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SDSU Students win Skinner Memorial Fund

Skinner Award recipients

Two SDSU Wildlife and Fisheries master’s students have won the John E. Skinner Memorial Fund award, presented by the American Fisheries Society (AFS).

The award, presented at the AFS annual meeting which took place from Aug. 21-25 in Spokane, Washington, with 1,600 attendees, provides monetary travel awards for graduate students to attend.

Administered by the AFS Education Section, students active in fisheries or related disciplines are invited to apply. Each year 10 students are selected to win.

Hannah Mulligan, from Charleston, South Carolina, and Logan Cutler, from Neenah, Wisconsin, were the two award recipients from SDSU.

Second year master’s students, Cutler and Mulligan are co-advisors for the SDSU AFS subunit. Both have been teachers’ assistants for classes in the Department of Natural Resource Management and mentor undergraduate researchers.

Alison Coulter, Mulligan’s and Cutler’s advisor and an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management commented on the qualities that helped the students win the award:

“From what I’ve seen so far it’s been their willingness to mentor and their willingness to serve the society … they’re definitely mentoring the next generation of fisheries professionals,” said Coulter.

Mulligans master’s project is focused on the risk of invasive species spread via the live bait trade, with a specific concentration on bighead and silver carp in the Missouri River Basin.

The conference allowed Mulligan the opportunity to present a poster on observational results from the field work she conducted this summer for her research project.

“That was instrumental for outreach purposes as well to inform conference attendees of the risk of invasive species in the live bait trade,” Mulligan said. “I got to talk to people one on one, so that was really nice.”

Cutler’s master’s project focuses on how walleye use wetlands connected to Lake Kampeska near Watertown.

“He’s really developed great relationships with Game, Fish and Parks through that research,” Coulter said.

Presenting that research at the AFS meeting in Spokane, Cutler along with Mulligan moderated sessions and participated in a variety of student networking events.

The American Fisheries Society promotes scientific research of fisheries. With over 8,000 members, it is the largest and oldest organization in the fisheries profession and science.