AFS Potomac Chapter Presents Student Travel Award to Seth Michael Gibbons
The AFS Potomac Chapter was pleased to present Seth Michael Gibbons with a student travel award to attend the 149th AFS Annual Meeting in Reno, NV. Every year the Chapter tries to support a deserving candidate who has applied for an AFS Estuaries Section travel award. The funding for this award is raised during the annual crab feast each fall. The Executive Committee of the Potomac Chapter was impressed with Seth’s interest in the meeting and his research. Lee Benaka, Treasurer Emeritus, and Julie Defilippi Simpson, President, had the pleasure of meeting with Seth during the meeting.
Seth prepared a statement describing his meeting experience and how he benefited from the award.
The opportunity to go to the American Fisheries Society and the Wildlife Society Joint Annual Meeting in Reno this year was one of the greatest of my academic career. Since I earned my undergraduate degree at a small college, I was not able to really get funding to travel to events such as this, so this was really my first experience at a meeting of this caliber. I was able to meet other people who are in the same area of study as me and see many who I have actually spoken to about my project over the internet, but had not yet met in person. Along with these people whom I shared interests with I also made many new contacts who are working on very interesting subjects, some of which I spoke to about new and exciting opportunities for my future. I actually even made contact with a couple of potential advisors who could help me continue my graduate education after I earn my MS next May. Besides just networking, I was able to accomplish several other tasks as well. I was able to speak directly to the researcher who designed a piece of scientific equipment that I use during my project that I was having trouble with and we were able to figure out how to fix our issues. Along with all of the more serious work that I was able to get done, I was able to make time to have some fun while in Reno as well. I was able to catch some fisheries related films that I had been wanting to see for a very long time that were showing at the conference (be sure to check out Hidden Rivers or Artifishal if you ever have the chance) and I was also able to get out of the city for a few hours during my free time to get a view of the Sierra Nevada and other beautiful scenery around Reno. All in all, this was a once in the lifetime experience that would have been hard for me to make happen without the travel award from the Potomac Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. I would like to thank Lee Benaka and Julie Simpson for meeting up with me at the conference and presenting me with the travel award check, the executive committee for choosing me for this honor, and the entire membership of the Potomac Chapter. Because of you all I was able to be a part of something amazing without having to put myself under any further financial burden, and to a student nowadays that’s one of the greatest gifts you could give.– Seth Michael Gibbons