Paige Crane of Blacksburg, Va., a freshman majoring in wildlife science, got a jump on her college studies by participating in the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program over the summer. Crane was one of 25 students chosen from across the country to participate in the program, sponsored by the American Fisheries Society.

Each student in the program is awarded a scholarship and matched with a professional mentor for a summer-long, hands-on research experience. Associate Professor Emmanuel Frimpong of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation mentored Crane as she participated in his National Science Foundation funded research. Crane studied how the bluehead chub, a local fish species, makes nests to improve its environment for breeding and how this reproductive behavior benefits numerous other fish species.

“I’ve learned so much this summer and have been able to get involved in the field that I’m going into in the fall,” Crane said at the conclusion of the program. “I’ve loved being able to work outside and learn things that are going to be applicable to my classes. I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to gain all this lab and field experience.”