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A&M-Commerce students attend wildlife conference

By Clay Dyess
On February 22, 2011


The Texas A&M University-Commerce chapter of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society attended the State's 47th annual conference Feb. 17-19th in San Antonio. Using funds earned from society fundraisers and the Student Organization Allocation Committee (SOAC), 16 students, graduates and faculty were able to attend, the bulk of which were undergraduates.

According to Christine Hardin, senior wildlife and conservation science major and president of the A&M-Commerce Wildlife Society, the purpose of the meeting was to see what peer research is going on across Texas relating to wildlife.

"Conferences always get our members pumped about their purpose in the wildlife field, and it provides bonding time for all of us," she said.

While at the conference, students were able to attend presentations by fellow students and faculty in wildlife fields around the state, and explore San Antonio in their time off. As well as attending presentations, two A&M-Commerce graduate students were able to present their own research as it pertained to their master's thesis. Joe Lewis, graduate student in wildlife conservation and science, presented "Habitat Selection of American Alligator at the Edge of Their Distribution."

 "The biggest thing I took from the conference was all the contacts [in the field] I made," he said.

Undergraduates, who made up 12 of the A&M-Commerce members who were present, found the conference to be a valuable tool in advancing their degree. For junior wildlife conservation and science major Leslie Green, this year marked her second conference, the first being last year's meeting in Galveston.

"There's so many research opportunities out there waiting for me, she said. "The meeting is a way the society members, both professionals and students, can get together and meet each other."

To become a member of the A&M-Commerce Wildlife Society, a student does not have to have a concentration in the field. Any student is welcome to become a member after paying semester dues of five dollars and attending the semimonthly meetings or getting on the mailing list.

"Everyone is welcome to join the Society," Green said.

 Meetings are held every other Thursday at 12:30 pm in STC 127 in the Science Building. Interested students and faculty can also find the society on Facebook at "Texas A&M University-Commerce Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society" or by e-mail at

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