Endowment helps send them to Wildlife Society annual meeting in Oregon.
This year marked the first year wildlife management students from the University of Minnesota, Crookston attended the annual meeting of The Wildlife Society, held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore.
Making the trip were Krista Kenyon and Austin Link. The annual meeting of wildlife managers, professors, students, and researchers is the premiere gathering of wildlife professionals in North America with several attendees from foreign countries as well. In addition to their own personal funds, students were aided with support from a special professional development fund established in 2011 by UMC benefactor, June Shaver. Shaver endowed the fund in honor of Dr. Dan Svedarsky, long-time wildlife professor at the University.
Kenyon, a senior from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, notes, “I’m deeply grateful for the generosity of Ms. Shaver for without this support, this great trip would not have been possible. It was fascinating to attend the various presentations and meet wildlife researchers from the U.S. and Canada.” Kenyon was also able to participate in a trapping techniques workshop, which attracted several stares from passers-by as participants worked with traps on the Convention Center grounds.
Link, from Perham, Minn., was equally enthusiastic about the trip. "The opportunity was an invaluable part of my education and experience at the U of M, Crookston and is sure to benefit future students as well,” Link saisd. “These meetings expose students to a wealth of knowledge and the chance to meet future employers. I so appreciate the generosity and vision of those who make this opportunity possible.”
Link, a great-grandson of former North Dakota Governor, Art Link, graduated from the Crookston campus last spring and is attending graduate school at North Dakota State University where he is pursuing a master’s degree in range management.
To be considered for the professional travel stipend, students must be a junior or senior majoring in wildlife management and a member of both the U of M, Crookston student chapter of The Wildlife Society and at the national level. Link is the former president of the student chapter and Kenyon is the current president. Students must excel academically and display outstanding character and leadership. In addition, they must complete a 400-word essay on Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife management and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
Svedarsky is a former national president of The Wildlife Society (TWS). Associate Professor John Loegering is advisor to the UMC Student Chapter of TWS, past president of the Minnesota State Chapter, and current president of the 8-state, North Central Section of TWS.
“It is a real eye and ear-opening experience for students to listen to authors of their text-books give presentations and meet well-known wildlife professionals from other universities and agencies,” Loegering said.
Several U of M, Crookston alumni, who are presently in graduate school or working for agencies, were also in attendance.
“I can’t thank June Shaver enough for setting up this wonderful professional development fund for wildlife students,” Svedarsky said. “The impact of budding professionals attending a national meeting like this is hard to measure; but June’s support goes much beyond that, she endowed the Shaver Butterfly Garden in the Nature Nook on campus and numerous scholarships in honor of faculty and staff.”