Bemidji State University’s Kristina Rands, a senior from Elk River, Minnesota, was named the 2020 recipient of the E. E. Mecklenburg Environmental Scholarship. The award is funded jointly by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society’s Scholarship Committee and the New Ulm Area Sport Fishermen.
“I enjoy the location of the school as it is right on the edge of Lake Bemidji,” Rands said. “I was attracted to the fact that we have the ability to go hunting or fishing while still being within a reasonable distance to grocery stores or malls.”
Rands said she chose Bemidji State in part because it is the only four-year university in Minnesota with a degree program in aquatic biology. She is on track to graduate in May 2020 with a double emphasis in aquatic systems and fisheries biology as well as a minor in wetland ecology.
Students were selected based on their levels of demonstrated leadership in, passion for, and commitment to studying, understanding, conserving, and teaching about aquatic natural resources. Rands has decided to put her scholarship towards the American Fisheries Society subunit at BSU, where she holds the role of president.
The $900 scholarship will help fund the group’s trip to Willmar, Minnesota, for this year’s annual American Fisheries Society conference on Feb. 10-12. At the conference, Rands will present a poster, “Morphological Lake Characteristics in Comparison to Age-0 Yellow Perch Hatch Rates.”
“I am extremely thankful for this opportunity because it benefits 15 other people,” Rands said. “This scholarship decreases the amount of financial burden on students so they can instead focus on presenting their research and creating professional connections.”
Rands is currently in the process of applying to graduate programs throughout the country in preparation for her future endeavors.
“I am looking to obtain my master’s degree in a field related to aquatic biology and hopefully continue on to get my Ph.D.,” she said. “My professional goal is to become a professor and teach classes such as limnology or ichthyology.”
Bemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding. For more, visit bemidjistate.edu or find us at BemidjiState on most of your favorite social media networks.