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UAPB Hosts Annual Meeting of American Fisheries Society, Arkansas Chapter

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By Milthon Lujan

USA.- The Arkansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) recently convened at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) for its 32nd annual meeting. The parent organization’s Arkansas chapter is comprised of around 200 members, and promotes scientific research and sustainable management of fisheries resources and habitats throughout the state.

“Although the AFS Arkansas chapter has held previous annual meetings in Pine Bluff, this was the first time the meeting was hosted on the UAPB campus,” said Dr. Mike Eggleton, president elect of the chapter and professor of aquaculture and fisheries at UAPB. “The three-day event had an above average attendance of 127 registrants.”

The conference included 29 oral presentations and six poster presentations on fisheries and aquatic sciences topics. UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence Alexander and Eric Brinkman, outgoing AFS Arkansas Chapter president, welcomed attendees during an opening ceremony at UAPB. A welcome social was also held at the Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center.

On the first day of the conference, specialists from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) and Arkansas Department of Transportation hosted a workshop on freshwater mussel identification.

Upon the event’s conclusion, the chapter conducted a business meeting and awards ceremony during a banquet at the Harbor Oaks Restaurant and Golf Club in Pine Bluff.

Bill Feast and David Frank of the Bear Creek Bass Club received the Outstanding Conservation Achievement Award.

The chapter presented cash awards to all outstanding student subunit members from each Arkansas college with a fisheries or aquatic science program. The 2018 outstanding subunit member winners were Brittany McCall, Arkansas State University; Jennifer Sloan, Arkansas Tech University (ATU); Jennifer Main, University of Central Arkansas (UCA); Jacob Martin, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; and Joseph Kaiser, a graduate student of aquaculture and fisheries at UAPB.

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Plaques were awarded for the best oral and poster presentations. Shannon Smith, a UAPB fisheries research associate, won for best professional presentation, Charlie Jordan, ATU, won for best student presentation, and Chance Garrett, UCA, won for best poster.

The AFS Arkansas Chapter was founded in 1986. Chapter members include fisheries and aquatic sciences professionals of the AGFC, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as numerous representatives of Arkansas’ universities.

For more information about the Arkansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, visit https://arkansasafs.wildapricot.org/or contact Dr. Eggleton at 870-575-8100. The 2019 annual meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held in Conway, Arkansas.

Source: UAPB

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