IFS International Membership Fund
Background: Reduced membership rates of $10 or $35 (includes mailed subscription to Fisheries) are available for professionals from developing countries and those countries eligible for Global Environment Facility funding (http://www.thegef.org/gef/home). In addition to this reduced rate membership fee, the AFS past-presidents committee developed a challenge grant program to start a program to support these memberships, and many AFS members and units are contributing to this fund. The AFS International Fisheries Section coordinates this program.
Type of Membership Supported: In order to encourage long-term retention of international members under this membership type, only the $35 level will be awarded from this fund. This membership level provides international members with a tangible product of membership (Fisheries). In addition, these supported memberships should include a 3-year commitment of funding for participant member fees, to foster long-term retention of international members and provide continuity for their participation.
Priorities for Fund Use:
1. In many instances AFS units, which are contributing to this fund, will recommend specific developing country professionals for these memberships. In all instances such members recommended by a specific unit should receive priority use of the funds provided by that sponsoring unit. If interested, sponsoring units may be encouraged to support these members further through an additional donation that will provide the members with subscriptions to other appropriate AFS journals to further the tangible benefit of AFS membership (this is optional).
2. AFS has a number of existing contacts in Russia, Eastern Europe, Mexico (this with the Western and Southern Divisions), and other countires of Latin America. These existing contacts (and in some instances lapsed members) may receive priority for membership coming out of the International Membership Fund. International memberships supported with these funds need not be only for new members.
3. In some instances AFS will receive open interest from fisheries professionals interested in this sponsored membership. To assure that we maintain some interest in the society by these professionals, a subcomittee of 2-3 IFS members will be asked to screen these individuals (based on a short CV) and rank them in priority for membership. In addition IFS will attempt to pair these individuals receiving open memberships with appropriate units to build bridges between these new members in hopes of long term retention. IFS will develop selection criteria to guide this review process, and communicate those criteria with the Governing Board and interested units.
4. Finally, to maximize the use of the funds in this program, we should try to supply the Fisheries membership to key scientists and fishery workers within labs or offices. If more than one member occurs in an organization or University lab then one would receive Fisheries through this sponsored membership, to share, and colleagues in the lab could choose to join AFS through the lower cost ($10) option.