Volunteering Spurs New Ideas for Mizzou Student Chapter

By: Kathryn Smith, Student Chapter President, and Molly Jo Leach, Vice President

Mizzou Image Credit: Brett Billings

The Mizzou (aka University of Missouri) Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society has had an engaging year thus far! Members have heard from several different speakers including Chris Newbold, President-Elect of the North Central Section of TWS. Speaker topics ranged from studies on lorises and tarsiers in Borneo to the management of grouse in Missouri. Students felt that a very diverse group of speakers were recruited this year, which helps to cover the different career paths they can pursue in their future professions.

The student chapter helped the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) with their deer aging project for opening weekend of rifle season. Several students volunteered and received hands-on training, which encouraged Student Chapter Vice President Molly Jo Leach to take the skill building further this spring.

Mizzou

Image Credit: Mizzou Student Chapter

Molly Jo has been keeping in close contact with Jason Isabelle, The Wildlife Society’s liaison, to learn about local volunteering opportunities for the club and to set up workshops for students in the spring. The workshops included electrofishing, mist netting, bird banding, trapping, telemetry, and resume building/interview preparation. Several students attended and all enjoyed their time of learning and networking. They sometimes find it hard to gain hands-on experience with the techniques that are discussed in class at a large research university, so workshops provide an excellent chance to gain important field skills.

Other semester activities included attending the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference in Indianapolis this past February, the Missouri Natural Resources Conference in Osage Beach, Missouri, and various social events, such as the chapter’s annual float trip down on the Niangua River.

Conferences allow students to network with professionals and learn valuable information from the seminars and workshops while the social events help them get to know each other and exchange stories, making it an overall enriching experience for everyone. The balance of professional meetings, educational workshops, and relationship-building experiences helps members to become capable future wildlife professionals and also creates long-lasting connections.

For more information on the Mizzou Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society visit their Facebook page.