BEMP-Bosque School Students Win Accolades at JAM Conference

BEMP and Bosque School advanced wildlife students have spent the better part of a year working on independent research projects addressing questions about local wildlife. On February 9-11th they traveled to Farmington, NM to present their findings at the 50th Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona and New Mexico Chapters of The Wildlife Society and Arizona/New Mexico Chapter of The American Fisheries Society. That’s a mouthful – so we just call it the JAM for short. The JAM is a professional conference in which college students and professionals get together to share their research findings and discuss current issues surrounding fish and wildlife in New Mexico and Arizona. BEMP students are unique at the conference in that they are the only high school students in attendance.

Students preparing for trivia!

The students kicked off the conference by participating in the student quiz bowl, a wildlife/fisheries trivia competition amoung the attending student groups.

There were two BEMP-Bosque School teams. Team One was captained by Asel ’17 and included Donny ’18, Sarah M. ’17, and RaeLeigh ’17. Team Two was captained by Ivey ’17, and included Mia ’17 and Kat ’17. BEMP-Bosque School Teams One and Two battled it out against each other for the very first round and Team One was victorious. Team One then went on to challenge the Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) team. Though our students fought valiantly and gave ENMU a run for their money, in the end ENMU won. Both BEMP-Bosque School quiz bowl teams did a great job answering tough questions and held their own really well against the college students!

The next day the students presented their research in poster format for all of the conference attendees. Kat presented the work that she and Sarah S. ’17 did researching high school student attitudes towards snakes, Delaney ‘17 (a student from Amy Beihl High School who is working with BEMP) and Sarah M. presented their work on porcupine genetics,

Sarah S. working on porcupine genomes

RaeLeigh presented her work on porcupine home range size, Asel presented her work searching for chytrid fungus on frogs in New Mexico, Mia and Ivey presented their research on butterfly habitat preference, and Donny presented his research on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife program called Native Fish in the Classroom. All of the students did an excellent job presenting, and one individual did such a great job presenting that he was given the award for best student poster by the Arizona/New Mexico Chapter of The American Fisheries Society! Congratulations Donny!! He beat out college seniors and graduate students to get this award.

All of the students’ posters are on display in the science building at Bosque School, so come check them out!

BEMP is grateful to the hard work of Dan Shaw, BEMP Co-Director, and Katie Elder, BEMP Student Research Coordinator, for helping the students throughout their research.


Blog Post by Katie Elder, BEMP Educator and Student Research Coordinator