Below is a summary of recent Chapter and Student Chapter activities within the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society, which was included in the Section’s Fall 2017 newsletter. The newsletter includes updates from the Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin Chapters of The Wildlife Society and the Ball State University, Central Michigan University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Missouri Western State University, Northern Michigan University, Northland College, Purdue University, University of Central Missouri, University of Minnesota Crookston, University of Rio Grande, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Student Chapters of The Wildlife Society. Photos highlighting Chapter and Student Chapter activities are also included in the Section’s Fall 2017 newsletter.
State Chapter Reports
Indiana Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Wildlife Disease Workshop
The Indiana Chapter hosted a continuing education workshop October 4th and 5th. The workshop was designed to give members practical and hands on experience with the latest trends and techniques in wildlife disease management. Topics covered included Chronic Wasting Disease, Avian Influenza, amphibian diseases and proper necropsy technique. The workshop was planned and conducted by the Chapters Continuing Education Committee. 55 wildlife professionals attended.
Wildlife Student Hunting Fund
Through its Wildlife Student Hunting Fund, the Indiana Chapter continues to support professional growth amongst future wildlife professionals. The Chapter sponsored a put-take pheasant hunt, which was held November 26. Students from four Indiana universities were invited to attend the event which is hosted by the Indiana DNR. Student hunting workshops are designed to educate students on the important role hunting plays as a wildlife management tool and conservation funding source.
The Fall Workshop of the Iowa chapter of The Wildlife Society was held in September at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Louisa County. This year’s workshop included the identification, natural history, and management of Iowa’s reptiles and amphibians. Port Louisa NWR is located in southeast Iowa, the area of greatest herpetofauna diversity in the state. Presentations were given by Paul Frese of the Iowa DNR Wildlife Diversity Program and Don Becker with the “iowaherps.com” citizen science herp mapping project. The afternoon session included a tour of the wildlife refuge with USFWS staff to learn about their management practices for reptiles and amphibians. In addition to providing useful information for professionals in the field these hands-on workshops allow students the opportunity to network with potential future employers with the Iowa DNR, County Conservation Boards, and USFWS, as well as with other biology students from universities around the state.
Habitat committees within the Minnesota Chapter have been increasingly active in 2017. The wetland committee recently co-authored and co-signed a letter with the TWS Wetlands Working Group regarding proposed rules that could affect implementation of the Clean Water Act. The Minnesota Chapter was also involved in the nontoxic workshop at the recent TWS Annual Conference. The Chapter provided $500 to support “The Technical and Wildlife Management Implications of Hunting Ammunition with a Focus on Non-Lead Options for Big Game Hunting in North America.”
The Ohio Chapter is already engaged with The Wildlife Society to help make the 25th Annual Conference a memorable success in early October 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. Several Ohio Chapter officers attended the Annual Conference in Albuquerque in September to start addressing various responsibilities in earnest. Beyond the logistical meetings, the conference was enjoyed by all as a great time of reconnecting with colleagues, deepening new peer-to-peer relationships, and learning about the latest wildlife management and research updates from across the country. The Ohio Chapter was again honored to sponsor one “wildlifer” college student to attend the Annual Conference in New Mexico.
2017 was a busy year for hosting workshops. First up was an April Saturday workshop for our university student chapters. The topic was firearms safety and familiarization. Attendees handled a variety of profession-related weapons and put numerous rounds down-range at a local shooting club that partnered with the Ohio Chapter of TWS. Employees of APHIS (USDA) Wildlife Services provided much of the technical training, and the workshop was a huge highlight for all attendees regardless of prior firearms handling experience.
A month later, forty wildlife professionals attended The Ohio Chapter of The Wildlife Society (OCTWS) spring workshop—Grasslands Management. Experts from eight different federal, state, and local organizations provided classroom presentations and practical hands-on instruction at the Gwynne Conservation Area 30 minutes west of Columbus. From prairie restoration on strip-mine lands to pollinator conservation to precision agriculture to the nuance of mid-contract management within Farm Bill enrolled CRP practices, the workshop delivered an extensive curriculum for grasslands management.
Less than a week ago in early October, the fall professionals’ workshop highlighted the US-Forest Service’s SILVAH platform for oak silviculture. Research scientists from the Northern Research Station gave informative lectures and demonstrated data collection afield. Ohio Division of Wildlife employees weighed in with their personal experiences of utilizing the SILVAH system, and overall, the utility of the SILVAH approach to informing oak silviculture was well represented. A graduate student from The Ohio State University also lectured on timber rattlesnake conservation and led over 40 attendees on an afternoon hike that successfully tracked and observed a female timber rattlesnake which was staged just upslope of her probable overwintering den site.
The Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society has been busy, along with our colleagues in The American Fisheries Society and Wisconsin DNR, planning the 2018 Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference held in Milwaukee. The conference is being held from January 28 – 31 and is expected to draw over 1,000 professionals, students and retirees from across the U.S. A highlight we’d like to make is for a pair of workshops that are sponsored by the Wisconsin TWS chapter. The first is “Conflict Resolution in Fish and Wildlife Management,” which is being hosted by award-winning author and mediator Harry-Webne Behrman. Also we are sponsoring a workshop on “Wildlife Data Analysis Using Program R,” hosted by UW-Stevens Point Assistant Professor, Dr. Robert Lonsinger. More information about these workshops and the rest of the conference can be found at www.midwestfw.org. There is a lot more in store for attendees, so we hope to see you there!
Aside from conference planning the Wisconsin Chapter and the Student Chapters at UW-Stevens Point and UW-Madison had many attendees at the TWS Annual Conference in Albuquerque, NM. They were able to gain lots of knowledge they can bring back to their education, profession and to the Wisconsin TWS chapter. This year was also the first year our state chapter has awarded a Student Travel Grant to those student chapters attending the conference. We hope to continue this effort into future years along with our professional travel grants awarded annually.
Finally, our chapter continues to fight hard for conservation and sound ecological management of resources. This includes attending hearing on current proposed legislation on industrial acid mining, shoreline dredging and cuts and changes during our state’s biennial budget process.
Student Chapter Reports
Ball State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Savannah M. Lundgren
This year, our officers focused on recruitment of incoming wildlife/zoology/botany majors. The Ball State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society had a strong presence at our Fall Activity Fair where we tabled alongside of another animal advocate organization, the Pre-Veterinary Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and gained 76 new emails! At our first call-out meeting, 43 members attended the bonfire social at the Cooper Farm – one of Ball State’s Field Station and Environmental Education Centers. The second meeting was designed specifically for freshmen with interests in wildlife, zoology, and botany. This meeting offered support and advice to 33 new students through a course curriculum briefing and a Q&A panel of experienced upperclassmen. All of our new members really enjoyed our first speaker Dr. Kloepper, who is Assistant Professor of the Dept. of Biology at Saint Mary’s College. She discussed her research of how bats sense in swarms using hawks, ziplines, and drones!
Ball State’s TWS Student Chapter has another focus this academic year, which is to coordinate and collaborate many opportunities for our members to earn meaningful wildlife research and volunteer experience. In September, 13 members of our chapter partnered with Muncie-Delaware Clean & Beautiful for the Annual White River Cleanup. Our volunteers stressed “the reason we give is to help wildlife live better and healthier lives.” Our chapter also assisted the DNR at Mounds State Park with the maintenance of their terrestrial and aquatic habitat enclosures, woodland edges, and stream-trail recovery sites. We are proud to say that we even caught a new green frog ambassador for conservation education! Our Chapter’s Annual Camping Trip also was at Mounds. While herping, campers even got a response from a Barred Owl in the night!
This year, our chapter has been more involved with the Robert-Cooper Audubon Society (RCAS)! We have attended bird walks and meetings, and even have been given the opportunity to have a TWS
representative on their board! Along with RCAS, TWS is working with Master Gardeners and INPAWS (Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society) on a plan to install a pollinator garden at a local school. As a student chapter, we have an ongoing project with a campus organization called Indiana Outdoors to create an educational video series called “Conservation & Wildlife Issues.” These videos are released to all BSU students and the topics have ranged from hurricanes and their effects on birds to plant adaptations with change in seasons!
The research opportunities are endless with our Ball State University’s Student Chapter of TWS! Students can assist undergraduate researchers from finding Eastern Red-Backed Salamanders to determine forest health to checking small mammal traps laid in Cooper Farm. Our members also have a large avian interest and are heavily involved in the weekly bird banding located in our outdoor teaching laboratory – Christy Woods. In October, the banding station caught its very first Brown Creeper! Our student chapter also began volunteering for another bird banding project to determine the migration habits of the Northern Saw-Whet Owl in Indiana.
Our Student Chapter’s workshops included an entomology workshop where students learned about insects, how to identify them to order, and how to properly collect insects. The wetland construction workshop also was offered to our members, in which they learned how to design and build wetlands for Midwest amphibians! Our Student Chapter also participated in the DNR Dove Hunting session and learned about safe hunting and dove management. We also have had a professional series where our members attended an internship night to learn about how to get a future job and a second night to create and polish their CVs. We will be volunteering with the DNR deer check stations later in the season where members learn how to interact with the public, age white-tail deer, and other tasks. Every year, we also assist the Red-Tail Land Conservancy with honeysuckle eradication. Our student chapter also has been given a special opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Louisville Zoo with PAWS!
Central Michigan University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The Central Michigan Chapter of The Wildlife Society currently has 20 active members. Many of our junior and senior members are active in various biology labs at CMU. We have gained freshman and sophomore members that are extremely interested and enthusiastic about participating in the student chapter. We have been working hard to expand our presence on CMU campus, mainly by holding events open to the public. On November 9th, we held our first Graduate Student Panel that brought in about 20 undergraduate students to learn more about graduate school. We had 10 graduate students speak about their experiences with applying, attending and graduating. They also talked about different paths they took before attending. For our first panel, I would say it was a complete success in getting information out. Our hope is that a Graduate Student Panel can be hosted every year in the fall.
We have spent this semester planning for upcoming conferences and TWS conclaves in the spring. We plan to send at least five upper classmen to the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference at the end of January in Milwaukee, WI. We also plan to attend the Michigan Chapter of The Wildlife Society meeting at the end of March in Gaylord, MI. Both of these events are excellent opportunities for our members to network with wildlife professionals in our field and understand of what kind of work is being done. We also plan to send as many members as possible to the TWS North Central Student Conclave. The CMU Student Chapter also took a trip to Solider Lake Campground in the Hiawatha National forest in early October. We have had a successful semester and are looking forward what to what awaits us.
Iowa State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The fall semester has been a great and an especially busy time for Iowa State University’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Although most club activities end for the duration of the summer, many of our members held summer internships or jobs in research, conservation, and zoo studies ranging around the world (some went to Thailand!). As classes started back up, we each shared our experiences in hopes to inspire and gain information from our fellow peers.
This semester we started to meet weekly, rather than bi-weekly, so that we could bring in more speakers while still spending needed time outdoors. Every other meeting we bring in a speaker to share information about working in the field. We have heard from graduate students, professors, and wildlife professionals thus far about field work and research. On the “off weeks”, we try to get outside. Those activities include hiking, birding, herping, capture-the-animal (flag) and a wildlife techniques based scavenger hunt!
Every fall we also host our annual camping trip. This year we set out in late October to White Rock Conservancy, braved the cold and a thunderstorm, and had a great time. These weekends help form bonds within the student chapter and allows for students to step away from the hustle of a college town for a few days.
Our student chapter has and will continue to participate in service days throughout the semester. Many members helped clean up the Des Moines River during the Dragoon River Romp. That was a day spent on banks and in canoes in the water gathering trash. Others helped with invasive species removal, seed harvest, and water quality assessments during a service day at Story County Conservation’s McFarland Park. Future plans include working alongside Polk County Conservation, DSM Parks & Rec, and Conservation Districts to participate in a woodland restoration day.
As the semester comes to an end, we are actively planning for the 2018 TWS North Central Student Conclave. We hope to see you all in Iowa in the spring!
Michigan State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The Michigan State University Student Chapter of TWS has had a great fall semester!
Earlier this semester, members learned about edible plant identification from Corey Higley, a doctoral student at MSU. Members were taught defining characteristics and uses of edible and poisonous plants and were able to make their own tea from plants found on campus.
Members were able to partake in a crayfish hunt in the Red Cedar River that runs through campus. With the guidance of Kelley Smith M.S., who currently researches red swamp crayfish at MSU, members learned how to use dip nets, seine nets and small traps to catch crayfish. Members learned how to differentiate between native and invasive species of crayfish and about ecology of the invasive rusty crayfish that has found its home on campus.
The MSU Student Chapter also took a trip to Burke Lake Banding Station this semester. Members were able to observe how birds are banded for wildlife management, mist net operation and why this research is important. Some students were even able to release the birds!
Next week, one of our e-board members will be leading a radio telemetry workshop. The workshop will teach the history, equipment, and science behind one of the most widely used tools of the trade. Through this workshop, members will be able to use radio telemetry equipment in a hands-on manner.
This November, the Michigan State Student Chapter will be participating in an outreach event at a local elementary school. Members will use mammal pelts from common local mammals to educate young students about Michigan’s common wildlife. We are also currently planning our fall camping trip, student-professional mixer, and a resume building workshop for this semester among other events.
Missouri Western State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Kait Atkins & Steph Malone
We have had a great start to the fall semester for our Student Chapter. Our semester started with receiving the 2017 TWS Student Chapter of the Year award and going to Albuquerque, New Mexico to be recognized. Furthermore, we met many people, did some awesome networking, attended many wonderful presentations and posters, and had lots of fun.
Once we came back to our home state, we kept busy helping out and volunteering with various conservation organizations such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System (Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge) and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
At Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), we helped with their disabled managed deer hunts. There were many successful hunters during this event. We helped them drag deer to the refuge truck if needed. In addition, we checked in deer with the refuge to help estimate the deer population and did a deer spotlight survey around the refuge. To do the latter, we drove along roads to find deer, and used range finders to measure the distance to the deer from the truck. Then we counted the deer and classified them as antlerless, fawn, buck or unknown. We also recorded their location in UTM coordinates in a GPS unit. This information shows where deer are on the refuge so hunts can be set up and a more accurate count of deer occur.
At Loess Bluffs NWR, we helped with a variety of projects. We helped with the annual Monarch Butterfly tagging. We gathered wild flower seeds to be planted and grown in their appropriate habitat. In addition, we also did the annual deer spotlight surveys in the same manner as we did for Swan Lake NWR, and helped staff Loess Bluffs NWR disabled managed deer hunts.
Our members also conducted Bobwhite Quail surveys for MDC on Pony Express Conservation Area, as done since this project began several years ago. Each year we have new members get to hear Bobwhite Quail in fall for the first time. We listen for bobwhites in early morning when they are calling and mark on a map our estimated location of coveys. This count helps the Pony Express Conservation area managers effectively manage for Bobwhite Quail and provides an estimate of population size and number of coveys.
Our Student Chapter also works for MDC on opening weekend of firearms deer season by going to assigned meat processers to gather age data and lower incisors from deer brought in by hunters. We estimated the age of deer by cheek teeth eruption into three categories, 6-month, 1.5 years, and 2.5+ years. We also extracted the two lower front incisors to send them to a tooth-aging lab for counts of cementum annuli to determine the actual age of the deer. We also educate the hunters because sometimes they are interested to know how old their deer are. We also helped the Missouri Department of Conservation at Pony Express Conservation Area by collecting dove wings to learn the average age of harvested doves. We collected 120+ dove wings. We also helped with Prairie Days at Dunn Ranch in northern Missouri. We set traps and cover boards to identify animals and insects. This was a great opportunity to learn fun facts about the prairie while also ensuring that we educated the public on why what they learn at Dunn Ranch is so important. We have had a busy fall semester, many educational experiences and learned fun facts to share with people.
Northern Michigan University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The Northern Michigan University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society had a very busy but exciting fall semester. We have great membership this semester with around 30 – 40 active members. During September, members completed a small mammal trapping and skinning workshop with Dr. Galbreath and his lab. The focus of this workshop was to learn proper field techniques and investigate the ecto and endoparasites of small mammals. Also during September, members traveled with Dr. Leonard and her lab to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore where we electroshocked several reaches of Lowney Creek and placed minnow traps and fyke nets in Little Beaver Lake. The group learned several sampling techniques and proper handling of fish. This was our second annual trip and we look forward to it each year.
October was busy with several guest speakers, workshops, and volunteer opportunities. Two workshops, chemical immobilization and deer aging, were hosted by Brian Roell and Caleb Eckloff of the Marquette DNR Customer Service Center. The radio telemetry workshop was hosted by Dr. Bruggink and he taught proper radio telemetry techniques using hands-on practice. Numerous members volunteered at the Marquette County Haunted Hayride. This is our biggest fundraising event of the year and the funds are being used to help cover the registration costs of the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference for over 20 members.
Since the start of November, our semester has begun to slow down but we still have events planned. Last week, Dr. Lafferty gave a presentation on how and where to find internships, jobs, and REU positions. This coming week, Dr. Leonard is presenting a CV/resume workshop on how to craft the perfect CV. Starting this Wednesday, members will be volunteering at the Marquette DNR Office for deer checks. Members will assist in aging deer, entering data, and interacting with the public. All of these opportunities have provided our members with such great professional experiences and we look forward to many more.
Although we have accomplished so much this semester, we are already beginning to plan for the next. For conferences, we are attending both the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference and the TWS North Central Section Student Conclave. Several guest speakers and workshops are planned. Additionally, our annual Birds of Prey program is in the works. We have some raptor centers bring in live birds and give public presentations. This gives our members opportunities to assist in event planning and providing an educational activity for both our organization and the Marquette community. These are just some of the experiences we have planned and we cannot wait for them to happen.
Northland College Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Wisconsin
Northland College’s TWS Student Chapter has worked this fall to increase recruitment of incoming freshman, and to get students involved in wildlife-related activities. We have worked to make each meeting an educational experience with workshops on subjects such as telemetry, GPS and compass navigation, resume formatting, and camera trap techniques. This fall students have had many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the warm weather while it lasted! Many of our members are heading up research projects on a wide variety of topics. These research projects provide a great opportunity to involve our TWS student chapter members – benefiting the projects and helping new students gain new experiences. This winter we are providing our members with opportunities to learn about the data entry and analysis side of wildlife research, as well as, managing camera traps for Snapshot Wisconsin (a state-wide, citizen-science camera trap network run by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources).
Purdue University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Indiana
The Purdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society just started for the fall and we have many exciting events planned for this semester! Last spring we hosted the TWS North Central Section Conclave, which was a major success and a great team-building experience for our members. We are certainly a tight-knit group this year and our student chapter has become even more active as a result.
Over the summer, our student chapter participated in a Purdue Athletes Life Success Summer Field Day which gave underprivileged youth the opportunity to explore natural resources fields. Purdue’s Student Chapter of TWS hosted a table which featured animal skins and skulls, as well as a tiger salamander larvae.
As a student chapter, we visited the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary in southeastern Indiana Aug. 25-26 to participate in songbird and hummingbird banding. Our members extracted birds from mist-nets, banded songbirds under master bander Amy Wilms’ supervision, and had the opportunity to release hummingbirds by hand. Amy Wilms is the only licensed hummingbird bander in the state, so it was an amazing opportunity getting to work with her!
We have four active working groups within our chapter: Herps, Birds, Mammals and Hunting. Herps Working Group led our first official meeting out at a Purdue property, where we caught four species of snakes and several species of frogs. They also helped the state herpetologist survey for plains leopard frogs; one of which was found for the first time ever in Tippecanoe County by one of our members a few months prior. Birds Working Group offers opportunities for bird banding throughout the semester. Additionally, during October and November, members are invited to help out with a Saw-whet Owl banding research station near Purdue. Mammals Working Group has many events planned for later in the semester and next spring. Currently, they’re planning a trip to Wolf Park, a nearby gray wolf research facility, and a guided tour of the Kankakee Sands bison viewing area. Hunting Working Group has been our most active working group this semester. So far, members have had the opportunity to attend a squirrel hunt, DNR-led dove hunt, and currently a pheasant hunt is being offered.
Five members of our student chapter attended the TWS Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our Quiz Bowl team placed second in the competition! One of our members also presented a talk on her research over amphibian diseases.
At our last student chapter meeting, members learned how to use radio-telemetry equipment by playing telemetry tag. We are currently planning a bonfire for our next meeting. Everyone is looking forward to a fun and busy semester!
University of Central Missouri Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The UCM Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society has had a busy start to the new school year. Our first meeting was August 23. We’ve totaled 60+ members so far. This year’s executive board is comprised of Secretary M. Fletcher, Treasurer Ivonne Kessler, Vice President Savannah Penney, Reporter Chris Edmondson, and President Daniel Akin. So far our members have worked with numerous organizations both on campus and in our community to better the environment around us, gain experience in public outreach and numerous wildlife areas.
Get the Red Out
Get the Red Out is an annual tradition at the University of Central Missouri that involves student organizations setting up booths along Holden Street to interact with the community and celebrate the beginning of a new academic year. TWS members set up a booth with animal pelts, skulls, and baked goods to encourage visitors to learn more about wildlife, and get sweet treats while at it! New members got experience with public outreach by teaching others about local Missouri wildlife.
Student Chapter members assisted the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in collecting dove wings for research data collection on age at James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area.
Turkey Foot Prairie Burn
Members assisted the Citizens for Environmental Action (CEA) in a fall prescribed burn on a local restored prairie, Turkey Foot Prairie. Before the burn, members were given a brief introduction to the prairie entrance and areas to be burned. They were also taught how to conduct and control the fire as it burned through portions of the prairie. The Daily Star Journal wrote an article about the event, featuring our student chapter.
Lifelong Learning at Turkey Foot Prairie
Members returned to the prairie to assist CEA with their Lifelong Learning event. This involved taking members on a tour before the event to learn about the prairie and key species within it. During the event the trained members gave guests tours around the prairie to teach them about everything that goes into restoring and maintaining it, along with showcasing a few prominent plant species.
This fall we held our 14th annual BioBlitz in Pertle Springs, Warrensburg MO. Bio Blitz is an event advertised, organized and set up by our members to reach out to our surrounding community and encourage interest in the wildlife around them. Numerous local organizations participated in this event by setting up booths and interacting with visitors. These included the CEA, Sierra Club, Missouri Bird Observatory, Missouri Stream Team, Missouri State Parks, MDC, and USDA, among others. Multiple booths were also set up by UCM’s own biology faculty, graduate students, and student organizations. This family-friendly event also included nature and bird hikes, children’s activities, demonstrations, and a visit from Smokey the Bear! About 150 visitors attended this year’s event, and we received much positive feedback. Bio Blitz was featured in the Daily Star Journal and Central MO news where they reviewed the event and interviewed Chris Edmondson, event organizer.
For the remainder of fall, UCM TWS will be participating in; the Missouri Chapter of TWS Fall Student Workshop, deer aging with MDC to collect sample data for research on Missouri herds, a hunter’s education course offered through MDC in which members will receive hunting certification, volunteering for the GLOW festival at Powell Gardens, volunteering for Hallowfest at Knob Noster State Park, small mammal trapping and others soon to be confirmed. Members are also looking forward to the Missouri Natural Resources Conference in the spring. They will be preparing for the job fair at this event by utilizing their experiences to build resumes and CVs, which we will work on prior to the conference.
Our student chapter now has its own website made by Chris Edmondson. This website contains information about our student chapter, upcoming meeting dates, minutes from previous meetings, event summaries with photos, a calendar of the year’s events, and a section dedicated to outside resources recommended for our members, such as job boards and internship opportunities.
University of Minnesota Crookston Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Student Chapter of TWS along with the UMC Natural Resources Club welcomed 32 members with our annual cookout in the Red River Valley Natural History Area near campus. Grilled meats and Svedarky’s fresh sweet corn were highlights. In September, 23 members worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banding ~450 waterfowl on Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. Most recently, six of our members traveled to Albuquerque, NM for the TWS Annual Conference where five attended the “Animal Trapping Techniques for Researchers and Managers” workshop. The students enjoyed expanding their knowledge of the wildlife field, making connections with professionals, competing in the Quiz Bowl, as well as exploring a locale quite different from northern Minnesota. We are looking forward to a few more events and projects this semester, including a snowshoe sale fundraiser, joint campouts with UMC’s Natural Resources Club, and volunteering with the Agassiz Audubon Society to improve bird habitat in the area.
University of Rio Grande Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Ohio
Donald P. Althoff
The University of Rio Grande Student Chapter of TWS has participated in several service and research projects in the past year in addition to several fundraisers. During the past spring, trail markers and kiosks were installed on a campus nature/hiking trail system that was first started in 2014. The network of trails has been helpful for conducting field labs as well as allowing students, staff, and faculty easy access to the campus forest. As part of long-term monitoring effort, student chapter members assisted with the annual kestrel nesting box check in the spring and early summer. Over 250 kestrel chicks have been banned by students over the past 20 years in a joint venture with Hocking College. In October, for the third year in-a-row, the student chapter produced sorghum syrup the old-fashion way for the Bob Evans Farms Festival to raise funds to support attendance at upcoming professional scientific conferences. Additional funds are currently being raised through 2018 calendar sales that feature photographs taken by student chapter members and faculty.
University of Wisconsin – Madison Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The UW – Madison Student Chapter of TWS started this school year off great! We had nearly 100 people show up to our kick-off meeting and we have had lots of events. Our officer team was able to attend the TWS Annual Conference, where we had a great time and learned a lot. We hope to implement some of the things we learned at conference to make our student chapter the best it can be.
Our student chapter went hiking around Devil’s Lake State Park, where we saw the start of the fall colors. One of the highlights from our trip is that we found a milk snake! We also took a trip to the Deer Park in the Wisconsin Dells. We have done multiple outreach events which have display tables and activities at a Saturday Science event and the Harvest Moon Festival. Our members had the opportunity to teach the public about how important and cool wildlife is. We also took members to Goose Pond to help with prairie seed collection. We also went bird banding at Sand Bluff Bird Observatory and saw the Sandhill Crane Migration near Aldo Leopold’s Shack. We are very excited for our upcoming Annual Game Dinner which will be held December 8th and an upcoming wolf tracking class in Steven’s Point.
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Katherine Rexroad & Natalie Erickson
Officers and members of UW-Stevens Point’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society are looking forward to another busy but involved year, full of numerous opportunities. At the end of the 2016- 2017 school year, officers met together to discuss how to get members more involved. A common idea was to hold more social events, especially at the beginning of the year to help underclassmen feel more welcome in what can be an intimidating environment. UWSP’s student chapter often feels like a giant family, and we want everyone to consider themselves a part of it. We also had a booth at the vendor fair during the freshman welcome week and will have booths at both the campus involvement fair and CNR Majors Night, events we have had success in during past years.
Our student chapter is always looking for ways to get involved in the community. This year we are working with the Wisconsin department of natural resources to set up an “Adopt a Wildlife Area” program with our students. This is a three-year commitment that will require our student chapter to provide a certain number of volunteer hours a year from our members. The participants will get hands on experience surveying prairie chickens, wolf tracks, deer herds, and a variety of habitat management skills. In addition to providing an opportunity for students to connect with DNR professionals, the course will provide free chainsaw certification classes to students.
Twenty students from the Stevens Point attended The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our student chapter had 9 people present undergraduate research. After winning Student Chapter of the Year in 2015, the student chapter was invited to give an oral presentation at the conference detailing what we believe makes a successful student chapter.
Between meeting new members, the Annual Conference, and the return of many opportunities to help with various student-led research projects, the members of the UWSP’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society couldn’t be more thrilled to see what the school year will hold.