If you’re passionate about fishing and are training for a career in fisheries biology and management, then you are invited to apply to a unique scholarship program, created through a partnership between Shimano North America Fishing and the conservation arm of B.A.S.S.
“These scholarships are key components of the Shimano Varsity Program – our primary youth fishing initiative,” said Frank Hyla, Youth Fishing Coordinator for Shimano North America Fishing. “Our goal in providing these scholarships is to help recruit avid anglers into the ranks of state, provincial, tribal, and federal fisheries management agencies.”
“This scholarship program is the result of conversations with fisheries administrators,” noted Gene Gilliland, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, while adding “who were having a hard time recruiting field biologists that understood the primary users of the fisheries resource: anglers. Partnering with Shimano, we created this program to train future professionals that are excellent practitioners of the science, as well as active participants in our favorite sport: recreational fishing.”
The Shimano Varsity scholarship program awards up to 10 $1000 scholarships to US and Canadian students who are members of B.A.S.S. and who are majoring in biology, fisheries, wildlife, or a natural resources-related field. High school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students are encouraged to apply. The scholarships provide support for one year beginning in fall 2021, and past recipients are eligible to reapply for continued funding through the program. Winners will be notified by July 1, with the award being made directly to the student for use as needed for tuition, textbooks or living expenses.
Derek Kane, who is completing work on his MS degree in Natural Resource Science at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, is a recipient of a Shimano Varsity program scholarship. “I grew up fly fishing for trout in New Mexico; once I started school in Nebraska, I charged headlong into bass fishing, competing for two years on our University’s bass tournament team. My passion for fishing directly impacts the work I’m completing for my Master’s degree, which focuses on modeling fishing pressure on Nebraska lakes with the goal of connecting the dots between angler activities and the health of fish populations.”
“Support from the Shimano Varsity program scholarship has helped me to focus more on my studies, and worry less about picking up an extra part time job to make ends meet,” noted Kane. “With graduation on the horizon, I’m excited to finally put my training into action as a Creel Project Coordinator with the Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit. I can’t wait to get started!”
“Derek’s fishing background and career aspirations are exactly what we’re looking for,” Gilliland said, while adding “If you’re a strong student who is dedicated to a career in fisheries management and are also passionate about the sport of fishing, we look forward to learning about you and strongly encourage you to apply!”
Learn more about the Shimano Varsity Scholarship Program and the application process by visiting https://fish.shimano.com.