significant change in the demography of university biology faculty,
namely fewer people in comparative organismal biology, has really been
felt in the SFC in the past decade. Unfortunately, we have not responded
to this trend in a timely way. Consequently, the SFC is no longer
attracting sufficient new student members and fewer long time members
are active. Although the SFC is dedicated to the conservation of
Southeastern fishes and their habitats, the society has never been an
active force in regional conservation.
three new committees represent the initial leadership response by the
society officers to address these problems. The overall goal is to
re-energize the society by attracting new members, to bring a sense of
stability by finding the perfect venue for our annual meetings, to form
new alliances with state DNR agencies and their non-game programs, and
to become an active force promoting the conservation of Southeastern
fishes. These committees address the most exigent needs of the society.
The Membership Committee is chaired by Hank Bart, Tulane University and past chair of the society (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Volunteers are needed to help identify and contact all aquatic nongame
state biologists in the SE, all students studying southeastern
freshwater fishes (especially nongame species), all state and federal
agency managers charged with conservation of southeastern fishes and
aquatic habitats, all appropriate river conservation organizations. The
SFC should actively engage, contact, attract, and solicit these
individuals to join our ranks. Surely this is the most important of the
new committees and one whose efforts will most likely result in
immediate member growth.
Meeting Site Committee
Southeastern Fishes Council has decided to seek a new venue for its
annual meeting and has informed the Association of Southeastern
Biologists that we will no longer be meeting with them (when the
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists is not meeting in
the southeast). Indeed, finding our right place has proven challenging;
the SFC has considered multiple options but none seem to have the
Meeting Site Committee has been formed and is chaired by Jim Williams
(Research Associate, Florida Museum of Natural History), Gainesville,
The committee will investigate options that have been suggested by
members and report their findings to the Society. The SFC membership
will then have to decide what is best for our future. Obviously the work
of this committee will significantly influence the future of the SFC.
Any member wishing to help with this important issue, please contact
Jim. Volunteerism for the SFC-it's needed.
Websites have become the digital signposts for every type of
organization and are often the 'places' first visited by individuals
seeking to learn about an entity. The website for the Southeastern
Fishes Council has been graciously hosted and maintained by the Fish
Collection, University of Florida Museum of Natural History, with
relatively little input from the society. It is time to let go of the
Laissez-faire attitude about our website. To investigate, design, and
implement the website revitalization, a Website Committee has been
formed and is chaired by Jake Schaefer, University of Southern
Mississippi (email@example.com). Volunteers are needed to help with this endeavor.
The vision for the new dynamic website includes extensive and creative
use of vivid imagery of Southeastern fishes and their habitats to make
the site inherently attractive. The goal is to create a website that is
informative about the society and the fauna it represents. Many ideas
have been suggested, e.g., posting a regularly updated list of
Southeastern freshwater fishes, with each species linked to a high
quality image (the goal) that may be downloaded. Individuals with
expertise in the composition and distribution of the fauna, with
technical knowledge of website design and maintenance, and with artistic
ability are needed. The committee has already instigated a new domain
name for the society: sefishescouncil.org.