Wisconsin Science Festival and Other Announcements!

This past weekend, members of WiscWDA were able to spread their knowledge and passion of wildlife by volunteering at the annual Wisconsin Science Festival held in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery on the UW campus. Our theme at this year’s Festival was “Who’s Tracks and Scat is that?” which allowed us to discuss with the public (especially with children) how important tracks and scat are when working with wildlife. In addition, we were able to educate parents about how to avoid coming into contact with zoonotic diseases. A big shout out and thanks to our volunteers this weekend!

A reminder that our next meeting will be this coming Thursday (10/27) at 6pm in Room 101 Hanson Laboratories (1656 Linden Dr. We will be discussing current wildlife controversies including feral cats, wild horses, gray and red wolves, and lethal vs. hormonal population control. This will be a friendly open discussion! We hope to see you there!

Also, mark your calendars for Friday, November 4th when we will have our first social. We will be touring the UW Zoology Museum and will head to Union South afterwards for  by food/drinks! Get excited!


First meeting: vaccinating bats for rabies

Hello WiscWDA members!

Our first meeting of the semester is this week – Thursday September 29th at 6pm, 101 Hanson Biomedical Sciences Buildings (see map below).

Dr. Ben Stading (former WiscWDA board member!) will be coming to share the results of his research: “Can we vaccinate bats for rabies? Working upstream against the world’s most deadly disease.”

September 28 is World Rabies Day! Check out https://rabiesalliance.org/ and learn more at our meeting.

We are excited to see you there!

We have a new board!

Here is our 2016-2017 board!


  • President: Miranda Torkelson
  • Secretary: Melanie Iverson
  • Treasurer: Kaylyn Goertz
  • Vice President: Julia Poje
  • Event Coordinator: Shannon Rudin
  • Undergraduate representative: KM Barnett
  • Vet student representative: Stephanie Kurth

Stay in touch with us on Facebook or via email (wiscwda AT gmail.com). The board members will update you on their summer adventures.

Also join us for the Wildlife Disease Association meeting July 31st – August 5th 2016.




April 9th – 1st WISC WDA Wildlife Health Symposium

Registration is open!!!

Sin Nombre, Johne’s Disease, Avian Malaria, CWD and workshops at the Vet School, 9AM-4PM, $10 for member, $15 for non-members, coffee and lunch included, social afterUntitled.

  • 9 -Breakfast (included)
  • 9:30 – Welcome
  • 9.45 – Talks
    • Bryan Richards, Chronic Wasting Disease Project Leader at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center
      • Topic: CWD impact and management
    • Dr. Mike Collins, Professor of Microbiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine UW-Madison
      • Paratuberculosis in Wildlife
    • Dr. John Orrock, Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology UW-Madison
      • How climate and predators shape large-scale patterns of Sin Nombre virus in wild mice.
  • 12 -Lunch (included)
  • 1 – Final talk
    • Dr. Mike Samuel, Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology UW-Madison and Assistant Unit Leader, USGS BRD Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit
      • Trouble in Paradise – Avian Malaria and the Demise of Hawaiian Forest Birds
  • 2-4pm – Wetlabs
  • Social @Union South


Review: Expert talk 39 Years of Wildlife Research Experience

Thursday March 10th, Dr. Chris Brand shared stories about wildlife disease outbreak investigations and research. How duck plague (anatid herpesvirus 1) forced the government to be serious about wildlife diseases. How avian cholera (Pasteurella multocida) moved with the snow geese migration from North to South and how two wildlife biologist got infected with a parrot disease (Chlamydia psittaci) working on these outbreaks. Lastly we discussed how the field is changing: quickly emerging new diseases, wildlife disease classes are offered at many universities, modeling diseases is becoming more important, but boots on the ground should remain.

Thank you all for coming out and thank you Dr. Brand for your swan song!

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Feb 11th: How to get that awesome summer job?!

2/11, 6PM, 101 Robert P. Hanson Building, learn how to get that awesome (summer) wildlife job in Wisconsin or anywhere in the US with a grad student or a big agency.

  • How to stand out?
  • Who to ask for reference letters?
  • Tips for letter and resume writing

Who are talking (at a minimum):

  • Jackie Edmunds will be talking about the possibilities at Four Lakes Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Madison (which options are there, how to apply etcetera).
  • Bieneke Bron will share the do’s and don’ts on applying for jobs with grad students and larger organizations. She will also give you a little insight in what it is like to be a “reference”.
  • Miranda Torkelson will highlight her path from a high school to a vet school student, how do you create opportunities for yourself .
  • You, if you want to, we would love for you to share your stories and make connections at the meeting. Of course, bringing your resume or coolest summer job picture is encouraged ;-).

See you the 11th!!!


Kick off – The American Serengeti

Ians pizza, soda and hanging out with wildlife enthusiasts. While munching on a sponsored Mac ‘n Cheese pizza, sipping on a Cherry Coke Pepsi, we watched and learned about the restoration of an American Serengeti. The American Prairie Reserve aims to restore a large ecosystem, where the bison will roam freely again, by connecting two Indian reservations and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge by deeding and leasing private lands.

In addition, we saw prairie dogs, elk, black-footed ferrets and wildfire!

Thanks everybody for showing up and thank Ians for pizza!

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Happy New Year! Come hang out Jan 28th!

2016, soon to be the year of the Monkey! We didn’t monkey around and just had our first board meeting of 2016! Hopefully, you are having an awesome winterbreak and we are super excited to share our spring plans with you:

  • January 28th 6PM @Robert P. Hanson Building 101: Social! Chips and movies!
  • February 2nd 5-8PM @Kohl Center: Come meet us and the Badger at the Student Org fair
  • February 11th 6PM: Awesome summerjobs, how to get them in Madison and the US.
  • Other Monthly Meetings: March 10th, April 24th and 28th (Baby animal trivia!)

Join us; for  a trip to the International Crane Foundation, to track porcupines and to learn and meet up with your wildlife friends and heros at our first Mini Conference!

First board meeting of 2016! (left to right: Michelle, Shannon, Miranda, Melanie & Bieneke)



Good luck on Finals!

Our last monthly meeting of the Fall Semester; Dr. Thierry Work, head of the Hawaii USGS National Wildlife Health Center field station and past president of the Wildlife Disease Association, joined us to share with us that the grim reaper can tell us a lot about wildlife health.

Mortality events of animals (yes, that includes corals) are major indicators for ecosystem health. Dr. Work shared some of their work on sea turtles, pufferfish and last but not least coral reefs. Where the animal (the coral) is the ecosystem and if they die, changes are nearly immediate. It doesn’t take generations, it happens now! Thus, we should take action (stop dumping on reefs) and study them like we study other mortality events.


Thank you Dr. Thierry Work for joining us and thank you to our members (and soon to be members) for coming out. Chips, salsa, pineapple juice, a great lecture with awesome slides; Now back to studying!

Stop dumping on reefs!!  Thank you Dr. Work!