Honoring, and Preserving, our Natural Resources

Tomorrow’s hunters and anglers will be the beneficiaries of the
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources
annual Scholarship Awards program that was held on April 8. The
college gave out 181 scholarships totaling $149,300 to students
majoring in natural resources.

These students are very sharp and will be the wildlife managers,
fisheries biologists, conservation wardens, foresters, and
administrators of the Department of Natural Resources someday. They
could also end up working, on behalf of each of us who hunt and
fish, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service,
or private conservation organizations, such as Trout Unlimited,
Ducks Unlimited or the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association.

UW-Stevens Point has a great tradition of producing outstanding
students who have made important contributions to Wisconsin. They
follow in the tradition of the late Dan Trainer, Jr., a member of
the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame, who put the college on the
path to excellence, seeing to it that students received a mix of
valuable field experience along with a classroom education.

That tradition has been carried on by Dr. Christine Thomas, a
founder of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program and current
member of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board. Thomas reiterated
to the assembled students, donors, parents and faculty that the
students and faculty are public servants.

“Our mission is quality natural resource management and the better
world that results from that,” Thomas said. “We are a community
whose actions are based on science, caring, and devotion to the
mission.”

But as everyone knows, times are tough. And 43 percent of these
students are first generation college students. Their parents work
for a living and most students have to work their way through
school.

Steve Menzel, Development and Public Relations Coordinator for the
College, said that scholarships are more important than ever in
helping students land their dream job.

“These students are under much greater financial stress today than
they were even 10 years ago,” Menzel said. “Currently, the cost for
undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board exceeds $12,500 per
year, and these costs will almost certainly increase in the new
state budget.”

Students today have a juggling act including classroom, homework,
tuition, and development as productive members of society. A
scholarship is not only helpful, but it serves, as Menzel says, as
a “pat-on-the-back to inspire the students to achieve their
dreams.”

Some 400 people, including many donors, participated in the
ceremonies, which were preceded by the Rendezvous 2011 program –
where students presented results of their research (these are
undergraduates conducting research!). It is a truly inspiring
evening knowing that the future of natural resource management will
be in their hands someday.

Our family funds one of the scholarships in memory of a brother who
was an active hunter and outdoorsman who passed away at an early
age. We feel it is a way to appropriately honor his memory, keep
his passion for waterfowl hunting and law enforcement alive, and
help a student who someday will be making critical decisions about
Wisconsin’s natural resources.

If you have a family member or hunting or fishing partner you would
like to honor with a donation to a scholarship, checks can be made
payable to “UWSP Foundation – CNR scholarships” and mailed to: Sue
Kissinger, UWSP College of Natural Resources, 800 Reserve Street,
Stevens Point, WI 54481.

For more information contact Sue Kissinger – skissing@uwsp.edu,
715-346-2536; or Steve Menzel – smenzel@uwsp.edu,
715-346-2032.

Hunters and anglers have always realized that paying their share is
the best way to count on management of their favorite natural
resources. This is another way to insure that professional natural
resource employees will be available in the future to work on our
and the resource’s behalf.

 

Categories: Wisconsin – Tim Eisele

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