Robert Ritson

Rob graduated one semester early in December 2014 from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. An update in his words…

While a student, I was an active member of the Penn State Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society and served as Secretary.  I also studied abroad in Tanzania with the School for Field Studies at their Centre for Wildlife Management Studies where I took classes and performed directed research on game bird distributions in the region.  After graduation, I worked as a Snowshoe Hare Technician from January to March 2015 for a graduate student at Penn State in the Pocono Mountains trapping and radio tracking snowshoe hares to assess habitat for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.  In late March, I moved to Wyoming and began working as a Sage Grouse Technician for a graduate student at the University of Wyoming trapping and tracking Greater sage-grouse near the Wind River Mountains until June.  I am currently working for a U.S. Forest Service researcher at Montana State University sampling Canada lynx habitat in the Rio Grande National Forest of southern Colorado.  I plan to stay out west and hope to find winter field work and gain more experience before moving on to graduate school. I am planning to attend graduate school within the next two years.

What Rob has to say about Wildlife Leadership Academy:

The Wildlife Leadership Academy gave me a major advantage over my peers in professional skills and networking as well as providing me with my first real taste of what it would be like working in the wildlife profession.  The program gave me my first exposure to radio telemetry, a skill which I use regularly in my jobs, as well as habitat sampling and botany skills which gave me head start in schooling and is also a skill I use frequently.  WLA solidified my determination to become a Wildlife Biologist and helped me realize beyond any doubt that this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Most importantly, Wildlife Leadership Academy exposed me to The Wildlife Society. As the recipient of the Leadership Award for my week at the 2009 Bucktails Field School, part of the award was a one year membership to the Wildlife Society, the professional organization of wildlife biologists.  The organization plays a huge part in developing as professional and was a major part of my extracurricular activities at Penn State.  I was a very active member of the Penn State Student Chapter from the beginning, because I knew about the importance of the parent organization, and later served as Secretary.  The Wildlife Leadership Academy program not only provided me with cherished memories, but planted the seeds to help me become a successful student and professional.