Western Section
About Us
Support Us
Contact Us



2014 Annual Meeting

  • January 27 to January 31, 2014
  • Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada

Quick links to sections on this page:

Condor Annual Meeting Premier Sponsor:

Bighorn Sheep Annual Meeting Gold Sponsors:

USDA Forest Service


Sea Turtle Annual Meeting Bronze Sponsors:

BLM logo

Please note: The Conference format is changing slightly for 2014 in response to comments and suggestions provided by members.

This year there will be more networking opportunities, no meetings competing with concurrent session talks, and the poster session reception is included in the meeting registration price.

Monday, January 27

7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.Pre-Conference RegistrationSilver State Foyer
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Golden Eagle CA/NV Work Group *Silver State 2
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.Registration Packet ProductionExecutive Boardroom

Tuesday, January 28

7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.Pre-Conference RegistrationSilver State Foyer
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.Golden Eagle CA/NV Research GroupSilver State 2
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Greater Sage Grouse Symposium *Silver State 3
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Western Section Executive Board Meeting (all members welcome)Executive Boardroom
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.Southern Sierra Nevada Fisher Working Group MeetingNevada 6 - 7
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.Exhibit Hall SetupNevada Room
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.Fisher Conservation Strategy Technical TeamNevada 6 - 7
5:00 p.m.Official Conference Opening Registration and Exhibit Hall OpenNevada Room
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.Conference Registration and Exhibit HallNevada Room
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.Welcome Reception, Wildlife Photo Gallery, Taco Buffet and No-Host Bar *Nevada Room

Wednesday, January 29

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.Conference Registration and Exhibit HallNevada Room
7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Breakfast Roundtable - State of the Society *Silver State 2
7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Breakfast Roundtable - Human-Wildlife Interactions *Event full.Silver State 3
8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.California Fisher Working GroupNevada 6 - 7
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.Keynote Address & Dialogue: Ken MayerSilver State 1
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.TWS-WS Retirees MeetingExecutive Boardroom
1:00 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.Concurrent Sessions:
- Energy Expansion and Conservation in Nevada and California DesertsNevada Foyer
- Ecology and Conservation of MustelidsNevada 4 - 5
- Ecology and Conservation of RaptorsNevada 1 - 3
- Island Biogeography and Mainland ApplicationsNevada 8 - 10
2:45 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.Break RefreshmentsNevada Room
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.Poster SetupNevada Room
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.Annual Business Meeting and Member’s ForumNevada 8 - 10
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.Poster Session w/ hosted cocktails and snacksNevada Room
8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.San Francisco Bay Chapter MeetingMezzanine Rooms: Sierra 1
Southern California Chapter MeetingMezzanine Rooms: Sierra 2
Central Coast Chapter MeetingMezzanine Rooms: McKinley
Sac-Shasta Chapter MeetingMezzanine Rooms: Shasta 1
Hawaii Chapter MeetingMezzanine Rooms: Shasta 2
North Coast Chapter MeetingMezzanine Rooms: Cascade 1
San Joaquin Chapter MeetingMezzanine Rooms: Cascade 2
Nevada Chapter MeetingMezzanine Rooms: Ruby

Thursday, January 30

7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Conference Registration and Exhibit HallNevada Room
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.Plenary Session: "Harnessing Citizen Science Toward Greater Conservation"Silver State 1
9:45 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.Break RefreshmentsNevada Room
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.Concurrent Sessions:
Applications of Citizen ScienceNevada 4 - 5
Ecology and Conservation of MammalsNevada 1 - 3
Ecology and Conservation of BirdsNevada Foyer
Web & GIS Technologies for Wildlife Science and ConservationNevada 8 - 10
Anticipating and Responding to Urban Growth & Climate ChangeNevada 8 - 10
2:45 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.Break RefreshmentsNevada Room
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.Resume Workshop for UndergradsNevada 6 - 7
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.HSU ReunionExecutive Boardroom
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.No-Host Cocktail ReceptionSilver State 2/3
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.Annual Awards Banquet, Raffle, & 60th Anniversary Celebration *Silver State 1

Friday, January 31

7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.Conference Registration and Exhibit HallNevada Room
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.Concurrent Sessions:
Wildlife Diseases and PathologyNevada Foyer
Game ManagementNevada 8 - 10
Human Dimensions in WildlifeNevada 8 - 10
Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians and ReptilesNevada 1 - 3
Wildlife Technologies (non-GIS)Nevada 4 - 5
8:00 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.Resume Workshop for MS/Ph DNevada 6 - 7
9:45 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.Break RefreshmentsNevada Room
10:10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.Advocacy Workshop with Terra RentzSilver State 2
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.Career FairNevada Room
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.Student-Professional LunchSilver State 1
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.Observer Reliability and Identification of Wildlife Tracks & Signs Workshop * Event full.Nevada 6 - 7
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.Conservation Affairs Committee MeetingNevada 8 - 10
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.Resume CritiquesNevada 4 - 5
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.Wildlife Apps WorkshopNevada 1 - 3
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.Conference Planning Committee Wrap-Up MeetingExecutive Boardroom
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.Job Interview PanelNevada Foyer
4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.Student Sagehen Weekend * Event full.Sagehen Station, Truckee

Saturday and Sunday February 1-2, 2014

8:20 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. SaturdaySki Mt. Rose *Mt. Rose
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. SaturdayWildlife Disease Investigation Practical Workshop * Event full.meet at Nevada Room Roll-Up doors
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. SaturdayOne Day Track and Sign Certification Workshop * Event full.meet at Nevada Room Roll-Up doors
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
each day
Wilderness First Aid * Event full.Sagehen Station, Truckee
Saturday - all day
Sunday - until 10:00 a.m.
Student Sagehen Weekend continues * Event full.Sagehen Station, Truckee
* Requires separate registration fee

Plenary Session Theme:

Harnessing Citizen Science Toward Greater Conservation

What do the Section’s 3,000+ wildlife species and 1,000 wildlife professionals have in common with the year 2014? Roughly 42,000,000 million people. Combine that with urban sprawl, 472,000 lane-miles of roadways, a ~0.75 percent population growth rate, climate change, and sea level rise, and our wildlife conservation goals seems more tenuous than ever. With only 1 wildlife professional for every 15,000 people or so, it seems a winning strategy to not only enhance relationships with like-minded citizens but engage them in data collection and applied research as we face serious issues relating to population growth, urban expansion, climate change, and other wildlife challenges. Points to be considered include increasing public participation in scientific research, creating effective study designs, establishing trust and data reliability, and using technology tools. The plenary session will present the views and experiences of representatives from academia, public agencies, non-profits and the private sector. The Plenary Session will be held Thursday morning.

Plenary Speakers

Allen Fish

"Three Decades of Citizen Science and Raptor Monitoring at the Golden Gate: When to Set Sail, and When to Jump Ship"

Allen Fish got his degree in Zoology at UC Davis, and returned there in the 2000s to teach Raptor Biology. He has been director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory since 1985. In 2003, he was given the Maurice Broun Award for contributions to Raptor Biology & Conservation. He lives in Berkeley with his wife Allison, two teens and a coonhound.
Mary Ellen Hannibal

"Dispatches from a Citizen Scientist"

Mary Ellen Hannibal is most recently the author of The Spine of the Continent: The Race to Save America’s Last, Best Wilderness, which chronicles the birth of conservation biology, and how we know what nature needs to persist. Hannibal is a winner of both the National Association of Science Writers Science and Society Award and Stanford’s Knight-Risser Prize in Western Environmental Journalism. She is currently writing a book about citizen science.
Gretchen LeBuhn

"Using Citizen Science to Accelerate the Pace of Pollinator Conservation"

Dr. Gretchen LeBuhn is a professor of Biology at San Francisco State University and the Director of the Great Sunflower Project, a citizen science project tracking pollinator service in back yards, gardens, and parks around the world. She studies plant and pollinator systems from the mountains of Ecuador to urban San Francisco. Since starting work in the field of citizen science, she has begun to explore the dynamics of online communities as well as the effectiveness of citizen science for learning. She is the author of “A Field Guide to the Common Bees of California” and a co-author of “Attracting Native Pollinators.”.
David Moskowitz

"Natural Sign Surveys and Observer Reliability in Citizen Science"

David Moskowitz has been involved in citizen science and wildlife research, education and conservation efforts for the past 18 years in the Pacific Northwest. David is currently the sole proprietor of a davidmoskowitz.net, providing services in: wildlife consulting; wildlife tracking training and certification; and wildlife, adventure, and conservation photography. He is the author and photographer of two books, Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest and Wolves in the Land of Salmon. In 2006 he helped establish the Cascade Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project, a citizen science effort to search for and monitor rare and sensitive wildlife in the Cascades and other Northwest wildlands using a variety of non-invasive survey methods.

As certified Track and Sign Specialist, and one of six Evaluators in North America for Cybertracker Conservation International, David provides professional level certification in wildlife tracking field skills for individuals involved in wildlife research, conservation, and education.
Cybertracker Conservation’s mission of creating and supporting a worldwide environmental monitoring network is carried out through providing rigorous certification to help ensure observer reliability in data collection and natural history interpretation and through providing free software to help enable individuals and organizations collect real-time data on current field conditions in their local environment in order to support evidence based conservation efforts around the world.
Tina Phillips

"Articulating Conservation Outcomes for Citizen Science: Emerging practices for the 21st Century"

For the past 15 years, Tina Phillips has been a leader in the field of citizen science, where she has been able to combine her passion for science, education, and conservation. She has extensive experience in developing, managing, and evaluating citizen science projects such as NestWatch, where she used citizen-science collected data to study the breeding biology of birds across North America. Currently an Extension Associate and the Evaluation Program Manager at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, she is leading a large-scale NSF-funded research project to examine the relationship between engagement in citizen science and outcomes related to knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behavior.
She is also leading an effort to address challenges and opportunities for realizing the conservation and social-ecological implications of citizen science programming. Tina has written several articles and chapters on citizen science and was one of the authors of a landmark CAISE report: Public Participation in Scientific Research: Defining the Field and Assessing its Potential for Informal Science Education.

Before coming to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology she held several research positions studying animal behavior in fish, birds, and primates. Following her undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she spent several years in Colorado working for the United States Forest Service documenting presence or absence of endangered, threatened, and sensitive species. Tina currently holds a Master’s in Education from Cornell University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Science Education at Cornell. When not working, she enjoys bird watching, hiking, gardening, skiing, and spending time with her husband and two children.
Emilyn Sheffield

"Accept New Possibilities"

Emilyn Sheffield is a Professor of Recreation and Parks Management at California State University, Chico where over 500 students volunteer their time and talents to public lands though Field School each year and nearly as many are preparing for careers in hospitality, parks, recreation and tourism.

Since 1986 she has worked with partners to connect people to the natural places that enhance their lives. Her applied research projects and high-energy presentations help natural resource leaders and their partners respond more effectively to changing demographic and lifestyle trends. She is currently investigating community engagement, volunteerism, and conservation stewardship through university service learning throughout California.

Dr. Sheffield also works with interdisciplinary teams on projects involving scenic byways, alternative transit, long distance trails, tourism infrastructure, and visitor services throughout California and the western United States. These projects share the common goal of increasing access to and support for public lands through branding, identity systems, strategic planning, or product development.

She is active in several professional societies and has recently completed a term of service as the president of board of directors of the Association of Partners for Public Lands.
Fraser Shilling

"Making and using online systems for volunteer-based observations of wildlife"

Fraser Shilling received his PhD from the University of Southern California in aquatic ecology in 1991. He is currently a research scientist at UC Davis, where he uses geographic information systems and modeling to assess risk and conditions at watershed, county, and bioregional scales to address planning, conservation, regulatory and other needs and issues. He has developed theory-based models and analyses of connectivity, as well as serving as the organizer of the biennial California Connectivity Forum.
He directs and sometimes gets to participate in field-biology projects, primarily associated with roads and highways, and in 2009 developed the first two state-scale, online wildlife observations systems. He co-directs the UC Davis Road Ecology Center, the only research and education center for road ecology, and has collaborated on >two dozen projects with NGOs, local governments, and state and federal agencies over the last 15 years. During that time, he trained the first and largest set of volunteers in the state measuring water quality (in the Yuba River watershed) and for 4 years has led wildlife observation systems in California (http://wildlifecrossing.net/california) and Maine (http://wildlifecrossing.net/maine). He is currently helping to start up a wildlife camera network in the San Francisco Bay area, which he supports by developing the first-of-its-kind online, wildlife camera picture database system: http://wildlifeobserver.net.

Concurrent Technical Sessions:

Wednesday, 1 pm - 5 pm

Energy Expansion and Conservation in Nevada and California DesertsAmy Fesnock-Parker
Ecology and Conservation of MustelidsBrad Valentine
Ecology and Conservation of RaptorsBill Goggin
Island Biogeography and Mainland ApplicationsJohn Tull

Thursday, 1 pm - 5 pm

Applications of Citizen ScienceAllen Fish
Ecology and Conservation of MammalsEsther Burkett
Ecology and Conservation of BirdsKathy Simon
Web & GIS Technologies for Wildlife Science and ConservationJohn McNerney
Anticipating and Responding to Urban Growth & Climate ChangeLinda Leeman

Friday, 8 am - 12 pm

Wildlife Diseases and PathologyDeana Clifford and Peregrine Wolff
Game ManagementDom Bachman
Human Dimensions in WildlifeJeff Lincer
Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians and ReptilesRhys Evans
Wildlife Technologies (non-GIS)Rick Perry

Poster Session

  • Wednesday, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Session Chairs: Jessica Martini-Lamb and Carlos Alvarado
A poster session will be held on the evening of Wednesday, January 29, 2014. At this time, authors will be available to answer questions about their posters. Hors d’ouevres will be served and the Grand Sierra will be serving complementary beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks. Posters will also be available for viewing at other times throughout the week. Posters should be no more than 3 feet high by 4 feet wide. Presenters must bring their own supplies (T-pins, push pins, etc.) to attach posters to the display boards. Display boards will be provided. Poster setup is Wednesday, 4 - 6 pm.

New! This year the poster session is included in the meeting registration price. No extra cost to registered conference participants to attend the Poster Session. Those wishing to attend the poster session ONLY should contact Candace Renger,


Leadership in Wildlife Management in the 21st Century: Know when to Hold Em' and Know when to Fold Em

  Ken Mayer is a longtime member of The Wildlife Society, active former board member of Western Section, and a Certified Wildlife Biologist. During his long career with California Department of Fish and Game (now Fish and Wildlife), where he served in a number of supervisory and executive positions, he addressed a plethora of wildlife management and conservation issues. As Director of Nevada Department of Wildlife from 2007-2013 and member of the Governor's Cabinet, he was an advocate for science-based wildlife stewardship -- navigating many challenges that included advocacy-based policy implications for wildlife conservation and population management. Ken received his B.A. and M.S. in Natural Resource Management from Humboldt State University.
As President and CEO of K.E. Mayer & Associates, he currently serves as Lead for the USFWS/Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies effort to address the wildfire/invasive threats to Greater sage-grouse and how it will affect the USFWS listing decision in 2015.

Following Ken’s keynote address, we’ll facilitate a conversation about leadership with a few noted leaders in the wildlife profession. Confirmed participants are:
  • John Carlson, President, California Waterfowl Association
  • Kevin Hunting, Chief Deputy Director, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Ted Koch, US Fish & Wildlife Service Nevada State Supervisor
  • Raul Morales, Deputy Director, Nevada, Bureau of Land Management
  • Tony Wasley, Director, Nevada Department of Wildlife
  • Dan Yparriguirre, Deputy Director, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife


Tuesday Night Welcome Reception, Wildlife Photo Gallery, and Taco Bar NEW!

  • Tuesday, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Requires separate registration
By popular demand, we are adding more opportunities for networking and socializing amongst wildlifers! Join us on Tuesday evening to kick-off the Annual Meeting and make connections with new & old friends and colleagues. We will serve up our famous taco bar, and several well-stocked no-host bars will also be available. Tuesday evening will also launch our first-ever wildlife photo exhibit. Check out what fellow Western Section members have been up to lately and celebrate the opening night of our 60th Anniversary Annual Meeting. Relax, you have arrived in Reno! We have a great week ahead of us.

We need your photos! Win an iPad! A slideshow will be displayed at the Welcome Reception at our upcoming annual conference. The content is up to you! Send in your photos of wildlife, coworkers, TWS workshops, study animals, unexpected situations, beautiful locations, etc. Help us celebrate wildlife and the wildlife profession! Please send photos in jpg format to
evelarrucea@gmail.com. Each person that submits a photo(s) for the Tuesday night wildlife gallery will be entered in a drawing for a brand-new iPad! The drawing will be held on Tuesday evening at the Welcome Reception. Need not be present to win.

Breakfast Roundtables NEW!

  • Wednesday, 7:30 am to 9:30 am
  • Requires separate registration
The objective of the Roundtables is to provide more opportunities for conference attendees to exchange ideas and cultivate productive professional relationships.
The two concurrent Breakfast Roundtable themes are:
  • TWS 60th Anniversary –State of the Society; topics we are considering at press time are advocacy, value of Citizen Science, and State Wildlife Action Plans
  • Human/Wildlife interactions; - Event full. topics we are considering at press time are hunting, management of exotic animal species, and management of wolves and grizzlies in the West.
To encourage conversation, the (round) tables will seat 6-8 people and the rooms will not be too loud. We will set each table with background information, introduce the topics, provide simple guidelines, and end the event with a summary of ideas from each table.

  • Country Fresh Scrambled Eggs Served with with Green Onions and Cheddar Cheese, Apple Wood Smoked Bacon and Breakfast Potatoes.
  • Plus Yogurt, Fresh Fruit, Fresh Fruit Tarts, and Bran Muffins served family style on each table.
  • Also includes Orange Juice, Locally Roasted Fair Trade Coffee, Decaf Coffee & Hot Teas. (Free-Range, Organic!)

California Fisher Working Group Meeting

  • Wednesday, 8:00 am to 9:30 am
The California Fisher Working Group was created to share current information among interested parties to foster communication and collaboration, with the goal of maintaining healthy viable fisher populations in California. The focus of the California Fisher Working Group is on recent research and conservation matters related to fishers in California. When pertinent, information on fishers outside of California or from closely related species will be included in meeting agendas. The 2014 meeting will be an informational session using our traditional 5 slides/5 minutes format, with time at the end for questions and discussion. The meeting is open to all.

Annual Business Meeting and Member’s Forum

  • Wednesday, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm New Time!

Officers and committee chairs of the Western Section will provide reports for membership information and discussion, and new officers and Executive Board members will be introduced. Attendance by all members is encouraged!

Resume Workshops

  • Thursday Afternoon (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) AND Friday morning (8:30 am to 10:30 am)
  • No additional cost
Resume Writing for Undergrads and Graduating Seniors: Barbara Peters (Career Counselor) will present Resume Writing workshops for undergraduate students on Thursday, January 30 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. She will provide information and handouts about putting together an effective resume and cover letter targeted to positions (seasonal, internship, and professional) in the wildlife and environmental fields.

Resume Writing for Graduate Students: Barbara Peters (Career Counselor) will also present a Resume/CV Writing workshop for graduate students (MS & PhD) on Friday,January 31, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. She will provide information and handouts about putting together an effective CV/resume and cover letter targeted to professional positions in the wildlife and environmental fields.

In both workshops, she will also provide a list of special skills that students develop as part of their undergraduate and graduate experiences (research techniques, field equipment & techniques, training, licenses, etc.), as well as interviewing tips and on-line resources for job hunting in these fields.

On Friday (January 31), she will be available, on a sign-up basis, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at the Career Fair to critique CV/Resumes; but she is also willing to look at emailed Resumes & CV’s after the annual meeting.

Barbara Peters worked at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, as a Career Counselor for 30 years. At HSU, she specialized in helping students (undergrads and graduate students) in the natural resources and sciences with career decision-making, gaining summer job & internship experiences, and professional job hunting upon graduation. Prior to her time at HSU, she worked for 5 years in the Career Planning and Placement Office at Idaho State University. She obtained her B.A. degree in Political Science (1971) and her M.A.Ed. in Student Personnel Work in Higher Education (1976) from Idaho State University. She lives in Eureka, CA with her fisherman husband and a Springer Spaniel, Buster – they have raised 2 litters of Springer Spaniels over the years. Barbara has been presenting these workshops at The Western Section since 2007 and at the TWS Annual Meeting since 2009.

Career Fair and Student/Professional Lunch

  • Friday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm - Career Fair
  • Friday, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm - Student Professional Lunch
  • No additional cost, but you must pre-register to attend the lunch

This is an opportunity for students to meet prospective employers and discuss careers in the wildlife sciences. Professionals from state and federal agencies and several consulting firms will be present. Student/Professional Lunch, served at noon, is free to students and professionals who have indicated they will attend on their registration form, but a ticket or name badge symbol is required. All are invited to attend the Career Fair.

NEW! Wildlife Biology Apps

  • Friday, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
During this one-hour workshop, we will discuss the utility and pitfalls of applications (“apps”) developed for smart phones and tablets. Some of the topics we will touch on will include applications for mapping/GPS (GPS Kit, Peakfinder), weather tracking, field tools and calculations (Theodolite), field guides (iBird, Leafsnap), and recording species observations (iNaturalist). Scott Loarie, co-director of iNaturalist will be joining us and will give a brief introduction of the website and accompanying app: he’ll describe the types of data collected and some of the applications of citizen science-sourced data. We’ll also be sending out a short survey to TWS Western Section members to assess what apps you’re using in the field or maybe more importantly, apps that have failed… Please keep an eye out for the survey. We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Advocacy Training for the Wildlife Professional Workshop

  • Friday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
This is a hands-on training to provide wildlife professionals in the Western Sections with the skills and resources needed to communicate science to decision makers and the public while influencing policy and management. An introduction to advocacy and effective messaging, participants will have the opportunity to understand various forms of advocacy, identify when certain forms of advocacy may or may not be appropriate, practice communication skills and messaging techniques, and review common practices to enhance relationships with decision makers. Like Rachel Carson once said – “Like the resource it seeks to protect, wildlife conservation must be dynamic, changing as conditions change, seeking always to become more effective.” Learn the skills and abilities necessary to increase your effectiveness in communicating wildlife management needs.
Terra Rentz is the former Deputy Director of Government Affairs with The Wildlife Society and a current Graduate Student at SUNY ESF/University of Syracuse in Syracuse New York. Prior to working with TWS she served as the Teaming With Wildlife Program Associate for the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in Washington, D.C. Terra received her B.S. and B.A. from Humboldt State University in 2008 studying both Wildlife Management & Conservation and Political Science, and became a certified Associate Wildlife Biologist in 2011. She has worked in the natural resource field since 2000 on a range of issues including environmental education, wildlife management, conservation policy and community planning and has been providing advocacy, leadership, and communication training in the conservation arena for more than ten years.

Conservation Affairs Committee Meeting

  • Friday, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Members are welcome to attend, learn about the committee, and get involved. The committee will be discussing its role in the Section and brainstorming ways to better inform decision makers about wildlife!

Job Interview Panel: I Got a Job Interview, Now What? - Getting Jobs in a Tough Job Environment

  • Friday, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • No additional cost
The job interview process can be an intimidating experience for the job seeker. To help make this less mysterious, a group of 4-6 invited speakers from agencies, private consulting, and academia will provide insights into what can be expected during a job interview with their respective employers. Topics include how to prepare for the interview, how you should present yourself, and the range of potential questions you may be asked. In addition, an open discussion follows the presentations.



All dinner selections include Dinner Salad, Entree & Dessert as well as Fresh Seasonal Vegetables, Freshly Baked Rolls & Butter, Freshly Brewed Locally Roasted Fair Trade Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, Hot Tea, Iced Tea & Milk. (Organic!)
  • Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Cannelloni with Roasted Vegetables Served with a Basil Commodore Sauce. (Organic!)
  • Boneless Breast of Chicken Stuffed with Organic Spinach & Mushrooms. Served with a Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce & Ricotta Whipped Potatoes. (Free-Range, Organic!)
  • Grilled New York Steak with a Rosemary Merlot Sauce. Served with an Organic Baked Potato, Sour Cream & Chives. (Grass-Fed, Organic!)

Raffle and Silent Auction

The annual raffle will be conducted during Thursday evening’s banquet, after the awards ceremony. The silent auction will open on Wednesday evening during the Poster Session and will close during the morning break on Friday. Items must be purchased and picked up by 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Raffle and auction proceeds support the Western Section’s student programs including travel grants, awards for best papers, and student-mentor activities. We encourage everyone to purchase raffle tickets, which are available at the Registration Desk or from Western Section Executive Board members and volunteers. Raffle and silent auction items will be displayed near the Registration Desk.


The Professional Development Committee is developing pre-conference symposia including a Greater Sage Grouse Symposium, a Necropsy Workshop, and both a ½ day and a full day Wildlife Tracking and Observer Reliability course.

Golden Eagle CA/NV Work Group

The purpose of the California–Nevada Golden Eagle Working Group (GEWG) is to provide a forum for state and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, researchers, landowners, and other interested parties to discuss and coordinate activities surrounding Golden Eagle inventory, monitoring, research, and conservation efforts in California and Nevada. The GEWG will be meeting January 27th, 2014. The meeting will discuss recent updates from agency staff and GEWG subgroups (Database Subgroup and Research Subgroup), in addition several researchers will be presenting on completed, ongoing or planned studies. The Research Subgroup meeting will follow on January 28th to discuss consistent data collection, protocols and terminology, broad-scale monitoring, and any opportunities for future research.

Greater Sage Grouse Symposium

Greater sage-grouse are currently a species of high conservation concern due to substantial declines in both population size and distribution that have occurred over the last fifty years. Population declines have been linked with numerous sources of habitat loss and degradation, including but not limited to invasive annual grasses, conifer expansion, energy development, and urban sprawl. The magnitude of these threats lead the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate sage-grouse as a candidate for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, as well as a recent proposal to designate sage-grouse in the Bi-State distinct population segment as threatened under ESA. The legal status of sage-grouse and their conservation have implications for human land use throughout the west, thus potentially affecting private industries and the general public.

The primary goal of this symposium is to provide information regarding perceived and realized threats to greater sage-grouse populations, and to describe and discuss how this information is being used to manage populations and inform policy decisions. We have invited speakers that include federal and state agency professionals, universities scientists, and non-governmental organizations, with a goal of providing a well-rounded perspective of the 1) current issues affecting sage-grouse population dynamics, 2) how policy decisions regarding sage-grouse will be affected by this information, and 3) how private interests are preparing for and responding to these policy decisions. In addition to any free time available between presentations, a series of moderated panel discussions will take place intermittently throughout the symposium in which the audience will have an opportunity to present questions to the invited speakers.

Observer Reliability and Identification of Wildlife Tracks and Signs Half-Day Workshop Event full

Statement of Purpose:
The identification and interpretation of indirect signs of wildlife (e.g. tracks and scats) is an integral part of wildlife research and monitoring, both visibly as a method of data collection and invisibly in project design and implementation. The value and reliability of wildlife tracking methods carried out by trained observers has been verified in numerous instances (e.g., Elbroch et al. 2011, Stander et al. 1997). However, poor observer reliability is detrimental to research and conservation objectives (e.g. Evans et al. 2009, Janecka et al. 2011, Karanth et al. 2003), and the observer reliability of research participants is more typically assumed rather than tested in conservation work (Elbroch et al. 2011, Evans et al 2009).

Animal tracks and signs are the basis of a host of wildlife survey methods, from track plates and scent stations to pellet counts, browse surveys, and snow tracking transects (Long et al. 2008). This workshop will provide participants an introduction in identifying tracks and signs and present new tools that can used to test observer reliability in the field.

This workshop focuses on two main topics: 1) identifying and interpreting wildlife signs and 2) the CyberTracker Conservation (cybertracker.org) method of assessing observer reliability during field studies. During this workshop, facilitators will demonstrate the observational and analytical process by which tracks and signs can be used to collect reliable data for research. Facilitators will also introduce methods for evaluating observer reliability of track and sign identification which researchers might find helpful in their own projects.

Detailed Description:
This workshop will take place completely in the field at a location near the conference center. Following a method similar to the one used by CyberTracker Conservation to train, evaluate, and certify individuals in wildlife tracking, participants will be asked to identify and interpret actual wildlife tracks and signs discovered in the field. Participants will have an opportunity to gauge and improve their current skill set, as well as engage in discussions after each question aimed at improving observer reliability in identifying and interpreting indirect signs.

Topics will include: field marks for identifying tracks, interpretation of basic wildlife behavior through indirect evidence, animal locomotion and track patterns. The workshop will close with a round-table discussion on the limitations of tracking methods in wildlife research and how best to address issues of observer reliability in research and monitoring reliant upon indirect wildlife signs. Additionally, there will be opportunities for participants to ask questions about specific species and data collection methods pertinent to their projects or interests.

One Day Track and Sign Certification Event Event full

  • Participants should gather at the Nevada Room Roll-Up doors at 8am on Saturday.
  1. Systematically evaluate participant skill in track and sign identification and interpretation in a field setting. Provide immediate feedback and training in the field.
  2. Train participants in field methods for identification of clear, partial and obscured tracks and signs and methods for efficient interpretation of tracks and signs.
  3. Introduce participants to as wide a variety of tracks and signs possible in the field venue.
  4. Provide professional certification to those who demonstrate competency through the evaluation process, under the guidelines set by Cybertracker Conservation International.

Track and Sign certifications are completely field based. After a brief introduction to the process first thing in the morning, the entire day will be spent inspecting tracks and signs and answering questions presented by the evaluator. After all participants have provided an answer to a question the entire group will review the track or sign and debrief relevant material including the process by which identification and interpretation has been made. At the end of the day, individuals who have demonstrated competency will be awarded a Level 1 Track and Sign Certificate (Note that certification is not based on participation but on performance).

Field Equipment
  • Daypack
  • Food and water for the day
  • Sun protection and warm layers as appropriate

  • Notebook
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Field Guides *
* Field guides and measuring devices can not be used while answering questions but can be used during debriefs and after questions have been answered by participants.

Wildlife Disease Investigation Practical Workshop Event full

This workshop will increase participants understanding of how to recognize and investigate wildlife mortality events, and how to safely necropsy, collect and submit samples from wild animals in order to determine the cause of wildlife mortality. We will also link participants to networks and resources for wildlife health and teach you how to work effectively with wildlife health professionals.

During this workshop you will learn how to:
  1. Characterize and investigate a wildlife mortality event.
  2. Conduct a field necropsy and collect appropriate samples for disease diagnostics.
  3. Protect yourself from exposure to diseases.
  4. Communicate effectively and work in teams with wildlife veterinarians, pathologists, and other laboratory diagnostic specialists.

Who will benefit from taking this workshop?
Wildlife biologists, researchers, and other professionals whose job duties involve responding to wildlife mortalities or who want to incorporate health into their current research projects.

What is the workshop format?
This is a hands-on 8 hour workshop. Participants will work in small groups with wildlife veterinarians and disease specialists and learn how to characterize and describe a wildlife mortality event in the field; become familiar with common zoonotic diseases and learn how to protect oneself from exposure; observe a necropsy and then conduct a necropsy; learn the basics of what is normal and abnormal in a necropsy; learn how to safely and appropriately collect, store, transport and ship animal blood and tissue samples; and learn what happens to those samples when they get to the laboratory and how good sample collection technique can make or break a disease investigation. Finally, participants will gain an understanding of the wildlife disease resources in their respective states and how to contact them.

  1. Dr. Peregrine Wolff – Wildlife Veterinarian, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW)
  2. Dr. Leslie Woods – Wildlife Pathologist, UC Davis California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab (CAHFS)
  3. Dr. Deana Clifford – Wildlife Veterinarian & Epidemiologist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)
  4. Krysta Rogers (tentative) – Avian Disease Biologist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  5. Jaime Rudd (tentative) – Scientific Aid, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
** Enrollment is limited, so sign up early!**

Student Weekend Event full

  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 31 to February 2, 2014, Sagehen Creek Field Station - Truckee, CA
  • Requires separate registration
Please join the student affairs committee of TWS Western Section for a weekend of networking after the Annual Meeting with fellow wildlifers at Sagehen Creek Field Station.

During the daytime on Saturday, participants will explore the station as a group, and conduct informal wildlife tracking during a snowshoe walk with Katie Moriarty and Sarah Hegg. Katie Moriarty will talk about her experiences with animal tracking and she will teach students how to look for signs and how to document species. On Saturday evening, we will enjoy a group dinner (provided by TWS-WS) and screen the movie, "Green Fire: A Land Ethic for our Time." The first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, Green Fire highlights Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. Leopold remains relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land. A facilitated discussion with Kaitlin Backlund will follow the film, and we will talk about people's relationship to land. Kaitlin Backlund is the Volunteer Coordinator at Sagehen Creek Field Station. She is a California Naturalist and graduate of the Aldo Leopold Foundation's Land Ethic Leaders workshop. The film will be for both student and Wilderness First Aid workshop participants.

Participants are encouraged to arrive at the Field Station early on Friday evening to get settled into the accommodations (bunks and twin beds in shared rooms) and make dinner (on your own) in the communal kitchen. Participants not part of the Wilderness First Aid workshop are expected to depart by 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Cost for students is $30 per person which includes two nights bunk lodging, Saturday morning tracking workshop, Saturday dinner, and the Green Fire film screening. Students interested in tracking will need to bring snowshoes for the outdoor walk. Rental snowshoes are available at The Backcountry in Truckee, CA for a minimal charge.

The landline phone number at Sagehen is 530-582-5625. The gate code is 7227. The road in to Sagehen will be plowed and is accessible for 2WD vehicles.

Sagehen Creek Field Station Weekend Schedule:
  • Friday, starting 4pm - check-in at Sagehen Creek Field Station, dinner on your own in the communal kitchen
  • Saturday, 8am-5pm - Wilderness First Aid class (Requires separate registration)
  • Saturday, 10am - Animal Tracking Workshop and Walk with Katie Moriarty and Sarah Hegg
  • Saturday, 6pm - Group Dinner provided by TWS-WS
  • Saturday, 7pm - "Green Fire - Aldo Leopold and a land ethic for our time" Film Screening and facilitated discussion with Kaitlin Backlund
  • Sunday, 8am-5pm Wilderness First Aid concludes.
  • Sunday, 11am - Check-out and depart Sagehen (unless you are taking Wilderness First Aid)

Ski Mt. Rose

How about wrapping up the Annual Meeting with a ski day at Tahoe's highest base resort, Mt. Rose? Mt Rose is just 25 minutes from Reno, and it's perfectly positioned on the summit between Reno and Lake Tahoe. The Mt. Rose shuttle picks up on Saturdays at 8:15am at the Grand Sierra front door, and the cost is only $15 round trip. Advance reservations recommended - these can be made at the hotel concierge. The shuttle departs Mt Rose at the end of the day at 4:30pm and you'll be back at the hotel in Reno by 5:00pm. Grab some wildlifers and enjoy a day outside! Shuttle and Lift Ticket information/pricing:

Wilderness First Aid - 16 hours Event full

  • Saturday and Sunday, February 1-2, 2014, Sagehen Creek Field Station - Truckee, CA
  • Requires separate registration
In addition to a half day of outdoor scenario practice of first aid and leadership skills, this class focuses on practicing skills and covering: patient assessment, shock and bleeding, head and spinal injuries, wounds, musculoskeletal injuries, heat and cold illnesses and much more. Gain some good tools and knowledge to handle a wilderness first aid emergency. Successful completion of class includes a Wilderness First Aid certificate.

Classes are fun with lots of hands-on skills practice. The emphasis is on making good decisions by staying calm and safe, doing a good patient assessment, and having good communication and leadership. Join our classes, where it is safe to learn and OK to make mistakes.

Cost: $160 early ($180 late), includes cost of WFA class, 2 nights lodging in shared dorms, Saturday night dinner, Saturday night film screening and discussion.

Sagehen Creek Field Station
Located twelve miles north of Truckee, CA, Sagehen Creek Field Station and the Sagehen Experimental Forest are research and teaching facilities of the University of California at Berkeley. Established with the assistance of Starker and Luna Leopold, sons of renowned conservationist, Aldo Leopold, the Field Station has a collection of over 60 years worth of scientific data that is used in diverse fields of study such as climate change, hydrology, and forest ecology.

Link to directions and information on Sagehen:

Shared lodging will be available in heated cabins and dorms. Be sure to pack a sleeping bag/pillow, clothes for snow play, and food for all your meals (except Saturday dinner which is provided).

Participants may use the self contained and well equipped field station communal kitchen. The kitchen has an 8-burner propane range, triple dish sinks, prep sink, stainless prep tables, 5 refrigerators, 1 freezer, coffee makers, pots and pans, plates, bowls, utensils, dry food storage, etc. Bring your own food, and take everything with you when you leave.

The landline phone number at Sagehen is 530-582-5625. The gate code is 7227. The road in to Sagehen will be plowed and is accessible for 2WD vehicles.


We invite you to participate as a Sponsor at our 2014 Annual Conference. Sponsors help us keep conference registration fees at a reasonable rate for our attendees and help us raise operating capital to promote sustainable management of wildlife resources. We need your support!
Link to Sponsorship flyer

Key Reasons to Participate in our Annual Meeting
  • Make face-to-face connections with hundreds of wildlife professionals
  • Generate new contacts & renewed interest in your organization
  • Demonstrate your support for wildlife stewardship
  • Choose from several levels of sponsorship options ranging from $250 to $3,500
  • Participating Exhibitors will have a high-profile, centrally located space, adjacent to the technical sessions and the refreshment breaks which will allow for maximum exhibitor exposure
We have three different sponsorship levels available and each option has many associated benefits. Thank you for considering sponsoring our meeting. Sponsors may sign up through the online meeting registration form, or email candace.renger@gmail.com.

$3,500 CONDOR Premier Sponsor
An exclusive opportunity for ONE sponsor *
  • Your logo on the front screen in all the meeting rooms as the PREMIER Sponsor
  • FREE Full page ad on the back cover of the conference program book
  • FREE ½ page ad in our December 15, 2013 newsletter
  • Recognition with logo in all conference related publications and website as the PREMIER Conference Supporter
  • Exclusive Double Exhibit Space in the best location in the Exhibit Hall – Two Tables
  • Special name tag ribbons for all your company registrants
  • 4 complimentary conference registrations that also include the Tuesday night Welcome Reception/Taco Bar and the Thursday night Awards Banquet
  • Complimentary table in the Friday Career Fair for your company

$2,500 BIGHORN Gold Sponsor
Limited to FIVE Sponsors *
  • FREE ½ page ad in the printed conference program book
  • FREE ¼ page ad in our December 15, 2013 newsletter
  • Recognition with logo in all conference-related publications and website as a GOLD Conference Supporter
  • Exclusive Exhibit Space in the front of the Exhibit Hall – One Table
  • Special name tag ribbons for all your company registrants
  • 3 complimentary conference registrations that also include the Tuesday night Welcome Reception/Taco Bar
  • Complimentary table in the Friday Career Fair for your company

$1,000 SEA TURTLE Bronze Sponsor
Unlimited *
  • Recognition with logo in all conference related publications and website as a BRONZE Conference Supporter
  • Exhibit Space in the Exhibit Hall – One Table
  • Special name tag ribbons for all your company registrants
  • 2 complimentary conference registrations that also include the Tuesday night Welcome Reception/Taco Bar
  • Complimentary table in the Friday Career Fair for your company

$500/$250 Exhibit Hall Vendor
$500 for Large Companies (or) $250 for Nonprofits/Artists/Small Companies
  • Recognition in all conference related publications and website as an Exhibitor
  • Exhibit Space in the Exhibit Hall - One Table
  • Complimentary ticket to the Tuesday night Welcome Reception/Taco Bar

$100 Career Fair Table
  • A table in the Friday Career Fair
  • Recognition on the website and conference program book as a Career Fair attendee

The Exhibit Hall will be located in the Nevada Room at the Grand Sierra Resort Tuesday, January 28 through Friday, January 31, 2014. Exhibitors may sign up on the online meeting registration form. The Exhibit Hall room is the hub of the meeting. All concurrent session rooms are adjacent to the Exhibit Hall and it is also the location of the morning and afternoon breaks, the Tuesday Welcome Reception, the Wednesday Poster Session and the Friday Career Fair.

Each exhibit space includes one 6’ table with a tablecloth, 2 chairs and internet access. Please note that electrical and/or telephone lines are available at an additional cost. (If needed, please make arrangements directly with the Event Coordinator, Candace Renger).

Exhibit Hall Open Hours:
  • Exhibit Hall setup will begin on Tuesday at 3pm
  • Tuesday, 5-9pm
  • Wednesday 7am-8pm
  • Thursday 7:30am-5:30pm
  • Friday 7am-12pm

Exhibit Hall Fees:
  • $500 for Large Companies (or) $250 for Nonprofits/Artists/Small Companies

Exhibitors will receive:
  • Recognition in all conference related publications and website as an Exhibitor
  • Exhibit Space in the Exhibit Hall - One Table
  • Complimentary ticket to the Tuesday night Welcome Reception/Taco Bar


Opportunities abound. We are looking for helpers to work onsite during meeting in January. Priority for volunteer spots will be given to students and young professionals. Please contact Janae Scruggs if you are interested in volunteering at the meeting.


The Western Section recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to make contributions toward the Western Section’s goals. If you know of a deserving nominee for any of the below awards please contact the Award and Grants Committee Chair richard.burg@wildlife.ca.gov by 12/1/2013.

1) Raymond F. Dasmann Award for the Professional of the Year The “Dasmann Award” is presented by the Western Section to Professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to wildlife resources management and understanding in California, Nevada, Hawaii or Guam.

2) The Conservationist of the Year Award The Conservationist of the Year Award is presented by the Western Section to a person or group, engaged in wildlife conservation either as a profession or as an avocation, who has made an outstanding contribution to wildlife conservation in California, Nevada, Hawaii or Guam.

3) Barrett A. Garrison “Outstanding Mentor Award The “Barrett A. Garrison Outstanding Mentor Award” is bestowed to a professional within California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Guam who has contributed to our profession by assisting the continued development of students and/or young professionals.


As usual, we will have lots to offer! Follow the link below to a page with information about events and activities at the meeting specifically for students, including resume workshops, career fair, and networking with professionals.
For more information on travel scholarships, check our website under “Resources” or contact the Awards and Grants Committee Chair (richard.burg@wildlife.ca.gov).


In pursuit of the objective to encourage high standards of professional achievement, the Western Section has established an honoraria fund to assist our members’ participation in professional meetings, conferences, symposia and other continuing education activities. For more information:


Members will be eligible to earn credit hours for Professional Development, Professional Development Certificates and for TWS Certification renewal (note: meetings such as this do not normally qualify for an initial TWS certification application, but pre- and post-conference symposia and workshops can!). Additional information will be provided in the final conference program.


“Let the pros do the driving so you can finish reading that new issue of The Wildlife Professional on the way to the conference!”
We encourage meeting attendees to travel to Reno on the historic and highly scenic Amtrak Snow Train. Avoid the hassle of driving in inclement weather and instead enjoy spectacular views of snowy peaks and relax or work as you travel.

Plan to arrive on the Tuesday train which gets you to Reno in plenty of time for the Tuesday night Welcome Reception.
1) Amtrak
www.amtrak.com You have the option of the CA Zephyr Train (Emeryville to Reno, 6.75 hours. Sacramento to Reno, 5.25 hours) or the Amtrak Bus (which shaves off an hour or so of travel time and with a slightly lower fee.)

Grand Sierra Hotel will provide free transportation to/from Amtrak Reno – reservations required. Email candace.renger@gmail.com to make your ground transportation reservation. Reservations must be made before January 23, 2014.

2) Megabus http://us.megabus.com Megabus is a brand new, super clean, luxury bus system with free wifi and at-seat plugins. Leave from either the San Francisco Cal Train or Sacramento (L & 13th) Stations. From SF it takes a little over 4 hours. From Sacramento, the ride is 2.5 hours. Cost is around $40 round trip. The bus drops off at the Silver Legacy Casino which is a 30 minute walk to the Grand Sierra, or a 10 minute bus ride on the city bus.

3) Reno Airport http://www.renoairport.com/flight-info Nonstop flights to Reno depart from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco on Southwest, United, US Airways, American, Delta and Alaska Airlines. The Grand Sierra Hotel runs a complimentary airport shuttle service every ½ hour beginning at 5:30am with the last shuttle departing at 11pm. No reservation required. Pickup just outside of baggage claim.

4) Washoe Regional Transportation Commission http://rtcwashoe.com/ Convenient transportation within the Reno Area. Use the Google Maps link on the RTC website for convenient scheduling.

Please arrive early as there are no registration refunds available due to inclement weather delays.


The Western Section is pleased to help facilitate the meeting of working groups during the annual conference, as has been done in the past. In order to ensure space is available and to help minimize scheduling conflicts, if you are interested in holding a working group meeting at the annual conference, please contact Candace Renger by December 1, 2013 at candace.renger@gmail.com


Online registration is open. The following link will take you to the online registration form:


Onsite registration at the Grand Sierra Resort will be held in the Nevada Room during the following times:
  • Tuesday 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thursday 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Friday 7:00 am - 12 Noon
Cancellations: As stated on the registration form, cancellations must be made 14 days before the start of the annual meeting. There will be no refunds due to inclement weather, Federal budget issues, furloughs or other events beyond the control of TWS West. Registrations may still be transferred to another individual at no charge.

Annual Meeting Registration Rates:Early
on or before 12/20/13
on or before 1/24/14
after 1/24/14
Student / Early Career Professional / Retiree *$100$100$120
Associated Events Registration Rates:Early
on or before 12/20/13
on or before 1/24/14
after 1/24/14
Tuesday Evening Welcome Reception - Taco Bar and Wildlife Photo Gallery new!$10$15$15 **
Wednesday Morning Breakfast Roundtables new!$10$15$15 **
Wednesday Evening Poster SessionIncluded in Registration new!
Thursday Evening Awards Banquet and 60th Anniversary Celebration$40$45$45 **
Thursday Evening Awards Banquet and 60th Anniversary Celebration - Student/Early Career Professional$20$25$25 **
Merchandise - TWS-WS Logo Field Coolers$10
Exhibitor Fees $250 Nonprofits-Artists-Small Companies
$500 - Large Companies
Career Fair Booth - Friday$100
Sponsorship$1,000 and up
Pre/Post Conference Symposia and Events Registration Rates:Early
on or before 12/20/13
on or before 1/24/14
after 1/24/14
Golden Eagle CA/NV Work Group, Monday Jan 27
  - Regular$30$50$60
  - Student / Early Career Professional *$15$20$30
Greater Sage Grouse Symposium, Tuesday Jan 28
  - Member$55$75$85
  - Non-Member$90$110$120
  - Student/ Early Career Professional *$30$35$45
Student Sagehen Weekend, Jan 31 - Feb 2 new!
- Includes Fri and Sat Night Lodging at Sagehen Field Station, Sat Morning Workshop - Dinner and Greenfire Film Screening.
$30$30$30 **
Observer Reliability and Identification of Wildlife Tracks & Signs - Half Day, Friday afternoon Jan 31
  - Member$125$155$175 **
  - Non-Member$160$190$210 **
  - Student / Early Career Professional *$50$75$90 **
One Day Track and Sign Certification - Full Day, Saturday Feb 1
  - Member$195$220$230 **
  - Non-Member$230$255$265 **
  - Student / Early Career Professional *$95$110$120 **
Wildlife Disease Investigation Practical Workshop, Saturday Feb 1
  - Member$65$90$105 **
  - Non-Member$100$125$140 **
  - Student / Early Careeer Professional *$40$50N/A
Wilderness First Aid, Feb 1-2
-Includes Fri and Sat night Lodging at Sagehen Field Station and Saturday Night Dinner

* Student / Early Career Professional:
  • Students must be currently enrolled at a university or college or within 6 months of degree conferral.
  • Students are strongly urged to contact their local Chapter for grant support with registration fees.
  • "Early Career Professionals" are those who have graduated in the past 6 months or are employed as seasonal or temporary employees in the wildlife profession.
** If space allows


The 2014 Annual Conference will be held at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. The Grand Sierra is conveniently located 1.5 miles from the Reno International Airport. Grand Sierra Resort provides complimentary shuttle transportation every ½ hour to/from the Reno Airport. Grand Sierra will also provide transport to/from Amtrak – advance shuttle reservations required – contact
candace.renger@gmail.com. Megabus is a new transportation option with wifi enabled buses and extremely cheap ($14) and efficient routes between Reno and either San Francisco or Sacramento.

Please stay at the Grand Sierra Resort and use our room block so we can meet our contractual obligations with the hotel.

Grand Sierra Resort 2500 E. 2nd Street. Reno, NV 89595
Phone: 775-789-2129 / 800-648-5080


Special per-night room rates for conference attendees who book by Tuesday, January 14, 2014. Please indicate that you are a member of the Wildlife Society – Western Section. Reserve your sleeping room online through the Passkey link above and receive a $10 Grand Sierra food credit coupon.
Grand Sierra Standard Room$70$70$90$110
Luxury Summit Grand Room$84$84$104$124
The larger Luxury Summit Grand Rooms have a butler’s pantry with microwave and mini refrigerator. All Luxury Summit Grand Rooms are on the upper floors and have a separate elevator.
+13% Tax

Any questions about the 2014 Annual Meeting? If so, please contact Meeting Planner Candace Renger. candace.renger@gmail.com or (510) 527-5627


  • Truckee River Trail: The Truckee River has well-maintained paved trails for most of its route through Reno. There are many places to park and access it. A few options are downtown near Wingfield Park (also close to restaurants, etc), Idlewild Park (1900 Idlewild Dr), or Mayberry Park (121 Woodland Dr).
  • Rancho San Rafael Park: 1595 N. Sierra St – many miles of trails, a large open pasture for off-leash dogs, an arboretum, and playgrounds for kids
  • Tahoe/Mt. Rose – The quickest views of Lake Tahoe would be from the Mt. Rose area. Take Hwy 395 south to the Mt. Rose Hwy (431) and follow this as it winds past the Mt. Rose ski resort and up to the Tahoe Rim. When you drive up and over the rim, you’ll start to get views of Lake Tahoe. A scenic driving loop would be to take Hwy 431 and Incline Village, then drive along the north shore of the lake to Kings Beach then turn north on Hwy 267 to get back to Interstate 80. This would take about 2 hrs without stops.

Coffee and Bakery
  • The Hub: 32 Cheney St. (yummy pastry selection, but mostly coffee here)
  • Homage: 519 Ralston St
  • Walden’s Coffeehouse: 3940 Mayberry Drive

  • Campo: 50 N Sierra St – seasonal, local and freshly made Italian food ($4-$22) right on the Truckee River
  • West St Market: 148 West St – Choose from several restaurants (greek, dressed-up comfort food, creative pot pies) and a wine bar that also has a huge selection of
  • Louis’ Basque Corner: 301 E. 4th St – Reno has rich Basque history and this restaurant has been voted to have the best Basque food in town
  • Beto’s Mexican Food: 575 W. Fifth St – good, authentic, inexpensive Mexican
  • Pho 777: 102 E 2nd St – Vietnamese pho, another inexpensive option
  • Sup: 669 S. Virginia Street – homemade soups, sandwiches and more
  • India Kabab and Curry: 1091 S. Virginia St – good Indian food
  • Brasserie St. James: 901 Center St – local ingredients, locally brewed beer, always a busy place, a little pricier than your average brewery
  • Silver Peak Brewery: 124 Wonder St – another local brewery, also has a downtown location near the river
  • Great Basin Brewing Company: 5525 S. Virginia St in Reno, or 846 Victorian Ave in Sparks – the best known local beer joint with good beer and classic pub fare
  • Blind Onion Pizza: great pizza at 3 locations throughout Reno/Sparks


The Western Section of the Wildlife Society is proud to partner with the
Great Basin Institute to offset the carbon and ecological footprint of the Reno 2014 Annual Meeting. Over the past several years, the Western Section has collected donations from meeting attendees with the proceeds being used to fund local restoration projects that will offset the carbon footprint of the annual meeting. This year, the registration fee includes a $5 surcharge for carbon offsets and ecological karma.

Great Basin Institute, headquartered in Nevada, is an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and conservation throughout the West. Their mission is to increase ecological literacy and public land conservation through research, educational outreach and direct service programs. Great Basin Institute has provided comprehensive environmental programs for 9,907 students in the past four years through school Field Studies and the Great Basin Naturalists Science Exploration Summer Camp. Their field studies are academically rigorous and reflect a commitment to environmental learning and experiential engagement. Over the past four years, their programs have grown in number, attendance, depth, and complexity as they have connected them to the Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

As the recipient of the carbon offset dollars, Great Basin Institute will continue their efforts to restore the Virgin River through the reintroduction of native plants. This collaborative project among Great Basin Institute, Nevada Conservation Corps, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Walton Family Foundation supports the recovery of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Riparian restoration would also improve water quality in the Virgin River, which provides habitat for the special-status fishes woundfin, Virgin River chub, Virgin spinedace, flannelmouth sucker, and desert sucker.


In these critical times, achieving effective results demands a paradigm shift that can only be realized with exposure to new thoughts and ideas. The Wildlife Society Western Section’s 2014 Annual Conference will help you discover and implement ideas that deliver results. It will introduce you to new scientific studies and concepts as you search for innovative solutions. It will provide opportunities to make valuable connections with other association professionals and suppliers who have solutions you need. And, it will prepare you for the long road ahead.

Many travel budgets and training budgets have been slashed, and some agencies and organizations are experiencing severe financial problems. Regardless of the merits of a conference, you’ll probably need to justify the expense – so here are some things you might want to consider:
  • Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as return for the investment.
  • Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation and Q&A to your colleagues to share what you learned. This way others in your unit can also benefit from your attendance.
  • Share the syllabus and speaker handouts with your colleagues. As an attendee, you have unlimited access to materials posted by speakers.
  • Be ready with a plan that shows who will cover for you while you are attending the conference.
  • Offer to share a room to reduce hotel expenses by finding a roommate.

Federal Employee Participation, written by Laura Bies

OMB recently issued guidance to agencies on conference attendance, providing clarification on how to interpret two recent OMB memorandums (M-12-12: Promoting Efficient Spending to Support Agency Operations, and M-13-5: Agency Responsibilities for Implementation of Potential Joint Committee Sequestration) in light of the budget sequestration.

Noting that it is critical for agencies to recognize the important role that mission-related travel and conferences play, the guidance states that there are circumstances in which travel is necessary to complete the agency’s mission, such as collaborations in the scientific community or presentations of scientific findings. Travel should be focused on mission-critical activities and agencies should ensure that any related spending is an effective and efficient use of Federal funds.

The guidance stresses that each agency is responsible for implementing its own travel policy, but does provide best practices to be considered, including but not limited to:
  • First confirming that physical collocation of Federal employees in a conference setting is a necessary and cost-effective means to carry out the agency’s mission;
  • Ensuring that hotel costs are within per diem rates;
  • Following Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) guidelines for purchases of the activities involved;
  • Not including excessive or lavish social components;
  • Inquiring about the availability of a “no-frills” pricing option from event organizers that exclude any activities that may present unnecessary expenses.
Conferences with a training component should clearly and specifically identify the training objectives and outcomes that will be derived by federal employees.

Links to Additional Documents:


Meeting Chair Natasha Dvorak
President Douglas E. Bell
Professional Development Events Rhys Evans
Program Manager Cynthia Perrine
Meeting Planner Candace Renger
60th Anniversary Banquet Sub Committee Cynthia Perrine (chair)
Carlos Alvarado
Don Armentrout
Doug Bell
Mike Chapel
Natasha Dvorak
Rhys Evans
Eveline Larrucea
Janine Payne
Don Yasuda
Abstract Review Committee Linda Leeman
Lisa Fields
Sally De Becker
Amy Fesnock Parker
Audio Visual Assistant Keeler Dann
Audio Visual Captain Don Yasuda
Breakfast Rountable Coordinators Sally De Becker
Jeff Lincer
Career Fair Chair (Friday) Karen Swaim
Keynote Speech Coordinator Cynthia Perrine
Local Arrangements Chair Sarah Hegg
Onsite Registration Janine Payne Schneir
Photo Collection Submissions Eveline Larrucea
Poster Session Chair Jessica Martini Lamb
Carlos Alvarado
Printed Program Editing Rhys Evans
John Perrine
Sagehen Activities Sarah Hegg
Katie Moriarty
Kaitlin Bachland
Cynthia Perrine
Sponsors & Exhibitors Chair Sarah Hegg
Student Activities Subcommittee Erika Walther (Chair)
Erin Aquino Carhart
Natasha Dvorak
Lisa Fields
Sarah Hegg
Mandi McElroy
Katie Moriarty
Janine Payne
Cynthia Perrine
David Wyatt
Student Lunch Coordinator Cynthia Perrine
Student Papers/Judging Coordinator Janae Scruggs
Volunteer Coordination Janae Scruggs
Patrick Tweedy
Wildlife Apps Workshop Tammy Lim

Call for Papers and Posters:

Abstract Submissions for the 2014 Annual Meeting are now closed

All papers associated with the general meeting will be presented Wednesday through Friday, January 29 to January 31. We are soliciting abstracts for posters and 20-minute oral presentations for the concurrent technical and poster sessions. Abstract content should be consistent with technical session topics listed above, and may consist of either final or interim original research results. The conference program and session chairs will evaluate submitted abstracts to determine final concurrent session topics. In general, presenters should expect to speak for no more than 17 minutes, allowing for an introduction and limited Q&A after each presentation. If you present a poster or oral presentation, you must pay to register for the meeting.

Competition for Student Awards:

The Western Section of The Wildlife Society is pleased to offer cash awards for students who agree to speak at or submit a poster for our annual meeting. “Student” is defined as any individual, any age, who is currently enrolled or has received a degree within six months of the meeting date from any high school, accredited college or university (not limited to those within the Western Section). From high school to post-doc, we welcome your participation!

The value of the cash awards varies slightly, based upon the number of students in the competition. In general the more students who compete, the more cash we award!

Oral Presentations:
Total Number of Overall Oral PresentationsFirst PlaceSecond PlaceThird Place
Five or fewer$100$50--
Six to Eight$125$75$50
Nine to Twelve$150$100$50
Thirteen or more$200$150$100

Total Number of Overall PostersFirst PlaceSecond PlaceThird Place
Five or fewer$100$50--
Six to Eight$125$75$50
Nine to Twelve$150$100$50
Thirteen or more$200$150$100
Please be sure to indicate when you submit your abstract whether you intend to compete in the student judging. It is your responsibility to express your intent to participate.

As a result of participating in the competition, you will have the option of receiving both positive remarks and constructive criticism from the judges (typically at least three), telling you what they liked and how you can improve your next presentation.

There are also procedures in place to reimburse students and young professionals for their meeting registration costs in exchange for a few hours of your time, volunteering at the registration desk, operating lights and PowerPoint, and so on. Contact the Student Affairs Committee and/or the Program Committee for details.

Finally, a limited number of student grants and travel awards may be available. Contact the Student Affairs Committee and/or the Awards and Grants Committee for details.

Thank you, and good luck!

Abstract Submission Process:

The deadline for submission of both Oral Presentation and Poster abstracts is November 1, 2013. Abstracts should not exceed 200 words, excluding title and author addresses. Indicate the preferred session and whether the paper will be an oral presentation or a poster. Student presentations are eligible for cash awards. Students should indicate their intent to compete for these awards. Oral and Poster Presenters are expected to pay the conference registration fee and cover their own travel and lodging expenses.