TIFTON—Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society placed second at the 2023 Wildlife Society’s Southeastern Wildlife Conclave, held this spring in Cleveland, Tenn.
Eighteen colleges and universities competed at the conclave, held at Cleveland State Community College, in artistic, intellectual, and physical competitions.
Intellectual competitions included dendrology, orienteering, lab practical, museum study skin preparation, GIS practical, and field estimations. Physical competitions included shotgun, archery, air rifle, fishing tournament, canoeing, and an obstacle course. In the art competition, students participated in wildlife photography, landscape, freeform, drawing and field photography.
ABAC’s second place finish is the best the college has ever performed, according to Dr. Jason Scott, associate professor of wildlife ecology and management. Scott and Dr. Wally Woods, assistant professor in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources are Wildlife Club co-advisors and conclave co-coaches.
“I am so proud of our students for their hard work and weekly training sessions that I and Dr. Wally Woods put them through since fall semester,” Scott said. “They really represented ABAC well with good sportsmanship and drive for excellence. I received numerous complements from other club advisors about the quality of our students.”
Randa Chancey and Tessa Dixon placed first in orienteering, Matthew Roberts placed second in the lab practical, Hayes Pickett placed second in archery, and Sam Moore placed third in trail camera photography. The quiz bowl team, consisting of Captain Jacob Owens, Roberts, Sam Moore, Dawn Greer, and Sterling Brumbaugh, placed fourth. ABAC’s team placed second in the team field competition, which weighed heavily on the final score. Scott highlighted Wildlife Club President Dawn Greer’s leadership, efforts in recruiting club members to join the team, and motivation as the reason the team did so well.
“Of all these placements, the team competition represents the highest honor for our program as a whole,” Scott said. “The entire team participates in this event and the only way to place high is if all team members can contribute. We had lots of other competitions where we finished high in the ranks as well, but just barely out of the top three. All our folks worked very hard to achieve this finish.”
“ABAC’s Wildlife Society has worked very hard to prepare our team for this year’s conclave,” said Greer. “Preparations began the very first week of the fall semester last year. Our student chapter has been hosting quiz bowl practices every Tuesday night to prepare and determine who makes the team.”
Greer said that fellow officers Brumbaugh (Vice President) and Dixon (Secretary/Treasurer), along with Owens and the faculty advisors worked hard to recruit our members to join the team and sign up for individual competitions.
“Forming this team and getting them prepared is a massive undertaking and I could not have done it without their help and the help of our amazing chapter members,” she said. “Our team did exceptionally well at this year’s conclave. Everyone was in high spirits and all of their hard work paid off with some of the best teamwork and sportsmanship that I have ever seen.”
The Wildlife Society is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1937. It is an international organization with over 11,000 professionals in wildlife management, conservation, and science. The Society also supports up to eight regional student conclaves which are hosted by student chapters every year. ABAC belongs to the Southeastern section and each year, the duty of hosting a conclave is given to a university or community college with a natural resource program and an active student chapter.