FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2014
Vancouver – The Pacific Salmon Foundation is pleased to announce that for the first time, a student from the Yukon is the recipient of the largest ever Stewardship Community Bursary.
Kenji Tatsumi, a father of two young children and a student in Yukon College’s Renewable Resources Management program will receive the $2,500 bursary from the Foundation on December 3, 2014.
“I am thrilled to be chosen for this award,” says Tatsumi. “The bursary will support me as I continue my studies in resource management and responsible aquatic stewardship. It recognizes the studies that I am in and supports me during this time of education.”
The Foundation’s Stewardship Community Bursaries are awarded annually to deserving students in British Columbia and the Yukon to help reduce financial barriers for aquatic stewardship volunteers enrolled in education and training programs that support their goal of a career in salmon conservation.
Tatsumi is the father of a six and two-year old and had been working full time in Whitehorse for a government agency. After losing his job due to cutbacks, Tatsumi seized the opportunity to switch careers and pursue his true passion to help conserve and restore Yukon River Chinook salmon and their habitat.
“Salmon are a keystone species that a lot of other species depend on,” says Tatsumi. “The Yukon River Chinook numbers have been declining for years and it’s become a true ecosystem concern. My goal is to try to bring some sustainability to this species in serious trouble.”
Along with his studies and family duties, Tatsumi is a volunteer deputy Yukon conservation officer, working alongside government environment employees to protect Yukon River Chinook and preserve their habitat.
“The Pacific Salmon Foundation bursary helps me balance my volunteer work, family and education,” says Tatsumi. “My goal is to pursue science studies at the University of Alberta while continuing to support healthy, sustainable and naturally diverse populations of wild salmon, with a focus on Yukon River Chinook.”
“In the history of awarding community stewardship bursaries, we have never made an award this large, or to anyone from the Yukon,” says Terry, Tebb, director of special projects with the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity and are looking forward to many great contributions to salmon science from Kenji in the years to come.”
Tebb says the Foundation’s selection committee was very impressed with Kenji’s conservation efforts, coupled with his commitment to pursue studies in resource management. He had lost his job, had two small children at home, but continued to volunteer and enter the two-year Yukon College program.
“Raising a family is tough, but making this kind of commitment to conservation with only his wife’s income clearly demonstrates a strong commitment,” says Tebb. “Kenji’s volunteerism, dedication to a resource in trouble and demonstrated financial need made him a natural choice for this large award.”
In 2014 the Foundation provided more than $10,000 in bursaries to deserving students who are active volunteers in the aquatic stewardship community, who demonstrate financial need and are registered in full-time post-secondary programs that support their goal of a career in salmon conservation. The Foundation raises funds for the bursaries from individual donors and through various fundraising activities including a gala dinner, dance and auction held each spring in Vancouver and other communities around B.C. More information about the Foundation’s Stewardship Community Bursary program can be found here.
For more information, please contact:
Director, Special Projects
Pacific Salmon Foundation
Editor’s note: A media availability will be held with Kenji Tatsumi and Terry Tebb at 9:30 a.m. on December 3, 2014, at Yukon College. Photos will also be available upon request.
About the Pacific Salmon Foundation: The Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-government, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild Pacific Salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon. The Foundation’s mission is to be the trusted voice for conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their ecosystems and works to bring salmon back stream by stream through the strategic use of resources where local communities are mobilized. www.psf.ca
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