Thursday, September 10

Scientific Communication: Engage anyone with your science

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm (EDT)

A well-rounded scientist can engage with a variety of audiences. Whether an academic seminar, elementary school outreach, the prospect of blogging, or speaking to an angry constituent group, each audience can have high expectations of you as the subject matter expert. This workshop is designed to help you with sci comm, whether you are starting your first research project, finishing up your second post-doc, or just getting your feet wet in the natural resources workforce. In a virtual venue, three experts will present on: (1) designing an effective seminar presentation; (2) crafting key scientific findings in understandable and concise ways to engage your public audience; and (3) harnessing the power of social media. Each presentation will also engage attendees in chat and discussion to improve everyone’s ability to engage anyone with their science.


Richard McBride, NOAA Fisheries, will speak on “Designing an effective presentation,” using the assertion-evidence approach. As an AFS member for > 30 years, and after sitting through 100s of presentations, Rich offers some simple tips to help you with your next seminar-style talk.

Aaron Bunch, Clemson University, demonstrates that “Translating your fisheries science to the public” is not as hard as it sounds!  Aaron outlines principles and theories of different communication styles, including writing a popular article for a general audience, another great place to begin your journey of scientific communication.

Patrick Cooney, Smith-Root, will present on “Casting a large net: Using Social Media To Effectively Communicate Your Science” As a co-founder of The Fisheries Blog, Patrick offers a decade of insight of using weekly online scientific communications that reach a broad audience.

Available to all those registered for the AFS Virtual Annual Meeting at no extra cost. Speakers will work to make the presentations interactive by, stopping for questions at specific points, following written questions through chat, and opening it up for questions at the end of each presentation.

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Friday, September 18

Leading at All Levels in AFS

10:30 am to 12:45 pm (EDT)

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 organizations such as AFS.


Jesse Trushenski, AFS Immediate Past President

Doug Austen, AFS Executive Director

Continuing Education Courses

Continuing Education credits may be claimed for the class below!

[su_spacer]Monday, September 28

Bayesian I: Introductory Bayesian Inference with JAGS in Fisheries Science

10:00 am – 7:00 pm EDT

Interest in applying Bayesian inference to fisheries analyses has grown over the last several decades, however, computational implementation remains a barrier for many practitioners given these methods are generally not part of traditional university curricula. This workshop is intended for scientists who are vaguely familiar with Bayesian principles (an overview will be provided) and have interest in learning to use JAGS for their own data sets. JAGS is a widely used and free program that allows specification of conditional probability models and interfaces cleanly with the R programming environment. Foundational topics on Bayesian implementation will include distinctions and advantages/disadvantages of Bayesian versus classical inference, Bayes’ Theorem, prior/posterior distributions and their roles, basics of MCMC methods and the diagnosis of convergence issues. These topics will be covered via lecture material throughout much of the morning and explored in the afternoon with some limited JAGS examples including simple mean/variance estimation, comparison of posteriors, estimation of binomial probabilities, and linear/non-linear regression.

Tuesday, September 29

Bayesian II: Intermediate Bayesian Inference with JAGS in Fisheries Science

10:00 am – 7:00 pm EDT

Bayesian II is a continuation of topics covered in Bayesian I to cover more advanced topics in JAGS modeling. Although it is possible to register for only Bayesian II, it is recommended that participants have some previous experience with Bayesian inference and JAGS should they choose this route. Analyses will include assorted GLMs (logistic, Poisson, negative binomial, and zero-inflated Poisson regression), goodness-of-fit checks, Cormack-Jolly-Seber models, and (time allowing) state-space population dynamics models (e.g., spawner-recruit analysis). Each model and example data set will be covered via lecture material prior to coding the model in JAGS to ensure all participants are familiar with each new model and topic.


Benjamin Staton, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Henry Hershey, Auburn University[su_spacer]


Full-Day Course

  • Member Students:         $100
  • Member Early Career:    $125
  • Non-member students: $125
  • Members:                           $150
  • Non-members:                 $225

Two-Day Series Course

AFS members who sign up for both days of the Bayesian course may take advantage of a discount, as compared to registering for both separately!

  • Member Students:          $175
  • Member Early Career:    $225
  • Members:                           $275


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