On Thursday last week 14 Bosque School seniors from the Wildlife Research Seminar class loaded up 6 posters and 1 oral presentation on the road to a conference in Flagstaff, Arizona. The conference was the 51st Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona and New Mexico Chapters of the Wildlife Society and American Fisheries Society, the “JAM” for short, where professionals and college students shared their wildlife and fisheries research findings. This year is the 10th year that Dan Shaw has taken students to present their original research projects at this meeting! This year marked a few other milestones as well, with the largest cohort of students and projects presented and the very first oral presentation given by high school students at the conference! Students spent the first semester of the school year conducting field work, and the first part of the New Year analyzing and compiling their data. The following is a list of the poster presentations and the students that presented them:
- Urban Coyote Dependence on Anthropogenic Foods in Albuquerque (Alana)
- New Mexico Turtle Diversity in Ponds Along the Rio Grande in Northern Albuquerque (Donny and Lev)
- How Management Strategies in the Rio Grande Riparian Forest Affects Small Mammal Populations (Lucky and Allison)
- Enrichment Activities for Captive Mexican Gray Wolves (Juli and Glen)
- An inventory of Terrestrial Mammals on Inundated Islands and Banks of the Rio Grande in Albuquerque (Pilar, Claudia, and Sierra)
- Assessment of Monarch Presence in Select Habitats along the Rio Grande in Sandoval and Valencia Counties in New Mexico (Amelia and Isabella)
The students stood next to their posters and explained their projects to the college students, professors, and wildlife/fisheries professionals as they walked around. Everyone was so impressed with the level of work and understanding that the students had achieved with their projects. Everyone did an amazing job! The New Mexico chapter of The Wildlife Society honored two groups (Glen, Juli, Lucky, and Allison) as having the best high school posters. Everyone worked hard on their projects and did amazing work, we are very proud. Check out their posters which are now hanging in the front hallway of the Pera Science Center!
Emma and Ella worked on a project that was so rigorous and advanced that they shared their project as an oral presentation at the conference. No high school student has done this before this year! They blew everyone away with their project, Genetic Status of the Rio Grande Chub in the Rio Mora River, New Mexico. For this project they collaborated with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Turner Lab at UNM with Megan Osborne to do important genetic work on a Species of Greatest Conservation Need here in New Mexico, the Rio Grande chub. Their incredible work was recognized by The Arizona-New Mexico Chapter of the American Fisheries Society with an honorable mention for a fisheries oral paper.
The students also competed in a student Quiz Bowl in which they battled college students in the realm of wildlife and fisheries trivia. The teams did great jobs and gave the college students a good challenge! Donny stole the show with his “alternate answers” that had everyone cracking up.
The conference was a huge success and the students proved, yet again, that they are capable of producing work that is on par with professional and college level projects. Be sure to check out all of the student projects that are hanging in the Pera Science Center! Also, the students will be presenting their research again at the BEMP Crawford Symposium on March 6th at UNM.