In 2016, The Wildlife Society will be hosting one of the largest gatherings in North America of wildlife professionals, influencers, educators, students and supporters in North Carolina. The Society’s 23rd Annual Conference will be held October 15-19, 2016 at the Raleigh Convention Center, and will be identified and advertised with a unique logo designed by this year’s TWS logo contest winner, Scherita Cambridge.
A contest was launched early in 2015 by the North Carolina Chapter of TWS. Over 50 artists from ten states and three countries entered 66 unique designs featuring various wildlife species. Local judges and TWS officials were drawn to Cambridge’s unique Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) design where the red-eyed male seems to come to life as it crawls out of the page, welcoming attendees to the conference. The Eastern box turtle was declared North Carolina’s state reptile in 1979.
The winning artist, Scherita Cambridge graduated in May from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Conservation Management with minors in Biology and German. She was a member of the newly formed student chapter of The Wildlife Society at WCU.
“I’ve been interested in wildlife since I was a kid watching Animal Planet and going fishing around Raeford, North Carolina where I grew up,” Cambridge said. She is grateful to her friends who told her about the contest, inspired the idea to draw the box turtle, and critiqued her work.
Cambridge will be awarded $500 from TWS, which she plans to put towards her student loans. She is currently working at the Highlands Nature Center and hopes to find permanent employment in wildlife.
“Graphic design has just been a hobby, but I may pursue it as a career,” Cambridge said.
The Eastern box turtle occurs throughout North Carolina and may even be found in forests, fields, and neighborhoods in and around Raleigh where the 2016 Conference will be held. Although this species is fairly common and is not listed in a category of special protection in North Carolina, some scientists believe the species is declining. As a result, the Eastern box turtle is listed as a priority species in the North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan.
The logo will be featured in the marketing and advertising of the 23rd Annual Conference and on the 2016 conference t-shirt and Program Guide.