The University of Montana American Fisheries Society Student Subunit is a great way for students to engage with the fisheries science community, meet fisheries students and professionals, and have a pretty good time. UM AFS is a subunit of the American Fisheries Society, which is a national organization committed to promoting fisheries science and sustainable management of fisheries resources. Complete information about AFS is available at fisheries.org.
What you might not realize is that UM AFS is not just open to students studying fish biology. We are a blend of graduate and undergraduate students in various majors, including Wildlife Biology, Resource Conservation, Wildland Restoration, and Organismal Biology and Ecology. We have bi-weekly meetings that feature local experts giving presentations about various fish, restoration, habitat, and water issues. This semester our speakers include professionals from Trout Unlimited; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Save Our Wild Salmon; and the US National Park Service.
UM AFS is a great way to meet and network with fisheries and aquatic professionals. We host Fish Trivia Night every fall, where students and fisheries professionals team up to test their knowledge of all things fishy and aquatic. At state and division AFS meetings, students can present research, attend scientific presentations, and socialize at mentoring mixers, allowing for further opportunities to make connections with professionals. FWP and other organizations frequently use UM AFS students as volunteers and interns, as well as summer technicians.
We also like to get involved in the Missoula community – and have fun! This year we held a fundraiser at Draughtworks Brewery, went backpack electrofishing in Glacier National Park, and continued our annual traditions of helping WestSlope Trout Unlimited with their banquet and participating in the Clark Fork Coalition River Clean Up.
UM AFS meets every other Thursday during Fall and Spring Semesters at 6pm in FOR305. Join us! You can find more information at http://www.cfc.umt.edu/AFSStudentChapter/, or find UM AFS on Facebook.
By Tracy Wendt, UM AFS President