MDHA donates $700, students attend state roundtable
As the 2013 spring semester began, Jan. 14 at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, students in the Natural Resources program welcomed a partnering donation and enjoyed participating in a statewide Department of Natural Resources roundtable.
The Brainerd chapter of Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) gave the Central Lakes College Natural Resources Club $700 as a donation. The club assisted the MDHA with its Hides for Habitat project during last November’s hunt.
College students assisted with the preparation of deer hides, cleaning and salting nearly 1,000 hides during a three-week period. About 15 Central Lakes College (CLC) students were involved, led by Luke Burlingame, president of the Natural Resources (NR) Club at CLC.
“It was a dirty job and we’re thankful to the members of the college club for helping with this project,” said Jack Britton, chapter president, in a news release. Britton was joined by Peter Lodermeier of Fort Ripley, Region 5 MDHA director, who said, “These are good young people doing good community service.”
Burlingame and fellow student Katie Geissler joined instructor Bill Faber recently at the annual Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Roundtable at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, St. Paul. Recent graduate Steve McKay, former NR Club president now attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, joined them.
“It was a great experience for our students,” said Faber. “As they began with an opening breakfast on Friday morning specifically for the students, where we had an hour and a half panel discussion on ways for these young people to get into the NR field as young professionals, what they need to do during their college studies, etc. Then they participated in the day and a half of roundtable discussions.”
Burlingame, a Maple Grove native, will graduate from CLC in the spring. He plans to pursue studies at UW-Stevens Point and is interested in a career as a wildlife biologist.
“The roundtable was a great experience,” he said. “It gave us an opportunity to meet DNR professionals and learn a lot about the successes the DNR has had in 2012, as well as the goals it has for 2013. We not only heard from DNR employees, but stakeholders and citizens as well. This gave us a more well-rounded understanding of the concerns surrounding some the issues being discussed.”
Burlingame said that one of the most beneficial things the roundtable provided was the students’ breakfast.
“This allowed us to get information and recommendations from DNR panel members on what we can do to make our way in the natural resources profession,” Burlingame said. “We were asked to give a summary of what our future goals are and our area of interest in the natural resource field. The coordinator is providing us with contact information for DNR professionals in these areas that can help guide us as we progress in our careers.”
Geissler, a natural resources student from Silver Bay, said she met many professionals she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to interact with at this stage of her career. “The DNR is setting us up with a mentor in our field of interest,” she said, “and we are able to contact that person and learn from him or her. I would have never done that on my own, and I am grateful for them for doing so.
Geissler said she learned about an organization called Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW). “BOW had a lot of advice and I was able to get contact information so I can stay in touch with that organization and hopefully become a participant.”