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MSU fisheries professor gets conservation award

Post-doctoral student Dan O’Keefe, left, works with Mississippi State University fisheries biologist Don Jackson to tag young, university-raised catfish released in a project restoring hurricane-ravaged south Mississippi waterways in 2006. Jackson recently received a conservation award from the Mississippi chapter of the American Fisheries Society. (Photo by MSU Office of University Relations/Russ Houston)
Post-doctoral student Dan O’Keefe, left, works with Mississippi State University fisheries biologist Don Jackson to tag young, university-raised catfish released in a project restoring hurricane-ravaged south Mississippi waterways in 2006. Jackson recently received a conservation award from the Mississippi chapter of the American Fisheries Society. (Photo by MSU Office of University Relations/Russ Houston)

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi chapter of the American Fisheries Society recently honored a Mississippi State University professor with a conservation award.

Donald Jackson, a professor in MSU’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, received the C.A. Schultz Conservation award at the chapter’s annual meeting February 22 in McComb.

The society gives the award to individuals in the fisheries field who have dedicated their careers to conserving Mississippi’s natural resources.

Jackson, a Sharp Distinguished Professor of Fisheries, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas and his doctorate from Auburn University. Since 1986, he has conducted research and taught in MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

Jackson’s research has helped to conserve fisheries throughout the state.

“He guided my research documenting the developing tailwater fisheries on the newly constructed Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway,” said Rick Dillard, president of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and Jackson’s first graduate student. “This project broke new ground, as no previous research had been conducted relative to patterns of angler use in that system.”

In addition to research, Jackson’s work in the classroom has guided the careers of many natural resources professionals.

“All of his students gain considerably more than mere academic knowledge -- they also gain the philosophical and spiritual foundations to be confident and successful professionals,” said Eric Dibble, a professor in MSU’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Jackson has been active in the American Fisheries Society for several years. He has served as president of the Mississippi and the Southeast regional chapters and as the society’s national president. Ten years ago, he helped develop the C.A. Schultz award to honor his friend and mentor.

Schultz was one of the first fisheries biologists hired by the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission in 1958, and he gained a widespread reputation for his knowledge, insight and respect for nature.

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March 13, 2013
Writer: Meg Henderson
Contact: Dr. Donald Jackson, (662) 325-7493