Students from The Wildlife Society’s Student Chapter at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College spent an exciting morning with former President Jimmy Carter recently at their annual wood duck box cleanup on his property in Plains.
“We were delighted to spend over an hour with President Carter on a personal tour of his newest pond as students scouted how many new boxes were needed,” said Dr. Vanessa Lane, assistant professor of wildlife at ABAC.
Lane said the student chapter has had the honor of maintaining, repairing and replacing President Carter’s wood duck boxes for many years. The morning consisted of unexpected entertainment when members of the Secret Service assisted in towing a van from the sandy soil.
“The most memorable experience for me was seeing Dr. Lane sink the van into the sand and having a member of President’s Carter’s detail hook up a tow strap and pull her out,” said Christopher Terrazas, ABAC Student Chapter president.
Students took notes of nesting success and determined what could be beneficial in the future. They cleaned old eggs, debris, and wasp nests from the existing boxes and replaced old bedding with fresh cedar shavings.
“This event and any other that involves volunteer work helps students obtain field experience and improves understanding on the importance of volunteer work,” Terrazas said.
ABAC’s Student Chapter currently has about 50 members who meet twice a month to discuss opportunities to conserve wildlife and natural resources.