Nicholls Graduate Student Earns Scholarship Honoring Fishing Pioneer

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls Biology graduate student Audrey Baetz is one of two women to receive the fourth annual Noreen Clough Memorial Scholarship.

The $1,000 scholarship was founded by Bassmaster in the memory of Clough. Clough was the first female regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and died in 2015.

“Women in science face the challenge of underrepresentation. Coupled with cultural, psychological and institutional barriers, that can make it increasingly difficult for us to advance in our careers,” Baetz said. “Noreen tackled these barriers to become the visible and well-known scientist and communicator she was. As I face these challenges, this scholarship is so important to me because I strive to carry on Noreen’s legacy and become a role model for young women in our field while tearing down the barriers we have been forced to endure.”

The Michigan native joined biological sciences assistant professor Dr. Solomon David’s GarLab this fall. She will study Mississippi River floodplain ecosystem restoration and fish conservation. 

“Audrey’s award is both well-earned and deserved,” Dr. David said. “It wasn’t surprising either. She just had her first primary-authored scientific paper published. She represents the talented students we are proud to have join GarLab, and the Nicholls Biology program.”

Nicholls GarLab allows students to use conservation biology and fundamental ecological principles to investigate patterns in life-history, biodiversity and evolution of species at different scales. Students connect these patterns to inform restoration and management of aquatic natural resources, including fish like gars, that may be susceptible to threats like habitat loss, invasive species and climate change.

“I look forward to continuing my education as a graduate student at Nicholls State University and using my position to conserve and protect our natural resources while advocating for increased representation and support of underrepresented groups in science,” Baetz said.

Bassmaster is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing. Since 1968, Bassmaster has been dedicated to enhancing the sport of bass fishing by advocating for access, conservation and youth fishing.


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