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College Students Spend Summer Gaining Fisheries Experience
Midwest Region, August 31, 2006
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Chris McLeland a Columbia FRO STEP student from University of Missouri poses with a flathead collected in Tate Island Chute on Missouri River.
- FWS photo by Jennifer Johnson
Chris McLeland a Columbia FRO STEP student from University of Missouri poses with a flathead collected in Tate Island Chute on Missouri River.

- FWS photo by Jennifer Johnson

- Photo Credit: n/a
Kyle Winders, a Columbia FRO STEP student from the University of Missouri, holds a hatchery reared pallid strugeon captured in a trawl on the Missouri River. 
- FWS photo by Andy Plauk
Kyle Winders, a Columbia FRO STEP student from the University of Missouri, holds a hatchery reared pallid strugeon captured in a trawl on the Missouri River.

- FWS photo by Andy Plauk

- Photo Credit: n/a

Columbia FRO was fortunate to have college students from three universities working with them this past summer. The seven students acquired skills that will assist them in their future fisheries careers while working with Columbia FRO staff. While assisting crews in the field they have learned how to identify big river fish species, fish with a variety of gear types, and collect and record data. In the shop they have learned how to repair and perform maintenance on boats, nets, and trucks. In the lab they learned to press and read fish scales for aging fish and to how to key out fish species that were unidentified in the field.

Chris McLeland assisted the Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Project’s (HAMP) crew. He continued on with us as a STEP student and is well on his way to a career in fisheries research. He will be graduating in May of 2007 from the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC) with a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife.

Kyle Winders also assisted the HAMP crew and has stayed on with us as a STEP student. He will be graduating in December of 2007 from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife. He is currently Vice President of the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Society (FASS) at UMC. After graduating in December he looks forward to graduate school and a future in fisheries management.

Breanna Hicks assisted Columbia FRO with the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA) national paddlefish stock assessment project by performing data entry and by retrieving coded wire tags from paddlefish rostrums. She will be graduating in May 2009 from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and an emphasis on natural resources. She enjoyed her summer of with us and has decided on a career in wildlife research.

Cody Luebbering assisted crews for both the Population Asssessment (Pallid) project and the Mitigation project. Cody came to us from Saint Thomas, Missouri where he grew up with the Osage River in his back yard. He will be graduating in December 2007 from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and an emphasis on natural resources. He will be returning to the Columbia FRO as summer STEP student in 2007. We appreciated his river experience and his inexhaustible energy for performing fieldwork.

Dustin Martin assisted with both the MICRA and HAMP projects. He graduated in December from UMC with a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife. We look forward to seeing how far he will go in his career.

Courtney Culler assisted the HAMP project’s crew in field work and became a master net mender. He will be graduating in May 2007 from UMC with a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife. He looks forward to graduate school then a life filled with bass fishing and a little fisheries research work on the side.

Nick Siepker assisted the Pallid projects crew this summer. If he doesn’t become a professional bass angler he will be graduating in December of 2008 from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences. After graduation he plans on going to graduate school and working in fisheries management.

These students are dedicated to pursuing professional careers and with the experience they get both here and at college they will be well prepared to enter the fisheries field after graduation. We appreciate the time we’ve had to mentor them. The experience and dedication of these students fully support the Service’s Workforce Management Goal of the Fisheries Program Vision for the Future.


Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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