ROOM: Room 10 – Anasazi
National scientific conferences can provide many professional, academic, and social opportunities for undergraduate students. However, students rarely attend such conferences as undergraduates. Of those who do attend, students often express anxiety associated with presenting research, networking, or unfamiliarity with the academic environment. To address these concerns, wildlife faculty at Purdue University developed a formal undergraduate course with the objective of helping students optimize the experience of attending The Wildlife Society Annual Conference in 2014 and 2016. During the 2016 conference, two additional institutions, U. of North Carolina Wilmington and West Virginia U., taught concurrent courses and then all three groups met together daily during the conference. Student feedback has been positive and indicated that student experiences were enhanced through enrollment in the course. Assessment results indicated that students made significant progress in professional, academic, and social abilities, and many expressed interest in attending future meetings. Survey results indicated an increase in students’ interest in attending graduate school as well as an increased appreciation for the value of wildlife experience. Our results suggest that formal preparation for attendance at a national scientific meeting maximizes the potential for students to benefit from their experience. During this workshop, we will share the course structure, assignments, and initial assessment results with workshop attendees and will end the workshop with a panel discussion that includes faculty and staff from the participating institutions, three graduate students that helped coordinate and teach the course and former students.
Organizers: Elizabeth Flaherty, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; Patrick Zollner, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; Vanessa Quinn, Purdue Northwest, Westville, IN; Darren Wood, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV; Rachael Urbanek, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC
Supported by: TWS Native People’s Wildlife Management Working Group