Shoal bass researcher awarded Noreen Clough Scholarship for 2024

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Black Bass Conservation Committee of the Southern Division, American Fisheries Society is pleased to announce the eighth annual Noreen Clough Memorial Scholarship for Females in Fisheries is being awarded to Marion Baker.

This year there were eight applicants from across the United States and Canada who exemplified what Noreen Clough hoped to see in future fishery scientists. Marion is employed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as the R3 Coordinator (responsible designing programs to Recruit new anglers, Retain current anglers, and Reactivate former anglers) but is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in fisheries at the University of Florida, studying the impacts of introduced species on native black bass in the upper Flint River watershed. Her career goals focus on providing information that can help with the protection and management of the native species like the Shoal Bass, but also to help increase public awareness of the importance of fishing and the relevancy anglers have in supporting fisheries conservation and management.

Gene Gilliland, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director noted, “All of the young women who applied for the scholarship have a bright future in fisheries, because in addition to their academic strengths, they fish. Marion Baker exemplifies that combination of scientist and angler that Noreen Clough thought was so important in making a great fishery manager.” 

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 B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, her distinguished career was dedicated to the conservation and management of fish and wildlife. Although Clough passed away in Jan. 2015, friends and colleagues established an endowment to provide a scholarship for female students working toward a career in fisheries conservation. 

Gordon Robertson, retired Vice President of Government Affairs for the American Sportfishing Association, and a long-time colleague of Noreen’s added, “Noreen put a high value on lessons learned from recreational fishing from both a resource understanding and appreciation perspective, but also from a perspective of understanding anglers and how they think and react to resource and social issues.”

The scholarship winner will be awarded a framed certificate and a check for $2,000 to be used for college expenses. A request for proposals for 2025 scholarships will be posted on and in American Fisheries Society newsletters next spring and circulated to college and universities across North America that have fisheries science programs.