Future of Fisheries: Perspectives for Emerging Professionals

So You Say You Love Fish

Michael P. Nelson, John A. Vucetich, and Kathleen Dean Moore

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874387.ch18

People become natural resource scientists and professionals usually, we believe, because they possess a deep-seated desire to protect and restore natural systems and populations. We see this desire in the conservation scientists with whom we have collaborated and in the students we have taught over many years. But why? Why do people choose a science career in order to protect the animals and populations they study? Perhaps because at some level they believe in the direct connection between what people know and what people do. That is, people who become scientists in this field believe that conservation science is directly linked to conservation, or so it is assumed. Perhaps aspiring conservation scientists believe that if scientists only knew how the mercury from burning coal affects fish populations, if citizens only knew how their use of fossil fuels was impacting the climate, or how their land use practices were directly linked to the extinction of bird species, we would collectively mend our ways, we would cease these harmful practices, we would become conservation-minded and activated.