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West Valley student earns fisheries mentorship, scholarship

Submitted by Carin Bailey Stephens
Phone: 907-322-8730


While many high school students enjoy their long summer vacation, West Valley sophomore Shamariah Hale will be hard at work. Selected as a Hutton Junior Fisheries Scholar, Hale will spend the next two months gaining hands-on experience as a young fisheries scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Hale is one of 36 students across the nation who will participate in the 2008 Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program. Sponsored by the American Fisheries Society, the program works to increase the number of women and minorities in fisheries careers. Students are paired with a mentor in fisheries and receive a $3,000 scholarship.

Hale will be working with Trent Sutton, an associate professor of fisheries at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Under Sutton's guidance, Hale will study the health and abundance of humpback whitefish and least cisco in the Chatanika River. Once a productive whitefish fishery, the Chatanika historically accounted for nearly half of Alaska's whitefish harvest. After fish numbers decreased dramatically, the fishery was closed in 1994 and reopened last year.

About SFOS
The UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. SFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.