Wisconsin happenings

A pair of hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus). Credit: Allison Colter

These updates originally appeared in the Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s Spring 2021 newsletter.

Student Chapter reports:

University of Wisconsin-Madison Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Submitted by Cole Wilson, President

Since this spring, we have elected five new officers for the 2021-22 academic year for the UW-Madison Student Chapter of TWS! Mackenzie Cote is our new vice president, and she is majoring in wildlife ecology with a certificate in American Indian studies. Cote is spending her summer working with Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy, Turtle Patrol, and then doing a backpacking trip in Alaska with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Marie Jensen is our new secretary and is majoring in conservation biology and zoology with certificates in public policy and environmental studies. This summer, Jensen is working for the Damschen Lab at UW-Madison doing monarch and milkweed surveys in remnant and restored prairies. Kamber Cofta is our new outreach coordinator and is majoring in wildlife ecology with certificates in education and educational services. She is spending her summer working as a wildlife rehabilitator at the Wildlife in Need Center. Jacqui Taff is our new treasurer. She is majoring in wildlife ecology and spending the summer in Turks and Caicos with the School for Field Studies. Cole Wilson is the new president and is majoring in wildlife ecology. This summer, he’s working on research looking at breeding bird diversity in black ash forests for the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve.

This year, we are looking forward to hopefully having meetings in person and getting to know our new members! We hope to be able to hold a number of in-person events including our welcome meeting pizza dinner, wildlife trivia and saw-whet owl banding in the fall! We all are so excited to hopefully have a more normal year and enjoy some of the new friendships that come out of our TWS student chapter meetings and activities!

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Submitted by Brilyn Brecka, President

The UW–Stevens Point Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society had a successful end to the Spring 2021 semester.

We held annual elections at the end of April, and we want to welcome the new officers to the officer board: Brilyn Brecka (President), Noah Andexler (Vice President), Aiden Gehrke (Treasurer), Nicole Luoma (Secretary), Hayden Walkush (Liaison), Brady Roberts (Conference Coordinator), Jillian Hesse (Social Coordinator), Maddie Hartlaub (Education Coordinator), Stephen Van Horne (Membership Coordinator) and Amber Smith (Web Designer). After elections, we closed off the year with a senior send-off thanking the graduating seniors for all they had done for the chapter.

With summer in full swing, our student members are finding ways to stay involved with wildlife. Our members are spread throughout the country from Alaska, to Florida, to Oregon to North Dakota, to all the way in Ecuador for various internships and jobs! Of course, many students are spending the summer in the Midwest, participating in the Treehaven Summer Field Experience in Tomahawk, Wis. This six-week, seven-credit summer camp provides students with a wide range of hands-on experiences in forestry, fisheries, soil, water and wildlife.

In June, we joined the TWS iNaturalist BioBlitz organized by the Student Development Working Group of TWS. Using the iNaturalist platform, current members and alumni are able to observe wildlife in the field and upload photos to the mobile app. The UWSP Chapter currently has over 1,400 observations and nearly 1,000 species!

Students can also share their photos with our web designer to be featured on our social media platforms for Fauna Friday! You can find us on Instagram (@uwsp_tws) and on Facebook (UWSP Wildlife Society) to catch up with all our activities over the summer and announcements for the fall.

With more and more restrictions being lifted by the state and university, we hope to be back to some type of in-person format for meetings in the fall! In addition, we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary as a student chapter, so keep an eye out for announcements regarding celebratory events throughout the academic year.

Northland College Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Submitted by Destiney Elder-Hall, President

The Northland College Student Chapter held biweekly meetings up until the end of April. During our May term, we continued to conduct phenology surveys for the Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey. Our members who have stayed on campus during the May term and the summer have had a lot of fun going out and practicing their identifying frogs by their sounds. Some frogs that we have had the pleasure of hearing are spring peepers, chorus frogs, gray tree frogs, green frogs and the American toad. As a part of a new initiative led by our student association, we were requested to produce a video showing the highlights of what our club does and the opportunities that being a student chapter member of TWS can provide. This video let us get outside and connect with our members after a long year of virtual and socially distant meetings and events. We’re looking forward to potential workshops and collaborations with local biologists and the DNR during early fall, so that we can continue to provide experiences with our members in the wildlife profession.


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