This fellowship educates young women about Jan Fenske’s story and the kind of person she was. Jan is an inspiring figure for women interested in fisheries management. The fellowship also gives women the advantage of better understanding a state agency so that they will be better prepared to enter into fisheries management once they graduate. Women are still the minority in fisheries, so this fellowship also helps women gain increased access to fisheries professionals and make connections with others in the field. Hopefully women will no longer be a minority in fisheries.
I think the main highlights are the meetings I was able to attend with my mentors that I would not have been to without this Fellowship. I got an inside look at the Fisheries Division and how it works, with the added benefit of having a mentor there to explain what was going on and why things are done the way they are. I really enjoyed having mentors during my first year in graduate school who were supportive, taught me about professional conduct, and also about the goings-on in fisheries management.
Whether a graduate student wants to eventually enter management or not, it is beneficial for them to understand how management agencies function and to create connections with those in management. Collaboration among state agencies, researchers, and others is becoming increasingly important. Collaboration benefits people working in fisheries because it allows for more resources to be used to manage any given water body or fish population. I saw collaborations occurring in several instances throughout my time as the Fenske Fellow and they really improved the efficacy and efficiency of the task at hand.
I would recommend really taking advantage of the mentor-fellow relationship. Mentors have valuable knowledge and insight that they can share with the fellow. I also think that the fellow should really focus on the year as an incredible learning experience. The fellow has the opportunity to learn about fisheries management and network with professionals, but also the fellow can learn more about her own interests and can gain a better idea what role she wants to play in the future.
Read Heidi’s article “Excellence in Fisheries Management Made Possible by the Fenske Fellowship” in the May 2010 edition of Fisheries Magazine.
Read Heidi’s article “Excellence in Fisheries Management Made Possible by the Fenske Fellowship” in the 2010 FW Spotlight Magazine.
Read Heidi’s final fellowship report.