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Open AZTWS Board Positions: Nominations due Nov 17

Take an active role in Arizona’s wildlife conservation and management!  

Advance professional stewardship of wildlife resources and their habitat! 

Prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals!


Your Chapter needs you! Please consider joining the board of the Arizona Chapter of the Wildlife Society! See the descriptions below for a list of positions up for election this year. Visit to learn more about these positions. Note that all officers are expected to participate in monthly conference calls to help with planning and current business.


Email Tiffany Sprague ( for more information or if you are interested in running for a position. Nominations must be submitted by November 17, 2017. Nominees should provide a short bio that will be distributed to voting members.





President Elect

The President Elect serves a two-year term, one year as President Elect and one as President. As President Elect, he or she assists and fills in for the President on a variety of assigned tasks and serves as the Chairperson of the Awards and Nomination committees.


Corresponding Secretary

The Corresponding Secretary serves a one-year term and is responsible for the Chapter files and correspondence with members and supporters.


Recording Secretary

The Recording Secretary serves a one-year term and is responsible for recording and distributing minutes of the Executive Board and Chapter Membership meetings.


Board Member (1)

A Board Member serves a two-year term and shares all responsibilities of conducting Chapter business and assisting other Board Members with assigned tasks.


Let’s recognize our finest!

Let’s recognize our finest!


Do you know of a wildlife professional, student, or organization that deserves recognition for their work? Please nominate them for one of our awards!


We present these awards in order to recognize those individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to wildlife management and conservation in Arizona. These awards are significant because of the history and prestige behind each one – and because they come from you. This is your chance to give credit to some of the many deserving people and organizations out there.


Final nomination documents must be received by November 17, 2017, to be considered for this year. Submit your nominations to Tiffany Sprague ( Awards will be presented at our Joint Annual Meeting in February 2018.


WE NEED YOU to submit a nomination for one or more of the eight awards (details below). Award nominations should include the following:

  1. Name and affiliation of the nominee (nominees need not be members of TWS or the AZ Chapter).
  2. The award for which the individual is being nominated.
  3. Letter of support signed by nominator and endorsed by at least one additional individuals. Endorsers may sign the nominating letter or send separate letters of support.
  4. Name and contact information of nominator(s).


Visit to view past recipients of each award.


The Doug Morrison Award

This award is given in memory of Doug Morrison to an Arizona Biologist in a non-supervisory position who has made significant contributions to the management and conservation of wildlife in Arizona. This Award exemplifies the dedicated work ethic of the Chapter’s former President and U.S. Forest Service Biologist, Doug Morrison. Contributions can be in areas of wildlife research, education and training, management, conservation (including legislation), or law enforcement. Contributions can be over a relatively short period of time (e.g., months) or over several years. Weight is given to the significance of contributions and not necessarily the number of years in service. This Award differs from the Professional Award primarily in that it is given to a non-supervisory biologist in memory of Doug Morrison.


Professional Service Award (Professional Wildlifer Award)

This award is given to an Arizona biologist for outstanding contributions to management and conservation of wildlife. The individual is also recognized for their professional work standards and conduct. Contributions can be in the areas of wildlife research, education and training, management, conservation (including legislative), or law enforcement. These contributions can be over several years or limited to a few years of outstanding service. Weight is given to the significance of contributions and professional work ethic, not necessarily the number of years in service. Both supervisory and non-supervisory biologists may be considered for this Award.


Conservation Award (Non-Professional Award)

This award is given to a person, or persons, not employed directly as a wildlife biologist, or an organization not directly involved in wildlife management (including researchers at universities), who contribute significantly to the conservation of wildlife and/or their habitat in Arizona. Conservation can include, but is not limited to research, education, legislation, and protection or enhancement of wildlife and their habitat. Weight is given to the significance of the contribution to conservation.


Wildlife Habitat Relationships Award (WILDHARE Award)

This award is given to a professional wildlife biologist in Arizona for their contribution to understanding or applying habitat principles to management of an animal species or group of species. The recipient receives a check based on the interest generated for the year in the Habitat Relationships account.


Scrapping Bear Award

The recipient of the Scrapping Bear Award has gone beyond the normal call of duty in support of wildlife issues and has made exceptional contributions toward the management and protection of wildlife and habitat resources AND the recipient has stood up for what they thought was right, even if it was controversial or perceived as contrary to their agency’s official position, supervisor’s positions, or had the potential to put the recipients job on the line. The recipient does not have to be a member of the Arizona Chapter.


Roger Hungerford Student Award

This award is given to a student who while attending an Arizona college or university made significant contributions to the management and conservation of Arizona’s wildlife and/or habitat. Management and conservation categories are similar to those listed for the Professional Award. Weight is given to the significance of the contribution. The Award is given in memory of one of Arizona’s finest research biologists, Roger Hungerford.


Outstanding Service to the Chapter Award

This award recognizes an individual who has shown continual dedication and commitment to the Chapter. The award recipient has expended significant time and effort while providing exceptional service to the Chapter and its members. This individual must be a Chapter member.


David E. Brown Lifetime Achievement Award

The creation of this award in 2016 was inspired by the desire to recognize a lifetime of work devoted to wildlife on par with David E. Brown’s lifetime accomplishments, which were exceptional and beyond the scope of existing Chapter awards. Therefore, a new award was created. The David E. Brown Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual for his/her accomplishments in wildlife biology and management over their lifetime. These accomplishments may have been made in management, education, research, administration, or in a combination of activities that over a lifetime have noticeably advanced the field of wildlife biology and management and enhanced wildlife conservation in Arizona. This award is intended to be highly prestigious and not given out annually, but rather only when a deserving individual should be recognized for a lifetime of service to wildlife in Arizona.


First Call for Papers and Posters: JAM 2018

***Download the PDF: 2018 JAM Call for Papers***


51st Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona and New Mexico Chapters of the Wildlife Society and American Fisheries Society

February 1-3, 2018
Little America Hotel, Flagstaff, AZ
Online registration will be available starting October 23, 2017.

Important Deadlines:

Deadline to apply for the wildlife student oral presentation competition:
November 1, 2017
Deadline to submit abstracts:
November 16, 2017.


The Program Committee for the 2018 JAM invites abstracts for contributed oral presentations and posters. The program will include a plenary session, contributed papers, and a poster session on a wide range of fisheries and wildlife-related topics. Presentations may include completed projects and works in progress.

We strongly encourage students to attend and are particularly interested in student presentations. The AZ/NM Chapter of the American Fisheries Society will present a “Best Student Paper” and “Best Student Poster” award for graduate and undergraduate students presenting papers/posters in the fisheries field. The AZ and NM Chapters of The Wildlife Society will present a “Best Student Paper” and “Best Student Poster” award for graduate and undergraduate students presenting papers/posters in the wildlife field.

Fisheries and wildlife students currently attending a college/university or graduated within 12 months preceding JAM and who are first author on the research given are eligible for the fisheries “Best Student Paper” and “Best Student Poster” awards and the wildlife “Best Student Poster” award, respectively. The format for applications for the wildlife student oral presentation competition is different from all other abstract submissions. See the last page of this announcement for information on how to apply for the best student oral presentation competition in wildlife.

Speakers will be given 20 minutes for their presentation (15-minute presentation and 5 minutes for questions). A laptop PC and digital projector will be provided for Power Point presentations. Please inquire about other audiovisual aids if necessary.

Oral presentation and poster abstract format:
List all authors using first and last names, their affiliation, addresses, and e-mail addresses. When choosing the title, be brief but descriptive and avoid using acronyms or scientific names in the title unless the common name is not widely known. Please indicate if you are a student (undergraduate or graduate) at the end of the abstract AND whether your abstract is for a poster or presentation (see example below). Abstracts are restricted to 250 words and should summarize the importance, methods, and findings of the research being described.

Please follow the format from the example below so that program chairs can focus on processing abstracts rather than making edits. Abstracts with grammatical errors or incorrect formatting will be returned to the authors for correction before they will be accepted.


Poster Size and Display:
Please limit your poster size to 32″x 44″. Orientation can be either portrait or landscape; each presenter will have a 4×4 foot space for their poster, which will provide a place to hang the poster and other information such as handouts or business cards. Presenters are required to assemble and disassemble their own poster and to provide tacks or push pins to hang their poster. Poster presenters should attend the Poster Session at the meeting to answer questions. Breaks and socials will be organized around the Posters to encourage discussion between attendees and poster presenters.

All presenters will receive an e-mail confirmation of their abstract submission and acceptance or placement on a waiting list within two weeks of abstract submission. Notification of the time and place of presentation or poster will be sent in late January, after the conference schedule is complete.

Please email your abstracts to the appropriate Program Chair below, due by November 16, 2017,
Subject line: “JAM Abstract Submission”:

Oral and poster presentations for fisheries: Ryan Follmuth,

Oral and poster presentations for wildlife (excluding the student oral presentation competition): Melanie Culver,

Applications for the wildlife student oral presentation competition (details attached), due by November 1, 2017, Subject line: “TWS Student Competition Application_[Last Name]”: Melissa Merrick,


James W. Pitman, New Mexico State University, Department of Fish Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, 2980 South Espina, Knox Hall 132, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003;
James W. Cain III, U.S. Geological Survey New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, New Mexico State University, Department of Fish Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, 2980 South Espina, Knox Hall 132, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88033;
Stewart G. Liley, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, 1 Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507;

Post-parturition habitat selection by elk calves and adult female elk in New Mexico

Neonatal survival and juvenile recruitment are crucial to maintaining elk (Cervus elaphus) populations, and neonate survival is known to be influenced by many factors, including bed site selection. While neonates select the bed site, they must do so within the larger calf-rearing area selected by the mother. Our objectives were to characterize bedsite selection by calves and calf-rearing area selection by adult females at two spatial scales in areas with different predator assemblages. We captured 107 elk calves and fitted them with ear tag transmitters in the Valle Vidal and Gila National Forest. We found that concealing cover structure and distance to that cover were important in bed site selection of young calves (i.e., <2 weeks of age). Older calves (i.e., 3-10 weeks of age) still selected areas in relation to distance to cover but also preferred areas with higher visibility. When we expanded to the larger spatial scale of calf-rearing habitat selection by the adult female, concealing cover (e.g., rocks, shrubs, logs) and other variables important to the hiding calves were still in the most supported models, but selection was also influenced by forage availability and indices of forage quality. Studies that seek to obtain insight into microhabitat selection of neonates should consider selection by both the neonate and adult female and changes in selection as neonates age.

Important Announcement!
Wildlife Student Oral Presentation Competition

Arizona and New Mexico Chapters of The Wildlife Society Joint Annual Meeting 2018

To enter the wildlife student oral presentation competition, students must submit a written summary of their research to be evaluated by a panel of judges. To be competitive, these should be final or near final results of the student’s research. The panel of judges will evaluate the written summary of the student’s research based on the merits of the research to determine the top 3 students from each state. These 6 finalists will compete during a special symposium of the meeting on Friday, February 2nd, 2018. Each student’s presentation will be 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions. All 6 finalists selected for the competition will receive a certificate and the top 2 students (one for AZ and one for NM) will receive a certificate and cash award at the awards banquet on February 2nd, 2018. Student entrants for the wildlife student paper competition not selected as finalists will automatically have their research summaries sent to the TWS abstract selection committee responsible for choosing papers for general sessions during the meeting.

Experience presenting research at professional meetings is an important part of a student’s professional development. Consequently, we strongly encourage all students who are involved with research to submit an abstract for a poster or oral presentation, even if they do not submit it to be considered for this competition. Poster submissions from students will automatically be considered for the separate Student Poster Competition. Poster presentations will be evaluated by judges during the poster session and will compete for a separate Best Poster award.

1) Judging will be consistent.
2) The stature of the best wildlife student presentation award will be elevated.
3) Symposium attendees will be able to see all of the “best student papers.”
4) All six finalists will gain better recognition.

How to Apply:
1) Eligibility: All students working towards undergraduate or graduate degrees, or professionals who have graduated within the 12 months preceding the JAM (i.e., after February 2017). The student must be first author on the research. The student must be a member of either the Arizona or New Mexico Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Group undergraduate or graduate class projects cannot be considered original research attributable to a single author and are therefore not allowable for this competition.
2) Prepare your application in a word processor using a standard font no smaller than 11pt, single spacing, and at least 1 inch margins. Save the completed application as an unsecured pdf with the file name “TWS Student Competition Application_[Last Name]”.
3) Application is not to exceed TWO single-spaced pages including tables, figures, and literature citations. Include the following information:
a. Student name, institutional address, email address
b. Advisor’s name; list of coauthors in order of recognition
c. Summary of research including title, a brief introduction, methods, results, conclusions, and significance or management implications
4) Attach the pdf of your application to an email addressed to Melissa Merrick ( with a subject line “TWS Student Competition Application_[Last Name]”.
5) The deadline for application is Wednesday, 1 November 2017 5:00 pm MST.


***Download the PDF: 2018 JAM Call for Papers***