NANFA-- NANFA Education Grants

Bob Bock (
Wed, 14 Nov 2001 13:41:41 -0500

NANFA Education Grants Fund Desert Fish Study, Stream Study Activities

For Immediate Release
November 14, 2001
Contact: Bruce Stallsmith
Phone: 256-824-6992

The North American Native Fishes Association (NANFA) announced the funding
of two projects to educate the general public about native North American
fishes and their environment. This year's recipients of the Gerald Corcoran
Education Grant are the Tierra Mojada Environmental Research Center in
Tucson, Arizona, and a special project at the Museum of Life and Science in
Durham, North Carolina.

The award was established in memory of Past NANFA President Gerald C.
Corcoran, who stressed public education regarding the native fishes of the
North American continent.

"Both of these projects are exciting because they are aimed at involving
teenagers in learning about local environmental issues, with the important
aim of encouraging these same teens to explain their discoveries to other
members of their communities," said NANFA president Bruce Stallsmith, Ph.D.

The Tierra Mojada Environmental Research Center (TMERC) resulted from a
project by the students and faculty at Palo Verde High School in Tucson, to
build a wetland resembling the kind once found in their area. Palo Verde
High School is a Tucson city school with little fish native habitat close
enough for students to visit and interact with during school hours. The
artificial wetland now hosts populations of longfin dace, Gila chub, desert
pupfish, and Gila Topminnow. The latter two species are Federally listed as
endangered. Students and faculty at TMERC will use the $705 grant to
install a video camera under water in the wetland to study the behavior of
the fishes residing in the habitat. The project is described in detail at

The other grant recipient is "Teens Promoting Native Fish Awareness and
Conservation Through Research and Teaching," a special project of the
Natural Resources Action Team at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.
Under the direction of NANFA member Chad Hallyburton, a group of teens will
carry out research on local stream systems, and also develop a "Science on a
Cart" activity to explain the importance of local streams to museum
visitors. The NANFA grant provided $684.00 toward the project. The teens
will present the results of the project at the 2002 annual meeting of the
North Carolina Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. More information
about the project is available at

The Corcoran Grant sponsors a project or projects to educate the general
public about native North American fishes and their environment. Projects
suitabile for the grant include:

Producing and distributing educational materials (books, brochures, posters,
displays, video, Internet resources, etc.)

Stream surveys with public education as a primary goal

Public lectures

Nature center displays

School materials and displays

Teacher training workshops

"Generous donations from the Corcoran Family made this year's grant's
possible," said Dr. Stallsmith. "These projects are a legacy to his name
and to what he sought to accomplish."

Dr. Stallsmith also thanked the members of the education grant committee for
their hard work in sifting through the pool of qualified grant applications
to select the winners. Members of the committee are Jay DeLong, Chair, Rob
Denkhaus, Maureen Corcoran, Jan Hoover, and Neil Douglas.

Grant proposals are due March 31, 2002. Proposals will be evaluated and
ranked by a review committee, and funding awarded on June 1, 2002.
Qualifying applicants must be members of NANFA but non-members may submit
$20 annual dues with their proposals. For additional information, contact:

Jay DeLong
3806 Goldfinch Dr. SE
Lacey, WA 98503
(360) 438-6303

The first recipient of the NANFA education grant in October 2000 was NANFA
Ohio Representative Rob Carillio. Carillio has been active for several years
in a local coalition to defend and celebrate the Mahoning River in Warren,
OH. Carillio received the award for developing a large, all-weather sign
which he posted along the river to describe the fishes of the Mahoning as
well as the value of development-free zone to conserve river habitat. .

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