Conservation scholarships awarded

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The fourth annual Noreen Clough Memorial Scholarships for Females in Fisheries have been awarded to Katherine Abbott, at the University of Massachusetts, and to Audrey Baetz, who is studying at Nicholls State 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 B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, her long and distinguished career was dedicated to the conservation and management of fish and wildlife. Clough passed away in January 2015 from pancreatic cancer. As a tribute to her, friends and colleagues established an endowment to provide a scholarship for female students working toward a career in fisheries conservation. 

This year there were 37 applicants representing 24 schools across the United States and Canada. The review committee was hard pressed to choose a single recipient, so it was decided to award two scholarships to women who exemplified what Clough hoped to see in future fishery scientists.

Kate Abbott is working with the Massachusetts Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at UMass-Amherst to understand how dam removals impact small streams across the state. There are thousands of small, obsolete dams in Massachusetts that impair natural river connectivity by interrupting fish passage, flow, sediment and nutrient movement. Dam removal is increasingly used as a tool for stream restoration, yet the extent and timescale of ecological recovery following removal is not well understood. Abbott’s research objectives include providing state agencies (MA Division of Ecological Restoration, MassWildlife) with data on water quality, invertebrates and fish.