Jade Arneson, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, recently became the first student at the university to earn the Aldo Leopold Memorial Scholarship.
Arneson, a second year student, is working on her master’s degree in environmental science and policy. She received the award, which is given to a student who has “made a commitment to the wildlife profession and has shown exceptional commitment to developing themselves professionally,” from the Wisconsin Chapter of the Wildlife Society.
Arneson has always felt a strong connection to Leopold and says she is dedicating her personal and professional life to Leopold’s values. In her nomination letter, UW-Green Bay staff member Amy Carrozzino-Lyon wrote about how Arneson’s leadership and initiatives relates to Leopold’s work.
“Jade has the initiative to take her graduate research and make it her own investigating the ecology and restoration of wild rice in Green Bay wetlands and incorporating a waterfowl use component to address her strong interest in the relationships between wildlife and habitat,” she wrote.
Carrozzino-Lyon pointed to Arneson’s success pursuing a research grant to purchase trail cameras and equipment to study wildlife use at wild rice restoration sites. “She has a unique ability to bridge the gap between the science and communication through effective conservation writing, photography, and art just as Leopold did, which I am certain will serve her well in her career in wildlife conservation.”
Arneson first began studying wildlife ecology at the University of Madison, where she became active with their student chapter of The Wildlife Society, involved herself in projects such as Learn to Hunt opportunities and a project involving elk population reintroduction.
At UW-Green Bay, Arneson has conducted graduate research on the Wild Rice Restoration Project, while also serving as a member of the board of directors for the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society and volunteering with the Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter.
Arneson hopes to find a wildlife job that includes both her skills and passions while also applying her conservation philosophy, which she says is similar to Leopold’s.
She especially hopes to work with private landowners to improve their land for the sake of wildlife. Another one of her goals is to recruit new sportsmen and women into the hunting community and support their role as conservationists.
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