Co-hosted by the Western Division AFS and the Washington-British Columbia AFS Chapter 

What Do Fish Mean to Us?
Perspectives Above and Below the Water

 Call for Proposals – Symposia, Workshops, and Innovative Sessions
Proposal Deadline Extended to: February 18, 2022

Thank you to those who submitted a symposium proposal for the upcoming AFS Annual Meeting in Spokane, WA, August 21-25, 2022.

After review of the proposals, we identified several key topics that we hope can still be included in the program. We are re-opening the “Call for Symposia” looking specifically for proposals addressing the following topics: hatchery management and supplementation efforts, fish disease and pathogens, policy, regional topics of interest (e.g., Snake River dam removal), invasive species, DEI-related topics, and AFS Section-related sessions

If you were unable to meet the previous deadline but have a proposal for another topic, please feel free to submit, but we will not guarantee inclusion in the program as a symposium. This targeted “Call for Symposia” will close on February 18th. Additionally, we will accept proposals for Continuing Education Courses/Workshops until February 18th. The “Call for Abstracts” will open in late February. 


Our theme, “What do fish mean to us?” seeks to examine the ways that people value fish and fisheries from a variety of perspectives. We expect to develop a program that includes symposia that cover topics of marine, estuarine, and freshwater fisheries management; commercial, subsistence, and sport fishing; cultural and historical roles of fish and fisheries; impacts on water and fish populations from energy, resource extraction, and land use; native and nonnative fisheries; the intersection of traditional cultural knowledge and western research practices; and the role of the many publics who rely on or enjoy aquatic resources. Spokane’s location in the intermountain west is uniquely positioned to offer a program that tackles all these issues.

The Spokane Program Committee invites proposals for symposia, pre-conference workshops and continuing education courses, and innovative sessions that support the theme and look to advance the fisheries profession.

Symposium proposals

Symposia are the scientific centerpiece of these annual conferences and are sessions organized around a specific topic. The 2022 Spokane Program Committee is seeking proposals for half-day and full-day symposia. The committee is soliciting proposals that cover the topics that include incorporation of cultural perspective and traditional knowledge in management and policy, increasing equity and inclusion in the fisheries profession, and how the fisheries field could better prepare for change. Additional topics could include advancing technology and techniques, data management improvements, and hatchery reform. They may include individual presentations, panel discussions, or other formats.

Symposium organizers will be responsible to prepare proposals, coordinate with the program committee as the program is developed, solicit presentations for the sessions, approve/deny the inclusions of additional abstracts from the general abstract submission, communicate with speakers, and identify moderators for the live session.

Workshop/Continuing Education proposals

Pre-conference continuing education courses will be offered onsite as half-day, full-day, or two-day sessions. Courses should be designed to offer in-depth professional development that is of interest to a variety of participants, ranging from students to professionals. It is also acceptable to propose sessions for specific audiences.  Submission of proposals for workshops and CE can be done here.

Innovative Sessions

The Program Committee encourages organizers to submit creative proposals for sessions that utilize and engaging design, approaches, and formats. These proposals could include lightning/speed presentation sessions, slam sessions, or other interactive and non-traditional sessions. These sessions should also be initially proposed using the “AFS Spokane Symposia Proposal Platform”. We ask that you note that it is an innovative session by including that in the title and text of the abstract. 

Please note: As we have learned through the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual conference options provide the opportunity to increase accessibility and involvement. Although conference details are still in the works, there will likely be a virtual/hybrid option. This will mean that presenters in symposia and contributed sessions will be required to provide a recorded version of their presentation prior to the meeting. These presentations will be available for all registrants at the start of the meeting and an in-person session will be scheduled for live presentations during the meeting. More details will be provided as the program is developed and session organizers can work with the Program Committee Co-Chairs (Laurie Earley, [email protected]; Jeff Fryer, [email protected]) as more details are determined.

Questions: Please contact the Program and Symposia Chair, Laurie Earley, [email protected] for questions related to the submissions of Symposium or Innovative Session proposals. Please contact Lauren Maza, [email protected] with any questions on workshops or continuing education questions.

Proposal Submission and Requirements

All final proposals need to be submitted through the online portal that will close on February 18, 2022. Proposals will be reviewed, and the Program Committee may request revisions or collaborations to reduce overlap in topics and strengthen offerings. Organizers will be notified regarding the status of their proposals by the end of February.

Proposals will be asked to include the following information:

  1. Session Type: Symposium, workshop, innovative session
  2. Intended length: 1 block, half-day, full day
  3. Session Title: Limited to 12 words
  4. Organizer(s): Name and contact information, submitting organizer will be the point of contact
  5. Description: A brief description of your session that will be included in the online program (150 words)
  6. Session abstract: Abstracts will be limited to 350 words.