GREENVILLE, S.C. — The second annual Noreen Clough Memorial Scholarships for Females in Fisheries were awarded at the recent Southern Division, American Fisheries Society’s annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Amanda Guthrie, a Ph.D. student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and to Amy Cottrell, who is studying for a master's degree from Auburn University.
Noreen Clough blazed many trails in the field of fisheries. As the first female regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and later as the conservation director of B.A.S.S., her long and distinguished career was dedicated to the conservation and management of fish and wildlife. Along the way, she served as a mentor to many and a revered colleague to countless others. Clough passed away in January 2015 from pancreatic cancer. As a tribute to her impact on careers and lives and for the good of the resources she helped conserve, friends and colleagues established an endowment to provide a scholarship in Clough's memory to a female student working toward a career in fisheries conservation.
This year there were 19 applicants representing 13 different colleges and universities from across the United States and Canada. The review committee was hard pressed to choose a single recipient this year, so it was decided to award two scholarships to women who exemplified what Clough hoped to see in future fishery scientists.
“Noreen felt that the issues debated in state legislatures and in Congress were where we stood to make the most progress in protecting our natural resources,” said Gene Gilliland, current B.A.S.S. conservation director. “This scholarship continues her legacy by encouraging female students to get involved in the policy world where they can make a real difference, and that's exactly what Amanda Guthrie wants to do.” Guthrie's dissertation research is on how social and ecological factors influence the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. In particular, it looks at how political decisions regarding shoreline development are made and how those decisions ultimately affect the fisheries.
Cottrell's research interests center on the ecology of native black bass in the Southeast, particularly the Shoal Bass found in streams and rivers in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, and how fish management agencies can implement range-wide management plans given how these riverine bass species interact with their environment and varying habitats. Gilliland added, "Amy's research is an important piece of the management puzzle when you consider the threats to water quality and quantity that Southeastern U.S. rivers face as human populations grow and demands on water resources escalate."
Scholarship winners were also recognized at the 2018 B.A.S.S. Conservation Summit held in conjunction with the recent GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods in Greenville, South Carolina. To honor Clough's legacy and the impact she had on the B.A.S.S. Nation conservation program, Summit attendees took up a collection and donated more than $1,000 to the scholarship endowment fund.