Idaho Student Chapter Educates Community

By Mariah Simmons

Idaho Marmot
Image Credit: Wallace Keck, NPS

The University of Idaho Student Chapter of TWS participated in numerous educational opportunities during this past fall semester. Student members assisted the Idaho Department of Fish and Game with several seasonal events as well as volunteering at local environmental institutions.

Idaho Student Chapter
Image Credit: Collin Coissairt

Katey Huggler, Student Chapter President, says that the chapter has been busy fundraising for the upcoming Western Conclave in Kingsville, TX. Twelve students plan to attend the event.

“We have been selling hand-made glass heart pendants, student photography wildlife calendars, and t-shirts to raise money,” said Huggler.

The Student Chapter provides many great networking and educational opportunities for its members.

Student chapter members worked with several biologists and game wardens from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Tasks included working at wildlife check stations in October and November as well as assisting with waterfowl banding.

Idaho Student Chapter
Image Credit: Katey Huggler

“I love getting to work side by side with wildlife professionals and the hunting population,” said Maeghan Elliott, Student Chapter Secretary. “This event allows members the opportunity not only to understand how check stations work, but we also get to spend a day with a biologist or conservation officer discussing wildlife issues. The IDFG employees never fail to give us excellent advice about pursuing a career in wildlife.”

“My favorite part about being involved with the student chapter is the ability to network with many wildlife professionals and other students, as well as the opportunities that I receive by being a student member,” said Huggler.

Idaho Student Chapter
Image Credit: Mike Berg

The chapter organizes outreach events within the community, as well. Members have educated elementary school children on nocturnal animals such as raccoons and beavers through a program known as “Animals of the Night” with the Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute.

Katy Farmer encourages other students to get involved in these kinds of opportunities.

“You are able to meet other students and people working in your professional field of interest,” she said. “I was able to dress up like a skunk and teach children about [nocturnal animals]. I came away with new knowledge myself!”

Maeghan Elliott enjoys being involved with the Student Chapter not only as a member, but also as an officer.

“My favorite part of being an officer for the student chapter of TWS is planning fun events that get students excited about wildlife. TWS has provided me with a multitude of opportunities to get hands on experience as well as opportunities to meet professionals and other students in this field,” said Elliott.

To learn more about the Student Chapter and their upcoming events visit their website and Facebook page.

Sources: Katey Huggler, Katy Farmer, Maeghan Elliott