Grant will help GHC Fish Lab prepare women for leadership roles in science careers

The Grays Harbor College Fish Lab has been awarded a $136,000 grant by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, which will help increase opportunities to bring K-12 students to the campus facility and help develop leadership opportunities for women pursuing careers in the sciences, according to biology instructor Dr. Amanda Gunn, who leads the volunteer crew that maintains the Fish Lab.

“The Fish Lab is a community and student driven program where participants have the opportunity to gain experiential learning and informal training in fish hatchery operations, stream monitoring, and resource management,” said Gunn, who began working to revitalize the Fish Lab shortly after she joined the faculty in 2014.

Since then, she noticed that women were underrepresented within natural resources degree programs including fisheries and aquatic sciences, as well as absent from higher level fisheries policy discussions. Serving two of Washington’s poorest counties, with women ages 25-44 disproportionately affected, this grant will help the college establish wider access for women to work and earn higher wages in science and technology fields, explains Gunn.

The faculty will help students build their leadership skills via enhanced experiential learning, mentorship, and direct science-related collaborations. Female student representation in leadership roles during outreach at local high schools, hands-on activities at the Fish Lab, and guest lectures will inspire the next generation of fisheries scientists, according to Gunn.

For more information about the college’s programs, contact or call (360) 538-4026. Volunteers are always welcome at the Fish Lab; check for schedule and activities.