Dr. Katherine (Katie) Edwards was hired as the Professional Development Coordinator with TWS in February 2013 and has taken over responsibilities for subunits and certification. For any questions or concerns regarding the Certification and Professional Development Program, please contact Katie at email@example.com or (301) 897-9770 ext. 303.
Changes to Program Standards
The Certification Review Board (CRB) presented recommendations to TWS Council for changes to the Certification Program during the 20th Annual Conference on October 5, 2013. Several changes were approved for the program as outlined below.
1. Botany Category
The CRB reviews applications where applicants request credit for dendrology and silviculture in the Botany Category. A consensus of the Board regards silvics, silviculture, and dendrology as necessary tools for wildlife biologists who may be required not only to manage wildlife species, but also their habitat.
The Board recommended that Council recognize the value of these courses but limit the applicant to being able to use only one of these courses to meet the botany requirement for certification. This change was approved by Council and will take effect on January 1, 2014. Applications received on or before December 31, 2013 will be held to the current program standards for 2013.
We recognize that many academic institutions have developed curricula in relation to the certification requirements and that this change may present a hardship for students currently pursuing degrees and working towards certification. As such, students currently enrolled in their last year of study prior to graduation may submit a waiver to be exempted from this change in program requirements. This waiver will be placed on the certification website in December (http://www.wildlife.org/certification/program), must be completed by the applicant and advisor/department head, and attached to the application when submitted. Applicants with approved waivers will be held to the 2013 program requirements for the Botany Category. Approved waivers will be valid for applications submitted between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.
The new category requirement for Botany will be listed as follows:
Courses in general botany, plant genetics, plant morphology, plant physiology, or plant taxonomy (9 hours). Course descriptions, immediately following course listing, are required. One of the following courses – dendrology, silvics, or silviculture are accepted. At least one course must be primarily concerned with plant taxonomy or identification (this course must be taken at a college/university and cannot be substituted by another course or experience).
2. Quantitative Sciences Category
In the Quantitative Sciences (QS) Category, applicants are required to take 6 hours of calculus, biometry, advanced algebra, systems analysis, mathematical modeling, sampling, computer science, or other QS. Introductory GIS courses and introductory personal computing courses do not count in this category.
Many applicants request credit for algebra classes to meet the QS qualifications. Because the course content of algebra courses varies among universities/and colleges the CRB makes an extra effort to evaluate whether the course (algebra) content is equal to that of an advanced algebra course.
This paradox exists in other categories as well. However, the CRB recommended the words “elementary or introductory algebra” be included in the list of courses that are not allowed. This clarification also moves to support the original intent of including advanced algebra as a requested course for the practicing wildlife biologist. This change was approved by Council and will take effect on January 1, 2014. Applications received on or before December 31, 2013 will be held to the current program standards for 2013.
We recognize that many academic institutions have developed curricula in relation to the certification requirements and that this change may present a hardship for students currently pursuing degrees and working towards certification. As such, students currently enrolled in their last year of study prior to graduation may submit a waiver to be exempted from this change in program requirements. This waiver will be placed on the certification website in December (http://www.wildlife.org/certification/program), must be completed by the applicant and advisor/department head, and attached to the application when submitted. Applicants with approved waivers will be held to the 2013 program requirements for the Quantitative Sciences Category. Approved waivers will be valid for applications submitted between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.
The new category requirement for Quantitative Sciences will be listed as follows:
Courses in calculus, biometry, advanced algebra, systems analysis, mathematical modeling, sampling, computer science, or other quantitative science. Course descriptions, immediately following course listing, are required. Elementary algebra, introductory algebra, algebra, introductory GIS, and introductory personal computing courses do not count in this category (6 hours).
3. Submission of Advanced Degree Criteria
Time spent obtaining advanced academic degrees may be applied toward professional experience for CWB certification. Experience credit normally will be given only upon completion of a degree judged by the CRB as relevant to the wildlife profession. Based on the recommendation by the CRB, Council approved a change to require applicants to provide an abstract or research summary for each advanced degree so the CRB may determine the nature of work as relevant to the wildlife profession.
4. Time to Reapply for Certification Following Denial
Current certification guidelines allow applicants that were denied certification to reapply 12 months after the filing of their previous application. As recommended by the CRB, Council approved a change to this requirement such that applicants that have been denied can now reapply 6 months after the filing of their previous application. This change went into effect immediately following the Council decision.
The electronic application on the certification website has been removed due to incompatibility issues with the new association management system, MemberNation. Applicants can apply for AWB, CWB, CWB Renewal, or a Professional Development Certificate by going to http://www.wildlife.org/certification/program to download applications and mailing instructions. Applicants can pay the certification application fee by sending a check to The Wildlife Society or by credit card by calling our office. Applications, official transcripts (when applicable), and payments by check should be mailed to:
The Wildlife Society
Attn: Certification Program
5410 Grosvenor Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814
The Certification Review Board Policies and Procedures Manual is being updated with the recent changes approved by Council at the Annual Conference and will be posted to the certification website. This manual contains a brief history of the certification program, roles and responsibilities of the CRB, program administration, guidance of applications and appeals, and a chronology of changes to the certification program.
TWS Annual Conference
Many of you attended TWS’ 20th Annual Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in October 2013 and have asked about continuing education hours. Participation in regular conference activities allows a maximum of 35.5 contact hours in Category I of the Professional Development Certificate/Certified Wildlife Biologist Renewal Program. For those individuals that attended the Leadership Institute, American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians meeting, and/or both full day workshops on Saturday in addition to the Annual Conference, a maximum of 56.5 contact hours will be allowed. Should you have any questions about continuing education, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Meetings and Workshops
Is your agency or chapter hosting an annual meeting, workshop, or training? Make sure to get it approved for continuing education credit. Please send your event agenda to email@example.com for review and approval.
TWS offers a certification logo for AWBs and CWBs to proudly display on your business cards, PowerPoint presentations, and letters. If you haven’t received yours, simply contact us for logo permission by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following CWBs should submit a CWB Renewal Application in 2013:
- CWBs approved in 2008 who did not obtain an AWB prior to their CWB
- CWBs approved in 2008 who also obtained an AWB after 2000
TWS sent reminders to CWBs needing to renew their certification in February of this year. If you were approved in 2008 and did not receive a reminder, please email email@example.com so that we may verify your contact information. If you would like verification on your certification status or your need to renew your CWB, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following AWBs should upgrade to CWB in 2013:
- AWBs approved in 2003 who have not applied yet for CWB
- AWBs approved after 2003 and have obtained 60 months of professional biologist-level experience and have not applied yet for CWB
AWB certification remains in effect for up to 10 years. AWB certifications approved in 2003 will therefore expire in 2013. TWS sent reminders to AWBs needing to renew their certification in February of this year. If you were approved in 2008 and did not receive a reminder, please email email@example.com so that we may verify your contact information. If you would like verification on your certification status or your need to upgrade to CWB, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sessions from The Wildlife Society 20th Annual Conference, which took place in Milwaukee, are now available through TWS Live Learning Center. Sessions are recorded using the latest screen capture technology to include not only the speaker’s audio, but also the presentation slides, images, videos and anything else that appeared on the speaker’s screen. Session recordings through TWS Live Learning Center can be viewed online as well as on your iPad or other mobile device for on-the-go learning.
If you missed a particular session or if you were unable to attend an entire conference, TWS Live Learning Center is the resource you need to stay current and informed.
A special symposium focused on certification and professional development entitled “Professional Development in the Wildlife Profession: What is The Wildlife Society’s Role?” was held on October 9, 2013 and sponsored by the Student Development Working Group, Early Career Professional Working Group, and College and University Wildlife Education Working Group. Talks for this symposium can be found by searching either “professional development” or “certification” in the TWS Live Learning Center.
Recordings through TWS Live Learning Center are complimentary for all wildlife professionals and students.
Doing a little holiday shopping? Now when you shop on Amazon, you can help support The Wildlife Society by clicking on wildlife.org/amazon. TWS will earn a commission for everything you buy at Amazon at no extra charge to you. This is a great way to help support your Society.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has extended the deadline for public comments on the proposal to list the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal was originally published in the Federal Register on October 2, 2013, with a comment period that would have ended December 2, 2013. FWS has extended the comment period an additional 30 days, closing the comments on January 2, 2014.
Northern long-eared bats are cave-dwelling bats that reside in the eastern and north central United States, as well as parts of Canada, but are facing huge population declines due to the threat of white-nose syndrome. White-nose syndrome is a fungal disease that grows in caves, under the conditions of low temperatures and high humidity, commonly found where northern long-eared bats hibernate. The disease has already killed 5.5 million bats, and northeast populations of the northern long-eared bats have declined by 99 percent since 2006. White-nose syndrome was first discovered in 2006, and has spread rapidly since throughout the East and Midwest.
Comments can be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket number FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024.
California Finds No Reason to Protect Wolves
(Jefferson Public Radio)
As U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers removing the gray wolf from the federal list of protected species under the Endangered Species Act, a study by California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife finds that the gray wolf does not need protections in the state, according to a Capital Press report. More
NEWS FROM NORTH AMERICA
Florida’s Coastal Birds Could Face Threat to Food Supply
(The Bradenton Times)
Already pressured by a steady loss of habitat, many of Florida’s imperiled and iconic coastal waterbirds are vulnerable to declines in small fish that are necessary for their survival, according to a report by Audubon Florida and The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Fins and Feathers: Why little fish are a big deal to Florida’s coastal waterbirds” examines the crucial link between birds and the diverse array of small fish that are a critical food source. More
Indiana Gains 800 Conservation Acres from Legal Settlement
(Indiana Public Media)
Indiana is gaining 800 acres of conservation area as the result of a legal settlement over air quality between a power company and a collection of environmental agencies. The settlement with Indiana Michigan Power includes four plots of land. The Indiana Wildlife Federation was one of the agencies involved in the suit that alleged Indiana Michigan Power was violating air quality standards. More
US Fish and Wildlife Service to Look at Protecting Arctic Grayling
The little fish with the big fin will get another hard look from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see if it warrants threatened or endangered status in Montana. Arctic grayling used to be found throughout the Upper Missouri River Basin and as far downstream as Great Falls. Today, it’s limited to about 5 percent of that historic range, mainly in the Big Hole River and its tributaries. More
New Michigan Group Seeks to Protect Future Wolf Hunts with Citizen-Initiated Legislation
With Michigan’s first-ever wolf hunt well underway, a new coalition of conservationists and sportsmen is seeking to protect future hunts from a planned voter referendum. A group calling itself Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management announced plans to launch a petition drive for citizen-initiated legislation that would affirm the Michigan Natural Resource Commissions’ ability to designate game species and issue fisheries orders. More
Feds Set Aside Habitat for Rare New Mexico Salamander
(The Associated Press via Albuquerque Journal)
Federal wildlife officials have designated more than 140 square miles in northern New Mexico as critical habitat for the Jemez Mountain salamander. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the area spans parts of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Sandoval counties. The salamander was listed as an endangered species in September. Biologists say the primary threats include habitat loss or degradation caused by wildfires, current fire management practices and climate change. More
WILDLIFE HEALTH AND DISEASE NEWS
Drought Contributes to Oyster Shortage
When Curtis Miller, 52, of Port Lavaca, Texas, was 12, he would walk along Lavaca Bay picking up oysters to bring home to his family. He didn’t have an oyster knife — a dull, short-bladed knife used to pry open oyster shells. Instead, he used whatever household knife he could find in the kitchen. “You may have heard the phrase, ‘The world is your oyster,’” Miller said. “Well, oyster is my world.” More
Comments Sought on Chronic Wasting Disease Plan
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking comment on an update of the state’s action plan to manage chronic wasting disease, should it ever occur in Montana wildlife. The draft environmental assessment evaluates a rewrite of FWP’s CWD management plan that’s been in place since 2005. CWD is an always fatal disease of the central nervous system of captive and free-ranging mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose and elk. More
Deadly Disease Causes Extinction of Darwin’s Frog
(Environmental News Network)
Discovered by Charles Darwin in 1834, Rhinoderma darwinii (better known as Darwin’s frogs) have been declared extinct after a killer disease is thought to have wiped out entire populations across Chile and Argentina. According to scientists from the Zoological Society of London and Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile, chytridiomycosis is the main reason for this amphibian extinction. More
Atlantic Fishing Nations Fail to Act to Protect Sharks, Tuna
(Los Angeles Times)
Nations whose fleets fish for bluefin tuna and sharks ended a meeting in South Africa without reaching agreement on action to protect critically endangered species, environmentalist groups said. A proposal to ban fishing of the critically endangered porbeagle shark was blocked at the eight-day meeting in Cape Town of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, according to environmentalists who observed the meeting. More
Scientists Discover 2178 ‘Irreplaceable’ Ecosystems
A study has found more than 2,000 exclusive habitats around the world that are fundamental to the survival of threatened wildlife. The researchers are hoping that better management could help the susceptible ecosystems. The study looked at 173,000 terrestrial protected areas and 21,500 species on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, and then compared the influence each site makes to the long term survival of the species, many of which can’t be found elsewhere. More
Amur Leopard Cubs Spotted on Critter Cam in China
Two Amur leopard cubs were spotted on a wildlife camera in China, the first evidence that this critically endangered big cat is breeding in the region, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced. The leopard cubs were seen with a female adult leopard at the Wangqing Nature Reserve in northeast China, about 18 miles away from the main Amur leopard population on the Russia-China border. More
The most recent report to Congress on the Nation’s coastal wetlands was released on November 21, 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Habitat Program (NOAA) updated and expanded data on wetlands in coastal watersheds for conservation planning efforts in Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009. NOAA and FWS analyzed the status and trends of wetland data in conjunction with principal Federal agencies and funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, and concluded that the U.S. is losing wetlands at a “significant rate”.
According to the report wetlands in coastal watersheds (Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lakes specifically) comprise 37.3 percent of the wetlands in the contiguous U.S.s. The major report finding was that the annual rate of wetland loss in these watersheds was 80,160 acres between 2004 and 2009, a 25 percent increase from the 1998 to 2004 rate. A net loss of 360,720 acres (95,000 acres of saltwater wetlands and 265,720 acres of freshwater wetlands) occurred over this time period.
Although this study did not assess wetland conditions, the impacts of continued vegetated wetland loss attributed to human causes in this study are concerning. For wildlife, these losses are of critical importance as coastal wetlands are important habitat for 75% of the Nation’s waterfowl and other migratory birds, and nearly 50% of the Nation’s endangered and threatened species.
Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009(November 2013) FWS News Release (November 21, 2013), FWS Q & A, FWS Key findings
Florida Wildlife Officials Seek to Avoid Flooding Everglades Animals
Concerns about drowning Florida panthers, deer and other vulnerable Everglades animals prompted state wildlife officials to call for new water level limits in western Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Rising waters during a rainier-than-usual summer flooded wildlife habitat and left animals at risk. More
NEWS FROM NORTH AMERICA
Study: California Wind Power is the Worst for Wildlife
California’s newest wind turbines may be killing more than 100,000 birds a year, according to a peer-reviewed study. Those mortalities seem to climb the taller wind turbines get. And California wind turbines kill more wildlife per megawatt than identical turbines in other parts of the country. What’s more, though some have pointed to replacements of the old-style lattice structures holding up turbines with monopoles as a way of making wind turbines safer for birds, the study indicates that swapping lattice for monopole might not be the quick fix wind advocates had hoped for. More
Canada’s Refusal to Protect Polar Bears Comes Under Scrutiny
Canada’s closest allies and neighbors have called for a formal investigation into the government’s refusal to offer full protection to polar bears threatened with extinction because of climate change. The secretariat of the Central Environmental Commission said there were “central open questions” about Canada’s decision to offer only limited protection to polar bears. More
Bison Management Partners Agree to New Procedures
(Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is going to have to re-issue an executive order that puts requirements on bison managers without outlining how to carry them out. After two hours of discussion, the partners of the Interagency Bison Management Plan agreed to new operating procedures, which they are scheduled to approve on Dec. 15. The plan was delayed by the government furlough in October. More
Climate Change May Disrupt Flight Season of Canadian Butterflies
(Environmental Research Web)
The flight season timing of a wide variety of butterflies is responsive to temperature and could be altered by climate change, according to a UBC study that leverages more than a century’s worth of museum and weather records. Researchers combed through Canadian museum collections of more than 200 species of butterflies and matched them with weather station data going back 130 years. They found butterflies possess a widespread temperature sensitivity, with flight season occurring on average 2.4 days earlier per degree celsius of temperature increase. More
Jewell Urges Public, Private, Political Support for Conservation
(The Post and Courier)
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell hiked Florida’s Boneyard Beach — the eroded northern end of Bulls Island where dead trees poke out of the sand — and called it a great example of climate change and erosion at work. “It changes your perspective on man’s relationship with nature,” she said. “We should be paying attention to what we’re seeing on the ground. We should be listening to the science. … We need to adapt to the changes and understand what we can do to mitigate them.” More
Backlog of Endangered Species Awaiting Protection Reaches Lowest Level Since 1970s
(Center for Biological Diversity)
For the first time since the 1970s, the number of plants and animals on the waiting list for Endangered Species Act protection has dropped below 150. The progress the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made last year addressing the backlog highlights the success of a landmark agreement reached with the Center for Biological Diversity in 2011 requiring the Service to speed protection decisions for 757 species. The 2013 “candidate notice of review” released by the agency includes 146 species now awaiting protection: 94 animals and 52 plants. More
Antelope Learn to Look Both Ways Before Crossing Street
(Indian Country Today)
Pronghorn have taught themselves to use a new wildlife crossing in Wyoming, going from confused wandering last year to targeted crossing, without hesitation. “Last year, scientists noted that it often took groups of pronghorn several hours to the better part of a day to cross the overpass,” the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a media release. “The groups would follow their established route, stop at the new fencing, and then spend time moving back and forth, in some cases passed the open overpass several times before finally crossing.” More
WILDLIFE HEALTH AND DISEASE NEWS
Wisconsin DNR Encouraging More Testing for CWD
(The Associated Press via Sun Herald)
Wildlife officials have been encouraging hunters in southern Wisconsin to have deer tested for chronic wasting disease amid signs the illness is increasing. CWD tests aren’t required but have been encouraged when hunters register their animals, according to the Janesville Gazette. Nearly every hunter who has come into It’s a Keeper Bait & Tackle in Janesville has opted to have his or her animal tested for the disease, owner Marci McCarten said. More
Wildlife Disease Control Gains More Focus in Montana, Wyoming
(The Billings Gazette via Casper Star Tribune)
Jared Jansen remembers traveling into the field to fix fence on his father’s ranch southwest of Lavina, Mont., and coming across 20 to 30 dead deer spread out in a coulee. That was a decade ago. Since then, he said, he and his father, Mike, have seen up to 100 dead deer at a time along the Musselshell River. Disease — likely bluetongue or its near cousin, epizootic hemorrhagic disease — had killed the deer. More
4-Year Tiger Conservation Project Starts in 2014
WildTeam, founded in 2003 by a group of Bangladeshi nature lovers, has been chosen as the lead partner for USAID’s Bengal Tiger Conservation Activity, which will be known as USAID’s Bagh Project. The project’s objective is to conserve Bangladesh’s rich biodiversity through protection of wildlife, especifically the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Smithsonian Institution and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies will partner with WildTeam to implement the project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development. More
What 11 Billion People Mean for Earth’s Animals
Until about 2,000 years ago, no human had set foot on Madagascar. This wonderland of wildlife east of Africa is home to all of the world’s lemurs, a diverse group of primates, most of which have foxlike faces and large eyes. Lemurs descend from animals that arrived on the isolated island between 50 million and 60 million years ago. Since humans arrived, about 15 to 20 of these lemur species have gone extinct, likely due to habitat loss and hunting, including species whose males grew nearly as large as gorillas. More
Zero-Sum Wild Game
“Tigers and human beings cannot occupy the same space,” says Prashanth Kumar Sen, former director of Project Tiger. Human-wildlife conflict arises whenever people and predators share terrain. It is acute in India, where large carnivores like tigers and leopards coexist with dense human populations. Although only 5 percent of Indian land is classified as protected, India’s population of 1.24 billion means that 5 million people dwell inside the country’s natural havens. More
This is a time of transition for the Society, and a considerable amount of effort by Council and staff is being directed to managing in the presence of change. Here I’ll mention a few of the operational and programmatic changes TWS faces in the immediate and near future.
First is strategic planning. By now we are well into the development of a TWS strategic plan for the next five years, which I discussed in some detail in an earlier column. Immediately before the TWS Conference in Milwaukee, the Council had a two-day retreat during which they developed a strategic vision for the Society with some key thematic thrusts, along with a timeline for production and rollout of the plan.
The plan will build on new challenges and opportunities as we strive to expand our membership and member services, integrate wildlife science more effectively with wildlife conservation and management, better connect the national office with sections and chapters, include under-represented groups more fully in the Society, and become a more effective voice for wildlife professionals. Though the changes identified in the plan will be strategic and longer-term, they are sure to occasion more immediate changes as the plan is implemented. We should try to anticipate them as we consider our organizational structure and staffing in the coming months.
Finance and Business Operations
A second area of change relates to TWS finances and changes in the way TWS conducts its business. As most of you are by now aware, a key challenge for the Society is to make the necessary changes that will get us on a sounder financial footing. Charting a financially secure future for the Society will require us to do things differently from the past, and I have previously written about many actions we have taken and are taking to make that happen.
Positive steps in this direction include changing many of our business practices, better engaging our Finance and Investment Review Committees, and revising the ways we track and report on our finances. I am happy to report that many of these changes are now in place, and they are beginning to be reflected in positive financial trends for the Society.
A third area of change concerns some of our program functions. The Society has undertaken reviews of many of these functional areas, with an eye to making them more responsive to the needs of Society members. For example:
Government Affairs Review
A new ad hoc committee of the Council is examining the effectiveness of the Government Affairs program. In a recent report to Council, the committee recognized the challenge of developing low-cost assessments of the program’s effectiveness, while also suggesting that priorities for Government Affairs should be more narrowly defined and focused. Other recommendations likely will be forthcoming as the committee finishes its work.
Certification Review Board
The Certification Review Board (CRB) oversees the processes involved in wildlife certification. The CRB is changing its composition and operations, and has a new Chair, Scott Lerich who will work with members Gary Norman, Lu Carbyn, and Tom Roberts. The Council recently approved CRB recommendations to change course requirements and graduate degree criteria for certification, along with changes to the appeals and re-application processes.
Editorial Advisory Board
The Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) provides oversight and advice on the production of The Wildlife Professional (TWP). Last year, Council created a subcommittee to review and revise the Rules of Governance for both TWP and the EAB. New rules have been approved that clarify relationships among TWP staff, EAB members, and Council, and ensure a greater degree of expert input on articles and a more meaningful role for EAB volunteers.
The TWS Leadership Institute is a highly successful program that engages early career professionals in professional mentoring and leadership training. In light of budgetary difficulties, funding for the Institute was excised from the operating budget for 2013 and 2014. Although outside funding has been secured next year, a challenge for the future of this important program is to find predictable and sustainable funding. In part this will require greater staff time and effort in identifying and developing permanent funding sources.
Another area of change for the Society involves the footprint of TWS in the wildlife community. At its meeting in Milwaukee, the Council endorsed a new membership drive and approved the resources needed to make it happen. The drive will be aimed at increasing membership in TWS through outreach and communication about TWS benefits to professionals in the subunits, states, federal agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. This effort will involve Council members as well as headquarters staff in Government Affairs and Partnerships, Publications and Communications, and Membership and Marketing. The intended long-term effect is a larger and more robust and engaged membership.
Finally, 2012 and 2013 have seen a rapid contraction of staffing in TWS. Recent and projected staffing changes include the following: In Government Affairs, Deputy Director Terra Rentz has announced her immanent departure to pursue a graduate degree in New York, and the internship of Danica Zupic will end in December. Both positions have been advertised with the intent fill them early in 2014. In Publishing and Communications, Science Writer Jessica Johnson left TWS in August, and that position remains unfilled. Managing Editor Divya Abhat will work half-time after returning from maternity leave this month, and Director Lisa Moore will soon take a two-month temporary leave, returning in early February. In Membership Marketing and Conferences, Chief of Staff Darryl Walter will be leaving November 20 to take another position in Washington, D.C. We expect to advertise for a replacement immediately. And the Society continues to operate with reduced web support since the appointment of Jeremiah Patterson as webmaster was changed to a half-time position. These and other changes in headquarters staffing offer the potential to redesign, and reassign, staff roles and responsibilities.
With staffing turnover and the many other changes confronting the Society, we are well into a period that presents both the need and opportunity for restructuring, re-direction, and re-engineering. The vision and core values of TWS will of course be embraced in the strategic planning process, but we are at a time when many of the structural arrangements that have sustained the Society should be re-examined in the spirit of renewal and continuous improvement. We are all in this together, and I welcome your feedback as we move forward.
The Wildlife Society 2014 Annual Conference – Call for Proposals
The Wildlife Society 21st Annual Conference will take place October 25-30, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA. The Calls for Proposals for workshops, symposia, panel discussions, breakfast roundtables, and special poster sessions is available here. Proposals should focus on topics of wildlife science, management, conservation, education, or policy. The deadline for submission is January 29, 2014.
The Wildlife Society Annual Conference Sessions are Now Available Online
Sessions from The Wildlife Society 20th Annual Conference, which took place in Milwaukee, are now available through TWS Live Learning Center.
Sessions are recorded using the latest screen capture technology to include not only the speaker’s audio, but also the presentation slides, images, videos and anything else that appeared on the speaker’s screen. Session recordings through TWS Live Learning Center can be viewed online as well as on your iPad or other mobile device for on-the-go learning.
If you missed a particular session or if you were unable to attend an entire conference, TWS Live Learning Center is the resource you need to stay current and informed about the latest wildlife research.Recordings through the TWS Live Learning Center are complimentary for all wildlife professionals and students.Browse our library of available sessions from TWS Annual Conferences from 2010 through 2013 online at TWS.sclivelearningcenter.com.
V International Wildlife Management Congress
In early November, President-Elect Rick Baydack and Chief of Staff Darryl Walter traveled to Sapporo, Japan, to meet with representatives from the Mammal Society of Japan to plan for the V International Wildlife Management Congress (IWMC), which is scheduled for July 2015 in Sapporo. Over the four days of meetings talks took place on the Congress program, theme, budget, and much more. The group also met with Sapporo Mayor Fumio Ueda which received newspaper coverage.
TWS Supports Conservation Priorities in the Farm Bill
TWS, along with 277 other organizations, signed on to a letter supporting soil, water, and wildlife habitat conservation in the 2013 Farm Bill, with conservation compliance and sodsaver programs as top priorities. The conservation compliance program ensures farmers will not produce crops on highly erodible land, and will adopt land management practices that successfully reduces soil erosion and protects wetlands. Subsidies for farmers are shifting away from direct payments and towards a strong crop insurance safety net, and current drafts of the new farm bill create a loophole in the requirements that those who receive subsidies need only take minimal steps to protect the public good.
The sodsaver program reduces taxpayer-funded incentives for farmers that destroy critical grassland resources and habitat for grassland wildlife species. From 2011-2012, almost 400,000 non-cropland acres were converted into cropland, and most of the land that is converted is marginal, highly erodible, or prone to flooding. Using marginally productive land for crop production has little benefit for tax payers, increases long-term costs due to erosion and flooding, and destroys valuable wildlife habitat. TWS and the other conservation and agricultural groups urged including a national sodsaver provision and re-linking conservation efforts to eligibility for crop insurance subsidies in the final 2013 Farm Bill.
NECIS Produces Invasive Species Platform
TWS, along with other members of the National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species (NECIS) including Ecological Society of America, Environmental Law Institute, National Association of Exotic Plant Pest Councils, National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy, produced a document outlining a vision for a comprehensive national response for tackling invasive species. NECIS is dedicated to strengthening the nation’s response to invasive species, and their top priority is closing pathways by which additional harmful species can enter the country and spread. Preventing new invasions is the most cost-effective method for protecting the nation from the growing threat of invasives. Existing invasive species are a huge problem, and management of these species has suffered from insufficient resources, coordination efforts and priority settings.
NECIS has formed recommendations for a comprehensive national response including: conducting risk assessments before the species is permitted to enter the country, improving federal invasive species programs by clarifying authorities and responsibilities, and modernizing the “Injurious Wildlife” section of the Lacey Act by closing loopholes. Additionally, NECIS recommended an increase in funding for invasive species control, supporting research dedicated to invasive species prevention, and ensuring federal actions do not promote the introduction or spread of harmful invasives. NECIS supports a new model for increasing overall investments in invasive species prevention, and control at federal, state and local levels.
TWS Submits Comments on Wetlands Report
TWS submitted written comments on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report: Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence. The report contained extensive scientific documentation supporting the interconnectedness of streams and wetlands to rivers, bays, estuaries and other downstream waters. TWS was pleased with the fundamental approach the EPA took in assessing the science relative to the Clean Water Act (CWA) and fully supported EPA’s “science first” approach.
TWS supported the recognition of two science-based principles in the report that significantly affect the conservation of aquatic natural resources. First, watersheds should serve as the fundamental unit of evaluation for identification of physical, chemical and biological connections between and among various waters and wetlands in a landscape. The second principle, assessment of complexes of streams and wetlands in the aggregate, recognizes the potential impacts of degradation and loss of many small waters on local and regional processes. Overall, TWS thought the authors of the report did an excellent job synthesizing the relevant literature, but believes additional consideration of key perspectives and information would strengthen the report. Specifically, TWS recommends adding a section highlighting forested wetlands, clarifying the connectivity of unidirectional wetlands, and conducting a more comprehensive review of literature relating to evidence of connectivity provided by birds and mammals.
Changes to TWS’ Technical Review Series
During the recent Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin TWS Council approved new and substantial changes to the Technical Review Series. Technical Reviews are white papers on wildlife management or conservation issues of current concern Historically, Technical Reviews have been concise productions that were both low in production cost and required shorter durations to author and produce. However, these reviews have evolved into larger publications requiring both more staff and member time and more financial support. To address the increasing financial demands and streamline production, changes were made to A Guide to TWS Technical Reviews, the official guidelines for production and development. These changes include a clearer articulation of roles and responsibilities, more stringent timelines for development and production, and a new section on budget development and sponsorship. Staff and Council hope that these changes will enable the development of Technical Reviews to be both more nibble and timely to respond to emergent wildlife conservation needs.
To see the new Guide to TWS’ Technical Review Series visit wildlife.org/technical-reviews.
TWS and Amazon.com
Doing a little holiday shopping? Now when you shop on Amazon, you can help support The Wildlife Society by clicking on http://wildlife.org/amazon. TWS will earn a commission for everything you buy at Amazon at no extra charge to you. This is a great way to help support your Society.
Investors’ Campaign Contributions
Contributions to the Investors’ Campaign continue to come in. Our sincere thanks to the following members for their generous donations.
Ernest Ables, OK
Donna Aderhold, AK
Eric Berg, CO
Theodore A. Bookhout, OH
Randall Devendorf, WI
Duane Diefenbach, PA
Alberto Gonzalez-Romero, Mexico
Richard Guenzel, WY
J. Edward Kautz, NY
Richard Klukas, NE
Robert Lanka, WY
Frank Montalbano III, FL
Robert Personius, WA
Brian Peterson, AZ
Roger A. Post, AK
James E. Ramakka, NM
Arthur Rodgers, Canada
Cathy Taylor , AZ
Liz Tymkiw, CA
Byron K. Williams, VA
Judy Wilson, CT
Women of Wildlife Organizational Committee and TWS Ethnic and Gender Diversity Working Group
A workshop and symposium followed by a panel discussion was featured at the 2013 TWS Annual Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. These programs were organized and sponsored by Women of Wildlife Organizational Committee and TWS Ethnic and Gender Diversity Working Group (EGDWG) to set groundwork for understanding challenges that the wildlife profession faces as we become increasingly diverse, especially with regard to increasing gender diversity.
The workshop, “Understanding and Leveraging Differences in the Workplace,” was presented by Dr. Tom Kalous and provided participants with the latest research findings in social neuroscience and emotional intelligence concerning brain development, mental functions and adaptations, and consequent behavioral differences that naturally exist between the genders. The workshop helped participants develop a greater understanding of different genders based on recent neuroscience studies with emphases on improving communication, compassion, and cooperation between us as professionals.
The symposium, “Women’s Increasing Role in the Wildlife Profession: Understanding Differences and Leveraging Strengths,” featured presentations and discussions from 18 outstanding wildlife and natural resource professionals. The purpose of the symposium was to educate the entire profession about basic gender differences, how those differences manifest in a wildlife career context, and how this knowledge can be applied to enhance and strengthen diversity recruitment and retention, team performance and the overall workforce.
Sources of differential treatment were discussed including differences in communication styles, perceptions, and behavior between men and women of different age classes and ethnicities. Symposium speakers shared research findings, strategies, and experience-based solutions that have potential to improve recruitment and retention of women and under-represented groups. The four-hour symposium was well attended and participants expressed interest in future symposia that focus on ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity in our profession.
As a result, the EGDWG is working cooperatively with the Native Peoples Wildlife Management Working Group to develop on a proposal for symposia that feature human diversity linkages and influences in our profession for the 2014 TWS Conference.
Biometrics Working Group
The Biometrics Working Group (BWG) of The Wildlife Society met for their annual business meeting on October 7, at the 20th Annual Conference of the Wildlife Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During that meeting the BWG presented internal Appreciation Awards to two BWG members. The recipients were Dr. John Sauer (USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center) and Dr. Lyman McDonald (WEST, Inc.). In addition, the BWG presented an Award of Excellence to Dr. Jim Nichols for his outstanding contributions to wildlife science, management, and education during the 37 years he has served as a wildlife biologist at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, and a Special Recognition Award to Dr. Ken Pollock (North Carolina State University) for his almost 40 years of contributions to the fields of statistics, biomathematics, and biology.
Questions about the goals of the BWG or membership should be directed to Ryan Nielson, chair (email@example.com) or Mark Lindberg, board member (firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can visit the BWG website.
The Human Dimensions Working Group Invites You to an Ideation Session
The Human Dimensions Working Group will be holding an ideation session in preparation for its strategic plan. The meeting will be held electronically on December 4 at 12 – 2 p.m. MST. All who are members of the Working Group or have an interest in human dimensions are invited to attend. Any who are interested may contact Loren Chase (email@example.com) for loginn information.
North Central Section Pulse Check: How Are We Doing? Still Alive and Kicking!
The North Central Section of The Wildlife Society was formed in 1962 to focus attention upon the wildlife needs, problems and concerns within the eight state region formed by Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. To achieve this goal, Section organizers proposed the following objectives:
- Provide opportunities for interaction among the individual members, their Section Representative, State Chapter, and the Society.
- Evaluate proposed or enacted societal actions that could affect wildlife or its habitats.
- Recognize and commend outstanding achievement in the wildlife profession.
- Focus the aims and objectives of the Society and Section upon wildlife needs, problems and events on the local scene.
- Encourage communication between members and non-members to facilitate understanding and effectiveness of research and management of wildlife resources.
So how are we doing? Are we achieving these objectives?
Let’s take a pulse check. Let’s look back through 2013 and ahead until we all meet again at the annual Section meeting at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Kansas City, Missouri during January 26-29, 2014.
Provide opportunities for interaction among the individual members, their Section Representative, State Chapter, and the Society.
Opportunities for members are there if you take advantage of them. Section members can interact at the upcoming Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Folks can touch base at the Section’s annual meeting to be held on Tuesday, January 28, or just sit in on presentations and chat with others in the hallways at the Sheraton Kansas City.
Our new Section Representative, David Anderson, and our previous Section Representative, Karl Martin, will be in Kansas City to listen and tell us of the news from the TWS Parent Society. Beyond these opportunities, we all can serve on a Section committee or as a Section officer to further the current and potential occasions to interact with others from the Section, State Chapters, and the Society.
I would be remiss if I did not point out another new communication development in 2013. Our website has been and moved. The update was performed by Keith Norris, Michelle Horath, and John Loegering this summer. Check it out at wildlife.org/ncs.
Another avenue for facilitating the interactions among members, specifically members serving as Section officers, was established by the Section Executive Board this summer. In these tight financial times some officers have not received travel support to attend and participate in the annual Section meeting at the Midwest. The Executive Board, which consists of Section officers, the Section Representative, and the current State Chapter Presidents, voted to provide Section funds to those Section officers needing travel support to attend the annual meeting. Up to $500 per officer is available, if needed, to facilitate Section business work and interactions among members. It is hoped this support will overcome the hurdle some Section members face in even considering serving as a Section officer.
Evaluate proposed or enacted societal actions that could affect wildlife or its habitats.
The Section did not contribute our voice to an issue that could affect wildlife or wildlife habitat through the normal process of writing letters or supporting policy statements. We are, however, focusing in on the topic of feral swine and the factors making control and management of feral swine problematic in a Section sponsored workshop at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. This workshop is tentatively scheduled to occur on Sunday afternoon on January 26. Check the conference schedule for further details.
Recognize and commend outstanding achievement in the wildlife profession.
This objective is easy for the Section to achieve. We have several awards that recognize and commend the work and achievements of fellow Section members or students.
First, we will be giving the Section’s Professional Award of Merit at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference plenary session in January. This award is given to a Society member within the Section who has demonstrated a career-long string of contributions to wildlife conservation in education, research, or management. Come to the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference to learn who will be receiving the award this year!
The Section also awards a deserving student chapter the Student Chapter of The Year Award. With this award the Section encourages students to develop student chapter programs and activities that provide professional development opportunities, learn new skills and stretch their skill sets, and opportunities to build professional networks outside of the classroom. This award will also be presented to the University of Minnesota – Crookston Student Chapter at the Midwest Conference plenary session in January. The Section even reimburses the conference travel costs (up to $1,000) of a delegation of students from the winning chapter.
Another set of awards encouraging student professional growth are the Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Awards. These awards recognize the hard work, achievements, and promise of two current students within the Section. In recent years the award winners each received $500 from the Section. These award winners will also be recognized at the January conference.
This year the Section has another occasion to celebrate the achievements of a fellow Section member. Keith McCaffery, a longtime deer biologist for Wisconsin, was the recipient of the Society’s Distinguished Service Award at TWS’ 20th Annual Conference in Milwaukee. Keith’s dedication to deer research and management as well as forest-wildlife research over the past 45 years has been impressive. His knowledge has been frequently tapped to help make deer management decisions not only in Wisconsin but also in many other states throughout the white-tailed deer’s range. Whereas this award is not a Section award, our Section nominated Keith for the award.
Focus the aims and objectives of the Society and Section upon wildlife needs, problems and events on the local scene.
Again I point to our sponsorship of the feral swine workshop at the Midwest and the wolf plenary session at the Society’s Annual Conference as examples of the Section focusing attention to wildlife problems and needs at the local level.
Another initiative brewing within the Section is the development of the Section’s own leadership development program similar to the Society’s Leadership Institute program. We have been discussing this concept for several years and taking the steps to make the concept coalesce into a real program. If you think you have something to offer in assisting the development of younger professionals in the field of wildlife conservation, the Section can use your help in developing our own leadership institute! This is a relatively new adventure for the Section. You can help establish the foundation for the Section’s newest effort.
Encourage communication between members and non-members to facilitate understanding and effectiveness of research and management of wildlife resources.
In all honesty, the Section has not done outreach and education during this past year. I imagine each of us has done outreach and education in the roles we play in our day-jobs, but as a subunit of The Wildlife Society the Section has not engaged in outreach and education activities during 2013. Here is another opportunity on which we can improve. If you see occasions and issues where the Section can and should be reaching out to the public, let’s talk about them. Bring some ideas to the Section meeting at the Midwest. After all, we are the professionals with a combined hundreds of years of experience. We have standing in communicating issues and serving as sources of information concerning wildlife conservation.
Overall, the Section continues to achieve our goal of focusing attention upon the wildlife needs, problems and concerns within our region. Yet we can do more. Really the next question becomes where do you think you can contribute to the goal of the Section? In helping develop and implement the proposed Section Leadership Institute? Assisting in outreach about conservation issues? No matter what your interests, skills, and talents are, there is a role for you to play within the Section! Jump in!
Submitted by Rochelle Renken, President, North Central Section
Join the Western Section for Upcoming Professional Development Events!
2014 Natural Resources Communications Workshop offered January 6-10 in Chico, California. More information.
Greater Sage-Grouse Symposium to be held Tuesday, January 28th, prior to 2014 Western Section Annual Meeting in Reno, NV. The primary goal of this symposium is to provide information regarding perceived and realized threats to greater sage-grouse populations, and to describe and discuss how this information is being used to manage populations and inform policy decisions. Registration is $55 members/$90 non-members/$30 students and is separate from the Annual Meeting Registration.
2014 Annual Meeting is January 27 – 31 in Reno, NV. Join us for concurrent scientific & poster sessions, student activities including a weekend at Sagehen Field Station w/ Green Fire Screening, keynote on leadership, breakfast roundtables on human-wildlife conflict and the state of wildlife conservation, working groups, and invaluable networking. More details, including registration and detailed schedule.
Alaska Chapter of TWS Annual Meeting
The Alaska Chapter of TWS will hold its annual meeting from March 31 – April 2, 2014 in Anchorage. Highlights include a workshop on resource selection, and a special session on ecology and management of Dall’s sheep. For more information visit the Chapter’s website or Facebook page.
Colorado Chapter Annual Meeting
The Colorado Chapter Annual Meeting will take place on Feb. 5-7, 2014 in Fort Collins, CO. It will start with an Advanced Wildlife Anesthesia workshop and Landscape Genetics workshop on Wednesday (Feb. 5), and will be followed by an all-day plenary on Thursday (Feb. 6) and submitted talks on Friday morning Feb. 7.
The Thursday morning plenary will focus on connectivity and migration of mammals, birds, and amphibians in Colorado and beyond; and our afternoon plenary will focus on wildlife research and energy development in the Piceance Basin of NW Colorado. We welcome poster and talk submissions from students and professionals; posters will be displayed throughout the conference and submitted talks will be given on Friday morning.
Cash awards will be given to the best student poster and talk. To submit a talk please email a title and abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 3, 2014. Workshop and plenary agendas and hotel and registration information will be posted to the Chapter website by early December.
Idaho Chapter Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary
The Idaho Chapter TWS will celebrate its’ 50th anniversary during the 2014 annual meeting, March 4-6 at the Boise Centre. The Northwest Section TWS will co-host the meeting. March 3 and 7 are set aside for associated meetings (e.g. Idaho Bat Working Group, PARC, Idaho Bird Conservation Partnership meetings). Meeting updates will be posted on the Chapter website.
A block of rooms is reserved at the Grove Hotel. Contact the Grove Hotel 1-866-252-8073 to reserve a room for the annual meeting. Mention the Chapter when making your reservation. For more information about the Grove Hotel.
Submitted by Don Kemner, President, Idaho Chapter
The Texas Chapter Will Celebrate 50 Years of Wildlife Conservation in 2014
Texas harbors more than 1,200 species of vertebrate wildlife, an estimated 30,000 invertebrates, and 5,000 species of plants. The state ranks third in the nation in the rate of endemism, and has approximately 200 species that are either federally or state-listed as threatened or endangered.
Ten distinct ecological regions are characterized by rainfall and geology ranging from six inches and more than 8,700 feet in the mountains of West Texas to 60 inches and sea level on the forested Louisiana border. All of this biological wealth is scattered over 168,000,000 acres, more than 95% of which is in private ownership.
Texas also provides recreational opportunities for more than 1,000,000 hunters, about 2,200,000 anglers, and 4,300,000 other outdoor enthusiasts. They pump about $5.2 billion into the Texas economy every year, contributing to one of the strongest state fiscal engines in the nation. Along with these great natural assets, comes great risk and responsibility.
That is why, in 1965, eight representatives from wildlife and natural resources agencies, private ranches, and universities came together to begin the formation of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, whose mission is excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education.
Today, the Texas Chapter is the largest state-affiliated chapter, with more than 500 members. Since the formative days, when wildlife conservationists such as Jim Teer and Jack Ward Thomas first saw the need for the Texas Chapter, there have been many noteworthy accomplishments. Whether the topic is restoration of Desert Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear or Bald Eagles, advances in White-tailed Deer management, or incentives for endangered species conservation on private lands, members of the Texas Chapter have taken leadership positions on these and many other issues. As a result, Texas is viewed as one of the most progressive and innovative states in the nation in the field of wildlife management, building a proud heritage.
The Chapter will be celebrating our 50th anniversary during our annual meeting, February 19 – 22, 2014, in downtown Austin, and the theme will be a look back at the history of the Chapter and all that has happened in Wildlife Conservation in Texas over the last 50 years. Past TWS President, Wini Kessler, will join us to honor our founding members and leaders that recognized the need for wildlife professionals, practitioners and students in Texas to gather together as colleagues.
The Texas Chapter has produced seven TWS past presidents, five Aldo Leopold Award winners and 12 TWS honorary members. We are proud of our heritage and vitality, and especially the student interest and involvement the Texas Chapter enjoys today. To provide professional development for the next generation of wildlife managers, the chapter is launching the James G. Teer Conservation Leadership Institute. Dr. Teer was the first President of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society and an Aldo Leopold Memorial Award Winner, the highest honor bestowed on wildlife professionals by The Wildlife Society.
Then, beginning in 2015, we will take a look at the conservation challenges for the next 50 years, whether it be controlling exotic species, threatened and endangered species, the availability of water for the environment, or maybe even a new funding source for wildlife management. The Texas Chapter has a rich legacy to go along with our rich array of wildlife and habitats. But what makes our lives richer, are the people we work with every day: The people in this profession, and the people we work with on the land, that ultimately determine the fate of all wildlife in Texas. We are a profession of can-do attitudes that faces challenges head on, and that’s what we will continue to do for the next 50 years. Come join us as we celebrate 50 years of wildlife conservation in Texas!
Submitted by Matt Wagner, President, Texas Chapter
Virginia Chapter Annual Meeting
The Virginia Chapter of TWS will be hosting its annual meeting on February 4-5, 2014 at the Northern Virginia 4-H Conference Center in Front Royal, VA. There will be an afternoon plenary session on Feb. 4, and this year’s topic is “The Endangered Species Act at 40 – challenges, changes, and conflict resolution.” For more information, please contact Karen Powers, Virginia Chapter President-Elect, at email@example.com.
Wyoming Chapter 2013 Fellowship Program
Summer 2013 provided another rewarding experience for an outstanding wildlife undergraduate through the Wyoming Chapter Fellowship Program! The Wyoming Chapter of The Wildlife Society has always taken its mentoring role very seriously and recognized the importance of assisting in the professional development of Wyoming’s future wildlife stewards. The purpose of the fellowship is to provide outstanding upper-level undergraduate students/recent graduates with valuable professional experience by improving their understanding of the duties, responsibilities, and expectations within the wildlife/natural resource management field.
Patrick Rodgers spent May 14 through August 6 traveling across the Cowboy State, immersed in a wide range of wildlife-related issues and learning about the different influencing factors involved in decision-making. As just a sampling, Patrick:
- Participated in the Governor’s Sage-Grouse Implementation Team,
- Netted fish in the Little Snake River to determine movement of invasive northern pike,
- Worked at the Wildlife State Veterinary Lab examining pneumonia in bighorn sheep,
- Tracked marked mule deer in the Laramie Peak area to determining mortality and survival rates,
- Trapped grizzly bears in the Absaroka mountain range,
- Received training in wilderness first aid and CPR
- Trapped and processed great gray owls,
- Took part in amphibian surveys,
- Participated in education/outreach on song bird monitoring and tree ecology,
- Learned about conservation easements,
- Monitored bald eagle and osprey nests,
- Assessed reclamation of gas well pads in the Pinedale Anticline, and
- Evaluated areas for possible aspen regeneration projects.
We asked Patrick to share with us his perspectives from the summer: “The experiences I have had through the fellowship have been very helpful in my development and growth as an aspiring wildlife professional. I have learned more from each experience than I expected at the beginning of the summer. The opportunity to participate in a plethora of wildlife field research activities has made me confident not only in my abilities to do field work but to participate in all aspects of wildlife research and management.”
The Wyoming Chapter would like to thank all the mentors and organizers, including Teton Science School! Without your time and energy, we could not have made this program work. Our hats go off to all of our members, who work hard every day for Wyoming’s wildlife!
Submitted by Eric Maichak and Daly Edmunds, Wyoming Chapter
Delaware Valley College’s Student Chapter Activities
Delaware Valley College’s Student Chapter went on our annual trip to Elk County, PA from October 4-6 to observe the reintroduced populations. Student chapter members witnessed some great rut activity and were able to practice radio telemetry with an elk technician. Members also went to Hawk Mountain on October 19 for the current migration. In the classroom, student chapter members have sponsored lectures, from advisor Reg Hoyt, ranging from PA House Bill 1576 to black-footed ferrets and Allegheny woodrats to Yellowstone.
Submitted by Avery Corondi, Student Chapter President
Michigan State University Student Chapter Update
It has already been a busy year for the MSU chapter. We finished last spring with a few of our signature events and a handful of new activities as well. We held our bi-annual Red Cedar River Clean Up event, which engaged nearly 100 volunteers in a daylong effort to remove debris from the Red Cedar River. We also participated in the university-wide Darwin Day, a community event aimed at engaging youth in conservation and natural science.
Volunteers talked with young visitors about endangered species conservation, displaying items from our department collection. Additionally, we worked with a local nature center to celebrate Earth Day, participating in biological inventory activities including mist-netting and small mammal trapping and youth education through an interactive introduction to composting. Finally, we hosted TWS North Central Section Student Conclave, which brought together students from 13 universities and nearly 100 participants. Students worked with graduate students, faculty and professionals from Michigan to learn techniques for electro-fishing, mist-netting, identification and professionalism.
The fall semester is shaping up to be just as exciting! We have begun a small mammal trapping study in the small area that our club manages, and are hosting a trapping workshop to train members and get them certified to assist with these efforts.
We took our members to Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a weekend of camping and learning as we met with National Park Staff to discuss park management and ecosystem restoration. Ongoing outreach efforts will have members in local schools again this semester to share information about endangered species, wildlife and habitat interactions and composting.
We’ll also be putting together a certification workshop to certify members with Project WILD. Additionally, we’ve hosted a panel discussion on the ins and outs of graduate school and are working with faculty and Department of Natural Resources staff on two long-term research and restoration projects — herpetological surveys and a fen restoration. We’ve sent a small delegation of students to The Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Milwaukee and intend to be represented at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference as well.
Missouri Western State University Student Chapter Fall of 2013 Update
Our chapter has started this semester in full force. We started this semester helping at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) with their last of this year’s 1st Fridays events. Our students helped run the event while getting the chance to work on their interpretive skills.
This event featured its own fish fry and a variety of educational stations, including one over bats and the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Our next line of business at Swan Lake NWR let our students try their skills at timber stand improvement with Swan Lake NWR first round of habitat workdays.
Here our students helped with the hack and squirt method with the goal of revamping some bottom land hardwood timber that was becoming overrun with maples and elms. We also completed our first habitat work day at Squaw Creek NWR collecting wildflower seeds and spraying oriental bittersweet. Two of our chapter members will also be finishing up the wildflower seed collection at Squaw Creek NWR this fall as interns. We have also begun our volunteer work with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) starting with their annual Insect-O-Rama where our students helped man the many stations including dip netting at the pond and cockroach races.
Also this year we sent a group of students to the International Meeting of The Wildlife Society in Milwaukee, WI. While we were there we visited the Aldo Leopold’s “shack” to pay homage. We also had student representatives at the Swan Lake NWR volunteer banquet where one of our students was named their volunteer of the year. We finished up the semester at Swan Lake NWR helping them out with their deer surveys. At Squaw Creek NWR we continued our habitat workdays. This year many of our students will be helping sort through and analyze data from long term summer projects that have been started on the refuge. We also helped out be helped them with their deer surveys.
With MDC, our students that are Hunter Education Instructors went through their recertification as the Missouri Hunter Ed. program has changed this year. We also had students helping out with different programs with Outreach and Education staff at the Northwest Regional Office. We just finished our annual deer aging workshop and are getting ready to staff four different counties throughout the state of Missouri during the opening weekend of deer season. At the check stations our students will collect a variety of data on Missouri’s deer population.
Our students will be doing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) stations. Our students will help with the CWD testing for both weekends of the firearm deer season collecting lymph nodes from deer that are brought it to be tested.
We’ve had a good semester so far and plan to keep it going into the spring. Our last meeting this semester will be our end of the semester Beast Feast and we will start our planning for the spring semester agenda.
Texas Tech Range, Wildlife, & Fisheries Club Fall 2013 Update
The Range, Wildlife, & Fisheries Club at Texas Tech is actively spreading knowledge of the wildlife field. Several speakers from all over the natural resource field have come to speak with student chapter members. So far this year, speakers have included Russell Martin (Regional Biologist), Gene Miller (Regional Biologist), South Plains Rehabilitation Center volunteers, and Joe Zotter (Texas Wildlife Service). For fundraisers they have raffled off a YETI cooler for the fall semester and are planning a shotgun shot out for the spring.
Submitted by David Underwood
University of Nebraska – Lincoln Wildlife Club Fall 2013 Update
The University of Nebraska – Lincoln Wildlife Club is having a very active year so far. The annual welcome back barbecue, held at the beginning of the fall semester, brought in a great crop of hardworking recruits. Some of our members bonded over a canoe trip down the Niobrara River. Members have been trying to get more creative with meetings to increase participation and cater more to what members expect from the club. The club has already had a meeting with Aaron Druery, the land manager at Pioneers Park Nature Center. He talked with students about invasive species and his job as a “glorified weed killer.” In the future, the club plans to also host Dennis Ferraro, Dudley Sorensen and McKenzie Berry. Traditionally, one of the biggest meetings of the year is when Dennis Ferraro, a herpetologist and natural resources educator at UNL, brings alligators in for the club to interact with. Meeting with wildlife professionals helps students to network and to expand their interests and knowledge of wildlife.
UNL Wildlife Club has also made a push to contribute more to the Nebraska wildlife community. Members participate in as many Nebraska Game and Parks expos as possible. Many members volunteer for deer checks. The Lower Platte South NRD hosts “nature nights” regularly at local elementary schools. The club has consistently volunteered, bringing furs and skulls to help educate young children about the importance of protecting wildlife. They are also continuing work with the adopt-a-stream program, cleaning up trash along Dead Man’s Run on UNL’s East Campus.
Besides participating in intramurals, volunteering around the community and networking with professionals, the club is staying busy planning this year’s Western Student Conclave. Finalizing the schedule and raising money to keep conclave costs low for participants has proven a challenge, but one that the chapter will ultimately conquer. With many events in the works, including a wildlife photography workshop and a viewing of the sandhill crane migration, participants should expect an incredible experience with all the wildlife Nebraska has to offer.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Student Chapter Fall 2013 Update
What a great fall semester for the UW-Madison Student Chapter of TWS! The student chapter has been busy with biweekly meetings, chapter volunteer events and activities. It was very exciting to be involved with the National Conference, only an hour away in Milwaukee. Members had a great time attending events and competing in the Quiz Bowl, and will certainly continue strengthening a team for next year’s competition.
This semester, students have learned from speakers about a variety of topics including prairie restoration, elk conservation, and graduate school. A group of students traveled to northern Wisconsin in October to help build an elk acclimation pen, in hopes of adjusting new herd members to an expanded range.
More than forty students were also sent to observe Saw-whet owl banding at Linwood Springs Raptor Research station in Stevens Point, WI, and now have two adopted owls! Hopefully they will be seen passing through again in the future. Members were also out and about in the beautiful Wisconsin fall colors during the Highway Cleanup and Devil’s Lake hiking trip.
As the leaves continue dropping, they will finalize plans for the annual Game Dinner fundraiser, to be held on campus Friday, December 6, 2013. The dinner features unique and tasty wild game dishes, along with homemade sides. There will also be a silent auction and raffle of local goods and useful tools! If you are in the area, please stop by and enjoy a meal with us.
Written by Holly Hovanec, Vice President
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Student Chapter Fall 2013 Update
The UWSP student chapter of TWS has had a busy and fun year so far. Student Chapter members are in the midst of getting prepared for a fundraiser through the DNR. Volunteers from the organization are getting trained in lymph node removal from deer for testing for Chronic Wasting Disease. It’s a new fundraiser for the student chapter, involving participation of some members attending a training date in early November and then staffing a registration station in the area on November 23 and 24.
The student chapter also had numerous speakers so far this year, including some alumni. Speakers included Brad Strobel from Necedah Wildlife Refuge, who worked with one of the student chapter members this past summer, spoke about Whooping Cranes and Patrice Eyers, who provided advice on preparing students for future careers as well as spoke about her own work at Mead Wildlife Area. Upcoming speakers include Mary Hennen from Chicago, IL to speak about the Chicago Peregrine program.
The student chapter Vice-President and Education Coordinator also held a mock Quiz Bowl recently. Four teams of four competed using some of the same questions from the national conference to give members who did not attend the conference an idea of what it was like. Members are planning another Quiz Bowl where teams consisting of student chapter members will compete against a team of three UWSP professors and Scott Walter from the DNR.
Student chapter projects are also still working hard. The Saw-Whet project out of Sandhill Wildlife Area is wrapping up and in the process of writing reports. The Small Mammal project also recently ended their trapping in Schmeekle Reserve earlier than usual due to cold and wet weather. The Felid project is avidly tracking their collared bobcat in Mead Wildlife Area and the Coyote project is still seeing the beautiful sunrises and checking their scent traps for tracks in Buena Vista Grasslands at 6 a.m.
Elise Worthel, UWSP Student Chapter President
Wayne State College Student Chapter Fall 2013 Update
The Wayne State College Student Chapter has volunteered at Broken Kettle Prairie Grassland Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) and assisted with expanding the bison pasture by removing a few stretches of barbed wire fencing. Student chapter members were also active in helping the local 4-H shooting club with a trapshoot.
Submitted by Kaylee Faltys, President