Fish and wildlife organizations join forces for virtual journal

By Dana Kobilinsky

A brown bear captures a salmon at Katmai National Park in Alaska. ©Christoph Strassler

While they might seem to occupy distinct ecosystems at first glance, fish and wildlife conservation often overlaps. The American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society recently released a virtual journal issue that combines articles relevant to both disciplines.

The two-part virtual journal is a precursor to the upcoming joint TWS-AFS conference in Reno this fall from September 29 to October 3. The conference “will provide a unique, once-in-a-career opportunity to work across disciplines, learn from and with each other, and address the complex modern challenges to fish and wildlife conservation,” the collaborators write.

TWS president Darren Miller said the joint journal issue, which covers conservation science in both land and water, uses the same philosophy as the annual conference: “To bring together the technology, knowledge, and expertise from both organizations to address natural resource issues.”

The journal issue was AFS President Jesse Trushenski’s brainchild. Trushenski and Miller reached out to both organizations’ journal editors and picked out articles from the Journal of Wildlife Management, the North American Journal of Fisheries Management and a few selections from Transactions of the American Fisheries Society and Fisheries relevant to both societies. “The virtual issue highlights the common ground between fisheries and wildlife while showcasing some really excellent science writing,” Trushenski said. “Reading these works is a great way to get ready for even more cross-cutting research and interdisciplinary learning opportunities in Reno later this year.”

They split the virtual issue into two volumes to get more opportunity to grab people’s attention, Miller said.

The first volume was published in February, and the second volume April 1. Some topics cross between water and land ecosystems, including the use of salmon carcasses by wildlife, while others address broader applied methods including population modeling. “These are things that cross both disciplines,” Miller said.

In part one, Miller and Trushenski also share personal columns relating to the importance of both disciplines coming together and the importance of communication — the theme of the upcoming conference in Reno.

Mirroring the virtual journal, which includes common interests such as habitat management, human dimension and philosophy, the joint conference will feature two plenaries with a similar theme of science communication and sustainable conservation messages to diverse audiences. General themes discussed in the journal papers will also appear in workshops.

“As far as I know, this is the first time AFS and TWS have come together nationally or internationally,” Miller said. But, he added, that AFS and TWS do often collaborate at the organization unit level, with some states for example, having joint meetings “There’s a history of collaboration,” he said.

The virtual issue is live on the NAJFM website and the JWM website. Log in to check it out.

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is associate editor at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

Read more of Dana's articles here.


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