I’ve interacted with rescued owls and birds of prey, banded ducks, captured and released a variety of small mammals including a flying squirrel all during my fall semester in The Wildlife Society (TWS). TWS student chapter at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) is a club dedicated to providing knowledge and experience in wildlife stewardship for SUNY ESF students through discussions, events and volunteer activities. TWS is a very active chapter with regular biweekly meetings throughout both fall and spring semesters. All students are welcome to get involved with TWS, and don’t have to be a wildlife major to join.
Some great opportunities to get involved within the student chapter of TWS at SUNY ESF are by volunteering and taking trips.TWS regularly organizes a variety of trips including:
- Elk viewing in Pennsylvania
- Duck banding at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
- Firearms training at Cornell Arnot Forest
- Small mammal trapping and beaver dam surveys at the Adirondack Ecological Center
- Page Wildlife Rehab Center
- Deer Trapping
TWS is a great network to tap into for job announcements and career opportunities with potential employers. TWS uses meetings to inform members about job hunting, tips on resume and cover letter writing, professional networking, and tips for interviews and how to get the most useful experience to build the right career for you.
Frequently, TWS will host guest speakers throughout the year that highlight different aspects of the wildlife profession. Earlier in the semester, TWS hosted the guest speaker Dr. Laurie Marker, the founder and
executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). At another meeting, we had a graduate school discussion panel comprised of students in the wildlife program at ESF.
Professional meetings that occur in both fall and spring semester provide students with job and networking opportunities with professional TWS members. In the fall, TWS National Conference occurred in October, and a handful of student had the opportunity to participate in workshops. Workshops involved opportunities to go bird watching, hiking and even partake in a behind the scenes tour at the Oregon zoo. The students also attended professional research presentations and participated in Quiz Bowl.
Quiz Bowl is a competition that tests students on their knowledge of wildlife with trivia. The ESF wildlife quiz bowl team successfully competes at state, regional and national events each year. This fall, the ESF wildlife quiz bowl team came in 2nd place at the National TWS conference.
This spring, students will have the opportunity to attend the New York Chapter meeting and the Northeast Student Conclave. At the New York chapter meeting, wild-lifers gather to discuss current trends, new directions of wildlife research, and management in NYS. The Northeast Student Conclave, held in April, is a unique opportunity to join other student chapters within the NE section for a series of workshops, hands-on training, and activities to be announced next semester.
An important upcoming event in the spring semester is the Beast Feast. The Beast Feast is a potluck style event focused on sharing wild harvested game, sustainably raised meat, and produce found in NYS. The event occurs in February each year, with faculty, staff, and students from the Department of Environmental Forest and Biology creating their best dishes and joining in tasting different dishes. Individuals have chances at winning donated prizes. It’s one of the most popular events in TWS, contact firstname.lastname@example.org the official date and ticket prices.
The student chapter of TWS at SUNY ESF offers opportunities to get involved, get connected and succeed out in the real world. The fall semester of TWS may be coming to a close but TWS will be back in the spring semester with more exciting activities. Currently, the meetings are biweekly, every other Thursday at 5:30 pm in 321 Bray Hall.