Below is a summary of recent Student Chapter activities within the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society, which was included in the Section’s Spring 2018 newsletter. The newsletter includes updates from the Student Chapters of The Wildlife Society at Eastern Illinois University, Michigan State University, Northern Michigan University, University of Central Missouri, University of Minnesota – Crookston, and University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Photos of student chapter activities are included in the newsletter.
Eastern Illinois University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
By: Ash Cable, Student Chapter 2017-2018 President
The Fish and Wildlife Ecology Club at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) is a joint club with The Wildlife Society and American Fisheries Society student subunits. This year the club invited several speakers from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey to present research and job opportunities. In addition, the club participated in field trips to Snake Road in Southern Illinois to view migrating herpetofauna, assisted with invasive honeysuckle removal at nearby natural areas and conducted an electroshocking fish survey at a neighborhood pond. Several student members presented research at the AFS Annual Conference and state chapter meetings and there was a club presence at the Illinois Chapter of The Wildlife Society spring meeting in Champaign, Illinois.
Michigan State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
By: Audrey Boike, Student Chapter 2018 Secretary
The Michigan State University Fisheries and Wildlife Club had a busy spring semester. In January, members attended the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This past month, nine members had a valuable experience at TWS’ North Central Section Student Conclave in Iowa. These two events allowed students to interact and learn from peers and professionals in the region.
Weekly meetings were held every Thursday, along with many other exciting events. The student chapter welcomed Jay Hesse, a fisheries biologist from Idaho, to speak about his experiences in the field and what it’s like to work for a tribe. The student chapter just successfully held their annual Professional Speed Dating Event, where they invite faculty, graduate students and fisheries and wildlife professionals to speak to small groups of students. A graduate student panel was also held, where the student chapter coordinates with MSU’s Fisheries and Wildlife Graduate Student Organization to learn about their experiences and get advice.
The biggest event was held at the end of April, the Red Cedar River Clean-Up. This biannual event pulls the community together to clean-up the university’s iconic river. It is the student chapter’s hope that the public learns about the importance of the river, as well as aquatic ecosystems as a whole, and fosters a desire to protect the environment.
Northern Michigan University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
By: Abby Blanchard, Student Chapter 2017-2018 President
The Northern Michigan University Fisheries and Wildlife Association was quite busy since the fall. They kicked the semester off in September with the annual small mammal trapping and electrofishing field work trips. Students learned how to set traplines for small mammals and then checked traplines the next morning and were also led through a workshop where they removed parasites from their mammals and stuffed them for the museum. An electrofishing trip took place in Munising in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, where students learned to assist with electrofishing and identify and take data on fish. Throughout the fall field season, members participated in annual waterfowl surveys. To round up the fall field work season, members attended a deer aging workshop led by Caleb Eckloff, a former FWA member who now works for the DNR. Members then had the opportunity to volunteer for the deer check station at the Marquette DNR customer service center, where they assisted hunters in weighing, aging and recording data for harvested deer. Members also took a tour of the Marquette fish hatchery.
Workshop topics included radio telemetry, the job application process, and how to construct a CV. During the fall students also participated in the Haunted Hayride fundraiser where members raised $1,800 to assist with the registration fee for the Midwest Fish & Wildlife conference. They also participated in Make A Difference Day, and did a beach clean-up through the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
The winter semester kicked off in January with 29 members attending the Midwest Fish & Wildlife conference in Milwaukee. Attendees had great opportunities to network, as well as participate in workshops and hear talks about recent and ongoing research in the field. Throughout the winter semester the student chapter had speakers at weekly meetings, many of whom were requested by members during the previous semester. Speakers of interest included Officer DeLonge, a local conservation officer; Matt Symbal from the sea lamprey control program; Jerry Belant from Mississippi State University, who conducts research on lions; and Katie Koch, the Midwest Bird Monitoring Coordinator for U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Several students presented on wildlife at the Jacobetti Veterans home. Members also attended a workshop on the graduate school process, and put together the annual Birds of Prey event that took place April 6. They had record attendance for the event with a total of 500 attendees combined for the three presentations. Presentations were conducted by Northwoods Wildlife Center and Chocolay Raptor Center.
The student chapter is already gearing up for next fall. They’re beginning to brainstorm ideas for workshops, research opportunities, and guest speakers and feel that their growth was strong this year and that it will continue in the coming years. They strive to provide a multitude of opportunities for their members and feel like this year especially they were quite successful in their pursuits.
University of Central Missouri Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
By: Savannah Penney, Student Chapter 2017-2018 Vice President
The UCM Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society had a great start to the spring semester. Their first meeting was January 18, and they’ve totaled over 60 members. This semester students participated in major educational outreach events and spent many days in the field assisting the UCM biology graduate students. Members also focused a lot of their time on preparing for searching for summer jobs by attending informational meetings, workshops, guest speaker presentations, and the Missouri Natural Resources Conference.
Please refer to the North Central Section’s newsletter for specific details on each of the educational and/or outreach events.
University of Minnesota – Crookston Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The University of Minnesota Crookston Student Chapter had a busy year! Six members attended the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society annual meeting in St. Cloud and enjoyed competing in the quiz bowl and receiving advice from professionals at the student-professional mixer. They’ve taken part in several volunteer opportunities including: assisting with the Justin Knebel Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament at Lake of the Woods, working alongside other students and professionals on the Larix WMA to clear nine acres of habitat at the annual MSGS Brush Cut and braving the cold weather for rare owl and Northern Goshawk surveys in Beltrami Island State Forest. The members feel privileged to participate in these experiences year after year, reuniting with familiar faces and making new connections as the events grow. As the academic year came to a close, the student chapter volunteered with Polk County 4-H and the Agassiz Audubon Society, and celebrated with an end-of-the-year cookout.
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
By: Jeff Tillery, Student Chapter 2017-2019 President
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society was very active over this past year. Field experience and networking are the top priorities for the student chapter, and officers made sure students had a plethora of opportunities to work in the field and network with wildlife professionals.
The student chapter participated in numerous events this past academic year, including raptor, duck and saw-whet owl banding, track surveys for Canada lynx with the USFS, ice fishing, canoeing, and a deer aging workshop. Over fifteen members worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to test for CWD in whitetail deer across the state. Several members also received their S130/S190 red card certification for fire training through the MN DNR this past March.
Members attended the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society meeting in February and enjoyed participating in quiz bowl and learning about various research currently taking place around the state.
The student chapter hosted a graduate student panel discussion and also secured over $16,000 in grant funding through, which has allowed for substantial growth in opportunities for the student chapter.
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