Continuing Education Workshops

Continuing Education Workshops

The Western Division and WA-BC Chapters of the American Fisheries Society invite you to register and attend this year’s continuing education courses at the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Workshops will be full (6–8 hours) or half (2–3 hours) day and will be held on Friday, April 17, 2020.

For a list of the available continuing education courses, please see below.

March 13, 2020: Registration is now closed. This meeting has been cancelled due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see this page for more information.

To view the announcement flyer, please view this document.

For questions or concerns, please email Sam Wilson ([email protected]).

Title: Introductory+Intermediate JAGS for Bayesian Inference in Fisheries Sciences
Organizer(s)/Instructor(s): Ben Staton
Cost: $75 USD per day, or $100 USD for both days
Date and Time: Thursday (Introductory) and Friday (Intermediate), 8:00 am–5:00 pm

Interest in applying Bayesian inference to fisheries analyses has grown over the last several decades, however, computational implementation remains a barrier for many practitioners given these methods are generally not part of traditional university curricula. This workshop is intended for scientists who are vaguely familiar with Bayesian principles (though a basic overview will be provided) and have interest in learning to use JAGS for applying them to their own data sets. JAGS (Just Another Gibbs Sampler) is a widely-used program that allows specification of conditional probability models and interfaces cleanly with the R statistical programming environment. JAGS requires that users write their models “from scratch”, which allows greater customization and understanding of model components beyond what is generally available in canned statistical packages. This workshop will be offered as a two-part series: the first day will be devoted to covering the fundamentals of implementing Bayesian inference with only a handful of basic analyses in JAGS, and the second day will cover a greater variety and complexity of models, though registration is possible for either day alone. Participants registering for only the second day should have some previous experience with JAGS. Foundational topics on Bayesian implementation covered the first day include: distinctions and advantages/disadvantages of Bayesian versus classical inference, Bayes’ Theorem, prior/posterior distributions and their roles, basics of Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods and the diagnosis of convergence issues. Specific analyses covered the first day will include simple mean/variance estimation, comparison of parameters, estimation of binomial probabilities, and linear/non-linear regression. Second day analyses will include assorted GLMs (logistic, Poisson, negative binomial, and zero-inflated Poisson regression), model checking, Cormack-Jolly-Seber models, and (time allowing) state-space population dynamics models (e.g., spawner-recruit analysis).

Title: Introduction to dplyr and ggplot: Manipulating and Visualizing Data
Organizer(s)/Instructor(s): Dylan Glaser and Haley Tunna
Cost: $20 USD
Date and Time: Friday, 9:00 am–12:00 pm
This half day (3 hr) workshop will introduce attendees to the popular tidyverse packages dplyr and ggplot. These packages create easy to read, robust, and resilient code are extremely powerful for data exploration and visualization. Using dplyr we will learn how to select data of interest, reshape data, merge tables, create new variables, summarise, and clean data. With ggplot we will learn how to visualize types of data, style data to account for up to 5 variables in one figure, create multi paned figures, and plot simple models on data. In this course we will explore how these packages can bridge the gap between raw data and robust code ready for the next step of analysis. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and charger. You should take this workshop if: 1) You want to understand the basic principles of data organization, manipulation, and visualization in R, or 2) You already know how to read in data and do basic manipulations and/or visualizations in base R.


Title: Learning the Art of Gyotaku, the Japanese Art of Fish Printing
Organizer(s)/Instructor(s): Bruce Koike
Cost: $90 USD for professionals, $65 USD for students; $20 USD deposit is required to hold a space
Date and Time: Friday, 9:00 am–12:00 pm
This hands-on, technique development workshop introduces the Japanese art form of Gyotaku.  This 3 hour workshop enables participants to make multiple prints during the session and interacting 1:1 with the instructor.  Everything is provided including fish, paper, paints, brushes and other materials. Participants should come with a spirit of adventure, a community perspective, and a mailing tube (18″) to transport their artwork safely home.

Interested in what this process looks like? View the following images: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.

Title: Environmental DNA (eDNA) Overview: Sampling Techniques, Applications, Analysis, and ARTEMIS (Power Precision Analysis of eDNA Data)
Gregory Schumer
$50 USD for professionals, $30 USD for students
Date and Time: Friday, 9:00 am–5:00 pm (time pending)
This course will provide attendees with a working knowledge of eDNA molecular diagnostics terminology and procedures.  Examples showing both aquatic and terrestrial eDNA applications will be used to bring procedures to life. Examples will focus on Pacific Northwest eDNA. Portions of the course will include a hands-on segment to familiarize everyone with the basic use sample collection apparatus and how to perform water filtration. Throughout the day group discussion will be encouraged to address attendees’ questions. The last 90 minutes of the course will be used to allow the students to formulate experiment ideas using techniques and methods covered in the course. This will provide students the opportunity to demonstrate a grasp of course material and the ability to apply course work for real world application. We have found in the past that many students take the course to gather information to complete projects that are either funded or looking to get funding yet occasionally they lack basic knowledge to proceed.


Title: Sea Foraging Workshop and Cooking Demo
Ficus Chan
Date and Time: Thursday, 12:00–3:00 pm
The western coast of North America is blessed with miles and miles of beautiful, accessible saltwater inhabited by a diverse array of organisms that are not only fun to discover, but also tasty to eat. There are many ways we can enjoy and create a true identity for our regional cuisine. We will explore all the different creatures and seaweeds you can forage for in British Columbia, including sea urchins, crabs, sea cucumbers, squid, clams, geoduck, whelks, oysters, mussels, gooseneck barnacles, fin fish and more. We will cover several ways you can prepare and cook your harvest. Cooking demos of seasonally available seafoods are planned, with samples to try.

Join Ficus Chan for this exciting workshop and cooking demo on Thursday, April 16 from 12:00PM to 3:00 PM. The cost for the course is $25 USD, and it is open to all registrants. Sign up fast – there’s a cap of 25 participants!

About the Instructor: Ficus Chan is a Jack of All Trades within the world of fish and forestry of British Columbia and Washington State. He was blessed to be born and raised in Vancouver, BC and now currently living in Bellingham, WA, a region that perfectly fits Ficus’ innate need for camping, fishing, foraging and exploring the outdoors. Ficus combines his passion for cooking with his knowledge of edible wilds and has led foraging and wild food workshops since 1995. We work in fisheries to protect and conserve our oceans and fish at the same time, allowing for economic opportunities where possible. As a person who works both in fisheries management as well as a commercial fisherman – and occasionally as a chef – Ficus has a unique perspective, desire and dream for our regional fisheries.