Southern Division Awards

Recent Awards

Call for Nominations:

The SDAFS Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for four Southern Division Awards:

  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Outstanding  Chapter Award
  • Best Student Subunit Award

Please consider nominating your colleagues and AFS units who are doing outstanding things for AFS! 

Nominations will be accepted until January 10th, 2021. Letters in support of the nomination from other members are welcome. Electronic submissions should be in PDF or MS Word format. Submit nominations to the SDAFS Awards Committee Chair.  Contact information appears below.

Awards Criteria

Below are summaries of the awards criteria and past winners. To nominate a member or chapter for an award, forward a letter to the Awards Committee Chair that outlines the nominees’ contribution to the Division.

Distinguished Service Award

Service is the foundation of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society. The purpose of the Distinguished Service Award is to recognize outstanding contributions of time and energy for special projects or activities in service of the Southern Division.

Past recipients include:

  • David Rizzuto for his service to the Division as host of the Spring Meetings.
  • Greg Summers for his service to the Division in the field of communications: Greg coordinated and implemented the use of podcasts for all presentations given at the Spring Meetings.
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hosted the 66th Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in October 2012.
  • Dick Luebke for service to the Division as SEAFWA Associate Editor.
  • Bruce Saul for service to the Division as longtime Chair of the Student Affairs Committee.
  • Fred Janssen for developing and maintaining the Division and several subunit Internet websites.
  • Dr. John Galvez for service to Division in several ways for years.
  • Duke Energy Co. for longtime support of the Southern Division, especially the Spring (formerly Midyear) meeting.
  • Dr. Steve Sammons for longtime service as SEAFWA Fisheries Editor (2018).
  • Dr. Hal Schramm for substantial contributions to fisheries management (2018).
  • Kimberly Bonvechio for serving 4 years as SDAFS Secretary-Treasurer and other service to the Southern Division and AFS (2019).
  • Dr. Brian Alford  for longtime service on Tennessee Chapter Executive Committee and as Chairman of the SDAFS Warmwater Streams Committee (2020)
  • Brad Fink  for his leadership in planning the SDAFS 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting (2021).
  • Kathi Wong for her 40 years as Technical Editor of the Southeastern Assoc. of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Proceedings/Journal (2021).
  • Dennis Riecke for longtime service as SDAFS Resolutions Committee chair (2022).

Outstanding Achievement Award

Outstanding service to the Division. The purpose of the Outstanding Achievement Award is to recognize individuals for their noteworthy and long-standing contributions to fisheries, aquatic sciences, and the Division, thereby rewarding individuals for their contributions, enhancing visibility of the Division, and increasing the aspirations of the membership. It is our Division’s highest honor. Candidates are reviewed according to criteria set forth in the Division Bylaws that include:

  • A monumental work,
  • Original techniques or research methodology,
  • New ideas, viewpoints, or data which contributed significantly to fisheries management or our understanding of aquatic resources,
  • A new, successfully executed fishery research or management program of regional or national importance,
  • Imaginative and successful program in fish conservation education at any level of teaching or graduate student guidance,
  • Important faunal or ecological discoveries or taxonomic criteria,
  • Research especially beneficial to mankind,
  • Interdisciplinary research involving leadership in lab or field,
  • Multiple, successful efforts in a variety of fields, as biology, public understanding, technical and popular writing, lab and field research,
  • Inspirational leadership and enunciation of principles.

Former recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award include:

Jack Dequine, Hudson Nichols, Larry Nielson, Bob Martin, Ben Jaco, Connie Arnold, Don Hayne, Bob Stevens, Buck Byrd, Don Estes, Monte Seehorn, Carl Sullivan, Robert Jenkins, Richard Stroud, Don Baker, John Gottshalk, Janice Hughes Little, Richard Robbins, Fred Harris, Susan Shipman, Barry Freeman, Larry Olmstead, Churchill Grimes, Steve Miranda, Rich Noble, Bobby Grinstead, Chuck Coutant, Mike Van Den Avyle, John Ney, Norville Prosser, Jimmie Pigg, Scott Van Horn, Phil Durocher, Barry Smith, Gene Wilde, Wes Porak,  Pat Mazik (2016), J.R. Shute and Patrick Rakes of Conservation Fisheries Incorporated (2017), Dr. Harriet Perry (2019) and Dr. Cecil A. Jennings (2021).

To nominate a member for the Outstanding Achievement Award, forward a letter to the Awards Committee Chair that outlines the nominees’ contribution to the Division, the Society and the profession. Letters in support of the nomination from other members are strongly encouraged.

Outstanding Chapter Award

The chapter should assemble packets containing the following information. Applicants must adhere strictly to the word length requirements in each section as noted. If sending hard copies, forward three sets of the application and support materials to the Awards Committee Chair for review.


1a. Chapter Name:
1b. AFS Division:
1c. Chapter President:
1d. Address:
1e. Structure of Chapter:


President –
President-Elect –
Secretary-Treasurer –
Immediate Past President –
Student Subsection President –


Standing Committees:
Environmental Concerns:
Ad hoc Committees:

2. ABSTRACT: What makes your chapter unique and why is it outstanding? (300 words or less).


3a. Membership Report:

Membership Total Number
% increase (or decrease) Type from previous year
Total Membership
New Recruits
Lost Members
Student Members
Parent Society Members

3b. Efforts towards enhanced recruitment and retention (150 words or less; attach brochures or incentives).


4a. Number of Annual Chapter Meetings:
4b. Duration of Meeting(s):
4c. Meeting Location(s):
4d. Participation:

Number Registered:
Percent of Membership Attending:
Number of Presenters:
Meeting Theme(s):

4e. Special Accomplishments of Meeting(s):
4f. Social functions at Meeting(s):
4g. Additional Chapter/Committee Activities:


5a. Newsletter (include a newsletter as an attachment or web page address).
5b. Number published per year:
5c. Average length (pages):
5d. Typical no. of contributors:
5e. Job announcements?: Y or N Average number: Yes;
5f. Forum for members to express views?:
5g. Unique aspects of newsletter (50 words or less):
5h. Additional Chapter Communications:


Briefly describe any special or unique enterprises of your chapter (200 words or less per item; abstracts, index, or proceedings may be included as an attachment).


Describe in 200 words or less; attach supplemental material as needed:


8a. Awards (name of award and criteria):
8b. Scholarships (name and criteria):
8c. Grants (name and criteria):


Best Student Subunit Award


Give a brief overview and history of your subunit. (100-150 words)


Give a brief description of your membership such as the number of members and the number of institutions that participate in your subunit. Include any information on awards and other activities related to encouraging participation and increasing membership. Fund raising activities should be included here. (100 words)


Describe activities that your subunit is involved in, such as technical demonstrations, fishery projects, and other activities that involve your subunits professional scientific skills. (100-150 words)


Summarize projects that focus on education and outreach to user groups or the general public. (100-150 words)


Please include appropriate supporting documents for each section. Include these as attachments. If you have documented these activities on a website, the URL will be sufficient.


Please include a letter of support from your academic advisor.

Awards Committee

Forward all submissions to: [email protected]

Revised 12/04/2023 HK