Exciting week concludes at TWS virtual conference

It’s been an exciting week at The Wildlife Society’s 2021 Virtual Conference. About 2,400 wildifers registered for this year’s conference, taking part in a week of thought-provoking discussions, presentations on new discoveries and opportunities to learn and network with colleagues wherever they might be.

Keep scrolling for some highlights from this week’s activities, and get ready to see your fellow wildlifers in person in Spokane next year. “There’s nothing like being in person,” said incoming TWS President Gordon Batcheller. “These virtual conferences are great, but in-person events are even better, and we’ll celebrate together next year.”

“The reason we have to diversify as a society of biologists or science communicators or whatever group you consider yourself a part of is because it is the ethical thing to do. For too long, the joy, the sincere pleasure of discovering the world and doing science, has been restricted to a select group of people.” – Dan Riskin, from his plenary presentation

“Land is never just about land. It’s about economics and political power. It’s about the right to say you belong.” – Carolyn Finney, from her plenary presentation

Wildlife Drones founder Debbie Saunders discusses her work using drones to study endangered swift parrots.

“Build those relationships and nurture them carefully, because they will help you down the road.” – TWS CEO Ed Arnett, offering advice to student wildlifers

Catheirne Semcer, of the Property and Environment Research Center, leads panelists Sean Gerrity, John Silovsky and Brian Yiblonski in a discussion on renewing the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

“We all have our own unique stories of how we ended up in the wildlife field and we’re all connected.” – Kerry Nicholson, on starting the Wildlife Vocalizations projects that gives voice to diverse wildlifers

 “From early age, I came to sense wild animals with awe.  They were not lesser beings on some Aristotelian chain. They were fellow creatures whose wildness and reclusiveness, avoidance and aggressiveness, commanded respect. They are the ultimate source for life-long learning within an infinite realm. They can thrill you and they can kill you, and for the last 150,000 years or so we have been obsessed with them, because it was them who made us human.” – John Organ, 2020 Aldo Leopold Memorial Award recipient

Receiving the award is an unexpected honor, because I’ve never seen myself as anything more than an aspirant—someone who is simply aspiring to be a useful biologist. – Mike Phillips, recipient of the 2021 Aldo Leopold Memorial Award

“That’s what The Wildlife Society is all about—helping you become a better professional.” – Incoming TWS President Gordon Batcheller

Header Image: Participants in the Native Students Development Prgogram greet attendees at the opening of TWS' virtual 2021 Annual Conference.