MSU JACK CREEK WILDLIFE SCHOLARSHIP

Each year, the Jack Creek Preserve Foundation awards one or more scholarships to a Montana State University student enrolled in natural resource conservation and management.  

Qualifications: The recipient must: 1) be a sophomore or junior enrolled in an MSU undergraduate program aimed at educating and training students for a career in natural resource conservation and management; 2) have completed at least two semesters at MSU and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0; 3) have a strong interest in wildlife/fisheries habitat and conservation; 4) an appreciation of the role of hunters and hunting in wildlife conversation in North America; and 5) have a commitment to a career in natural resource management.

Applications for the Jack Creek Wildlife Scholarship are available the first week of September. Decisions are made by October 1.  In 2017 Jack Creek Preserve provided 3 scholarships totaling $7,500.


2017 Jack Creek Wildlife Scholarship Awards

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Blake Lowrey received $2,500 to study the spatial ecology of mountain ungulates in his pursuit of a PhD to secure a career with a regional state or federal wildlife agency. His current PhD research covers four broad objectives: 1) develop and extrapolate seasonal habitat models for introduced mountain goats, 2) characterize the seasonal niches of sympatric mountain ungulates, 3) describe the seasonal movement strategies of bighorn sheep with different management histories, and 4) develop and extrapolate bighorn sheep habitat models constructed with new insights from GPS collar data. Collectively, these objectives directly relate to the management and conservation concerns surrounding bighorn sheep and mountain goats in Montana and the GYA, and provide useful tools to inform management and conservation.

Kaitlin Macdonald received $2,500 for her work with the Weddel Seal project in Erebus Bay, Antarctica. Kaitlin’s research is part of a larger long-term investigation of Weddell seal population dynamics. She is currently leading a field crew for a ten-week season tagging, surveying, and collecting data regarding the Erebus Bay population of Weddell seals. This is her fourth season working on the sea ice. The team is evaluating fundamental predictions of life-history theory by identifying mechanisms that drive variation in allocation of energy from Weddell seal mothers to their offspring. She has helped refine a novel technique, which uses photogrammetric methods to measure mass dynamics of mothers and infer energetic allocation to offspring.

Megan Heinemann received $2,500 for her work as an undergraduate researching the affect of pelicans on fish populations in the Smith River watershed. Fisheries managers and researchers require a good understanding of fish abundance and movement to make appropriate regulations and inferences. Megan's work will help fill an information gap, by providing estimates of 1) the influence of pelicans on fish abundance (predation rate) and 2) the efficiency of researchers in finding deposited tags on pelican breeding colonies (detection probability). These data are essential for biologists from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and researchers from Montana State University, who are collaborators on the project. Since beginning the project, Megan has helped to develop the objectives and methods and coordinated efforts among biologists from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and MSU personnel. 

Blake Lowrey with Jack Creek preserve Board President Brian Benyo, and Jack Creek Preserve Founder Dottie Fossel

Blake Lowrey with Jack Creek preserve Board President Brian Benyo, and Jack Creek Preserve Founder Dottie Fossel

megan heinemann with Jack Creek PreservE Board President Brian Benyo, and Jack Creek Preserve Founder Dottie Fossel

megan heinemann with Jack Creek PreservE Board President Brian Benyo, and Jack Creek Preserve Founder Dottie Fossel


"The MSU Fish and Wildlife Management Program has an outstanding record of attracting and educating fish and wildlife biologists that are recruited into natural resource management positions throughout North America and beyond. The Jack Creek Preserve Foundation's student scholarship recognizes and supports some of our brightest and committed students and I cannot think of a more worthwhile long-term investment in conservation as each successful student will contribute to our shared mission of effective natural resource conservation and management over their 30+ year career."

ROBERT GARROTT, PH.D.   |   DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY, MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
 


SCIENCE FAIR SUPPORT

2017 Ennis Science fair winners: FINLEY KNAPTON, EMMETT LINGLE, and TANNER INNMAN with Jack Creek Preserve founder Dottie Fossel

2017 Ennis Science fair winners: FINLEY KNAPTON, EMMETT LINGLE, and TANNER INNMAN with Jack Creek Preserve founder Dottie Fossel

The Preserve provides an incentive to encourage students in middle and high school to pursue topics like wildlife, conservation, habitat, and ecology. Each year, the Foundation awards qualifying students at Ennis and Big Sky schools with $50 to $100 prizes for exceptional projects.