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USU Wildlife Science Students Garner Top Awards at Regional Conference

Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013

USU Natural Resources students

For the third year in a row, USU's student chapter of The Wildlife Society bested eight other universities to place first in team field competition at the 47th annual Western Student Wildlife Conclave. Aggies also captured top individual awards.

USU natural resources students with a drop net

During a conclave field trip, USU wildlife science students learn to use a drop net, a tool frequently used by wildlife officials and scientists to safely trap deer and other animals for assessment and research purposes.

Utah State University’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society captured top awards in team and individual competition at the 47th annual Western Student Wildlife Conclave held March 15-18 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

USU wildlife science students Derek Christensen, Tabitha Dodge, McKenzee Drenker, Skyler Farnsworth, George Fawson, Konrad Hafen, Shane Hill, Kade Lazenby, Raul Lira-Rodriguez, Stephen Lytle and Eric Miller competed with undergraduate teams from eight western universities.

For the third year in a row, the Aggies took first place in “Wild Cache,” a field techniques-based competition.

“It was great to see our students stand out and show how well the wildlife program here at USU has prepared them for field work and management,” said Fawson, president of USU’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society. 

In a new competition introduced this year, Dodge received first place in painted wildlife art. The USU team also placed third in the academic quiz bowl.

“We’re very proud of these students,” said Mike Kuhns, professor and interim head of USU’s Department of Wildland Resources. “Our congratulations go out to them and their faculty mentor Frank Howe. They all worked very hard to prepare for this competition.”

At the conclave, USU undergraduate researchers Hafen, Hill and Lira-Rodriguez presented their research in oral and poster sessions.

“These students gave impressive, professional-quality presentations and, along with the entire team, represented USU proudly,” Kuhns said.

“Outside of classes, our team members have been practicing after-hours for the past two months to prepare for the conclave’s competitions,” Fawson said. “Our undergraduates formed practice teams and competed in a mock quiz bowl with faculty and graduate student teams. The undergraduates won, by the way. Overall, the conclave is great experience.”

Related links:

USU Department of Wildland Resources

USU College of Natural Resources

Contact: Frank Howe, 435-797-8523,

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517,

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