Community Bursary Spotlight: Kate J. Mussett


The Pacific Salmon Foundation awards annual Stewardship Community Bursaries to students in B.C. and the Yukon who are dedicated to the conservation and restoration of Pacific salmon.

The $2,500 bursaries aim to reduce financial barriers for students passionate about aquatic stewardship. The program is open to full-time students in good standing in at least the second year of a post-secondary program that leads to a career related to Pacific salmon.

Applications for the 2023-2024 school year open on August 1, 2023. Apply here. 

Kate J. Mussett is a 2022-2023 Stewardship Community Bursary recipient. Kate, originally from Halifax, recently obtained her M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia. Learn more about Kate below.

What did you study?

For my Master of Science, I completed a degree in Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia with the Centre for Indigenous Fisheries. Under the guidance of Dr. Andrea Reid, myself and fellow M.Sc. student Kasey Stirling (Nlaka’pamux, Mi’kmaq, Acadienne) worked with the First Nations Fisheries Legacy Fund and partner First Nations (Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Tsawwassen, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam) to co-develop a culturally relevant framework for fish (namely salmon) and fish habitat health assessments.

Why did you pursue that field of study?

Following my undergraduate degree which focused on fisheries co-management, I aimed to gain further skills in ecological methods and working with Indigenous Peoples and Knowledges, in order to pursue my goals of supporting sovereignty and rights-based efforts in environmental spaces. In this way, I would be able to use my Western science-based education to support the movement toward decolonizing scientific practices.

What are some of your career goals and aspirations?

My overall aspiration has always been to spend as much time on the water as possible. With this in mind, I strive to continue my career as an ecologist by engaging in work similar to my Master’s project – rooted in support of and respect for Indigenous Peoples, resituating Indigenous Knowledges at the core of stewardship and conservation, and the collective establishment of decolonial efforts for the protection of fish and water. Most importantly, I hope my career path will continue to provide me with opportunities to learn, make mistakes, and create community in all that I do.

Click here for more information on PSF’s Stewardship Community Bursaries.