University of Vermont

Student Wildlife and Fisheries Society Achieves Productive Year

Student Wildlife & Fisheries Society plants trees with US Fish & Wildlife Service at Mississquoi Wildlife Refuge.
Student Wildlife & Fisheries Society plants trees with US Fish & Wildlife Service at Mississquoi Wildlife Refuge.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, the RSENR student Wildlife and Fisheries Society, led by co-presidents Emily Prosser (WFB ’13) and Paul Marban (WFB ’13) and faculty advisor Jed Murdoch, has hosted many exciting activities and events involving wildlife management and conservation.

One of our greatest achievements this year was forming a tree planting partnership with Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Vermont. A grant was procured by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to repair a riparian buffer along a busy stretch of road that cuts through the refuge. This buffer will prevent road contaminants from leaching into soils and will also prevent erosion from the Mississquoi River on the opposite side of the road. The grant will fund a multi-year partnership between the Wildlife and Fisheries Society and the USFWS, and planting will take place each fall and spring for the next three years.

In celebration of Earth Day 2013, we held our first planting session on April 20, and a large crowd was on site to help with the planting efforts. Local Boy Scout chapters and Friends of Mississquoi members assisted with the planting, and we were able to help the refuge to reach their planting goal for the day! Hopefully this and all of our other events will help students to gain more experience in their field of study outside of the classroom, while also helping to form good relationships with the greater Vermont community.

Back in October, the Society hosted its third annual Bio-blitz, a day-long species inventory in Centennial Woods. We tallied species of mammals, birds, trees, fungi, and fish within the forest and reached a total of close to 270 total species.

In October and November, the Society partnered with the USFWS to assist game wardens throughout Vermont at deer check stations. Towards the end of the fall semester, we hosted an internship and resume building workshop where faculty members Jed Murdoch, Ellen Marsden, Jason Stockwell, and Career Services Coordinator Anna Smiles-Becker spoke about what makes a great resume and where to find opportunities for summer work.