Friday, September 18, 2020

Wildlife club stays involved

Where can one see wolves, hawks, owls and a full ecosystem full of other animals? The Wildlife Club makes this happen for Plattsburgh State students.

The club was founded two years ago by Rory O’Carroll, a former student.

Their mission — “To encourage appreciation of the natural world around us.”

Club advisor and Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Science Danielle Garneau said she agreed to take on the role because she wanted to give back to the community.

“Nature and wildlife are in everyone’s backyard,” Garneau said.

“Most of our events revolve around wildlife conservation, along with getting involved with other environmental clubs,” Club President Erin Moseman said.

The Wildlife Club recently attended Adirondack Habitat Awareness Day at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington, New York.

Staff and guest speakers conducted talks on everything from climate change to bird banding, in which birds are fitted with an aluminum band featuring a serial number that describes when it was banded, who else has spotted it, and common fly routes of that species.

In order to ensure humane treatment, one can not band birds without proper certification.

Garneau possesses an Animal Care & Use permit from the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee, or IACUC.

“You really have to know how to handle your animal food, traps, and ensure proper care techniques,” she said.
However, this is not the only event in their extracurricular repertoire.

The Wildlife Club will be preparing for its yearly event Bio Blitz, which takes place every spring semester.

“We go to Rugar Woods on campus and document every animal we see and learn about different local plants,” Moseman said.

Ecology major and club member Brian Whyte, who joined the club last year, said, “We hold events to make people aware of the wildlife in the region, to aid both in conservation and ecological interest.”

Vice President Rebecca Wilson said her mission as a club officer is “to spread what we know about science and environmental awareness to the rest of the campus community.”

Wilson, also an ecology major, likes owl banding and the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation’s “Wolf Walk.”
“I love the people in the club. It’s great to see how enthusiastic people are, and it’s fun to participate in these activities with people of equal enthusiasm,” she said.

Moseman stated that their biggest goal is “to become a chapter of the Wildlife Society, where we are seen as part of the wildlife community on a national level.”

She said the club is open to all ideas regarding events and encourages people to come and voice their ideas.

“Sometimes people feel nervous to take that first step, but we are always here, even to talk and break the ice.”

Their meetings are every Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. at the Angell College Center in Meeting Room 3.

The Wildlife Club is planning on holding events such as the New York Wildlife Society meeting and a cleaning collaboration in Rugar Woods with clubs such as the Geology Club and the Botany Club.

A list of the club’s future events can be found on their Facebook page, “SUNY-Plattsburgh Wildlife Club.”

Moseman, Wilson and Whyte all agree on having fun with the things they learn and what they do.
Smiling, Whyte said, “Primarily, what we do is just try and have fun outdoors.”

Email Timothy Lyman at

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