Dr. Mamie Parker of the American Fisheries Society received the Emmeline Moore Prize at the 2016 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri. AFS President Ron Essig presented the prize at the meeting’s plenary session. The Emmeline Moore Prize recognizes the efforts of an individual society member who has demonstrated exemplary service to the cause of equal opportunity of access to higher education in fisheries and/or professional development in any of the disciplines of fisheries science or management. The award is named for Emmeline Moore, the first female president of the society, who served from 1927 to 1928.
Dr. Parker spent nearly 30 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), serving as the first African American to head a regional office (Region 5), eventually rising to one of the highest positions in the USFWS: assistant director, fisheries and habitat conservation. Through her dedication and professional service, Dr. Parker exemplifies all five criteria for the Emmeline Moore Prize. She has promoted demographic diversity by starting career awareness institutes at Tennessee Tech University (with Don Estes) and within the service to assemble minority students from across the country and teach them about careers in fisheries.
Dr. Parker has a documented list of leadership within the fisheries management. After pioneering the establishment of the USFWS’ National Fish Passage Program, she was introduced into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame in recognition of her being the first Arkansas citizen to head this program. She was also awarded the USFWS’ highest honor: the Ira Gabrielson Award for Leadership and the Presidential Rank Meritorious Service Award, recognizing extraordinary accomplishment in the Department of the Interior.
Over the course of her career, Dr. Parker has become a prominent spokesperson for minorities in the USFWS and throughout the fisheries profession. She has contributed two book chapters emphasizing the importance of encouraging and mentoring minority students in the fisheries profession and has been a pivotal figure in AFS workshops on diversity in the fisheries profession (last year and this year). Although Dr. Parker is now “retired,” she continues to work tirelessly leading strategic dialogues within the profession on how to best attract and retain a diverse workforce.
Dr. Parker is one of the most qualified candidates to receive this prestigious award.
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Links: (fisheries.org, 2016.fisheries.org)
About AFS: Founded in 1870, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science society. The mission of AFS is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. With five journals and numerous books and conferences, AFS is the leading source of fisheries science and management information in North America and around the world.