NANFA-- NANFA education grant program

Jay DeLong (
Thu, 21 Dec 2000 23:45:35 -0800

At 04:11 PM 12/21/00, you wrote:
>We can talk about what it is that we as nanfa members do !!!!!
>OK guys what do you do ?????
>I want positive wonderful answers.

>George Arndt

Okay-- here's what some of us are doing!

I've been working with the BOD on another NANFA program they approved a
couple months ago. It's called the Gerald C. Corcoran Education Grant, or
Corcoran Grant for short.

Here's a little background on Gerald Corcoran:
Gerald Corcoran was an active NANFA member who stressed education and often
wrote about the need for NANFA to become more active in public education.
There is a photo of him and he is mentioned in an article at

This passage comes from the Oct-Dec 1977 AC:
"Gerald C. Corcoran was honored as Conservation Educator of the year at the
Eighteenth Annual Conservation Awards Program of the Mississippi Wildlife
Federation held on October 8, 1977 in Jackson, Mississippi. As curator of
the Marine Education Center, Point Cadet, Biloxi, Mr. Corcoran's influence
on conservation education has become widespread. Exhibits at the Center
were designed and built by Gerald and he has written and presently teaches
two classes in Marine Science for Teachers. With the cooperation of Biloxi
High School, he instituted a program to allow interested students to make
an intensive study of the local marine and land animals. Among other
things, he developed procedures for the capture and care of local water
animals and reptiles and also wrote a series of pamphlets on local water
animals and reptiles for the general public."

According to back issues of AC and Lateral Line, within 3 years of that
passage Gerald was NANFA President (1980 at least), newsletter editor
(whatever that was; 1978-?), Lateral Line editor (1980-82), frequent
article contributor, slide program creator and coordinator, author of
NANFA's first membership booklet, and continual spokeperson for NANFA and
environmental education. In an editorial in the May 1980 Lateral Line, he
complains that NANFA has no formal education program and expresses his
disenchantment with the poor response from the membership. Gerald died
around 1983.

The BOD decided that establishing an education grant in his name will honor
him and follow the wishes expressed by the NANFA membership in the recent
questionnaire. Gerald's daughter works with Jan Hoover at the Waterway
Experiment Station in Vicksburg and endorsed the program. The member
questionnaire results had basically placed 3 goals as highest on the list
of how members want their dues increase spent: conservation, education and
regional outreach. The conservation angle was handled by Bruce Stallsmith
last spring with the new NANFA conservation grant program you've probably
read about on the NANFA web page. The Corcoran grant will touch on both of
the other two, providing modest funds for educational projects, while
giving preference to projects developed by members in NANFA regions. The
Grant amount is small for now-- $400 per year-- to which I am adding $100,
for a total of $500. Another NANFA member has made a donation too, but I
don't know that he wants me to mention any details.

The BOD christened the program with a contribution this year to Rob
Carillio's riparian zone sign project, which, again, you can read about at ) Even before the
official announcement of the program, we already have one excellent
proposal for 2001, which Bruce received that didn't qualify for the
conservation grant. But it is perfect for the Corcoran Grant. This new
proposal's basic goal is to build community support for aquatic
conservation issues by directly involving local citizens in conservation
activities such as surveying of stream fish populations.

You'll be able to read more about the grant's details (which are still
being developed) in the next AC I think. I'm the Corcoran Grant Committee
chair and am in the process of selecting a proposal review committee. I'm
thrilled that naturalist Rob Denkhaus has agreed to be on the committee. I
am very interested in having a middle or high school science teacher on the
committee as well. If there is a teacher on this list that is interested,
please contact me off list. You must be a NANFA member or be prepared to
join. Please, no one else volunteer at this time. Thank you.

Research and public education are both necessary to conserve native fishes,
and we're all hopeful that these two NANFA programs will make meaningful

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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