Six Bemidji State University Students Attend Wildlife Society National Conference

In early October, six Bemidji State University students studying wildlife biology attended The Wildlife Society’s 25th Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Students in attendance included Mitchell Anderson, a senior from Champlin, Minn., Harold Stanius, a senior from St. Cloud, Minn., Cianna Quien, a senior from Cambridge, Minn., Nikki Shaw, a senior from Embarrass, Minn., Joseph Riley, a senior from Minneapolis, Minn. and Timothy Drake, a junior from Maplewood, Minn.

These students had the opportunity to meet with peers and professionals in the wildlife biology field, and were able to share ideas, learn and discuss emerging aspects of wildlife biology. This was a first national conference for many of the students.

“We were able to attend many different talks by professionals, and learn about what is happening across the country, and what kinds of cool new projects are currently being done,” said Mitch Anderson. “There were several student-professional mixers; including one at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which allowed students to introduce themselves to professionals and exchange networking cards.”

Another student in attendance, Joey Riley, was moved by the conference’s wildlife biology speakers.

“Exceptional moments included a keynote address by Dr. Winnifred Kessler, who promoted the importance of diversity among wildlife professionals,” said Riley. “As the first woman to hold almost every position in her career, she encouraged minorities to conquer their challenges and rise above.”

During the conference, the students were also given the opportunity to participate in the “Wildlife Quiz Bowl,” a fast-paced wildlife knowledge competition where teams from universities across the country compete against each other to see who can gain the most points by answering questions ranging from taxonomy to wildlife management.

“We enjoyed having our knowledge tested in the quiz bowl and the questions were very challenging,” said Joey Riley. “Overall, I would recommend this conference to any student who hopes to become a wildlife professional.”



MN State logoBemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding. For more, visit or find us at BemidjiState on most of your favorite social media networks.