Cramer Fish Sciences is pleased to announce that the first annual Steven P. Cramer Legacy Scholarship was awarded on July 31, 2015. The scholarship was established to honor and continue the legacy of our founding scientist, who has dedicated more than 40 years of service to fisheries science and has exhibited a life-long passion for finding solutions to help protect and enhance natural resources while preserving them for beneficial use.
There was strong interest in the scholarship from students across the U.S. and 44 applications were received. The selection committee was impressed with the extremely high caliber of the individual applicants and had a difficult job narrowing the applicants down and selecting the two winners. Winners were chosen based on the quality of their research, academic achievements, strength of character, and dedication to service.
The employees of Cramer Fish Sciences would like to congratulate the winners: William Brignon of Oregon State University and Jeff Strait of the University of Montana. Each winner will receive $2,000. A short bio for each winner follows.
William Brignon, Oregon State University
Mr. Brignon received his B.S., specializing in fisheries and aquatic science, from Purdue University in 2002. After graduation Bill moved to Portland, Oregon to pursue a career in fisheries management and to catch steelhead. After spending two and half years as a Coded-wire Tag Technician and Fish Health Technician with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, he accepted a job as a Fish Biologist with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) where he has worked ever since. At the 2006 Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society conference, Bill met Dr. Carl Schreck, leader of the U. S. Geological Survey's Oregon Cooperative Fishery Research Unit and a professor at Oregon State University (OSU). As a result of this chance meeting, Bill was accepted into graduate school and his FWS supervisors agreed to support Bill's research program. Bill received a M.S degree in 2009 and returned to work full time for the FWS. In spring 2011, Dr. Schreck and the FWS supported Bill's return to OSU and he began a PhD program to evaluate the efficacy and value of competing reintroduction strategies to support bull trout recovery actions. Bill is currently writing the final chapter of his dissertation and is looking forward to graduating and applying his new skill set to support the FWS in addressing fisheries management issues throughout the Columbia River Basin. Bill splits his time between Corvallis and Portland and, when not studying or working, he can be found steelhead fishing the coastal rivers or Willamette tributaries.
Jeff Strait, University of Montana
Mr. Strait grew up in Pennsylvania where a passion for sports, hunting, and fishing was instilled in him from an early age. Like many biologists, these experiences drew Jeff to conservation biology and ecology. After graduating high school, he attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst to study biology and play football. While Jeff's interests in science remain broad, it was here that he realized that he wanted to pursue a career in fisheries biology and ecology. Jeff began working in the field and in the conservation genetics lab as part of a brook trout monitoring program. Upon graduation from UMass in the winter of 2013, he moved to Missoula, Montana to begin work as a field and lab technician on an NSF-funded rainbow/cutthroat trout hybridization project. During Jeff's time on this project he worked diligently on graduate school applications and accepted a position at the University of Montana in the fall of 2014. Jeff is co-advised by Dr. Gordon Luikart and Dr. Lisa Eby, and is continuing his research looking at the effects of this hybridization on juvenile growth using new genomic techniques.