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2015 AFS-OC Student Success Workshop

The Student Subunit of the American Fisheries Society Ontario Chapter organized a Student Success Workshop held on December 4 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario with the goal of providing students with an opportunity to network, gain valuable work skills, and tips from government, NGO, and industry professionals. Offering these opportunities along with free food was clearly an enticing combination, with over 80 students attending!

The workshop kicked off with a data analysis session run by the Student Subunit President Jake Brownscombe at Carleton University. This session focused on using the program R, and covered the basics of using the program, data manipulation, basic and advanced statistical analyses, and GIS.  Data analysis is an important skill for young biologists, and this session helped students of all experience levels to forward their abilities in this area.


Following the data analysis session, the workshop continued at Lieutenants Pump, where government employees Marie-Ange Gravel (Environment Canada), Tara Redpath (City of Ottawa), non-government organization employees Nick Lapointe (Nature Conservancy of Canada), Lauren Stoot (Canadian Wildlife Federation), academic post-doctoral fellow Chris Elvidge (Carleton University), and consultant Charles Hatry (Kilgour and Associates) delivered talks that covered information on their lines of work, how to be successful in school, network with potential employers, build your resume, and find meaningful employment. A clear message emerged from the speakers, which conveyed the challenges of finding employment in biology after completing a university degree, and the importance of extra-circulars and networking for making key connections that ultimately lead to employment in the field. A mentoring mixer followed the speakers, which enabled the students to engage with mentors one on one and ask specific questions of interest to them. 

The Ontario Chapter of American Fisheries Society Student Subunit is proud to provide an opportunity for so many students to gain knowledge and experience that will aid them to become more successful students and professionals. This would not have been possible without the hard work of AFS-OC Student Subunit Committee members Jake Brownscombe, Vivian Nguyen, and Jacqueline Chapman, as well as the many mentors that volunteered their time for younger generations of biologists. 

2015 Annual General Meeting

AFS-OC members gathered again on the shores of Lake Couchiching near Orillia, Ontario in February of 2015 for the AGM. This year's theme was 'Moving Forward Following a Wave of Change', with a focus on conducting fisheries science and managing fisheries after recent changes to Canada's fish protection laws. Suitably, keynote speaker Gary Whelan presented on his work focusing on voluntary landscale scale aquatic habitat protection and rehabilition, and highlighted the advantages and challenges of working with diverse stakeholders to manage fish and their habitat. As always, the AFS-OC AGM was a friendly and positive meeting where fisheries students, researchers, and managers network, share fisheries knowledge and of course, tell fish stories. 

2014 World Fish Migration Day (May 24, 2014)
World Fish Migration Day is a one day global event to raise awareness for open river and migratory fish. To promote this event, a number of AFS-OC students setup an interactive display with technical information regarding research while also offering fun activities for kids. This year's event was held at the Royal Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Later that day, members of the public watched pub talks at the Lieutenant's pump on Elgin Street, Ottawa. Here the attendees socialized, enjoyed free food, and watched presentations on migratory Fishes. Talks were by Dr. David Browne (Canadian Wildlife Federation) and Dr. Nick Lapointe (Nature Conservency of Canada).
The 2013 AGM took place at Geneva Park on Lake Couchiching near Orillia, Ontario. The venue sits on south facing point and for our winter meeting offers opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.
At the 2013 AGM the students organized and operated the raffle,  ran the ice-fishing derby, and handed out the first annual AFS-OC Outstanding Mentor Award. 


The 2012 AGM was held at Viamede resort on the north shore of Stoney Lake in Peterborough County. This area of the Kawartha Lakes is a wildlife preserve, which was apparent by fearless deer and wild turkey that found shelter and food at the resort.

At the 2012 AGM the student subunit hosted an evening social/BBQ, held the annual raffle, and spent time ice fishing. Here are just a few photos taken by AFS-OC members Jacqueline Chapman and Warren Dunlop.  

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