The Great Lakes Fishery Commission was established in 1955 between Canada and the United States with the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries. Since this time, the Commission has remained active in developing research programs on the Great Lakes, recommending various measures to ensure sustained productivity of fish stocks of common concern, and implementing a program to eradicate and minimize sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes. The Commissioners, who are appointed to represent both Canada and the United States, make decisions regarding research and they provide recommendations on the management of all the Great Lakes fisheries in Michigan.
Both Henry Regier and Bill Taylor have dedicated long professional lives to the betterment of freshwater fisheries and their surrounding communities with a particular focus on Great Lakes ecosystems. Henry served as a Canadian Commissioner on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission from 1980-1989, while Bill served as a United States Commissioner (Alt.) beginning in 2002. Both have been active as ambassadors to continental and global fisheries networks in which they collaborate to improve the state of fish, fish habitats and fisheries using an ecosystem approach with humans as complex parts of these systems. Ultimately their goal is to help empower local citizens as well as governmental officials to be expert and ethical stewards of rehabilitated fishery resources by creating new knowledge and mentoring future professionals through their active engagement with students, professionals, and the public. In recognition of their labors , Bill was selected as a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University in 2003 while Henry was named to the Order of Canada in 2009, a high civilian honor. Each feels privileged to have served as President of the American Fisheries Society, Henry from 1978-1979 and Bill from 1997-1998.
Applicants must be students enrolled in a graduate program at MSU, who are performing research related to the sustainability of fish, wildlife, or water resources using an integrated or joint approach that links humans with their natural environment. Applicants shall demonstrate a dedication to understanding factors affecting the sustainability of Great Lakes fisheries ecosystems along with excellent academic credentials, evidence of leadership, ability to communicate to the public as well as professional communities, and the ability to solve problems creatively.
At least two awards will be issued each year. Fellowships will be $14,000 per student for one year. The award can be split over multiple semesters. The Graduate School will work with the recipient(s) to determine the awarding schedule. The recipient must be enrolled for the semester to receive.
Each fellowship recipient is required to express acceptance and appreciation of the award in writing within two weeks of notification of the award.