Wisconsin student chapters contribute research to the field

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Park Falls, Wisconsin. ©Tony Webster

These updates originally appear in the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society’s Fall 2019 newsletter. Photos highlighting the student chapter’s activities are also included in the section’s newsletter.

Northland College Student Chapter of TWS

The Northland College Student Chapter prides themselves in providing a wide range of educational and professional development opportunities for members. This fall, they held several workshops to give members hands-on experiences with valuable field skills in the wildlife profession such as learning how to set up a trail camera on campus and conducting VHF radio telemetry.  Students’ hard work paid off when they caught photos of a large black bear on the trail camera, and they gained an even greater appreciation for the wildlife on campus. Last spring, the student chapter also partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to volunteer with conducting lek surveys for sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), a speciesof local conservation concern, in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Additionally, members traveled to professional conferences such as the Wisconsin Chapter of TWS meeting last winter where members presented their research, ranging from how gray foxes climb trees to hibernating black bear behavior.

University of Wisconsin Student Chapter of TWS

The University of Wisconsin Student Chapter has been actively recruiting new members and maintaining solid bonds with previous members. This has resulted in a tight-knit chapter that is actively looking for new experiences. This past semester, members listened to two dynamic guest speakers at meetings. They had the pleasure of listening to Dr. David Drake who spoke about urban wildlife mitigation and his ongoing research project, the Urban Canid Project. They also listened to Dr. Scott Walter of the Wisconsin DNR speak about his ten steps to a fulfilling, successful career in wildlife. To complement their guest speakers, the student chapter provided numerous events for member bonding and hands-on experience. Most recently, the student chapter took a late autumn hiking trip at Devil’s Lake State Park, where they conquered ice, bluffs and other chilly November elements. The student chapter also provided a bird wing prep presentation on campus with Dr. Anna Pidgeon and took a field trip to Linwood Springs Research Station in Stevens Point. They also traveled to Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center in Wisconsin Dells to conduct a bat survey. The fall semester wrapped up with the student chapter’s wild game dinner.

University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Student Chapter of TWS

The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Student Chapter started on a high note this academic year by receiving the Student Chapter of the Year award from both the North Central Section of TWS and The Wildlife Society. The student chapter is extremely appreciative and humbled by the recognition.

Student chapter members conduct numerous research projects throughout the year, and the fall research projects had successful field seasons. Saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) banding had all-time highs this year and the small mammal project saw great successwith trapping and surveying small mammal communities. This year, students also created a new project that will focus on the overall abundance of freshwater mussels in streams. The student chapter partnered with UWSP’s Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) and Izaak Walton League to construct and maintain a chronic wasting disease kiosk located in Stevens Point. Overall, various projects, social events, and coordinating a new partnership has resulted in a busy semester. The student chapter looks forward to what’s to come in 2020.


Share your thoughts on this article, and others, on our Facebook and Twitter pages.