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2015 Spring Scholarships

 

Chairman Dan Purdy reports the following have been awarded George Burlew Scholarship graduate student grants for the 2015 Spring semester.

 

CHRISTOPHER M. FREE :   Presently a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University studying Oceanography. He has been a field biologist, ecologist, research assistant and has won our scholarship last year as well as additional scholarships for his studies of small scale and large scale marine fisheries.

 

STEPHEN GRAY REDDING :   Presently a student at the University of Maryland, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory obtaining his Masters in environmental sciences and fisheries science. He has presentations transplanting oyster reefs and has been consistently on the Dean’s List.

 

JESSICA L. VALENTI :   Presently a Ph.D. candidate in Oceanography at Rutgers University. A marine field technician and graduated Summa Cum Laude with distinction in marine science honors.

 

ANTHONY R. VASTANO :   Presently a graduate student of Oceanography at Rutgers University, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. Mr. Vastano is obtaining his graduate degree and has extensively studied black sea bass which will certainly assist our club in the future.

 

JASON M. MORSON :   Presently a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University studying Ecology & Evolution. He obtained his Masters in biology with honors in 2007 studying population stock assessment and fisheries management.

 

SEAN MARTIN :   Presently a Laboratory/Field Assistant at Rutgers University, Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory. Working towards his Masters in fisheries science having obtained his Bachelor’s Degree Magna Cum Laude from Richard Stockton College. Currently performing reporting work on commercial fishing vessels.

2014 Fall Scholarships

 

Chairman Ralph Munsie advises the following grad students have received George Burlew Scholarship grants for the 2014 Fall semester. The club is very happy to have the opportunity to assist students who are studying in areas important to our Club members.

 

Anthony Vastano                  Rutgers University

Anthony is a first year graduate student who’s been working as an undergraduate assistant at Rutgers Marine Filed Station since 2011. His senior thesis focused on the reproductive strategies of the Black Sea bass. His graduate research is focusing on the age and growth of marsh killifish in New Jersey and Louisiana in order to better understand the long term impacts of oil spills on marsh fishes.

 

Christopher Free              Rutgers University

Christopher is a Ph.D. student who was a previous George Burlew recipient in 2013. His current studies are focused on population dynamics and stock assessment methodologies. His goals are to help improve the current data-poor methods for fisheries management. Overall, he’s interested in developing methods and procedures to provide accurate information that can be used in the sustainable management of sportfish fisheries.

 

Jessica Valenti                        Rutgers University

Jessica, a local resident from Toms River is a Rutgers Ph.D. candidate with a research focus on assessing the effects of urbanization on fishes and crabs pertaining to Barnegat Bay. A comprehensive monitoring plan has been established to determine the state of fishes and selected crustaceans within the bay. This data set could help provide information for knowledgeable conservation and management decisions with the potential to improve the overall health of the bay and fish populations that reside there.

 

Meghan Henderson               Stony Brook University

With a Masters from URI, Meghan is currently studying for her Ph.D. at Stony Brook. Her current research aims to assess how fish populations along the Northeast continental shelf respond to changing ocean temperatures. Her objectives include discovering what mechanisms drive stock movements and how quickly these changes occur. Her interests are strongly focused on the effects of climate variability and climate change on fish ecosystems.

 

Talia Young                               Rutgers University

Talia, a previous George Burlew recipient earned her graduate degree at UPenn after which teaching 4 years of high school AP Biology. She’s currently finishing up her PhD studies at the Rutgers Marine Field Station in Tuckerton. Her current research is focused on collecting data for the analysis of the population boom of the Barnegat Bay Sea Nettles. Identifying and examining the environmental variables that have changed within certain timeframes will provide a better understanding for managing sea nettles in Barnegat Bay.

2014 Spring Scholarships

 

Ralph reported we received nine applicants, and awarded seven George Burlew Scholarship grants. Four are past recipients, four are PHD candidates, and three are involved in marine management. Six are from Rutgers University.

 

Kaycee Coleman               Rutgers University

Talia Young                        Rutgers University

Jenny Paterno                   Rutgers University

Dana Christensen            Stockton University

Christopher Free             Rutgers University

Jason Morson                   Rutgers University

Amanda Wenczel             Rutgers University

2013 Fall Scholarships

 

Chairman Ralph Munsie advises the following grad students have received George Burlew Scholarship grants for the 2013 Fall semester. The club is very happy to have the opportunity to assist students who are studying in areas important to our Club members.

 

Talia Young ,  Rutgers University

Talia’s current research is focused on collecting data for the analysis of the population boom of the Barnegat Bay Sea Nettles. Identifying and examining the environmental variables that have changed within certain timeframes will provide a better understanding for managing sea nettles in Barnegat Bay.

Mikaela Provost ,  Rutgers University

Masters Thesis on black sea bass, life history and population dynamics. Working in cooperation with commercial and recreational fisherman to study the sex change biology of black sea bass. Has implemented a tagging and tracking project for sex specific behavior focused on answering basic questions associated with predicting the future behavior of fish populations to improve fisheries management.

Christopher Filosa,  Rutgers University

Field technician for numerous projects such as the Barnegat Bay Project, Black Sea Bass Project and Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. Christopher was also a team member of the historic RU27 transatlantic crossing glider mission. This was the first successfully completed Atlantic crossing mission with an unmanned underwater robot. His current studies are fisheries focused looking at the age and growth of the Gulf Killifish.

Dana Christensen,  Stockton College

Research focus is on computational science as applied to marine ecology. In collaboration with the Rutgers Marine Field Station’s weekly flood tide seines, Dana is constructing mathematical models and utilizing quantitative analysis techniques for marine biology research. Computational modeling has become an extremely essential component within marine science for fisheries management. This modeling can be used to track large fish movements and migrations. Understanding the population dynamics can help to answer questions as to why fish populations are experiencing fluctuation and how a changing environment may be affecting the ecology.

2013 Spring Scholarships

 

Kaycee Coleman, Rutgers University

Research focus is on winter flounder stock assessment. In addition to the traditional archival tagging effort this program has also instituted the use of acoustic tagging that is tracked by autonomous underwater vehicles, (AUV’s). This cutting edge technique will most likely broaden research to other species as well.

 

Jamie Caridad, Rutgers University

Research focus is on the ingress of larval fish into the Great Bay and Mullica River estuary. Using a 20 year data set of weekly fish sampling Jamie is examining the early life history of native fishes to understand reasons why some are impeded from reaching spawning age.

 

Jenny Paterno, Rutgers University

Research focus includes an oyster bed restoration project in the Mid Atlantic creating reefs that provide the habitat needed for rebuilding a healthy stock. Oyster beds provide many services to fishes including foraging habitat, shelter for juvenile individuals and increased food resources. In addition, her studies also include field ecology in prepping, executing and processing data from field studies to evaluate the use of fishes, shrimps and crabs to construct “living shorelines”. Living shorelines are an environmentally friendly tactic designed to inhibit erosion.

 

Daniel Cullen, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Dan is studying for his PhD. His research focus is on developing better methods of Black Sea Bass stock assessments using underwater video systems and creating better statistical methods for analysis of the results. Video systems allow for a more accurate stock assessment for sampling BSB on structured habitats then the traditional method of bottom trawl surveys which are primarily restricted to softer bottom sediments away from live or hard bottom reef areas. The idea to specialize the video assessment comes from the fact that Black Sea Bass are migratory, occupying these inshore habitats from spring to autumn. This method will provide better indexing on the abundance of BSB on structured habitats. The allowable catch is currently based on historic landings.

 

Mathew Siskey, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Matt’s research project is focused on Bluefin tuna age and growth, investigating recent and past growth rates from samples taken principally from recreational fisheries up and down the east coast. His findings were presented at an international workshop on age and growth of Bluefin tuna in which participants developed aging conventions that could be adopted by ICCAT in the coming years. Another aspect of the research is to access the mixing that occurs between the western (Gulf of Mexico origin) and eastern (Mediterranean Sea origin) stocks in the US seas fisheries.

 

2012 Fall Scholarships

 

Talia Young, Rutgers University

Research focus is on gathering data on the over abundance of Jellyfish in the Barnegat Bay. This survey is part of a larger research program on Barnegat Bay being conducted by Rutgers University in response to Governor Christie’s action plan on the bay.

 

Mikaela Provost, Rutgers University

Research focus is on black sea bass fish population dynamics. Black sea bass has long been considered as a “data poor” species which presents unique challenges for fishery managers. Rutgers sea bass tagging program is helping to gather much needed data. The program includes an array of 6 hydrophones used to track movement and behavior.

 

Kaycee Coleman, Rutgers University

Research focus is on winter flounder stock assessment. In addition to the traditional archival tagging effort this program has also instituted the use of acoustic tagging that is tracked by autonomous underwater vehicles, (AUV’s). This cutting edge technique will most likely broaden research to other species as well.

 

Courtnay Janiak, Delaware State University

Research focus is on developing aquaculture methods to sustainably produce mummichog, (killifish), and other marine baitfish year round in a cultured environment.

 

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