A message from Georgia AFS President Marion Baker

As I begin my term as President of the GA Chapter, I want to thank all those who attended our annual meeting in February, especially those who contributed their time and service to make the meeting a huge success. In addition to the work of these many hands, this meeting would not have been possible without generous financial support and merchandise contributions from our donors and sponsors. Supporting these businesses, individuals, and organizations is one small way we can express our appreciation. I want to thank all Georgia AFS members for continuing to support our Chapter and the efforts of our members.

I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve such a prestigious group of individuals. I see how passionate you are when sharing your endeavors and it is truly inspiring. I believe in each of you, and I want to support your efforts and applaud your accomplishments. My goal is to assist you in finding solutions to the challenges we face and find others who may be willing to help. 

Our Chapter is filled with Georgia’s leading experts and researchers in the field of fisheries and beyond. I can assure you that your hard work and dedication are not going unnoticed. During the 2022 Southern Division of the of the American Fisheries Society, our Chapter was presented with the SDAFS “Outstanding Small Chapter Award”.   This is the second year in a row the Chapter has earned this award and our Chapter is automatically submitted for consideration for the 2022 American Fisheries Society “Outstanding Small Chapter Award”.

I am excited about some of the upcoming projects we have, including new continuing education opportunities, potential partnerships and collaborations, outreach opportunities, recruitment efforts, and more. I look forward to hearing any ideas and suggestions that you have which align with the mission of our Chapter: to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals.

Jane Goodall once said, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” The impact of our Chapter’s efforts is strengthened by your involvement.  I encourage you to use your time and energy to move the Chapter forward. If you are currently serving on one of our Chapter committees, I extend my gratitude and encourage you to continue serving. If you have not yet found a place to serve, please consider reviewing our standing committees to see where you and your skills fit best.  There is a place for everyone to serve, so please let me know where you feel compelled to contribute.

Lastly, I implore you to look around at the people you interact with on a regular basis. Do you see anyone that is not aware of our Chapter? I encourage you to send them a copy of our monthly newsletter, invite them to a meeting, or explain the benefits of Chapter membership and committee involvement.  Do you see anyone who doesn’t quite understand what we do or why? Offer to take them fishing or bring them into the field, lab, or classroom with you. There are many individuals in this world that are not aware of what we do, nor do they know how important it is, and it is up to each of us to educate them. Each of you possesses the ability to change that narrative…one person at a time.

Marion Baker