South Dakota State University Wildlife and Fisheries Graduate Students Attend 2022 Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference

South Dakota State Extension

Brookings, S.D. - Three South Dakota State University graduate students from the Department of Natural Resource Management attended the 2022 Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference Feb. 13-16 in Des Moines, Iowa. 

“It’s a good opportunity for students to catch up on the latest research and meet people in the same field,” said Alison Coulter, assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management.  

The students presented posters with information on their graduate research projects and received feedback to help them in their future findings. 

“Presenting is always a good opportunity to get to know professionals and get some feedback to see if I could be doing something better or if there’s different analysis,” said Logan Cutler, graduate research assistant in the Department of Natural Resource Management from Neenah, Wisconsin. 

Cutler’s research topic is on the different habitats and diets of walleye fish in Lake Kampeska near Watertown, South Dakota. 

“I think the conference was an amazing opportunity to meet incredible people and mentors,” said Hannah Mulligan, graduate research assistant in the Department of Natural Resource Management from Charleston, South Carolina. “I learned a lot and was able to share my research, which I loved as well. There was a lot of interest in my project, which was encouraging.” 

Mulligan’s graduate research project is focused on assessing the risk of silver carp in bighead carp spreads posed by the live bait trade. 

“I got the chance to talk to a lot of professionals in the field that gave me a lot of good advice not only on my research, but on the interviewing process and job applications for various agencies to help me get a job once I graduate,” said Maria Erceg, graduate research assistant in the Department of Natural Resource Management from Duluth, Minnesota. 

Erceg presented her research on federally endangered pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River. 

Both Cutler and Mulligan were selected as finalists for the Janice Lee Fenske Memorial Award for Outstanding Students and received $500 Student and Early Career Travel Awards. The Janice Lee Fenske Memorial Award for Outstanding Students was created to recognize undergraduate and graduate students for their achievements in the fields of fisheries and wildlife management and to encourage participation in the American Fisheries Society, The Wildlife Society, and the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference.

About the Natural Resource Management Department

The South Dakota State University Department of Natural Resource Management has expertise in training students to preserve the integrity of natural resources. By utilizing interdisciplinary approaches, graduates are prepared for a multitude of career options. The department offers five undergraduate majors and two minors, as well as graduate and doctoral degrees in biological sciences and wildlife and fisheries sciences.