Graduate students at Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment have turned their love of wildlife into a project to turn young people on to conservation. They created the Wildlife Viewing Club, which engages elementary school children in hands-on learning.
“I wanted to start the club because I didn’t know about wildlife until I was a sophomore in college. I didn’t know that this was a field that you could pursue,” said TWS member Brogan Holcombe, who is a pursuing a master’s degree in fish and wildlife conservation.
The students received a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources through a program dedicated to introducing wildlife and the outdoors to underrepresented groups. The program includes a “Scientist Shoutout” that spotlights a scientist from an underrepresented background.
“This has definitely been the most meaningful program I’ve been involved with as a master’s student,” said Emily Sinkular. “The ability to bring this to kids who might not have ever gone to a nature program or nature talk before really helps remind me of how I started in this field.”