Barbra H. Mullin Student Scholarship
In memory and recognition of Barbra H. Mullin, the WAPMS awards travel funds to undergraduate and graduate students who commit to presenting research papers or posters at the annual society conference. The society covers the cost of lodging at the conference venue, and will also reimburse costs for travel to and from the conference based on the availability of funds. Students from a wide variety of disciplines are encouraged to apply for these stipends and become involved in the society. Research projects which include aquatic plant identification, restoration, biology, socio-economic impacts, detection, mapping and control are all appropriate.
For questions, contact Dr. Ryan Thum, Montanta State University, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAPMS Honors the Memory of Barbra H. Mullin
For more than ten years, WAPMS has awarded research scholarships and more recently graduate student travel grants as a memorial to Barbra H. Mullin. As the WAPMS membership “matures” and people retire, very few WAPMS members will remember Barbra Mullin’s contributions to and love for WAPMS. Barbra attended the first WAPMS planning meeting in San Diego in 1981 and was active in WAPMS until her untimely death in April of 2002. She was only 52 when she passed as a result of a brain aneurysm.
Barbra was born and raised in Helena, Montana and received a B.S. degree in Botany and Plant Protection and a M.S. degree in Plant Pathology from Montana State University. She spent her 24-year professional career working for the Montana Department of Agricultural, holding the position of state weed coordinator at the time of her passing.
Her background in botany and her interest in invasive plants both terrestrial and aquatic culminated in a CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology) issue paper published in February 2000 entitled “Invasive Plant Species”. Barbra was the chair of the writing committee that included the expertise of people like Drs. Lars Anderson, Kurt Getsinger, and Joe DiTomaso.
I first met Barbra when I was a graduate student at Montana State University and grew to know her very well because of her participation in the Western Society of Weed Science. When I first started attending WAPMS meeting, I was surprised that she had been so active in WAPMS that in 2006, at the urging of Drs. Lars Anderson and Toni Pennington, a memorial scholarship was established in Barbra’s honor.
I knew Barbra was passionate about protecting Montana’s native landscapes from terrestrial invaders like leafy spurge and spotted knapweed, but I was not aware of her passion for aquatic plant management. She was a dedicated public servant for the people of Montana and the cause of environmental protection. She took advantage of every opportunity, every teachable moment to educate others about the threat of non-native, invasive plants. While her life was cut short, it was a life well lived with purpose and dedication to a noble cause. Each year when we recognize the students who receive the Barbra H. Mullin travel scholarships let us take a moment to rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of environmental protection through aquatic plant management.
Dr. Scott Nissen, WAPMS Past President