Northwest’s Wildlife Club has been officially recognized as an affiliate of The Wildlife Society.
Wildlife Club Advisor Jay McGhee said the Wildlife Club has been thinking about being affiliated with The Wildlife Society for a while.
“The Wildlife Society is the national society for wildlife biology in general, both nationally and internationally,” McGhee said. “Becoming a student chapter connects us with that professional society. It provides opportunities and support through that. At the state and regional level, they’re very excited to have us come on.”
McGhee said to maintain affiliation, officers have to be members of The Wildlife Society. The Wildlife Club will have to do regular activities and tax reporting to the parent organization. McGhee said the process of becoming an affiliated member didn’t take long. They needed student support and finances for the student memberships.
“Our student chapter generates from a Wildlife Club that has been on campus for many, many years. It was originally called the 102 River Wildlife Club,” McGhee said. “We wanted to take it to the next level and become a member of a professional organization which is something that not all student clubs get to do.”
Senior Wildlife Club President Blake Charboneau said the Wildlife Club affiliation gives acknowledgment to the organization.
“On your overall campus, I feel like it brings more attention to our wildlife members than it did before,” Charboneau said. “Just being a part of a national organization and then being able to mention they’re a part of a society chapter versus saying they’re just of a Wildlife Club that has no professional affiliation.”
Conservation agent of DeKalb County, Missouri, Mark McNeely is a Northwest alumnus and spoke to the Wildlife Club on Thursday in Garrett Strong about his experiences at Northwest. McNeely said the Wildlife Club is similar to when he attended Northwest.
“I saw an article in the school newspaper, and I reached out Mark Hornickel,” McNeely said. “I actually emailed him saying that I was glad to see the Wildlife Club was still active, having meetings and doing some things. He put me in touch with the Wildlife Club advisor and the president of the Wildlife Club, Blake (Charboneau).”
McNeely said they kept in contact with him and invited him to speak to the Wildlife Club.
“I looked at that as an opportunity to get back up to Northwest,” McNeely said. “It was glad to take that opportunity and meet some of the Wildlife Club students now. It’s pretty similar just different advisor and different students.”
The Wildlife Club works with Missouri Department of Conservation each year. McGhee said the Wildlife Club provides students real-life experiences.
“Having our Wildlife Club be a member of a professional organization really fits into professional-based learning for the school,” McGhee said. “A lot of our activities are already professionally driven.”