Twenty-eight Wildlife and Fisheries professionals gathered together at the Fountain Grove Conservation Area on March 12 and 13th, in the midst of spring waterfowl migration, to provide hands-on training for conservation students from Missouri's colleges. Sixty-five students representing The Wildlife Society Student chapters and wildlife clubs from six different Missouri colleges attended the workshop. Students were given the choice of participating in any or all of a variety of activities: rocket-netting, electro fishing, telemetry, otter trapping, orienteering, GPS, raptor trapping, WRP management, aquatic invert sampling, waterfowl ID, and the technique of maneuvering a duck boat. This workshop was a first attempt by the Missouri Chapter of The Wildlife Society to offer college students across the state a forum to share training experiences with other students and professionals. Participating professionals were noticeably inspired with the interest of students and the comradery among students. One professional noted that the future of conservation was in good hands. Students camped at Pershing State Park or stayed in facilities at Fountain Grove CA. Ducks Unlimited sponsored an evening cookup and the Lexington Boy Scout Troop #318 provided excellent breakfasts and a lunch for a small fee. Numerous waterfowl were using the wetlands providing students the opportunity for observation as well as training with wetland management on public and associated private lands.
Conservation professionals from private companies, DU, NRCS, APHIS, DNR, Central and Missouri Western State Colleges and three Divisions within MDC helped coordinate the workshop.
The Missouri Chapter hopes to hold this type of workshop for students each year to further relationships with professionals, and to provide on-the-ground experiences within the variety of natural communities and landscapes of Missouri.
To get a good idea of the variety of activities that were provided see the Workshop Agenda.(pdf)
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