Idaho Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Western Division of the American Fisheries Society

Western Division & Idaho Chapter
American Fisheries Society
2023 Joint Annual Meeting

2023 Western Division and ICAFS Plenary Session

Managing Aquatic Ecosystems and Shifting Baselines:
Challenges and Opportunities

Nearly one-quarter into the 21st century, fisheries professionals are challenged as never before by a changing climate. In terms of managing aquatic ecosystems, Dr. Daniel Pauly coined the term "shifting baselines" to refer to the loss of perception of ecological change from one generation to the next, but for the purposes of this meeting, we use the term to refer to unrelenting transformation of the earth's climate that will likely continue for many decades and that will clearly require seismic shifts in how we manage and conserve aquatic ecosystems. A new thought process is emerging to address fisheries and wildlife management and conservation in the face of such dramatic climate change: Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD). Resist represents the traditional practice of implementing actions to counteract changes and restore ecosystems to prior conditions. Accept is when decisions are made to allow ecological conditions to change without implementing restoration actions, perhaps to divert energy away from "lost causes" and focus efforts where positive outcomes are more achievable. Direct is attempting to forecast future conditions and implement actions that attempt to steer ecosystem changes so that some sort of ecological function persists, though the former ecosystem may not. Three plenary speakers and other invited speakers will provide a forum to explore RAD and other resource management frameworks from various avenues of research, management, and conservation.

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Frank Rahel

Dr. Frank J. Rahel

Dr. Frank Rahel holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently a Professor of Zoology & Physiology at the University of Wyoming where he teaches fisheries management and ichthyology. His research involves fish ecology and fisheries management, with particular interests in invasive species, climate change, fish-habitat relationships, and landscape ecology. Recently he has been involved in developing the Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) framework for managing the biological and social aspects of fisheries in a changing climate.

Dr. Mary Donovan

Dr. Amy Donovan

Dr. Mary Donovan is a Professor at Arizona State University. She is a quantitative spatial ecologist focused on applied questions that inform conservation and management of coupled human-natural systems. She studies coral reef status and trends by applying quantitative spatial science alongside practitioners and stakeholders who are implementing management and policy. Her research includes studies on complex ecological dynamics, local and global impacts on reefs, marine spatial planning, invasive species, fisheries, and ecological resilience.

Dr. Amy Teffer

Dr. Amy Teffer

Dr. Amy Teffer is a fisheries biologist and disease ecologist working with the USGS Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She studies the cumulative impacts of climate change and human disturbances on fish and ecosystems across environmental gradients and scales. Her most recent work is focused on pathogen impacts on wild salmon and trout, climate-adapted fish production and stocking, and coastal habitat restoration to promote healthy ecosystems and thriving diadromous fisheries. With coproduction at the core of these efforts, she partners with managers and stakeholders to fill knowledge gaps and find solutions to the challenges facing fishes. She is dedicated to improving equity and balance in the process and outcomes of her work by integrating creativity, humor, and compassion.

Please direct questions about the meeting format or meeting theme to Kevin Meyer at