This symposium provides an overview of soft skills and navigating the early career ladder that improve young professionals’ ability to establish themselves in the fisheries field. Presentations on how-tos, tips and tricks, and personal experiences will be given by fisheries professionals. These presentations may include networking, time management, public speaking, conflict resolution, navigating interviews, among others. These are skills that Early Career Professionals and students must often develop outside their formal education but may not have the resources available to learn them. The session will conclude with a panel discussion with an open-ended question-answer format concerning the information presented and other helpful soft skills.


  • Jason Fischer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Christine Mayer, University of Toledo
  • Dana Castle, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Habitat Management Unit
  • Matthew Acre, Columbia Environmental Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia, MO