member: $275
Member: $325

Instructors:

Kayla Key

Michael Moore

Jodi Whittier

Age and Growth Analysis with R
Instructor: Travis Brenden, Michigan State University

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This one-day course for fisheries professionals interested in expanding their R skills to include analysis of age and growth data. Through a sequence of demonstrations and hands-on application exercises, participants will use R to construct appropriate metrics and graphics for comparing precision (APE, CV) and bias (age agreement table, tests of symmetry, and age-bias plots) between two sets of estimated ages, construct and apply an age-length key to estimate ages of individual fish from their lengths, summarize mean length-at-age with a von Bertalanffy growth model, and statistically compare von Bertalanffy growth model parameters between two or more groups of fish. Participants should be familiar with the fundamentals of R, including basic applications.

Student Member: $125
Student Non-Member or Young Professional Member: $150
Member: $175
Non-Member: $250

Instructor:

Travis Brenden

Bayesian II: Intermediate Bayesian Inference Using Gibbs Sampling (BUGS) for Fish Biologists
Instructors: Benjamin Staton, Auburn University; Matthew Catalano, Auburn University

Click for description
There has been a large increase in the use of Bayesian methods to analyze ecological and fisheries data over the last decade. This increase is in part due to availability of Markov chain Monte Carlo methods in a variety of free software packages. Advantages of Bayesian methods include a formal approach to incorporating previous information into the analysis and parameter estimation of complex problems. By focusing on the practical application of BUGS language for the intermediate topics covered, this course will meet a growing need among fisheries biologists and researchers to apply Bayesian methods to the analysis of fisheries data.

Student Member: $125
Student Non-Member or Young Professional Member: $150
Member: $175
Non-Member: $250

AFS members registering for both the Bayesian I and Bayesian II course will receive a discounted price that will cover the registration of both courses. Student Member: $200 Young Professional Member: $250 Member: $300

Matthew Catalano

Instructors:

Benjamin Staton

NEW! Facilitation Training: Tips and Tools for Effective Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration – DAY 2
Instructors: Chelsea Crandall, Ph.D., University of Florida; Jynessa Dutka-Gianelli, Ph.D., University of Florida;  Joy Hazell, University of Florida

Click for description
Fisheries professionals are often called upon to work with stakeholders in their research, management, or policy programs. These interactions call for a set of skills that may not match the fisheries scientist’s or manager’s expertise. Working with a diverse group of stakeholders with divergent values, views and opinions can be a challenge, so the University of Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute and Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Lorenzen Lab is offering a two-day training in the skills, tools, and strategies to build trust and promote collaboration among competing interests. This interactive workshop will help you understand the differences between providing content expertise and facilitating groups to reach sustainable decisions. The training will consist of a mixture of presentations, group brainstorming activities, and interactive group exercises designed to give participants experience in using the tools provided. Space is limited to maximize the opportunity to practice the skills learned.

FOR BOTH DAYS:
Student Member: $225
Student Non-Member: $300
Young Professional Member: $275
Member: $325
Non-Member: $500

 

8 am – 12 pm

NEW! Human Dimensions Training: Survey Design and Implementation
Instructors: Nia Morales, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Jessica Feltz, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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Human dimensions is an increasingly important part of fisheries management. One of the most common methods used to understand stakeholder opinions is a survey. This workshop will provide attendees with an understanding of the process of survey design and implementation. We will lay the foundation for understanding stakeholders through a review of the important social science concepts of values, attitudes, beliefs, and norms. Then we will work through the survey process in detail from brainstorming to data analysis and summary. Among other things, attendees will learn how to identify and reach their target population, how to construct effective survey questions, and how to analyze and present survey results to different audiences. Attendees will also have the chance to work through examples of effective and poor surveys as well as to design their own mock survey.

Student Member: $50
Student Non-Member or Young Professional Member: $75
Member: $100
Non-Member: $175

Nia Morales

Leadership at All Levels in AFS (FREE)
Lead Instructor/Moderator: Steve McMullin, McMullin Training and Consulting, LLC

Instructors: Doug Austen, American Fisheries Society; Scott Bonar, University of Arizona; John Boreman, North Carolina State University; Joseph Margraf, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Jesse Trushenski, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

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This workshop is designed for new and emerging leaders in AFS. It addresses the need for new and emerging leaders to better understand how AFS functions, the roles of Unit leaders in AFS, and how to be an effective leader in an all-volunteer organization such as AFS.

Lead Instructor:

Steve McMullin

1 pm – 5 pm

NEW! Uncomfortable Conversations: Addressing Unintentional Bias in the Fisheries Profession – FREE!

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Promoting “ethnic, socio-economic, generational, and disciplinary diversity” within the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is identified as a key strategy in the 2015-2019 AFS work plan. As the world’s oldest and largest fisheries organization, AFS has struggled with diversity and inclusion among its membership and is actively seeking ways to improve the “disciplinary, gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity” of its membership. As a first step, it is crucial to recognize and understand why this lack of diversity among the AFS membership exists in the first place. The Equal Opportunities Section of AFS is providing a workshop to identify, understand, and create tools to address unintentional bias within AFS and the fisheries profession at-large. Unintentional bias can be defined as the “unconscious mental models we all have about social groups (i.e., favorable or unfavorable attitudes or stereotypes) that affect our unconscious assessment of others.” Understandably, tackling issues related to gender, race, age, culture, and sexual orientation can be uncomfortable conversations to navigate and tend to be avoided. However, for AFS to meaningfully address this issue, these are the uncomfortable conversations that we need to have.