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Tarleton students shine at Wildlife Quiz Bowl

Tarleton's Plant Identification Team

Courtesy of Tarleton Media Relations

Tarleton's Plant Identification Team

Stephen Lowe, Contributor

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The Wildlife Quiz Bowl team and Plant Identification team brought honors back from San Antonio at the 53rd annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

The Plant Identification team earned third place, and the Quiz Bowl team placed first for the fifth time in the last ten years.

A few individual Texans were recognized for their accomplishments as well. Trey McClinton, who is part of both the Quiz Bowl and Plant Identification teams, was named Outstanding Student of the Year and was awarded with the annual Carl D. Shoemaker Memorial Scholarship.

When asked what made McClinton such an outstanding student, Dr. T. Wayne Schwertner, head of the Department of Wildlife, Sustainability and Ecosystem Sciences, suggested that it was his level of involvement in the Wildlife Society. Shcwertner said that not only was McClinton part of these two wildlife science teams, but he is also Vice- President of the Wildlife Society on campus.

The scholarship will provide McClinton with $1500 to use towards college expenses. His Quiz Bowl teammates
Nick Belsher and Andrew Chapman received individual awards as well for photography. Belsher won third place in the wildlife photography and Chapman received Judges’ Honors.

The Quiz Bowl team was comprised of team captain, Kristyn Stewart, and members Kelton Mote, Daniel Wilcox, Hunter Gilliam, Lauren Halbert and the three individual award winners McClinton, Belsher and Chapman.

McClinton, Stewart and Mote were also a part of the Plant Identification Team. The other half of the team was Rebekah Wagner, Josh Berry and Wyatt Bagwell.

According to Dr. Heather Mathewson, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Science and quiz bowl coach, the students’ accomplishments at this and previous years’ conferences has “established [Tarleton State University] as one of the top teaching universities in wildlife biology in Texas.”

To prepare for the annual wildlife quiz bowl, Mathewson said she has the team practice several hours every week during the fall and spring semesters.

Schwertner mentioned that the Plant Identification team practices several hours a week under the direction of Dr. Darrel Murray, adjunct professor and research ecologist.

Since its founding in 1965, the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Community has aimed to keep the public informed concerning wildlife research, management and conservation. In the spirit of disseminating knowledge, several Tarleton students presented their research at the conference.

The undergraduates that presented their findings were Jordan Fisher, McClinton, Mote and Myca Reed.

The graduates that presented their research topics were Danielle Bellany, Jared Hall, Lisa McAnally, Connor McInnerney, Amy Okichich and Joseph Wilson. Hall was also one of the coaches for the Plant Identification Team.

“The Wildlife Society is open to any student who has an interest in nature and wildlife conservation,” Schwertner insists to Tarleton students.

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Tarleton students shine at Wildlife Quiz Bowl