Joan Duffy Award

Application Details
Each chapter is responsible for selecting its respective recipient and forwarding such information to the North Central Division chair prior to the annual meeting.  The NCD matches chapter student travel awards up to $200.  Students will be honored and checks presented during the NCD Business Meeting.  Interested students should contact their local chapters.

Image Courtesy of MI DNR

Image Courtesy of MI DNR

History of the Joan Duffy Award
On 11 June 1999 the fisheries community lost a friend and dedicated professional when Ms. Joan Duffy was killed in an automobile accident. At the time of her death Joan was the Southern Lake Michigan Fisheries Management Unit Supervisor with the Michigan DNR.  Joan was also a committed member and leader in the North Central Division of AFS.  Joan became an AFS member in 1975 and quickly assumed leadership roles in the Michigan Chapter (Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, then President of the Chapter), and the North Central Division (Secretary-Treasurer of NCD, contributor to many Division committees).  She also played a key role in organizing the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in 1995, followed immediately by the AFS meeting in Dearborn in 1996.Joan was a strong advocate for the NCD student travel award program.  The program was conceived while Joan was an NCD Governing Board member and her enthusiasm and conviction were an important catalyst in the process. When the program was established she was Secretary-Treasurer and was responsible for writing checks to students at the Midwest. The first students receiving checks from Joan will likely never forget the glee on her face as she wrote out and handed over the awards.

Joan’s commitment to the travel award arose from her own experience as a student at Michigan State University. She frequently spoke of how important those trips were in her professional development. They remained important in her professional life, as she often took personal leave to attend AFS meetings when agency rules restricted her paid travel. Student travel support was at the core of what Joan valued in AFS.


In honor of Joan’s commitment to AFS and student travel, the NCD has renamed the student travel award program the Joan Duffy Student Travel Award. The NCD is also establishing an endowment that, when fully funded, will insure stable funding for the award. The Michigan Chapter proposed initiating the fund with gifts from the NCD and from member chapters and has committed $500 to the endowment. However, individual donations to the fund will also be needed to bring the endowment to full funding. Individual donations to the endowment can be made through the NCD Secretary-Treasurer. Anyone interested in making a donation to the fund should contact the current NCD President or Secretary-Treasurer.