Population characteristics of AFS membership: Special focus on the millennial generation of fisheries professionals

Melissa R. Wuellner, Donald C. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The survival of scientific societies depends on recruitment and retention of members. The importance of this strategy is underscored by the impending retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. Recent trends indicate alarming declines in many scientific societies-including the American Fisheries Society (AFS)-particularly as students transition into young professionals. Despite increased efforts to incentivize membership, overall membership losses continue to accrue annually. In order to address this issue, AFS needs to know more about the motivations of and perceived challenges that may limit the next generation of scientists. We describe an informal survey of student and young professional AFS members that was discussed during the plenary session of the 2010 AFS annual meeting. Ten questions were posed to students and young professionals to identify factors related to recruitment and retention of AFS membership, describe potential future challenges, and provide views on the direction of AFS and the fisheries profession. We relate these results to additional research on how the "Millennial generation" (those born after 1980) will change the workplace. By identifying common themes, we hope AFS members and governance at multiple levels will use this information in planning recruitment and retention initiatives aimed at the next generation of fisheries professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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