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UW team wins national range management competition


Teams from the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources won first and second places and individuals placed in the top five during competition at the Society for Range Management meeting Feb. 6 to 10 in Billings, Mont.

Rangeland ecology and watershed management students in the Department of Renewable Resources were among 1,500 people from around the world attending the meeting. Undergraduate students competed in four events: the Rangeland Cup, Undergraduate Range Management Exam, Extemporaneous Public Speaking and Plant Identification.

UW's Rangeland Cup team of Sage Askin, Douglas; Emily Wotkyns, Durango, Colo.; Sydney Burek, Elizabeth, Colo.; and Tate Smith, Rye, Colo., placed first. The team was mentored by Jim Waggoner, professor in the department and an Extension range specialist. The problem-solving competition promotes critical thinking and cooperative, collaborative work on current topics and/or topics of historical importance to rangeland ecology and management.

UW's URME team placed second out of 25. The competition provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate higher order learning skills and synthesize knowledge of the art and science of rangeland management. Katie Nelson, Philip, S.D., placed fifth; Sage Askin, Douglas, seventh; and Patrick Toomey, Gilbertsville, Penn., eighth, among the 180 contestants.

Team members were Jordan Wambeke, Cody; Tyler Gardner, Star Valley; Landon Smith, Holyoke, Colo.; Wade LaCount, Rifle, Colo.; Ryder Simeniuk, Opheim, Mont.; Amanda VanPelt, Fernley, Nev.; John Wagner, Sterling, Colo.; Sydney Burek, Amanda O'Donnell, Spring Creek, Nev.; Tate Smith, Amanda Jones, Casper; Katie Schade, Fort Sumner, N.M.; Travis Decker, Craig, Colo.; Haley Lockwood, Big Piney; Kellen Smith, Gillette, and Christopher Poglajen, Dayton.

Amanda Jones placed fourth, and Tate Smith was fifth in the public speaking competition. Students draw topics and have a short time to develop and prepare a speech.

Justin Lauer of Pendleton, Ore., received the SRM Scholarship, the second consecutive year a UW student has won the award. Katie Schade was elected president of the Student Conclave. The International Student Conclave is the student organization of SRM and promotes student participation in SRM.

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