Dr. Mamie Parker receives American Fisheries Society award for promoting diversity in fisheries

Will Hehemann School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

img1245ed2Dr. Mamie Parker, an alumna of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, was recently awarded the Emmeline Moore Prize by the American Fisheries Society (AFS) at its annual meeting held this year in Kansas City, Missouri.

According to the AFS, 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 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 AFS, who served from 1927 to 1928.

Dr. Parker is the former assistant director of fisheries and habitat conservation at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). She became the first African American to head a regional office for the FWS when she was appointed regional director for the 13 northeastern states.

In her 30-year career with the FWS, Dr. Parker worked in a number of positions and locations including Washington D.C., Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia and Massachusetts. She served as the ecosystem coordinator in the Great Lakes and Big Rivers Region, working in a variety of program areas including national wetlands and coastal mapping, fish hatcheries, contaminants, invasive species, marine mammals and wetland restoration and protection.

Dr. Parker was designated the authorized official for the negotiations with General Electric Corporation to clean up the Hudson River and challenge mountaintop mining activities in West Virginia. She also played a major role in helping protect U.S. waters from invasive species such as the Asian carp and snakehead fish.

Some of Dr. Parker’s accomplishments include receiving the FWS’s highest honor, the Ira Gabrielson Award for Leadership, as well as the Presidential Rank Meritorious Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary accomplishment in the Department of the Interior. As an Arkansas native, she was also introduced into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame for her accomplishments in fisheries leadership on a national scale.

Throughout her career, Dr. Parker has been an advocate for minorities in the FWS and throughout the fisheries profession. According to the AFS, she has been a pivotal figure in AFS workshops on diversity in the fisheries profession.

Dr. Parker graduated from UAPB with a degree in biology in 1980. She later earned a master’s degree in fish and wildlife management and a doctoral degree in limnology from the University of Wisconsin.

The AFS is composed of over 9,000 members worldwide, including aquaculturists, biologists, ecologists, economists, engineers, fisheries managers, geneticists and social scientists.

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