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President's Environment: In This Time of Transition

Monday, November 2, 2020
Alonso Ramirez

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.

Our 2021 annual meeting committee is designing a unique virtual event. Under the theme of Freshwater Science in a Time of Transformation, the committee is including many of the great components we are used to finding in our regular annual meetings. We recognize that it will not be the same type of meeting without everybody traveling to the same location and without the many connections made in the hallways and outside the actual meeting rooms, but the virtual world has many tools to enrich our interactions and provide a mechanism where meaningful connections can still be achieved. Furthermore, our regional chapters and other groups within SFS are sketching plans to create opportunities to interact in person at smaller gatherings, where appropriate. We are also designing an exciting webinar series that will allow us to share information outside the annual meeting format and to familiarize us with the virtual tools we plan to use during the annual meeting.

We want SFS to be a truly global, diverse, and inclusive society. Our 2021 virtual annual meeting will give us a new opportunity to accomplish this. A virtual meeting will allow all participants to share their science without having to face the many complexities and unknowns of attending an in-person meeting during the current global pandemic. Our JEDI taskforce is engaged with the membership and several committees to develop initiatives centering on best practices that promote diversity and inclusivity. The Emerge team is getting ready to start their new program, a program that is sure to have a positive impact on our Society. Please help us become global, diverse, and inclusive. Wouldn’t it be great to have a Society with members from all continents and a diversity of backgrounds, all sharing their great science? We can all help to make it happen!

We would like to encourage everybody to become involved and invite others to join our Society. SFS is a great family, a place where all those interested in freshwater science share ideas and findings. We need everybody’s help to make sure we remain the premier organization for Freshwater Science. Let us work together to continue to make SFS the best Society it can be!

- Alonso Ramírez & Checo Colón-Gaud