Swamped in wildlife management

by | August 14, 2018 3:43 pm

   Southeastern Technical College’s (STC) fish and wildlife management (FWMT) program visited the Okefenokee Swamp National Refuge on June 20 in Waycross.

   The FWMT program at STC is a sequence of courses that prepares students for careers as wildlife technicians. Students learn to conserve and manage wildlife reservation facilities for recreational, commercial, and ecological purposes. The fish and wildlife program prepares individuals to conserve and manage wilderness areas and manage wildlife reservations for zoological or educational purposes.

   The Okefenokee Swamp National Refuge is a significant part of America’s heritage, a preserved segment of what was here when American began. STC’s wildlife management students were able to take advantage of the many learning opportunities available at the national refuge.

   The refuge perfectly preserves nearly a half million acres of wilderness including, swamps, original Native American waterways, forest, and prairie. Visitors are able to experience first-hand how nature’s balance assure the perpetuation of flora and fauna within the swamp.

   Here, students had the opportunity to attend a historical swamp education seminar and partake in a guided train tour following an informational boat tour across the swamp. In addition to these activities, students were also able to interact with some of Georgia’s native wildlife in the “Eye on Nature” animal show.

   Students learned the importance of wetland ecosystems, black bear and American alligator cohabitation, symbiotic relationships, bee and bat habitats, American alligator community dynamics, and the need for wildfires/prescribed burns.

   To raise funds for this adventure, FWMT students held a campus car wash earlier this semester. STC’s adjunct instructor Michelle Edge lead this expedition to encourage her students to grow their passion for the FWMT field.

   “I am super proud of these students for working hard to raise funds for this adventure,” said Edge. “I strive to make learning fun while promoting wildlife conservation; I have always been passionate about environmental education and I am blessed to share that with students here at home with STC.”

   Excursions like this allow students to earn real-world experience in their program of study. Interacting with native wildlife helps students understand the value of conserving their environment and protecting its fragile ecosystems.

   For more information about STC’s fish and wildlife management program, visit www.southeasterntech.edu, or call 478-289-2200 or 912-538-3100.

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