The University of Maine Student Chapter of TWS is very active at all levels of TWS. Student members have spent much of the 2014-2015 academic year traveling to several conferences and meetings to present research, network with wildlife professionals, and meet with other student chapters.
In October, UMaine TWS sent five undergraduates and one graduate student to The Wildlife Society’s 22nd Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Students attended a variety of symposia and workshops on topics including small mammal trapping, urban ecology, amphibian diseases, leadership skills, and human dimensions of wildlife management. They were able to share ideas with other student chapters and discuss career plans and opportunities with professionals. The Quiz Bowl team took second place in the competition and found the event to be both a fun learning experience and a great way to meet other TWS student chapters. The Annual Conference was an incredibly rewarding experience for the student chapter members and they hope to attend more conferences in the future to present undergraduate research.
The Student Chapter attended the TWS Northeast Conclave from March 27-29 in Paul Smiths, NY, which all members greatly enjoyed. During the weekend they participated in several workshops including backcountry camping skills, rocket netting, molecular techniques, and mammal skull identification. Members Karla Boyd, Abbey Feuka, Marie Martin, and Jill Tengeres participated in the Quiz Bowl competition and came in third place overall.
Members have also worked closely with the Maine Chapter of TWS (METWS) and have a student representative on the Chapter’s executive board each year. Several students attended the METWS Fall Meeting in November, which included an awards dinner.
TWS conferences and meetings provide an excellent opportunity for students to build professional relationships that may shape their future wildlife career. Meeting other student chapters also allows for collaboration between university wildlife programs, which is beneficial to all involved. The Wildlife Society encourages students to attend these sorts of events because they provide many chances for educational and career advancement.
Sources: Abbey Feuka, UMaine Student Chapter of TWS Facebook page