EMRR Program Shines at the International Range Management Meeting

Feb. 26, 2020

Ecology, Management, and Restoration of Rangelands (EMRR) Program Shines at the International Society for Range Management Meeting in Denver!!
The U of A Range Program (aka Ecology, Management, and Restoration of Rangelands Program) is a rapidly growing program that has tripled its undergraduate numbers in just 2 years.  The University of Arizona?s Rangeland Management club (Tierra Seca) had 14 undergraduate and 5 graduate students who attended the 2020 International Society for Range Management (SRM) meeting in Denver, Colorado from February 16-20. Undergraduate students participated in events like the Undergraduate Range Management Exam (URME), the Plant Identification competition, the Rangeland Cup competition, and extemporaneous speaking. Several students also presented posters on their research in the undergraduate and graduate sessions (Flavie Audoin, Cameron Burleson, Justin Johnson, Scott Jones, Brandon Mayer, and Austin Rutherford). During the conference, students attended talks, symposiums, and workshops to help develop their practical and hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of rangeland related topics.
The 2020 International SRM meeting culminated into the best year in the history of the UA's Range Program as Tierra Seca came home with the following awards:
·      1st Place Team in the Collegiate Trail Boss Award (out of > 25 colleges and universities!)
·      1st Place Team in the URME competition (out of 25 teams!)
·      2nd, 3rd, and 4th Place Individuals in URME competition (out of 189 students! -- Cameron Burleson, Tzirel Leiser, Alex Binford-Walsh, respectively)
·      1st Place Team in the Rangeland Cup competition (out of 10 teams! -- James Bradley, William Gray, Tzirel Leiser)
·      1st Place Individual in the Extemporaneous Speaking competition (out of 35 students! -- Tzirel Leiser)
The Collegiate Trail Boss award is presented to the university or college that generates the highest aggregate score for competitions at collegiate student activities during the SRM annual meeting. It is the highest honor that a university team can be awarded at this international conference.  This is the first time the UA's Range Program has won this prestigious award!  The URME provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to demonstrate higher order learning skills and synthesis knowledge of the art and science of rangeland management. Students who score in the top 10% of individuals are able eligible for status as a Certified Professional in Rangeland Management (CPRM) and are exempt from taking the challenging CPRM exam. The Rangeland Cup contest is a team competition that promotes critical thinking and cooperative, collaborative work on current topics and/or topics of historical importance to rangeland ecology and management. The undergraduate extemporaneous speaking contest entails individual student competitors selecting 1 of 3 provided topics related to range management.  They then have 2.5 hours to develop and present a 5-7 minute talk on that topic. 
Students were able to attend this year?s conference with creative fund raising efforts and through the help of their dedicated coaches, advisors, and officer team: Dr. Larry Howery, Elena Dosamantes, Sarah Noelle, Justin Johnson, Brandon Mayer, Brian Koppy, Cameron Burleson, Mitchell Zieglgansberger, and Tzirel Leiser.
Congratulations to all of our students who took the time to prepare and compete in these SRM contests and events!  A special thanks goes out to Dr. Phil Ogden -- his generous support from the Ogden Scholarship helped our students attend the meeting!
Undergraduate participants included:
Claire Bigelow-Lundin
Alex Binford-Walsh
James Bradley
Jacob Brown
Cameron Burleson
Corwin Carroll
Austin Gonzales
William Gray
Brian Koppy
Tzirel Leiser
Grace Nykol
Wyatt Philabaum
Angel Vega
Mitchell Zieglgansberger
Graduate participants included:
Flavie Audoin
Diana Githu
Justin Johnson
Brandon Mayer
Austin Rutherford