Monday, March 20, 2006

HCC Wildlifers finish third overall at 2006 Southeastern Wildlife Conclave

HCC’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society attended the 2006 Southeastern Wildlife Conclave at Tennessee Tech University March 9-12. Conclave is an annual event that brings students from all over the southeast together to represent their schools in various fish and wildlife management-related activities and competitions. At Conclave, Haywood Community College students compete against over 20 other southeastern schools including large universities such as the University of Georgia, LSU, Auburn, University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, NC State, the University of Florida, Mississippi State, and Clemson. Competitions included an academic quiz bowl tournament, a team field competition, game calling, canoeing, archery, radiotelemetry, dendrology, obstacle course, orienteering, rock climbing, art, photography, and an essay contest. In addition, students attended wildlife-related field trips, dinners and socials, and had an opportunity to meet other students, faculty and working professionals in the field of wildlife management.

This year, 20 students and Fish and Wildlife Management Technology instructors Dave Dudek, Rick Lindsay, and Shannon Rabby traveled to Falls Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee for the event. Our students prepared for Conclave by taking on additional studies and honing their skills in fish and wildlife identification, management techniques, ecology and equipment operation. The HCC Wildlife Club is proud to be the only two-year school that attends this annual event.

The HCC Wildlife Club did exceptionally well at this year’s Conclave, bringing home twelve awards including third place overall! The overall award was achieved due to a strong showing by our students in all of the events during Conclave. Among the highlights were the awards received by Wildlife Club president Shane Billings. Shane received first, second and third place in the painting category with his exceptional paintings of wildlife in their natural settings. In addition, Shane won first place in the essay contest and will be further honored by having his essay published nationally in The Wildlife Society Bulletin! Freshman Kasey Strganac also received a third place award for her essay. Other students won awards for game calling, canoeing, free-form art, drawing, and radiotelemetry. A strong showing in the Team Field event also contributed to the club’s third place overall award.

The most exciting result occurred in the Quiz Bowl tournament. HCC students Jason Davis, Shane Billings, Jonathan Bumgarner and Sam Koch did an outstanding job in this challenging double-elimination academic tournament, defeating six university teams before losing to the University of Georgia in the championship match. During the tournament, HCC defeated teams from Mississippi State, Frostburg State, Murray State, Oklahoma State, Arkansas State and our in-state rival North Carolina State University. Shannon Rabby, HCC Fish and Wildlife Management instructor and Quiz Bowl coach, was proud of the team’s strong showing. “The competition at Quiz Bowl was fierce, and our students did an outstanding job despite the fact that they were competing against universities with graduate students on their teams. To finish second in this event is further proof that our Wildlife Management Technology program is one of the best anywhere!”

Submitted by Shannon Rabby


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