UNR Student Chapter heavily involved on and off campus

By Kristen McCarty, President, UNR Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society

Sand Mountain Recreation Area. ©Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada

The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Student Chapter is on track to having another great semester! One focus thus far has been trying to expand our membership. Members of the board gave presentations at the beginning of the semester to wildlife ecology and environmental science classes, emphasizing what a beneficial experience being a part of The Wildlife Society can be, in terms of learning and networking, but also having fun! We also participated in the UNR Club Fair, and between these activities had nearly 100 students sign up to receive information about the club’s events and meetings. Our first general meeting at Laughing Planet was packed!

The Welcome Back BBQ with the Nevada Chapter of The Wildlife Society was held on September 20, 2017 at the NDOW boat titling office and was a blast! We had high attendance this year and our student members had the chance to meet professionals from various agencies and learn about their work. Big thanks to Nevada Chapter President John Tull and Past President Kelley Stewart for their help with this event!

We participated in UNR’s Field Day at the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station on September 30, 2017, offering wildlife related crafts and education for children. We got feedback from many parents that their kids were excited to visit us year after year at this event, and our booth was one of the busiest! Our members who weren’t getting covered in paint, glue, and googly eyes that day were still getting dirty, volunteering for a cleanup day at the Oxbow Nature Study Area.

Other activities this fall have included a group hike of the Hunter Creek Trail, with a little birding, herping and plant ID along the way; Quiz Bowl Social gatherings, where we test our wildlife knowledge to keep us competitive for conclave competitions, and a Halloween pizza party with wildlife-themed pumpkin carving.

Our upcoming events include quite a few volunteer opportunities, but the biggest upcoming event is our Grad Life Night! This is an event we host yearly, and we are changing it up a bit this year! In the past, we have invited graduate students to give brief talks on their research and experience applying to grad school, to help give our undergrads an idea of what to expect. This year we would like to invite professors who work with wildlife to talk to us about the qualities that they look for in graduate students. Our event last year had a great turnout, and we hope to do it again this year!

The UNR Student Chapter is always looking for volunteer opportunities, and speakers who would like to reach out to the next generation of wildlife professionals! If you are interested in giving a talk at one of our meetings, or if you need volunteers for your projects, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Please feel free to reach out to me at kristenmccarty@nevada.unr.edu, on our Facebook (@unr.wildlifesociety) or Instagram (@unrtws).

This article originally appeared in the Nevada Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s Fall 2017/Winter 2018 newsletter.