Meder took in more than 20 talks on reptiles and amphibians over the week and said one of the highlights for her was having the chance to meet and talk with Dan Levitt, the lead herpetologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. 

The Wildlife Society’s mission is: “To inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation.” 

Helping to prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals is a big part of that, and the 2017 conference included career panels with practitioners from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Hansford, who will graduate in December, appreciated the chance to get advice from practitioners about her impending decision to either go on to graduate school immediately or to work in the field first.

“I have been on the fence and numerous professionals guided me into working for a while,” she said. 

In addition to the Quiz Bowl team, three other ASU applied biological sciences students and four faculty members attended the conference.

“This was the largest student contingent we’ve fielded at the national TWS meeting,” said Bateman, an associate professor in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. Bateman was an invited plenary presenter in a session on long-term studies on amphibians and reptiles in the Southwest, in which she highlighted research from three Arizona streams. 

“Many of the students talked about how much the conference helped them to connect their coursework and projects to what professionals do and communicate to the broader scientific community,” she noted.

For Prince, one of the biggest takeaways of the week was to never miss a chance to be social and collegial.

“It doesn't matter if you just shake the speaker’s hand, as long as they can put a face to your name later it will take you far,” said Prince, who found that just saying hello to professionals whose sessions he attended led to hour-long conversations. “I got to see their passion and how they got to where they are today.”  

Maureen Roen

Director, Creative Services, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts