President's Environment: Honoring Juneteenth
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The President's Environment is a message from the current SFS president that is published 3x/year.
SFS President, Steve Thomas
Happy New Year to all! Big thank you to all of you that renewed your memberships before the end of the year. If you haven’t renewed it yet, just visit our member page, it should not take long to do it. 2021 is going to be a busy year for our Society and we appreciate your support in helping us start with the right foot forward.
SFS wants to be a leader of change in science. As president, and in the other identities I have (mother, white, woman, mentor, and friend), I recognize that among the most important things I can do is center others’ voices who have been minoritized, learn from them, and advocate for them. It has been my job to lead our Society and here, at the end of my term, it is clear that we are not doing enough in the sciences, the aquatic sciences, or within SFS, to effect changes in our practices and institutions to make them just, equitable and inclusive.
We have been learning a lot this year. We now know that we can share our science in the absence of in-person meetings, we can even teach from home. It is not ideal; we are facing multiple challenges and limitations by doing so. We are keenly aware of how much we miss interacting with our colleagues in person. However, looking at the bright side, virtual activities remove many barriers and we are now able to reach more people than ever before. Taking advantage of the virtual world, SFS has been busy preparing new and exciting activities for the coming months.
I just wanted to reach out at this time to encourage exchange of information and communication. We can help each other by providing resources, advice, or a listening ear. SFS has made space available on our members-only section of our website to share requests for teaching materials, making requests for research advice or assistance, and sharing tips on coping with closures, delays, and disruption of our daily routines and future plans.
Hi everyone! I hope the Salt Lake City (SLC) meeting was enjoyed by all who attended! We owe much to the meeting organizers and our conference services – they did a wonderful job! Of utmost importance to SFS members is the degree to which meeting attendees – new and old, alike – felt valued and respected by others and that the meeting venue and vibe was welcoming to all. The sense of community embodied by SFS is part of our DNA – but for breakthrough progress on inclusivity, we need sustained energy and focus in this area.
The New Year always brings thoughts of transformation— aspirations for change that are often mixed with poignant appreciation for the way things were. I’d like to comment on just a few of these for SFS.
One consequence of serving as SFS president is that I have become more attuned to the rich array of contributions made by individuals in our community. Rather than attempting to impart wisdom or inspiration directly (fat chance, Baxter!), I'll encourage you to find these in my accounts of others–I've always been a story-teller anyway, though an admittedly long-winded one!