Idaho Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Idaho Chapter of the American Fisheries Society

Idaho Chapter
American Fisheries Society
2022 Annual Meeting

2022 ICAFS Plenary Session

Removing barriers:
Opening pathways to the fisheries profession

8:00 a.m. to Noon, Wednesday March 2
In-person and livestreamed

Fisheries professionals must address an ever-increasing list of threats to fish, their habitats, and the people who interact with them for cultural, economic, physical, and spiritual sustenance. Climate change, habitat fragmentation and loss, societal distrust of science, communicating in a digital world, and the ongoing covid-19 pandemic all present challenges to the management and conservation of fish and fisheries across the globe. Here in the western U.S., long-term drought, coupled with record-setting heat and compounded by hydrologic and habitat alteration, have negatively affected a wide variety of ecosystems and species, ranging from anadromous fish of the Columbia/Snake River basin to popular recreational fisheries in irrigation storage reservoirs to the iconic wild trout fisheries of the Yellowstone region. In turn, equally diverse groups of fisheries users and stakeholders have been negatively affected - Indigenous peoples, urban anglers, and tourist-dependent communities in rural areas. Themes of Idaho Chapter AFS meetings in recent years reflect the diversity of challenges posed by these problems and the diversity of potential solutions. Topics have included the land-water interface (joint with the Wildlife Society), science-based fishing regulations vs. angler ethics, science communication, and aquaculture. Tackling this diverse set of challenges with a diverse set of tools requires a diverse set of fisheries professionals. Sustaining that diverse profession will require removing barriers to entry for people currently under-represented in the profession, and to their subsequent training, development and professional fulfillment. The 2022 meeting will explore some of these barriers and present ideas for their removal. Topics addressed in workshops, plenary talks, and invited papers will range from cultural competency to traditional ecological knowledge to locally based examples of how career opportunities for under-represented groups are being expanded. The planning committee hopes that this meeting will prompt conversations within ICAFS that will open career pathways for diverse fisheries professionals in Idaho.

Plenary Presentations

Decolonizing the "Fishing Hole"
Dr. Zachary Penney

Abstract: From a Western Science perspective, a "fishery" can be broadly defined as a system composed of three interacting components: habitat, biota, and humans, where "fishery management" is the manipulation of one or all these three elements (Murphy and Willis, 1996). Foundationally, the separation of the "human" element from the habitat and biota, is counter to many indigenous knowledge systems. Western Science fisheries objective[s] tend to focus on meeting some level of human exploitation, whether it be recreational, or commercial, whereas most indigenous resource management systems focus on reciprocity. The goal of this presentation is to highlight perspectives, differences in cultural values, and observations that may help further promote a sense of place not just for the benefit of the tribes, but all who live and work in places like the Columbia River Basin.

Zachary Penney, Ph.D. serves as a Senior Advisor to the NOAA Administrator, with a focus on fisheries and tribal engagement. Zach recently joined NOAA from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), where he served as Fishery Science Department Manager from 2015-2022. Zach is Nimiipuu, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe, and has devoted his professional career to supporting tribal fisheries and treaty rights in the Columbia River basin and elsewhere. Prior to Zach's role at CRITFC, he served as a legislative fellow for Representative Jared Huffman (CA-2). Zach holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, a M.S. in Earth and Ocean Sciences from the University of Victoria, and a B.S. in Fisheries from Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska. Zach grew up in Wallace, Idaho and his academic and professional career have serendipitously carried him along the same migration pathways as many of the anadromous salmonid populations he works to protect in the Columbia River Basin. As a Ph.D. student, Zach was a proud member of the Idaho Chapter of the American of the Fisheries Society (AFS), as well as a member of Palouse Student Subunit of AFS at the University of Idaho. Dr. Penney was the 2021 recipient of the Emmaline Moore Prize from the American Fisheries Society.

Cultivating Alliances: Beyond Colonial Unknowing and Toward Native Nation Building
Dr. Vanessa Anthony-Stevens

Abstract: Lack of attention to Indigenous sovereignty is pervasive in educational, research, and environmental management programs, and its void presents pressing tensions and challenges to be addressed in Indigenous/non-Indigenous collaborations. Speaking particularly to non-Indigenous researchers, this presentation interrogates understanding of the role(s) and responsibilities of non-Indigenous collaborators in support of Indigenous community-driven solutions to pressing social and environmental issues. Questions of when, where, and in what ways non-Indigenous researchers can productively serve as allies in processes of community-driven social-ecological problem solving are addressed. Researchers are challenged to push beyond static recognition of colonial legacies and move toward productive, applied, and forward-facing alliance building that respects tribal sovereignty and supports Native nation building.

Vanessa Anthony-Stevens holds a PhD in Language, Reading and Culture from the University of Arizona. She is an Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Studies and principal investigator of Indigenous Knowledge for Effective Education Program (IKEEP) in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Idaho. Her research examines issues of diversity, equity, and justice in K-12 and higher education. She specializes in Indigenous education in the Americas. Vanessa's work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, and the Nation Science Foundation. She has published in journals such as the Journal of American Indian Education, Cultural Studies of Science Education, and the Journal of Teacher Education. She is married to Dr. Philip Stevens and is the mother to two daughters.

Connecting the dots: scientific collaborations under the lens of diversity and inclusion
Dr. Ivan Arismendi

Abstract: Productivity and impact are important qualities to evaluate fisheries careers, especially as they influence management, policy, and society. The inclusion of diverse groups in fisheries has shown little progress over the last two decades for various reasons, including structural barriers within both society and academia. Collaboration networks are important for productivity, promotion, and scientific impact, yet the extent to which the structure of these networks affects the inclusion of minoritized groups in fisheries remains unknown. I will present and summarize our current research about collaboration networks in fisheries focused on publications in international English-language journals and co-authorship networks over the last four decades. Fisheries science has experienced a profound transformation, becoming an inherently collaborative and larger discipline over time, yet women and people of color are not fully included. There is a consistent increase in the participation of minoritized groups as lead authors in research articles, but more than two thirds of all published research is still dominated by white men. This review will help us to understand gender disparities involved in fisheries science.

Dr. Ivan Arismendi is an aquatic ecologist who currently holds an Associate Professor position at Oregon State University. Growing up in southern Chile, his interest for aquatic ecology was sparked as he witnessed the invasion of trout and salmon in his native waters. He leads scientific research focused on global environmental change, invasion biology, and aquatic food webs. He is also interested in the people who use or study in natural resources, which has led to emergent research on diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. To date, Dr. Arismendi has published 88 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has received various awards, including the "Savery Outstanding Young Faculty Award" from the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University and the Emmeline Moore Prize from the American Fisheries Society (AFS), a career achievement award that recognizes efforts in the promotion of demographic diversity in AFS.

Invited Talks

The plenary session will be followed by four 20-minute talks presenting local and regional examples of projects, initiatives, and programs that increase engagement and career opportunities among groups traditionally under-represented in the fisheries profession.

Please direct questions about the meeting format or meeting theme to Rob Van Kirk at