Extending their passion for wildlife and the environment beyond the classroom, a number of wildlife science students took home prizes in recent competitions.

The Quiz Bowl team representing the student chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS) placed second at the society’s meeting in Hawaii in November. The team faced stiff competition from perennial favorite Humboldt State University, who took first place, as well as 10 other teams from across the country. “Many students and faculty from other universities complimented our team’s performance,” said Associate Professor Marcella Kelly, the chapter’s faculty advisor. “I am very proud of them.”

Two graduate students fared well in the TWS meeting photography contest. Audrey DeRose-Wilson won the People’s Choice Award in the game cam category and second place in the mammals category, while Matt Hillman received both first and third place in the game cam category and third in the mammals category. “I was proud of Virginia Tech’s showing at the conference, with all of the presenters and quiz bowl students representing the university so well,” remarked Hillman, “and even us photo contest winners who are more than happy to claim credit for the work of remotely triggered cameras.”

Closer to home, recent graduate Stephen Wurfel received the best student poster award at The Waterbirds Society meeting in Annapolis, Md., for his poster on black skimmer ecology. “The research I presented on was my first experience with undergraduate research and my first foray into waterbirds, aside from some lab work as a work-study student,” Wurfel explained. “I was happy to see that the people there were eager to talk to and encourage future ornithological professionals.”