Watch: Florida students share favorite events and TWS value

By Dana Kobilinsky

Members of the University of Florida student chapter of TWS share their thoughts on the chapter and organization. ©UF Student Chapter of TWS

A “Beast Feast” of cricket brownies and wild meat and women-mentored deer hunts are among the wonderful benefits enjoyed by the members of the University of Florida TWS student chapter, according to a shared a video on their Facebook page.

“As an organization, our mission is to provide skill-building opportunities to improve students’ outdoor literacy at a professional level,” said the chapter’s 2018-2019 president Joanna Ennis.

The chapter’s leadership has provided a variety of new experiences to its members recently, including a hunter safety course, women-mentored deer hunts, and UF’s first field trip to the Tall Timbers Research Station and Conservancy – an organization that studies fire ecology and advocates for protecting the right to use prescribed fire for land management.

“TWS has given me a family and a community at UF,” said one student in the video, who especially enjoyed learning about fire ecology and passerines at Tall Timbers and alligator handling with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Many students particularly enjoy the “Beast Feast,” which the chapter puts on to share wild meat such as alligator-rabbit gumbo or cricket-filled brownies with members of the community. University of Florida Chapter Vice President Adrian Dougherty said the Beast Feast helped her learn how to work with people and other stakeholders. “Even though I’ve been part of it for so long, every year I get something new out of it,” said UF TWS chapter vice president Adrian Dougherty. “I keep growing as a person and as a wildlife biologist.”

The chapter even secured funding from the UF Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department to send six students to Cleveland for the annual TWS conference last year, which students also found beneficial. Some also credit the chapter for helping them earn certifications and provide opportunities both professionally and personally.

“Being an officer in UF TWS has really helped me expand my leadership and natural resource career field skills while working with peers turned friends who are some of the most dedicated people I have ever met,” said Anna Swigris, one of the vice presidents of the chapter.

Watch the video here:

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is associate editor at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

Read more of Dana's articles here.


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