The Georgia Chapter of the AFS understands how important student involvement is to accomplishing the American Fisheries Society mission “to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals.” Following the 2015 Southern Division AFS Savannah meeting, the GA-AFS began exploring options to reinvest the meeting profits in a way that would benefit our student members and also provide opportunities to attract new membership to the Georgia Chapter. Both scholarship and travel stipend funding were discussed as important among GA-AFS members, and therefore, the Ronnie J. Gilbert Student Scholarship and Georgia Chapter AFS Undergraduate Travel Stipend were both created.
Ronnie J. Gilbert Student Scholarship
The GA-AFS Chapter is proud to offer an annual scholarship program open to both undergraduate and graduate students. The Ronnie J. Gilbert Student Scholarship provides $500 to one outstanding student who is a member of the Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society at the time of their application. College students at any level of undergraduate or postgraduate education are encouraged to apply. However, students are only eligible to win a scholarship once per degree track (e.g. a student could win once as an undergraduate and once as a master’s candidate but not twice as an undergraduate). The winner will be expected to serve a one-year term on the scholarship and undergraduate travel stipend awards selection committee.
Application form for the Ronnie J . Gilbert Scholarship will be posted October 1.
Georgia Chapter AFS Undergraduate Travel Stipend
The GA-AFS Chapter is pleased to offer an Undergraduate Travel Stipend to attend GA-AFS annual meetings. The undergraduate travel stipend will provide lodging and meeting registration to attend the GA-AFS annual meeting. The number of awards presented each year will depend on the amount of funding available in the Student Opportunity Fund, the cost of lodging, and the number of student applicants. Recipients of the travel stipend will be expected to assist with various duties at the annual meeting.
Application form for the Undergraduate Travel Stipend will be posted October 1.
Financing: The Georgia Chapter AFS Student Opportunity Fund
Funding for the Georgia Chapter AFS Student Opportunity Fund was initially financed from 2015 Southern Division AFS Savannah meeting profits. This money was invested in a GA-AFS account and will serve as an endowment for the scholarship and travel stipend. This initial investment will remain in the “Georgia AFS Student Opportunity Fund”, with disbursements operating largely on investment income allowing the chapter to maintain these awards in perpetuity. In addition, a portion of the GA-AFS Chapter Annual Meeting raffle proceeds will be deposited into the fund each year. The GA-AFS Chapter is also soliciting tax-deductible donations to the Student Opportunity Fund from its members and supporters. If you would like more information about the Student Opportunity Fund or if you would like to make a donation, please contact the secretary/treasurer.