Aggies Capture Top Awards at International Range Science Competition
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013
The USU Range Club's Undergraduate Range Management Exam team placed first at the international Society for Range Management Annual Meeting held Feb. 2-8 in Oklahoma City.
The Plant Identification Team of the USU Range Club placed fourth at the 2013 Society for Range Management Annual Meeting. The club received the society's Collegiate Trail Boss Award for overall participation in the international gathering.
Nineteen undergraduates from the USU Range Club in Utah State University’s Quinney College of Natural Resources excelled in academic competition among teams from Mexico, Canada and the United States at the 66th Society for Range Management Annual Meeting held Feb. 2-8, 2013, in Oklahoma City.
“Our whole club worked hard all year to prepare for this meeting, both studying for the competition and raising funds for participation,” said Kaitlin Hasler, president of USU’s SRM student chapter. “The entire team’s dedication showed in Oklahoma City.”
Lara Kitchen placed first in individual competition in the Undergraduate Range Management Exam and, with teammates Colton Grange, Hasler and Shane Kitchen, placed first in the URME team competition besting 219 competitors from 27 schools.
Other Aggies who competed in the URME competition were Garrett Billings, Britney Bosshardt, Cari Forsgren, Elizabeth Goss, Jeremiah Hull, T.J. Knudson, Chris Lewis, Jordan Linnell, Raul Lira-Rodriguez and Kim Palmer.
Hasler placed first in extemporaneous speaking. The competition requires each participant to draw three topics, choose one and, within a two-and-a-half hour span, prepare and deliver a five to seven-minute talk. She spoke on the Wild Horse and Burro Act and its implications for rangeland management.
USU team members Goss, Clayton Handy, Lara Kitchen and Shane Kitchen placed fourth in the Plant Identification Contest. The event requires students to identify rangeland plants, important in Canada, Mexico and the United States, from a master list of 200 species. Participants must identify plants from seedling growth form to winter dormancy.
Plant identification team members, along with Garrett Billings and Chelsea DeMarco, scored in the top 25th percentile of the 147 competition participants. Additional Aggies who participated in the contest were Daltrey Balmer, Bosshardt, Amanda Cox, Lewis and Camille Waters.
USU’s Rangeland Cup team, which included Cox, Forsgren, Handy and Hull, placed second in the academic poster competition. The Aggies’ presentation focused on the assigned topic, “Discuss the debate regarding whether native or non-native plants are better-suited for use in rangeland restoration projects.”
In recognition of the students’ success in the gathering’s varied events and overall participation in the annual meeting, Utah State’s student chapter won the Collegiate Trail Boss Award.
“We’re very proud of these students and the dedication they’ve demonstrated,” said Fee Busby, professor in USU’s Department of Wildland Resources who, along with colleague Chris Call, mentors the USU Range Club students. “It takes a great deal of commitment on the part of these students to prepare for and excel at these events.”
Also at the meeting, USU alum Doug Johnson MS’74, PhD’76, former scientist at the USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory at Utah State and adjunct professor in USU’s Departments of Wildland Resources and Plants, Soils and Climate, received the 2013 W.R. Chapline Research Award. Johnson will be featured in a future highlight in Utah State Today.
- USU Student Chapter of the Society for Range Management
- USU Department of Wildland Resources
- USU Quinney College of Natural Resources
Contact: Kaitlin Hasler, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517, email@example.com