Here’s what’s happening in the North Central Section student chapters Part 1

Below is a summary of recent Student Chapter activities within the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society, which was included in the Section’s Spring 2019 newsletter. The newsletter includes updates from Ball State University, Purdue State University, Northland College, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Student Chapters of The Wildlife Society. Photos highlighting Student Chapter activities are also included in the Section’s Spring 2019 newsletter. 

Ball State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society

The Ball State University Student Chapter of TWS provided its members with several hands-on workshops. They hosted a telemetry workshop and have an orienteering workshop and traps/tracks workshop planned for the coming weeks. The student chapter covered a variety of topics with guest speakers from a zookeeper to Indiana’s nongame state herpetologist in order to illustrate a variety of career paths. This gave students the ability to explore many options for lines of work involving wildlife. The student chapter also implemented a point system to further encourage member involvement, with a certain number of points allowing members to attend a trip at the end of the semester. The student chapter also had several students attend the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Cleveland, Ohio and encourages members to attend each year so the university can continue to be well-represented at the conference. The student chapter is also offering members several volunteer opportunities at the Red-tail Land Conservancy and Ball State’s Field Station. They also plan to take trips to animal rehabilitation centers and animal sanctuaries.

Purdue University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society

The Purdue Student Chapter of TWS had a busy 2018-2019 year, and their membership continues to remain stable with over 30 students typically attending biweekly meetings. The student chapter has strived to get students more involved in professional activities this year. Last October, they sent 15 students to Cleveland, Ohio to attend The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference, which was a great networking opportunity for members. A grant from Purdue University also allowed students to attend the conference for free. In early February, the chapter sent 23 students to Cook County to attend a workshop on field skills sponsored by Cook County’s Forest Preserve District. Students were taught how to work up coyotes, set up traps and nets and perform a necropsy on a deer. In addition, this spring the student chapter had a meeting where they discussed how to get involved with policy decisions that affect the profession and wildlife conservation. Members volunteered to write personal letters to Congress showing support for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The student chapter also hosted a spring picnic at the end of April.

Northland College Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society

The Northland College Student Chapter of TWS has been busy collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service and the Wisconsin DNR on two separate sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) projects: post-translocation monitoring and a pilot study using trail cameras through Snapshot WI. This spring, students have been participating in trail camera deployments, photo review, and early morning lek surveys on the northwest Wisconsin barrens to assist in monitoring this species of special concern. In addition to these beneficial, hands-on experiences, USFS and WDNR project leads have graciously presented to the chapter on the science behind their projects, as well as why this research and monitoring matters on a local and regional scale. This has been an excellent opportunity for student chapter members to learn from wildlife professionals doing meaningful work in the field of wildlife research and management.

University of Wisconsin Madison Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Student Chapter of TWS hosted numerous activities for their members to promote career growth and inspire involvement. Some of the more career-oriented activities included a telemetry workshop with the coyote and fox tracking project on campus, the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, sandhill crane (Grus Canadensis)migration viewing, and saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) banding. The student chapter also hosted a few fundraisers, their annual wild game dinner and a book sale of donated wildlife books from one of the emeritus professors at the university. Outreach events for the year included attending the Madison Harvest Moon Festival, the Family Garden Day at the Allen Centennial Garden on campus and presenting to several local first grade classes about animals that are found in local neighborhoods. Some members also participated in citizen science projects including eagle nest monitoring and volunteer crafting to support saola (Pseudoryx ngethinhensis) conservation. Upcoming events include frog and toad surveys with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the annual kickball game against the UW-Madison Forestry Club, and the annual Earth Day highway cleanup day.

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society

The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Student Chapter of TWS is in full swing this spring semester, with many activities to beat the winter blues. They’re proud to announce they’ve reached 175 members in the student chapter! The chapter is proud of their work on many different projects. Their woodpecker project has been banding woodpeckers and nuthatches at the Sandhill Wildlife Area during one of the best field seasons in years, their lagomorph project has been trapping eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) and collecting parasites, and their waterfowl project is out checking wood duck nest boxes at the Mead WildlifeArea. They are also working on a wild bird project, collaborating with the USFWS to monitor whippoorwills (Caprimulgus vociferus) at Necedah NWF and a woodcock project, where they are working with the American Woodcock/Ruffed Grouse Society to create habitat for American woodcocks (Scolopax minor). Lizzie Melk, the student chapter’s social coordinator, planned an ice skating social and a skiing social for members to hang out and have a good time. They also held an archery shoot for beginners and advanced archers to practice their skills, brought in the American Red Cross to certify 21 members in First Aid/CPR/AED, and worked with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and TWS member John Olson to host a trapping matters workshop. Miranda Myli, the student chapter’s education coordinator, has planned a variety of education events for children. These include running a touch and feel table at the STEAM Day for Girls held on campus and assisting the parents of a local elementary school with an ‘Owl Prowl’ program. Check out the student chapter’s Facebook page for Fauna Friday updates. This is a weekly post made by their web designer, Conner Ties, featuring fun facts about wildlife species, with pictures of these animals taken by members.


Header Image: American woodcock (Scolopax minor). © Foxman