Reprinted from The Mountain Mail, Wednesday, October 26, 2016 edition.

by John Cameron, Mail Staff Writer

The future of Gold Medal Trout Waters like the Arkansas River and other cold water fisheries in Colorado relies on students currently studying in the field of aquatic biology.

That, according to the Collegiate Peaks Chapter of Trout Unlimited Scholarship Committee, is the reason for sponsoring four Colorado students through its scholarship program.

Collegiate Peaks Chapter, a group of about 300 members, allocates about $10,000 each year for scholarships granted during spring and fall semesters.

Recently announced fall recipients are Adam Beede and Amy Harmon, seniors at Western State Colorado University; Trent Peterson, junior at Western State Colorado University; and Graham Bachmann of Buena Vista, a junior at Colorado State University.

Trout Unlimited’s mission is to preserve and protect cold water fisheries, and the scholarship program supports students studying in a field that fits that mission, said Barbara Plake, Scholarship Committee chair.

For more than 20 years, Collegiate Peaks Chapter has offered scholarships to Colorado students studying aquatic biology.

Peterson and Bachmann were each awarded a portion of the $10,000 scholarship for the first time this year, while Beede and Harman have benefited from the scholarship in past years.

Both Beede and Harmon were supported at slightly higher amounts because of the commitment they have demonstrated to their studies, said Plake.

To be eligible for a scholarship from Collegiate Peaks Chapter, recipients must be Colorado residents and have completed at least one academic semester in aquatic biology, fisheries biology or related fields.

The application process requires applicants to submit a letter of introduction detailing their background and experiences, a letter of recommendation from an academic adviser or professor, a copy of college transcripts and interview with Collegiate Peaks Scholarship Committee.

Plake said a letter submitted by Harmon was especially thoughtful. “After a warm and wonderful season on the Colorado River, I’m back in the Gunnison Valley wading in the fast-moving waters of school,” Harmon wrote. “Thank you for providing the support needed for me to dive in.”

Most of the money for scholarships is raised through the annual Caddis Festival Banquet and Auction held in the spring, said Plake.

Thank-you letter from Amy Harmon, scholarship recipient

Dear Collegiate Peaks Chapter Trout Unlimited Scholarship Committee,

Thank you all so very much for choosing to award me the CPC-TU Scholarship again for the Fall 2016 semester. I am deeply grateful for your continued support of my academic endeavors.

Thank you also for the Collegiate Peaks Chapter and its members for contributing to this generous scholarship and making it possible. I’m also greatly appreciative of all the work that you do to protect our rivers and streams.

After a warm and wonderful season on the Colorado River, I’m back in the Gunnison Valley and wading in the fast-moving waters of school. I have a full load this semester with 18 credit hours and some very challenging courses.

They’re all very interesting, though, and I feel fortunate to be delving into subjects like Water Policy and Politics, Aquatic Ecology, Water and Environmental Law, Rocky Mountain Flora and Aquatic Chemistry. I’m loving every minute of it.

We’re also hitting the ground running in our student chapters of The Wildlife Society and Tri Beta Biological Honors Society and doing some habitat restoration volunteer work in just a couple of weeks.

Outside of school, I’ve been elected to the board of directors for Grand Canyon River Guides, a nonprofit working to protect the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.

There’s lots going on and I’m delighted at all of the opportunities.

Thank you so much for providing the support needed for me to dive in.

Sincerely, Amy C. Harmon