A Mississippi State University doctoral candidate has been selected for a prestigious national fellowship focused on federal marine policies.
Clifford P. Hutt of Starkville is one of 53 scholars selected for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. He will spend a year in a legislative or executive office in Washington, D.C. to learn firsthand about federal policies impacting domestic waterways, including ocean, coast and Great Lakes resources. Since the fellowship program’s inception in 1979, Hutt is the first MSU student selected to participate.
"I’m very excited about this opportunity to represent MSU in our nation’s capital," Hutt said. "My research focuses on the human dimensions of fisheries and wildlife management. This includes studies of traditional user groups, such as recreational anglers and commercial fishers, as well as the general public."
In February 2013, Hutt will travel to Washington, D.C. for a series of interviews that will determine his fellowship placement.
"My hope is to be placed with an executive agency dealing with fisheries policy and management, such as the National Marine Fisheries Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service," he said.
Kevin Hunt, Hutt’s primary advisor in MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center’s Human Dimension and Conservation Law Enforcement Laboratory, said the honor is well deserved.
"Cliff has worked extremely hard at his studies and research since arriving at MSU, and it is heartening to know that his hard work is being recognized outside of the university," Hunt said. "This is a great honor for Cliff and MSU’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture."
Hutt grew up in eastern Virginia and holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry and wildlife science from Virginia Tech. He obtained a master’s degree in biology from Tennessee Tech. He will receive his Ph.D. in forest resources from MSU in August. Hutt will continue serving as a lab coordinator in MSU’s Human Dimensions and Conservation Law Enforcement Laboratory until his fellowship begins.