Virtual Spring Conference

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COVID-19 has caused enormous disruptions to everyday life. Among the many personal and professional challenges we face, one has been the cancellation of several AFS chapter and division meetings. Fisheries scientists, managers, and students have constructed important talks to discuss their work with limited or no venue to disseminate the information. Many professionals and students have shifted their workspaces to home. Thus, an online forum for information exchange between presenters and online attendees will provide AFS members whose meetings have been canceled a virtual platform and audience to present talks. This is a distinct and separate event from the AFS Annual Meeting currently planned for August 30-September 3, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. The first session is Thursday, April 16 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time and continuing twice a week – Tuesday and Thursday – from that date until we complete the presentations.

This virtual event (1) provides an opportunity for AFS members who prepared presentations but had their event canceled to share that information with a broad audience, (2) creates a solid science delivery event for AFS members (and others) to continue with the mission of AFS of sharing good science, (3) allows members to remain connected, share thoughts and concerns, and learn from and lean on each other in this challenging time.

Sponsorships and Donations

Viewing and participation in this virtual event will be free but we encourage viewers to consider making a donation to the Hutton Program as part of the $10,000 matching gift challenge.  Second, we are looking for sponsors for the entire event or individual session or just to support the effort.  See our sponsorship flyer or contact Katrina Dunn at [email protected].

The number of sessions and how they will be separated will be determined by submissions. GoToWebinar will be used as the platform for presenters to give talks to the online audience. Only presenters whose talks were canceled or those with travel restrictions that did not allow them the opportunity to submit abstracts are eligible to present. There will be a dedicated virtual poster session where presenters can be reached through social media and email on Wednesday, May 6.  Posters will be linked to a dedicated poster website. We may invite others in special topic areas or as plenary speakers.

Plenary Presentations

Our first session on April 16 included a special Plenary presentation by Don Orth of Virginia Tech, with “Thoughts on Virtual Worlds.”
Our April 30 session includes a Plenary presentation by Natasha Wingerter of the University of Idaho, with “The Science Selfie: How to reframe your elevator speech to address social stereotypes.”



All abstracts (except Alaska) are due April 17 – there will not be an extension offered.

Unit Online Presentation Date Abstract Submission Deadline Video/Poster Upload Deadline
Alaska Chapter (recordings) April 16 April 9 April 13 (noon AKDT)
Contributed Papers (recordings) April 21 April 17 April 17
Florida Chapter (recordings) April 23 April 17 April 17
Western Division/WA-BC
(April 28 recordings) (April 30 recordings)
April 28 & 30 April 17 April 24
Cal-Neva Chapter (recordings) May 5 April 17 May 1
Poster Session (view posters & lightning talks) May 6 April 17 May 1
Tidewater Chapter (recordings) May 7 April 17 May 1


Registration is open for all sessions.

Registration is now closed.


View the presentation line-up, abstracts, and authors.


Become a Presenter

Presenter Expectations: This will be a bit different than typical online webinars. Given the potential for connectivity issues with presenters during the meeting, we will ask all presenters to pre-record their talks and limit them to a maximum of 15 minutes in duration. We will have a tutorial video explaining how to save this in the correct file format (PowerPoint is the only software required to do this). Presenters will be expected to log-on during their scheduled talk time and conduct a live chat Q&A session during their talk. They will be encouraged to continue the conversation through social media outlets. Talks will be archived on an AFS web page for later viewing.

Abstract submission is now closed

For more information, contact Aaron Bunch at [email protected].

The AFS Virtual Spring Conference is a Clemson University student-led project.

Presenter Instructions

Oral Presenter Instructions:  View the detailed short tutorial presentation (6:45) below. The end result should be a recorded PowerPoint session saved as an MPEG-4 file (*.mp4). The video highlights how to create and save a voice recorded PowerPoint presentation.  Please limit your recordings to the allotted time as they will be cut to 15 minutes. A Google Drive invitation will be emailed to you so you can upload your video.

Click to play.

To record in PowerPoint: Slide Show > Record Slide Show > Start Recording from Beginning > Tick both “Slide and Animation Timings” and “Narrations, Ink, and Laser Pointer” > Right arrow key to move through slides.

To save your recording in the proper format: File > Export > Create Video “Full HD” Option: Select “Presentation Quality” and “Use Recorded Timing and Narrations” > Save MPEG-4 Only > Upload to Online Google Folder.

Poster Presenter Instructions: Poster presentations will be 1-slide/3-minute lightning talks, saved as .mp4 files as per the directions above. The actual posters will be displayed on a webpage with a form for viewers to direct comments and questions to various authors.

To save your Poster in the proper format: File > Save As > File Format You Planned for Printing (e.g., JPEG, PDF, TIFF, but PDF preferred) > Upload to Online Google Poster Folder (invitation will be emailed to you).

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