Rutgers Student Chapter attends conclave, volunteers

A song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) hangs out on the Rutgers University campus. ©Billtacular

The following student chapter news was included in the Spring 2018 newsletter of the New Jersey Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Photos of student chapter activities are also included in the newsletter.

Over the past few semesters, the Rutgers University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society has expanded its involvement with the environment and the community. Besides its monthly meetings featuring guest speakers of various ecology-related backgrounds, members are actively engaged in volunteer, networking and team-building events.

This past spring semester was particularly exciting for the student chapter. A group of members joined many other student chapters of The Wildlife Society at The Wildlife Society’s Northeast Student Conclave, hosted this year by Green Mountain College Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society at the Common Ground Center in Starksboro, Vermont. There, members camped out and participated in a multitude of workshops where they honed their identification skills for native fish, plants, herpetofauna and waterfowl, as well as learned proper sampling techniques for each.

On this year’s Rutgers Day, the Rutgers University Student Chapter dedicated its table to educating the public about bats. The student chapter has also volunteered on several occasions at the Rutgers Eco-Preserve, planting trees, clearing the trails and constructing a boardwalk to improve public access and the environment of the preserve.

The student chapter has adopted two new traditions this year, one of which includes hikes with the Rutgers Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club, where members of each student organization are invited to hike in one of New Jersey’s many parks with the puppies in training. The student chapter has also started hosting an annual game dinner, an event open to everyone to enjoy game meats and native edible plants, all gathered and prepared by student members and friends.

This year, student chapter President Brian Schumm, and Vice President Michelle Arias graduated from the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences with their Bachelor’s Degrees in Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources. They received the Applegate Award for their accomplishments in wildlife conservation. Besides their involvement with the student chapter, Brian and Michelle have worked in Dr. Brooke Maslo’s lab on a variety of projects. Brian also received the Environmental Geomatics Certificate and will be pursuing a career as a conservation officer. Michelle presented her G.H. Cook Scholar’s Thesis at the International Symposium for Undergraduate Research in Brazil, and will be living there in the months following graduation.

The Rutgers University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society functions and thrives thanks to the continuous support of its advisors, Kimberly Clapper and Dr. Brooke Maslo, and the New Jersey Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s board and its members.


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