The Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center, along with the Quantitative Fisheries Center and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), recently hosted a structured decision making (SDM) workshop in East Lansing, MI to inform future directions of wild turkey management in Michigan. This was the second in a sequence of four workshops aimed at integrating management stakeholders, agency biologists, and university researchers into the process of jointly identifying turkey management objectives and potential management options, as well as using advanced statistical modeling to understand spatial-temporal dynamics of turkey populations and predict likely outcomes of management decisions. This highly collaborative project involves a team of modelers and facilitators from Michigan State University, managers and researchers from DNR, and representatives from stakeholder groups, including: Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, Michigan Audubon, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Natural Resources Commission, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, The Nature Conservancy of Michigan, and the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.
Ms. Sonja Christensen is the 2016 recipient of the Graduate Student of the Year Award for the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society! Sonja was cited for her “absolute passion for wildlife disease ecology and [work] at the highest levels of science,“ while at the same time demonstrating “unusual ability to relate to people at many different levels and leadership abilities to work with teams of volunteers on complex projects.” Further, she was recognized for her leadership “as the coordinator for the National Fish and Wildlife Health Steering Committee, as well as a member of the executive board for both Michigan chapter of The Wildlife Society and the Wildlife Disease Association chapter which she helped to form.”