Southeastern Fishes Council
Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes


New SFC Committees!

Membership Committee | Meeting Committee | Website Committee


The 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.

The 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.


Membership Committee
The Membership Committee is chaired by Hank Bart, Tulane University and past chair of the society (hank@plato.museum.tulane.edu). 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
The 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 perfect.

A Meeting Site Committee has been formed and is chaired by Jim Williams (Research Associate, Florida Museum of Natural History), Gainesville, Florida (fishwilliams@gmail.com). 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.


Website Committee
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 (jake.schaefer@usm.edu). 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.