2024 TWS Elections: Vice President

This year’s nominees for vice president of TWS are Adam Ahlers and Evelyn Merrill

The ballot for The Wildlife Society’s 2024 elections includes nominees for the position of vice president

Electronic ballots will be sent May 29 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. In accordance with TWS’ Bylaws, newly elected council members are scheduled to be installed at the next regular meeting of Council during the 31st Annual Conference, Oct. 19-23, in Baltimore, Maryland.

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


Adam Ahlers

I’m interested in running for the office of TWS Vice President so I can continue my service to TWS in an expanded leadership capacity. My past work with TWS, state chapters, and CMPS has been rewarding and I genuinely feel like my volunteer work in these units has positively affected the careers of other wildlife professionals and aided in the management and conservation of wildlife populations and landscapes. It is a great feeling to work with people who are passionate about wildlife conservation and management and who also volunteer their free time to contribute to the efforts of TWS (and state chapters and sections). The wildlife profession is changing in some ways, and TWS needs to adapt to meet the needs and ambitions of its members and also wildlife professional who are not members. Additionally, TWS needs to remain relevant to wildlife professionals across North America while also remaining an effective voice in wildlife management and conservation. My own leadership vision has been shaped by working with outstanding leaders across various disciplines ranging from agriculture, state agencies, academia, and the military. This also includes working with great leadership at the TWS, state chapter, and section levels. My leadership vision has equally been shaped by my work with less-than-perfect leaders in these fields and by my own shortcomings in past leadership roles. I would be excited to volunteer my time to help TWS meet the challenges ahead of our organization and enhance our relevancy as the voice of wildlife conservation and management in North America. As Vice President of TWS, I would work closely with our membership to ensure that our organization’s work will help enhance wildlife conservation and management. Additionally, I would work with our diverse TWS members and others to ensure we are delivering resources to wildlife professionals that enhance professional development and help them achieve their conservation goals.

Read Adam Ahlers’ complete biographical sketch here.

Evelyn Merrill

I started down The Wildlife Society (TWS) path in the 1970s and have never looked back. I have seen TWS evolve just like the ecosystems around me, and this is a strength of The Society. The current revision of the Strategic Plan reflects a blend of maintaining our core values while adapting to the realities of our future. I intend to support this direction with particular attention in: 1) strengthening policy engagement in North America while keeping science at the forefront and being proactive in developing effective partnerships, 2) fostering opportunities for students and new professionals (who will be our teachers and our legacy) along with seasoned mentors; 3) diversifying our community and expanding inclusiveness in creative ways that may take stepping outside of the box; and 4) by not losing sight of the financial solvency needed to support our staff and everyday efforts. The best steps forward for each of these may not always be clear and outcomes may not be immediate. But when weighing the options, we need to be transparent and communicate clearly the end-game, institute our decisions in an equitable manner, and learn from our mistakes. Martin Luther King was a leader because he had not only a plan but a dream. I aspire to help TWS stay relevant and to support our members and those around them to enjoy wildlife in sustainable and reverent ways that battle the malaise of emerging environmental grief, unites us in cause, and motivates us to step up. I am passionate about ensuring the same wonder and enthusiasm for the world of wildlife in the future that I have been fortunate enough to find in my life. I see my service to TWS as an important means for achieving that, and as an enduring legacy of my career.

Read Evelyn Merrill’s complete biographical sketch here.

Header Image: The ballot for The Wildlife Society’s 2024 elections include two vice presidential nominees. Credit: Jeff Hollett