2021 TWS Elections: Vice presidential candidates

The ballot for The Wildlife Society’s 2021 elections includes nominees for the position of vice president.

Additional nominees may be submitted by any voting member in good standing, if supported in writing by 5% of the voting membership. The deadline for additional nominations is May 16.

Electronic ballots will be sent June 1 to all members with an email address. Members without an email address will receive a paper ballot in the mail. Voting will close June 30. Mailed paper ballots must be postmarked on or before June 30. Newly elected council members are scheduled to be installed at the virtual 28th Annual Conference, Nov.1-5.

The candidates’ statements expressing their vision for The Wildlife Society and their interest in running for this council position are below.

Nominees for Vice President

Robert P. Lanka

My journey as a wildlife professional would not have been possible, may not have ever been considered, if my high school biology teacher hadn’t taken me aside and told me she believed I had real potential in the biological sciences. Simple words, just a single sentence really, but the impact that sentence had on my life is impossible to calculate. I have been fortunate to always have those that encouraged me to stretch beyond what I could do, to push on in good times and bad, to try to be better than I was.

TWS has been part of my life since 1986. To me, TWS is our Medical Association, our Bar Association, it is the professional society for those of us who are students of or who work on behalf of wildlife and people. With the encouragement of others, I have held Chapter, Section and TWS leadership positions. There really is no higher honor than being asked to serve. If elected Vice President, I hope to work with you to increase the capacity of our Wildlife Policy program, to make TWS the go to organization for bringing science to wildlife related policy decisions, and to enhance our services to members whose only outlet to bring science to local policy decisions is through a professional society like TWS.

One of the best benefits of being a member of TWS is that you get to meet many different people. People, each one different from the next, but united in their passion for wildlife and wild places are what makes TWS special. I hope you never miss an opportunity to say a kind word, to make one who in some way is different than you feel welcome. You never know, you might just change their life. Thanks for all you do.

See complete biographical sketch here.

Arthur R. Rodgers

For more than 80 years, The Wildlife Society has been the preeminent organization for wildlife professionals across North America. Why? Because of people from all walks of life who are inspired by the beauty of the natural landscapes that surround us, curiosity about the wonders of the natural world and a desire to conserve our wildlife heritage. These are challenging times but TWS stands out as a beacon of hope, not just for conserving what we have but restoring what we have lost. Our members are on the front lines of conservation and management every day and they do everything they can to make the world a better place for all its inhabitants – humans and wildlife alike.

Having been actively involved with TWS at all levels, I have been inspired by our members and heard about their research interests and concerns. I have also heard their advice on how to better serve our membership and strengthen our professional organization. Following two terms on Council, I have gained a strong understanding of the administrative and financial accountability of those who serve, as well as TWS headquarters staff — they are all passionate, incredibly motivated and skilled. They provide the foundation that allows TWS to be the primary source of science-based information for management of our wildlife resources. They make it possible for TWS to ensure students and early career professionals have communication and networking opportunities that will provision them to conserve our wildlife heritage and strengthen our future membership.

To ensure our future, TWS needs to support our members and grow our membership, nationally and internationally, by providing leadership for science-based wildlife management, increasing communication and networking through our publications and conferences and by providing an inclusive environment for all who share our desire to make the world a better place.

See complete biographical sketch here.

Header Image: Credit: Jacob W. Frank/NPS