Nineteen Wildlife and Forestry professionals led hands on demos at the Missouri State University Bull Shoals Field Station located on the Drury-Mincy Conservation Area over the weekend of March 31- April 2. This was an opportunity for wildlife conservation and biology students from Missouri¡¯s colleges to experience first hand management techniques in the field. Forty-eight students representing The Wildlife Society Student chapters from five different Missouri colleges attended the workshop.
Students were given the choice of participating in any or all of a variety of activities: rocket-netting, bat telemetry with mist netting and anabat detector, wildlife damage trapping, feral hog trapping, avian damage control, orienteering, GPS, raptor trapping, prescribed fire operations, herpetology sampling, and even fungi ID. This workshop was the second 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 again encouraged by the students' interest and their passion for pursuing careers in the field of wildlife management, research and conservation.
Students camped on field station grounds and at a primitive campground on the Drury-Mincy Conservation Area. APHIS staff sponsored an evening pig roast (of course) and the new Missouri State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society provided grilled lunches. Everyone experienced the joys of Springtime in the Ozarks with the blooming of Service berry and the early morning gobbling of wild turkeys from the Oak savannas and woodland hills. We even experienced a typical Springtime thunderstorm roll across the landscape on the last night. The warmer temperatures made for great herp sampling as numerous spring peepers called out their choruses from the sinkhole ponds on the area. Students were given the opportunity for observation and some closely supervised training in the execution of a prescribed burn in a Post-oak savanna.
Conservation professionals from, APHIS, DNR, Missouri State University, Central, Missouri Western State Colleges and two Divisions within MDC helped coordinate the workshop. The Missouri Chapter is planning to offer the 3rd annual workshop for students next year perhaps on a big river system. It is our effort to promote more interaction between professionals and students, and to provide real field experiences within the variety of natural communities and landscapes our State has to offer.
Please consider joining us at next year¡¯s Spring Workshop. We need your ideas and your participation to continue to make this a valuable experience for students and professionals alike.
To get a good idea of the variety of activities that were provided see the Workshop Agenda.
If you would like to see more of what went on at the meeting, take a look at our Photo Gallery.
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