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UMW Students Explore Montana Wildlife Research & Careers

March 24, 2020

Dr. Michelle Anderson, Montana Western biology professor, and four UMW students, Mike Grover, Kayla Coleman, Mark Mastrofini and Will Larson, attended the Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS) annual conference in Butte, Mont., held earlier this year.

According to the TWS website, this year’s conference focused on land conservation and what the future holds. The theme centered around the many approaches to habitat conservation, explored successes and challenges from the past, strategies that are currently in place, and future plans.

Student costs were covered by a 2020 Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society Travel Grant. The UMW students who attended, majoring in Ecology and Environmental Science, participated in a student and professional mixer, while also attending several research presentations. They also competed as a team in the Wildlife Quiz Bowl, where Montana Western came in second place out of five teams. Anderson was also a guest judge of the graduate and undergraduate student presentations from other campuses.

“It is beneficial for our students to meet undergraduate and graduate students engaged in wildlife research across the state, learn about current research in wildlife and natural resource management, and have the opportunity to network with wildlife professionals to explore career opportunities,” said Anderson.

The University of Montana Western is the only public four-year university in the country to offer Experience One, where students take one course at a time for 18 days, take a short break and then move on to their next course. Experiential learning opportunities, including conferences, internships, and research projects, provide students at Montana Western with real world experiences and professional connections in their fields of study.

The conference allowed students to interact with attending researchers and learn about upcoming volunteer and internship opportunities, including a Dusky Grouse project and Western Bumblebee study that will each include sampling in Beaverhead County.

For more information about the University of Montana Western and Experience One, visit or call 877-683-7331.