Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society had successful conference

The Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s first virtual conference was a success.

The 57th annual conference commenced on Feb 24 and ended on Feb. 26, 2021, and drew a total of 511 registrants. This year’s conference theme was “Managing Human-Wildlife Conflict.”

Plenary speakers included Michael Bodenchuk, Director of Texas Wildlife Services and David Bergman, Director of USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, Arizona Program.

At their annual conferences, the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society gives out the coveted Clarence Cottam Award, a prestigious student award. This year, eight presenters were vying for that award. In total, there were 72 presentations and 46 posters at the conference.

In addition, the annual raffle brought in over $23,000 dollars, many thanks to the donors of raffle items and sponsors. Conference attendees will have access to this year’s recorded presentation until August 2021.

The chapter also welcomes a new slate of officers: President – Romey Swanson, President Elect – John Kinsey, Vice President – Blake Grisham, Board Member at Large – Masi Serna, and Secretary – Jessica Glasscock.

Michael Bodenchuk, Director of Texas Wildlife Services talks at the plenary on Managing Human-Wildlife Conflict. Credit: Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society

This year’s conference would not have been possible without the following sponsors:


  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Dallas Safari Club


  • East Foundation
  • Shield Ranch


  • Borderlands Research Institute
  • Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
  • MT7 Ranch
  • Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute
  • Texas Tech Department of Natural Resources
  • Texas Wildlife Damage Management Association
  • Texas Wildlife Services
  • USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services
  • Welder Wildlife Foundation


  • Black Rifle Coffee Company
  • COSTA Solutions
  • Duck Camp
  • Orvis ATX
  • SWCA Environmental Consultants
  • YT Ranch

Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society Annual Conference Awardees

Each year, Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society recognizes students, a student chapter, publications, professionals and landowners. Below is a list of this year’s awardees and their respective award.

Student Awards

Undergraduate Poster Awards

  • 1st – Dakota Moberg, Texas A&M Kingsville
  • 2nd – Tenley Housler, Texas A&M Kingsville
  • 3rd – Lori Massey, Texas A&M Kingsville

Graduate Poster Awards

  • 1st – Jacquelyn Tleimat, Texas State University
  • 2nd – Sean Collins, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • 3rd – Meghan Mahurin, Texas Tech University

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Awards

Stephen F. Austin State University – Justin Carpenter

Sul Ross State University – Christopher Hernandez

Tarleton State University – Emily Vincik

Texas A&M University – Jeremiah Wright

Texas A&M University Commerce – Savannah Seeley

Texas A&M University Kingsville – John Herschberger

Texas State University – Kate Underwood

Texas Tech University – Ariana Rivera

Battle for the Alumni Bucks

  • 1st – Texas Tech University
  • 2nd – Tarleton State University
  • 3rd – Sul Ross State University
  • 4th – Texas A&M University

Student Chapter of The Year Winner – Stephen F. Austin State University

Student Scholarship Awardees

Undergraduate Scholarships
Charly McTee Memorial Scholarship – Eve Schrader, Texas A&M University Kingsville

Carl D. Shoemaker Memorial Scholarship – Jake Hill, Stephen F. Austin State University

Colin Caruthers Memorial Scholarship – Sophie Morris, Texas Tech University

Graduate Scholarships

Dan Boone Memorial Scholarship – Olivia Gray, Sul Ross State University

Sam Beasom Memorial Scholarship – Daniel Wilcox, Sul Ross State University

Clarence Cottam Award

  • 1st – Levi Heffelfinger, Texas A&M University Kingsville
  • 2nd – Matthew Buchholz, Texas Tech University
  • 3rd – Kristyn Steward, Texas A&M University Kingsville

Publication Awards

Outstanding Electronic Media – Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute Publications

Outstanding Popular ArticleThe Hidden Heroes of North American Conservation: Exploring Pioneering Women Left out of Wildlife History by Winifred Kessler and Selma Glasscock

Outstanding Technical Publication – Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program: 2020 Evaluation Report – Highlighting the ecological and economic value of conserved lands by Alison Lund, Garrett Powers, Roel Lopez, Addie Smith, Lori Olson, and Lucas Gregory

Outstanding Book Quantitative Analyses in Wildlife Science by Leonard Brennan, Andrew Tri, and Bruce Marcot

Outstanding Scientific PublicationLinking White-Tailed Deer Density, Nutrition and Vegetation in a Stochastic Environment by Charles DeYoung, Timothy Fulbright, David Hewitt, David Wester, and Don Draeger

Excellence in Wildlife Conservation Awards

Educator of the Year – Dr. Daniel Scognamillo, Stephen F. Austin State University

Outstanding Achievement – Dr. Robert (Bob) Dittmar (Posthumous)
Land Stewardship – Tarrant Regional Water District

Honorary Life Membership  – Dr. Tim Fulbright

Header Image: A total of 511 attendees came to the first virtual Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s annual conference. Credit: Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society