Conch fishermen at work
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Thursday June 13, 2013

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Montana State University
Montana State University is one of only 108 institutions - out of 4,600 - designated as very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of teaching. This means that MSU is among the top 2% of institutions nationwide in research which translates into significant opportunities for research, scholarship and creative work.
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Conch fishermen at work

Strong connections between fly fishers in southwest Montana and Central America have led to new research at Montana State University.

The project is focused on conch, a sea snail that's known for its delectable meat and large shell. The research is spearheaded by one of the managers of Turneffe Flats Resort who is working on his master's degree in fish and wildlife management at MSU and could someday - if his fans are right - become prime minister of his country, Belize.

Alex Anderson, 27, not only served two years as student body president at the University of Belize, but he helped drive two major projects that promote conservation in this country along the Caribbean Sea. One created Belize's largest marine reserve. The other led to the protection of bonefish, permit and tarpon as catch-and-release species in Belize. Anderson comes from a family of fly fishing guides and worked seven years at the internationally known Turneffe Flats Resort. Although he grew up in Cotton Tree, a town of 600 people and three streets, he is known all over Belize.

Anderson also has a heart for Belize, and it's currently beating for people who are trying to make a living selling conch.


Photograph by Alex Anderson

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