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William “Bill” Kelso (’83) receives Excellence in Fisheries Education Award


Bill Kelso Bill Kelso

Nov. 13, 2015 – William “Bill” Kelso (’83 Ph.D. fisheries and wildlife sciences) received the American Fisheries Society’s Excellence in Fisheries Education Award at the society’s annual conference in Portland, Oregon, in August.

After completing his doctorate at Virginia Tech, Kelso accepted a position in the School of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. His initial research projects focused on the ecology of Largemouth Bass inhabiting Louisiana’s low salinity coastal marshes, as well as larval fish and invertebrates in the lower Mississippi River. In the early 1990s, he collaborated on a long-term project dealing with the ecology of the Atchafalaya River Basin, a bottomland hardwood swamp adjacent to the Atchafalaya River, the largest distributary of the Mississippi.

In the intervening decades, many of Kelso’s graduate students have worked on projects in the basin on a diversity of topics including zooplankton, fish parasites, larval and juvenile fishes, macroinvertebrates, aquatic plants, fish trophic ecology, flood pulse fish movements, and water quality. His students have also worked extensively in Louisiana’s coastal plain streams and rivers on projects involving stream habitat-fish relationships, disturbance ecology, woody debris-invertebrate interactions, and land use impacts on water quality and habitat.

Kelso took over the Fisheries Management course when he arrived at LSU, and over the years developed and taught several courses in what is now the School of Renewable Natural Resources, including Issues in Natural Resource Management, Biology of Fishes, Ecology of Fishes, Marine Fisheries Resources, Introduction to Fisheries and Aquaculture, Natural Resource Conservation, Honors Natural Resource Conservation, and, most recently, Introduction to Renewable Natural Resources. Enrollment in the school has grown from about 125 undergraduates in 2009 to over 300 as of fall 2015, with Kelso also serving as the undergraduate adviser to students in the Pre-vet Wildlife area of concentration. In addition to his role as associate director of the school, he also serves as the graduate coordinator for the program, and most importantly, still maintains a 1-handicap on the links.


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