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July 6, 2022
posted in: Conservation, News

The future is looking bright when it comes to wildlife conservation. The Wild Sheep Foundation reviewed 19 applications for the Life Member Fund Scholarship this spring. Scholarships are awarded to students in a field related to the Wild Sheep Foundation endeavors. Specifically degrees in wildlife management, wildlife biology, and wildlife pathology. A focus on wild sheep is preferred but not necessary.

Six scholarships were awarded this year. The top undergraduate scholarship went to Kalten Hendrickson from Missoula, MT, who is working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Range Ecology. His focus is on finding ways agriculture and wildlife can live and operate symbiotically. The top graduate scholarship went to Ashely Evans, who is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Ecology and a graduate minor in Geographic Information Systems and Technology at New Mexico State University. Her thesis research examines the influence of wildland recreation on desert bighorn sheep in western Colorado, which could benefit bighorn sheep management when more people are engaging in outdoor recreation ever before. Both students will receive $5,000 and attend Sheep Show in Reno to better learn the economics behind wildlife conservation, make connections to their research and goals, and help out at the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience.

The second-place undergraduate scholarship was awarded to Nicole Bealer, who is working on a degree in Wildlife Biology with minors in mathematics and French at the University of Montana. Her major in wildlife biology is concentrated on terrestrial organisms, and her personal research interests are oriented toward the ecology of ungulates and large carnivores. At the graduate level, a second-place was given to Sydney Goward, who is attending the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies in B.C. She is working on a Master of Science degree. Her focus is leading a Dall’s sheep research project, which uses novel methods in remote camera trapping to evaluate population demographics and potential factors causing changes to the population in the Northern Richardson Mountains, NWT, Canada. Each second-place awardee will receive $2,500.

This year Washington Wild Sheep Foundation proposed a partnership with WSF with the funding they raised specifically for scholarships that were similar to what was being given out at the national level. This extra $2,500 impacted two additional students, with each student receiving $1,250. Hanna Whitting, an undergraduate, is enrolled at the University of Alberta, working towards a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Science, majoring in Conservation Biology. At the graduate level, Jacob Liedman received the scholarship. He is working on a Master’s in Environmental Science where he helicoptered into the Chugach Mountain Range, setting up six remote weather sensing stations and captured and collared Dall sheep ewes. Hopes are that this study should vastly improve the understanding of how winter weather affects sheep movement over the next three winters.

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