Chamberlain, South Dakota
We kicked off the meeting Tuesday afternoon with a continuing education workshop centered on the new AFS publication Scientific Communication for Natural Resource Professionals. The workshop experienced near-record attendance with 51 attendees.
It was organized by Continuing Education chair Steve Chipps, and included contributions from Katie Bertrand, Brian Blackwell, Mike Brown, Brian Graeb, Dan James, and Natalie Scheibel. A new addition to this year’s meeting was a Tuesday night fish fry sponsored by the South Dakota State University (SDSU) AFS Student Subunit. Special thanks to Jeff Grote for manning the fryers! Wednesday and Thursday were full of great paper and poster presentations spanning the gamut of aquatic research in the Dakotas. We were honored to have AFS Executive Director Doug Austen as our guest speaker during dinner on Wednesday evening. Thanks, Doug, for making the trip to Chamberlain!
The program was jam-packed with 28 paper presentations and 19 poster presentations. Although all were deserving of recognition, a few stood out. The Best Student Poster award went to Morgan Kauth, David Schumann, and Katie Bertrand, with their poster entitled, “Effectiveness of single pass versus multi-pass backpack electroshocking in low-order prairie streams to estimate species abundance and richness.” The Best Student Paper award went to David Schumann, Katie Bertrand, Jarrett Pfrimmer, and Josh Stafford for their presentation entitled, “Integrating landscape and local perspectives of aquatic communities to understand restoration effectiveness along the stream mosaic.” Mike Weber and Mike Brown received the Best Professional Poster award with their study entitled, “Continuous, pulsed and disrupted nutrient subsidy effects on ecosystem productivity, stability, and energy flow.” The Best Professional Paper award went to two studies: Andre DeLorme, Josue Hernandez, and Louis Weiland for their
study entitled, “Effects of Devils Lake water on Sheyenne River mussels, an in situ field bioassay” and Greg Simpson with his paper entitled, “Opinions and visitor use at eight western South Dakota waters.”
Congratulations also go to Paul Lepisto as the recipient of the Aquatic Resource Conservation Award, Mark Fincel as recipient of the Outstanding Young Professional Award, and Rob Klumb as posthumous recipient of the Robert Hanten Distinguished Professional Service Award. The Klumb family was unable to attend the meeting but requested that Dane Shuman and Steve Chipps accept the award on their behalf and that the award itself be housed at the USFWS office in Pierre, SD. Mike Olson also deserves plenty of recognition and thanks for his service as past-president.
As always, student participation during the annual meeting was outstanding. Aaron Burgad was recognized as the 2014 recipient of the Schmulbach Scholarship and we recognized 5 Sauger Scholarship recipients: Dalton Benage, Morgan Kauth, Matt Phayvanh, Jordon Redmond, and BJ Schall. The Al Kriel Award, which provides an annual Parent Society membership to deserving undergraduate students, was awarded to Dalton Benage of SDSU and Ethan Preston of Valley City State University. Additionally, Laura Heironimus of SDSU was recognized as recipient of the first annual Robert A. Klumb Memorial Award.
Although the meeting was well-attended and full of great presentations, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the absence of our friends, mentors, and colleagues Maegan Spindler, Rob Klumb, and Dave Willis. Despite their absence, we embraced the fact that their legacies live on within our membership. As I walked around during the socials, I heard many fond memories being shared and saw many smiling faces in their remembrance. To ensure continuance of their legacies, various awards have been established in their names, to which a portion of the proceeds from the annual meeting have been donated.