BLM Colorado

BLM Colorado

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

BLM Employs Local High School Student, Hutton Fisheries Scholarship Recipient

BLM MONTANA
BLM Employs Local High School Student, Hutton Fisheries Scholarship Recipient

Story by Mark Jacobsen, Public Affairs Specialist, Eastern Montana/Dakotas District. Photos by Christina Stuart, BLM Fish Biologist, Miles City Field Office.

Miles City resident and Custer County District High School senior Ethan Anderson got some hands-on experience as a fisheries technician with the BLM Miles City Field Office (MCFO) in Montana last summer. Anderson was awarded a $4,000 scholarship from the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program, which seeks to "diversify the fisheries profession by stimulating career interest among young people from underrepresented groups," according to the organization.

Hutton Scholar Ethan Anderson displays a green sunfish caught during summertime sampling work on the north fork of Whitetail Creek in Carter County, July 19, 2016.
Hutton Scholar Ethan Anderson displays a green sunfish caught during summertime sampling work on the north fork of Whitetail Creek in Carter County, July 19, 2016.

Anderson competed for the scholarship against a pool of students ranked nationally, of whom around 25 were lucky to receive the chance to work with a local agency fish biologist. A minimum of eight weeks at 40 hours per week is the standard arrangement. The situation works well for both sides, as the lucky student is awarded a scholarship and the agency receives volunteer help for the summer. The American Fisheries Society provides most everything for the student, including liability coverage.

A vetted fisheries biologist generally serves as a program mentor and an application must be made by the agency professional on the receiving end, in this case, BLM Fish Biologist Christina Stuart. Once the mentor application is approved, the process moves forward and the Hutton Scholar is placed.  This is the second year that Stuart was able to secure a Hutton Scholar for her summer field season.

"All parties benefit from the Hutton Program," said Stuart. "The student receives a scholarship, a mentor, and beneficial field experience and the agency takes on a volunteer, which is invaluable in completing the summer workload."

Ethan Anderson (top) and fisheries technicians David Ritter (far left), and Kelsey Smith (bottom) pull in a seine net during a Carter County prairie stream sampling survey conducted in July 2016.
Ethan Anderson (top) and fisheries technicians David Ritter (far left), and Kelsey Smith (bottom) pull in a seine net during a Carter County prairie stream sampling survey conducted in July 2016.

The summer was a busy one for Stuart and Anderson, as well as the other field technicians working the aquatic systems in the MCFO.  The crew kept busy all summer with plenty of prairie stream sampling, habitat monitoring and data collection on BLM-administered lands in eastern Montana.


The Robert F. Hutton Endowment Fund was created in 2000 to receive contributions intended to support the scholarship program.  The fund's namesake, the late Dr. Robert F. Hutton, served as the American Fisheries Society's first Executive Director from 1965 to 1972 and the society President from 1976 to 1977.