WRA’s Katie Smith, PhD to Present at TWS National Conference
The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference will host its annual conference November 4-11, 2023. One of the largest gatherings of wildlife professionals and supporters in North America, TWS has hosted this unique and informative event that provides dozens of networking opportunities through working groups, meetings and receptions as well as nearly 1,000 educational opportunities that encourage discussion and collaboration.
This year’s event will be in Louisville, Kentucky as TWS once again prepares for a memorable event filled with engaging speakers, immersive workshops, and numerous networking opportunities.
WRA’s Katie Smith will present “Of mice and maidens: evaluating the success of a collaborative, women-led conservation partnership” in the Women at Work: Stories of Wildlife Research and Management session on November 9 from 9:15 – 9:30 AM. View the full conference schedule here.
In a field that has been dominated by men since its inception, research crews in wildlife conservation historically consisted mostly or wholly of men. While the number of women in wildlife conservation has grown substantially, we may still be viewed as less capable in the field. Over the past 15 years I have been fortunate to avoid much of this bias by working with a group made up largely of strong female colleagues. The Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (SMHM) Working Group has been highly effective at accomplishing conservation and research objectives via communication, collaboration, and mutual support. The Group, which consists of state and federal biologists, consultants, and academic researchers, has worked to fill gaps in oversight and coordinate the complex research needs identified in the recovery plan for the SMHM. Parallel to addressing these needs the Group also invested in the professional development needs of collaborators, supporting SMHM recovery and female biologists simultaneously. Through executing the most ambitious, far-reaching, cooperative research efforts ever attempted for the species, we have shown that the SMHM, once considered an extreme habitat specialist, is actually quite flexible, and that its ecology is much more nuanced than was believed for many decades. I personally attribute the success of these efforts to the fact that this Group is a women-led, family-like team benefitting from deep respect, support, and genuine caring for all team members: our awesome women in wildlife and the men on the team, who are few but fantastic!