North Central Section happenings: Part 2

These updates originally appear in the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society’s Fall 2019 newsletter. Photos highlighting the student chapter’s activities are also included in the section’s newsletter.

Ball State University Student Chapter of TWS

Ball State Student Chapter’s fall semester began with successful member-recruitment and their annual bonfire. Throughout the semester members assisted with ongoing research projects such as migratory bird banding, small mammal trapping and Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) banding. Additionally, members participated in a CV building workshop and internship night. Ball State TWS has been involved in the Muncie community by volunteering for the Annual White River Clean-up and with Red Tail Land Conservancy, where they helped remove invasive species and pick up trash. Members also participated in Ball State’s ‘Clash of the Sciences’ where science-oriented groups compete to educate the Muncie community about science in a fun, engaging way. The student chapter presented a program called ‘How to be a Bat Biologist’ to over 150 attendees featuring the “education bats,” named Chocolate and Petunia, which are live bats from Ball State’s Wildlife Lab. At their biweekly meetings the chapter heard from several exciting speakers including Julie Borgmann, Executive Director of local land trust Red Tail Land Conservancy, Jessica Merkling, the north urban biologist for Indiana DNR, and Dana Reckelhoff, an interpretive naturalist for the IDNR at Patoka Lake State Park, who brought live raptors. In addition to speakers, the student chapter held a few trivia nights and co-hosted a viewing of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Bird of Prey: The Story of the Rarest Eagle in the World with the Robert Cooper Audubon Society. To end the semester, members assisted at Indiana DNR Deer Check stations for chronic wasting disease.

Purdue University Student Chapter of TWS

The Purdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society was active both in the field and in the classroom this fall. Their Quiz Bowl team took first place at The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada. Purdue has been working its way up the competition ranks the past few years, but this was their first championship win! Student members who attended conference had a fantastic experience making connections with other students and professionals and were able to share those experiences with fellow students on campus. Later in the season, members journeyed to the Efroymson Restoration at Kankakee Sands to help The Nature Conservancy harvest seed for planting prairie. Student members collected seed by hand and learned about how prairie seeds are processed before for planting. They also got to do some herping for wild snakes while they worked. Students also participated in invasive species removal; cutting and treating honeysuckle in one of Purdue’s forest properties while generating funds for their chapter. Finally, students assisted the Indiana DNR at deer checking stations this hunting season, examining carcasses for signs of chronic wasting disease and generating funds for the student chapter. Aside from being out in the field, they’ve held meetings to write letters to state representatives about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, taught students to use telemetry to locate collars, and held panel discussions with graduate students and professors.

Central Michigan University Student Chapter of TWS

This fall, the Central Michigan Student Chapter went on a weekend camping trip to Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and took in the beautiful fall colors on display. Members also visited the Wildlife Recovery Association near CMU’s campus, where birds of prey are rehabilitated for release back into the wild.

Northern Michigan University Student Chapter of TWS

To start the year off, several members of the Northern Michigan Student Chapter gave short presentations on their summer positions to demonstrate the multitude of opportunities available in the field of biology and to inspire others to apply for these opportunities. The student chapter offered hands-on experiences such as a small mammals trapping trip, Pictured Rocks electrofishing trip, and deer aging workshop. They also hosted a CV/resume building workshop, how to find and apply for jobs, and a graduate school talk. A board member from the local Trout Unlimited chapter spoke about human dimensions in the fisheries and wildlife field. Students hope to attend the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Illinois this winter and are planning a river cleanup.

Header Image: Hibernating Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). ©USFWS/Ann Froschauer