August 9, 2017

Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Scholarship Winners

Since 2008, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has awarded over $50,000 in scholarships to 31 students. The scholarships recognize outstanding commitment to academic pursuits in the field of freshwater fisheries. Here are this year’s scholarship winners.

Erin Fulcher

I grew up in the Kootenays in beautiful Rossland, B.C., where my love for the outdoors began at a young age. Some of my fondest and oldest memories are of my father teaching my sisters and me to fish, spending hours on the dock or on a nearby stream. This passion has driven me to shape my experiences and education to work in fisheries.

I began my schooling at Lethbridge College, completing a diploma in Renewable Resource Management. I soon returned and finished a certificate in Fish and Wildlife Technology. Shortly after, I was hired as an Aquatic Specialist in Calgary, Alberta, where I worked for five years conducting fish habitat assessments and environmental monitoring.

In August 2015, I returned to B.C., with my sights set on finally finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries and Aquaculture at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. I have spent the last two years embracing the ups and downs of school and taking on opportunities that came my way.

This summer, I have been working as a research assistant with one of my VIU professors, Dr. Dan Baker, under a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant. This work has involved raising larval white sturgeon, and investigating how local climate change may influence their thermal tolerance.

I am looking forward to completing my B.Sc. this fall, and am excited to see where my experiences will take me.

Logan Ramsay

I chose a career in Fisheries because it is a diverse and exciting field. I am currently a fisheries technician with the British Columbia Conservation Foundation supporting the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations in Williams Lake, B.C. During my time here I have worked on a number of projects, including tagging and monitoring white sturgeon in support of Fraser River white sturgeon recovery; performing lake assessments to evaluate recreational fisheries; doing mark-recapture programs on Horse and Quesnel lakes to understand in-lake exploitation; and conducting creel censuses to better understand angler preferences. Each day brings unique opportunities and adventures.

In September, I plan to continue my studies in biology at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, B.C. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC scholarship will allow me to further my education, and pursue graduate work and a career in Fisheries Management.

Shane Steele

Being chosen as one of the recipients for a Freshwater Fisheries Scholarship is a great honour, as it allows me to further pursue and develop a career in fisheries within British Columbia. I am currently attending the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), studying the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program. I had planned on becoming a Conservation Officer.

Having just completed my first year towards my diploma, I have gained a greater interest in the field of fisheries, and the conservation required to protect it for future generations. I am very excited going into my second year, having gathered much knowledge towards fish health, culture and enhancement from my summertime employment as a seasonal fish culturist with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. My journey with the Society thus far has been exciting, as I have worked at the Kootenay, Summerland, and Abbotsford trout hatcheries, and various egg-collecting stations all over B.C. 

My background growing up has had a large part in my career aspirations with fisheries. Spending weekends and holidays camping, hunting, and fishing at a young age with my dad and uncle in B.C.’s backcountry has really allowed me to appreciate what outdoor activities can be enjoyed year ’round. By having this sense of motivation towards the betterment of B.C.’s fisheries, I plan on pursuing more post-secondary education upon completion of my Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation diploma.

Teagan Wardrop

I grew up in Campbell River, B.C., and was raised kayaking, fishing, hiking, skiing, and camping on the West Coast. I gained a love of the outdoors and a passion for protecting it. I am so thankful to my parents for instilling in me an appreciation for the value of our natural world, and I hope to pass that on to others. I want future generations to enjoy nature in the way that I have been able to.

When I was in high school and I thought about what career I wanted to pursue, I had two main goals: I wanted to work outside, and I wanted my career to make a positive difference in the world. In 2014, I began my post-secondary journey at Vancouver Island University, and have just graduated from the Resource Management Officer Technology Diploma program.

I plan to continue on to complete my Bachelor of Natural Resource Protection Degree by 2019. After graduation, I hope to find a career on Vancouver Island as a hatchery technician or an environmental consultant working to care for and monitor local fish populations.

Receiving one of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC Scholarships is a huge honour. It will help me to achieve my personal and career goals, which I hope will benefit British Columbia’s fisheries in the future.

Author: Erin Fulcher, Logan Ramsay, Shane Steele & Teagan Wardrop
Photo Credits: Erin Fulcher, Logan Ramsay, Shane Steele & Teagan Wardrop