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North Central Section Chapter updates
Below is a summary of recent 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 the Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio Chapters of The Wildlife Society. Photos highlighting Chapter activities are also included in the Section’s Spring 2019 newsletter.
State Chapter Reports
The Indiana Chapter of The Wildlife Society held its 50th annual spring meeting on February 27-28th in Indianapolis. The meeting celebrated 50 years of accomplishments, not only by the chapter, but by wildlife professionals across the state. The program was highlighted by talks from Phil Seng of DJ Case and Associates, Dr. Harmon Weeks of Purdue University, and John Goss, retired director of the Indiana DNR. The chapter was also honored to welcome current TWS President Darren Miller to share his experiences in TWS and to recognize the chapter for its 50th anniversary. The meeting saw a total of 92 attendees, which was a very good turnout for a wildlife professional-only meeting in Indiana. The chapter was also happy to have 17 students from three different colleges and universities. On day two of the conference, the chapter hosted a “student & young professional luncheon,” which allowed 30 students and new professionals the opportunity to meet and network with wildlife professionals from various agencies and backgrounds. The main theme of the conference was recognizing those who have helped build and shape the chapter. Twenty past presidents of the chapter also attended and were recognized for their service. The 50th annual spring meeting was a huge success and very well received by all in attendance. The chapter was able to offer a significant registration discount to students and retired professionals, while maintaining good finances.
The Michigan Chapter of TWS held a successful joint 2019 annual meeting with the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society on March 13th-15th. Over 200 members of both chapters participated in the meeting. The chapters offered two well-attended workshops on Fish and Wildlife Disease and Technical Writing. There were three symposia offered, titled; “Connecting Channels,” “Beavers and Trout,” and “Michigan Bird Conservation.” TWS member Genelle Uhrig, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was the winner of the best student wildlife presentation titled, “Assessing demographic and genetic consequences of snowshoe hare decline in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.” The chapter awarded three student travel scholarships to Mark Hamlyn, Andrew Carlson and Garrett Knowlton. Phil Huber received the inaugural Legacy Award, which is presented to a chapter member who has made significant career-long contributions to wildlife management in Michigan. Sonja Christensen was presented with the inaugural President’s Award, which to recognizes the three-year contribution to the chapter by the out-going past president.
The Missouri Chapter of TWS finished a busy winter season planning the annual joint conference. The Missouri Natural Resources Conference (MNRC) is a joint conference sponsored by TWS, the Society of American Foresters, the American Fisheries Society, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society. Attendance and support for the conference was great in 2019 with good amounts of networking and information sharing happening at the Lake of the Ozarks. Next year’s meeting will take place February 4-6, 2020, with future updates available at www.mnrc.org. During the conference the chapter elected new executive board officers, including their new President-Elect Dave Hoover and new Secretary Jason Isabelle. Both are proving to be extremely valuable members of the Missouri Chapter Executive Board. For 2020, a professional workshop is planned along with a second joint student workshop for October with the Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. This workshop proved to be successful in 2019, so the chapter plans to continue the model and transition the workshop around the state to provide topics and experiences as diverse as Missouri.
The Ohio Chapter of TWS is excited to welcome aboard new 2019 officers including incoming President Renee Buck and Treasurer Thomas Butler. Cleveland hosted its second major wildlife conference of the year in January — the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference — and the Wild Jobs Cafe for students and young professionals was organized by Geoffrey Westerfield as part of the Ohio Chapter’s contribution. A week prior to the Midwest conference, close to 300 people attended the annual Ohio Wildlife Management Association, and the social and annual business meeting the night prior was well-attended as well. The chapter is stepping up its partnership with the Student Wildlife Research Symposium, an exciting new venue for middle and high school students to showcase their work in conservation. The chapter is planning student and professional workshops with focal topics including invasive plant species management, chainsaw safety training and certification, and a field workshop hosted in collaboration with Davey Resource Group. Chapter President Grace Dietsch is working with partner organizations to host a Women in Wildlife signature event in June.