Seventeen Central Lakes College natural resources students played an integral part in the annual joint meeting of the Minnesota chapter of The Wildlife Society from Feb. 7-9. This meeting was held in conjunction with The Wildlife Society of North Dakota and was in Fargo.
The meeting was entitled “Learning from Crisis: Opportunities of Ecological Renaissance.”
CLC students staffed the registration and membership renewal desk at the event, which drew more than 200 members. Their work throughout the event, including a large opening-night auction that raised more than $10,000, drew several words of appreciation from organizers.
Charlotte Roy, treasurer of the Minnesota chapter, said: “You student volunteers did an exemplary job.”
Steve McKay, president of the Natural Resources Club at CLC, said officials acknowledged the fact that CLC students helped make the event run smoothly. “We made many new connections in the wildlife field and learned a lot about wildlife issues and science in our region.”
Besides CLC students and instructors, the attendees were wildlife professionals and many students from North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, Valley City State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Bemidji State University, and University of Minnesota-Crookston and Twin Cities.
Mike Hayden, former Governor of Kansas, was the featured speaker.
Meeting topics ranged from policy driven issues such as the North Dakota equivalent to Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment and the potential environmental damage as a result of the oil boom, particularly regarding the wildlife implications.
Also discussed were the bird and bat migration corridors around Lake Superior and the need for these to be wind turbine-free areas.
Presenters spoke of aspects regarding management of wildlife disease and duck population studies, as well as updated research with genes and biodiversity matters.
McKay said that for many of his CLC classmates this was a “first chance at seeing what kind of research they can do and what they can accomplish by going to school.”
For others, it was a chance to meet professionals and pick their brains about their work and improve prospects for internships, McKay said.