Alaska Section - AWRA / American Fisheries Society Alaska - 2017 Annual Conference

The American Fisheries Society - Alaska Chapter and the Alaska Section of the American Water Resources Association will co-host the 2017 Annual Conference in Fairbanks, Alaska on March 21-23 at the Westmark Hotel. Workshops will take place prior to the Conference on March 19-20. This year's theme is "Alaska Fisheries and Waters: Success, limitations and innovation in the face of data scarcity and uncertainty."

Registration will be open soon. Early registration ends February 10. Abstracts are due February 10.



PDC Engineers
PDC Engineers

Geophysical InstituteGeophysical Institute


Alaska Section Plenary Speakers:

See All AS-AFS Meeting Plenary Speakers

Clues in the Ice: Understanding Winter Hydraulics

Jon Zufelt

Jon Zufelt
Senior Hydraulic Engineer, HDR

The hydraulics of waterways are defined by the relationships of discharge, depth, and velocity and how they influence sediment transport, scour, floodplain inundation, and assist in assessments of habitat suitability. When designing bridge crossings, culverts to accommodate fish passage, or flood protection for a river community we need physical measurements to properly characterize the hydraulics. In Alaska in particular, we must also consider the effects of ice covers, aufeis, ice jamming, and ice forces on structures. Winter data collection is difficult at best and often impossible for reasons of safety, cost, and logistics. Ice-affected hydraulic data usually has to be gleaned from observations of small changes or the aftermath of dynamic events. In this presentation, I'll point out some of the sources of winter data, how to recognize hidden clues, and what these observations tell us about hydraulics under the ice.


Conserving Adequate Water for Alaskan Fisheries: limitations, innovation, and successes in the face of data scarcity and uncertainty.

Christopher Estes
Aquatic Resources and Habitat Scientist, Chalk Board Enterprises, LLC

Compared to the rest of the nation and many locations on the planet, a large proportion of Alaska's freshwater and estuarine waterbodies remain unaltered or have been subject to limited anthropogenic alterations. Conversely, there is limited inventory data for Alaska's water sources when compared to the remainder of the country.

In this presentation, I will summarize opportunities and challenges for conserving (protecting, rehabilitating and enhancing) adequate amounts of water for fish, wildlife and associated habitat purposes. I will argue for increased individual and cooperative state, federal, industrial, academic, tribal, and private participation and investments in collection, analyses, and reporting of strategic hydrologic, hydrographic, and biologic data to improve and facilitate private and governmental outcomes associated with conserving adequate water flows and water levels needed to sustain fish and wildlife production.

I will explain why and how these investments will benefit all Alaska's water stakeholders, result in better natural resource management, and contribute to improved socioeconomic benefits for all Alaskans.

Downscaled Climate Data for Alaska

Peter Bieniek

Peter Bieniek
Research Associate, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Climate variability and change is occurring at an amplified rate in Alaska/Arctic compared to lower latitude regions with significant impacts on numerous local processes. Model projections indicate that these changes will continue over the next century leading to a warmer climate than present. However, modeled reanalysis and GCM data are typically too coarse (i.e. grid sizes often ~100KM and larger) for addressing local climate impacts, especially in areas of complex topography. Downscaling is a collection of methods that help to bridge the gap between the limited coarse climate data and the need for finer-scale information. Downscaling activities are currently underway for Alaska and we will explore the types of data currently available, their uses and limitations.

Important Conference Links:

Conference Schedule:

Sunday (3/19) - Continuing Education Courses: (Continuing Ed Classes)
Monday (3/20) - Continuing Education Courses: (Continuing Ed Classes), Vendor Set Up, Welcoming Social
Tuesday (3/21) - Vendor Set Up, Plenary Speakers, Concurrent Sessions, Student Mentor Lunch and Past Presidents Lunch, Poster Session, Social, and Film Festival: (Film Festival Info)
Wednesday (3/22) - Plenary Speakers, Concurrent Sessions, Business Lunch, 5K Run/Ski, Banquet/Award Ceremony
Thursday - (3/23) - Plenary Speakers, Concurrent Sessions, Western Division 2018 Planning Lunch, World Ice Art Championship Field Trip
Friday - (3/24) - Chena Hot Springs Field Trip

Hotel Registration

A room block has been reserved at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks, Alaska, the location of this year's conference. Room rates are: 2 Queens/King Standard: $75.00; or 2 Queens/King Suites: $95.00. Cutoff Date for making hotel reservations is February 19, 2017.

  • Reservations will be made individually by calling (800) 544-0970
  • Bookable online at using FWS031917
  • Reservations will be made by faxing a detailed rooming list to (907) 459-7736