A travel award dedicated to aiding a student studying recreational fisheries.

About Ron Schmied (1949-1996)

Ron Schmied worked as a fisheries biologist for  NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service from 1978 until his passing in 1996. In the early days, he was charged with developing a regional program to encourage the growth and stability of saltwater recreational fisheries in the southeast U.S. Not only was this a first of its kind but it was accomplished at a time when there was resistance to the very concept of recreational fisheries. Beginning in 1982, he assumed the position of Special Assistant to the Regional Director for Recreational Fisheries in the Southeast Regional Office in St. Petersburg, Florida. In that capacity  he helped establish agency policy and program guidance on recreational fisheries, acted as the agency spokesperson on recreational fisheries issues, stimulated recreational fisheries research agendas, and opened lines of communication with recreational fishery organization and industry leaders. In short, he was “Mr. Recreational Fisheries” for NMFS for over 18 years. Many of the programs and ideas he implemented in the Southeast were replicated elsewhere in the agency.

Ron had a holistic view of recreational fisheries that transcended the boundaries of a single discipline. He understood the need for fisheries management to be responsive to stakeholders and was committed to making it so. He understood what it meant to be a team player, and was interested in producing workable solutions. Ron had a great sense of humor and always made people feel good about themselves. Most of all, he was a professional in every sense of the word. Ron was an avid supporter of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute. He attended many GCFI annual meetings, organized sessions on marine recreational fisheries and tourism, and always presented thoughtful and stimulating papers. It was his favorite meeting because it was practical in orientation and an easy place to talk “shop” and make friends. This scholarship is offered in memory of a great friend of GCFI and supports travel for a qualified graduate student studying aspects of recreational fisheries to participate in the annual meeting of the GCFI. Since students are the life blood of any educational organization, the intent of this scholarship is to make it possible for the next generation of fishery professionals to experience the benefits that come with participation in international meetings in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean region.


The Ron Schmied Scholarship is a GCFI initiative supported by the International Game Fish Association as well as numerous private individuals.

Applying for the Award


For information regarding the scholarship including required application materials, download the files below.

Past Awardees

The scholarship has been awarded annually since 2006. The past winners include:

  • 2017 – Stacey Weinstock (College of Charleston)
  • 2016 – Trevor Moncrief (University of Southern Mississippi)
  • 2015 – Orian Tzadik (University of South Florida)
  • 2014 – Hillary Glenn (Louisiana State University) and Sonia Ahrabi-Nejad (Nova Southeastern University)
  • 2013 – Alex Fogg (University of Southern Mississippi)
  • 2012 – Jeremy Higgs
  • 2011 – No recipient
  • 2010 – William Smith
  • 2009 – Kelly Kingon
  • 2008 – Vanessa Haley
  • 2007 – Christopher Hawkins
  • 2006 – William Daley

Help Support the Scholarship

The GCFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to the Ronald L. Schmied Scholarship Fund and forwarded to the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, c/o Mel Goodwin, PhD, PO Box 21655, Charleston, SC 29413 for processing. Information on awardees will be provided on this webpage.

For more information on the Schmied Scholarship, please email Dr. Jim Franks.