BHSU graduate prepares for job in fisheries science

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, May 6, 2015/Categories: 2015








           After spending the summer working for South Dakota Game, Fish &amp Parks, BHSU student Tayler Ripley will begin a graduate program in fisheries science.



Tayler Ripley, biology and chemistry double major originally from Gettysburg, turned his enjoyment of fishing Lake Oahe into a career with the help of faculty mentors at Black Hills State University.

"I started college because I had an interest in wildlife science, but it wasn&rsquot until I came to BHSU that I really started to piece together how I could make something I&rsquove been passionate about my whole life into a profession," said Ripley. "I came to BHSU with an idea and I&rsquom leaving with a career."

Ripley says getting involved in BHSU&rsquos chemistry department and seeing how the labs are used as a workplace encouraged him to learn more about the process of science.

"I chose to enroll at BHSU because I knew I needed serious science lab experience," said Ripley. "The chemistry faculty at BHSU is second to none and my biology coursework has helped me prepare for graduate school."

But Ripley&rsquos path to higher education was not always so smooth.

Admitting he struggled in high school, Ripley says he took time off after graduating to gain work experience. Ripley considered his goals and realized a college degree would help him achieve them.  

Ripley credits the support of his mother and the chemistry faculty at BHSU for preparing him for his next step &ndash attending a graduate program to pursue his master&rsquos degree in fisheries science. He&rsquoll study under the guidance of a doctorally-prepared researcher investigating alligator gar and sturgeon.

"Through my master&rsquos program I will gain a lot of good experience for the future, just like BHSU prepared me for this experience," said Ripley.

But before he begins his graduate studies, local fishermen and women might see Ripley at the boat docks in South Dakota this summer.

"I&rsquom working for the Chamberlain Game, Fish and Parks and my main job is gathering creel, angler use and harvest surveys. I talk with the fishermen and women coming off boat ramps about the fish they&rsquore catching and identify the species. The data is then used to analyze pressure and estimates on Lake St. Francis Case," said Ripley.

Ripley hopes to be continue his work in the future with a fish and game office, work in a hatchery setting or as a field biologist.

"Black Hills State helped build my confidence and broaden my outlook on what is really possible," said Ripley. "I know I&rsquom in the field I need to be in, the field I&rsquom passionate about."


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