Science Student Thrives at CWI

Dusty Perkins, Kassandra Townsend, Talia Jolley, and Steve Alsup, an internship mentor Birds of Prey Partnership.
Dusty Perkins, Kassandra Townsend, Talia Jolley, and Steve Alsup, an internship mentor Birds of Prey Partnership.
April 12, 2018

In November, Kassandra Townsend applied for and was accepted to the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at University of Idaho (U of I). This program will enable her to participate in collaborative, cohort-based undergraduate research at U of I for two summers (2018, 2019) while providing $10,000 in summer salary while she is going to school.  

Two weeks ago, Kasandra presented her work “Breeding Ecology and Habitat Suitability of Ferruginous Hawks (Buteo regalis) in Southern Idaho” in a 20-minute, science talk along with research partner and CWI alumni, Talia Jolley, at the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society meeting in Fort Hall Idaho. The duo took home the Best Student Paper Award, outscoring graduate students and undergraduates from Boise State University, U of I, and Idaho State University.

Kassandra also won the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society Student Scholarship ($1500) at last week’s meeting and plans to use the funds to pay for tuition at U of I when she transfers there next fall. 

More notes about the ICTWS conference:

Overall, CWI had an amazing conference.Three CWI undergraduate researchers (Dave Draper, Victoria Martinez, Kassandra Townsend), two alumni (Talia Jolley, Ty Styhl) and one faculty (Dusty Perkins) presented talks at the meeting. Many professionals who work for industry or state and Federal agencies approached me and either complimented me on the quality of students that we’re producing. Others told me they were amazed that we were doing as much as four-year schools even though we are a community college. It was great to be recognized as contributors to educating the professionals of the future. Further, it’s great to be able to contribute to advancing knowledge about wildlife science and management. 

The experience was a great experience for students to present at a professional conference. What a stage to be able to demonstrate their capabilities as researchers and presenters! Students also participated in several professional development activities including resume review and job interview preparation workshops, networking with potential employers or undergraduate programs and advisors. Students participated in student/professional mixers and sat in on many great talks about current wildlife science and management.   

Kassandra Townsend: (former Steve Lysne snail work study, Dusty Perkins biological technician work study, MURI intern (Steve Lysne 2016, Birds of Prey Partnership 2017). She has had amazing opportunities materialize over the last few months and she graduates this spring with an AS in Biology Natural Resources.