On March 23 and 24, Delaney Costante and Carter Farmer had the opportunity to rub shoulders with wildlife professionals at the annual meeting for the Pennsylvania chapter of The Wildlife Society (PATWS). However, these Millersville University biology majors did not simply participate in this influential event in State College, Pennsylvania. They served as presenters.
“Attending and presenting at the PA chapter of The Wildlife Society’s annual meeting was exciting and inspiring to say the least,” says Farmer, a junior at MU. “In addition to providing an opportunity to share a project I am passionate about with wildlife management professionals, my energy and enthusiasm for the field was renewed as I heard of the ongoing work in the field.”
Every year, the PATWS invites their diverse membership, including scientists, educators, technicians, consultants and students, to come together and address issues about the conservation of wildlife populations.
Following in the footsteps of other MU students before them, Costante and Farmer submitted abstracts of their research projects, which led to their selection as presenters for the PATWS meeting at the Toftrees Resort & Conference Center. After weeks of preparation, the biology students provided 20-minute oral presentations Saturday afternoon alongside wildlife professionals and college students from Penn State University, Duquesne University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“My hope is that by conducting professional presentations, Carter and Delaney develop confidence in public speaking in front of peers and potential employers,” explains biology professor Dr. Aaron Haines, who also presented at the event. “In today’s age, science is a collaborative effort, and as such, good communication is key in being an effective professional.”
Farmer, who received a grant from the PATWS to attend the meeting, presented about her acoustic survey of Lancaster County bat species and the development of citizen science protocol. Costante’s presentation represented the research she’s conducted at MU to identify trends in threats to endangered species in the United States.
“This conference is a great venue to present this type of research, which has the potential to influence management decisions,” says Costante, who plans to graduate in May. “I appreciate the feedback from those who saw the presentation, and I am glad to have had the opportunity to attend the conference.”