Utah State University’s student subunit of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society was named Subunit of the Year at the society’s 137th annual meeting Sept. 2-6 in San Francisco.
USU Watershed Sciences graduate student Eriek Hansen accepted the award on behalf of the subunit from Robert Hughes, WDAFS president.
“Student Subunits of the Year are selected on the basis of their effectiveness in aquatic stewardship, member services and information transfer and outreach,” said Hughes, senior research professor at Oregon State University.
USU’s subunit excelled in each of these requirements, he said.
Hughes praised the Aggies’ conservation work with the Cache Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited, which includes the annual salmonfly relocation project led by the USU-based National Aquatic Monitoring Center.
He also cited the group’s efforts with Engineers Without Borders to communicate how fisheries science and management can benefit communities in which the EWB conducts projects.
The awards presentation also highlighted USU’s effectiveness in recruiting new members, especially undergraduates, Hughes said.
“Our AFS student subunit has done an amazing job of developing and maintaining a series of educational workshops for fisheries professionals,” said Chris Luecke, head of USU’s Department of Watershed Sciences. “During the past five years, this group has provided up-to-date methodologies in statistical analyses, bioenergetics modeling and geographic information sciences to our state and federal biologists.”
The consequences of these activities, he said, have improved management of aquatic resources in Utah and throughout the Intermountain West.
“These students are very deserving of this award,” Luecke said. “We are very proud of them.”
Phaedra Budy, associate professor in Watershed Sciences, is faculty mentor of the USU student subunit. The group is part of Utah’s statewide Bonneville Chapter of the AFS.