Bosque Seniors Present at Wildlife Conference

At the beginning of the month, nine Bosque School seniors in Mr. Shaw’s Wildlife Research Seminar class traveled to Prescott, Arizona, to attend the 53rd Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona and New Mexico Chapters of the Wildlife Society and American Fisheries Society (also known as, “JAM”). The annual conference is an opportunity for professionals and college students to share their wildlife and fisheries research findings. Bosque School was one of three high schools that had students participate this year. This is the 12th year that Bosque students have been able to attend the conference and share their own discoveries. 

The following is a list of topics that our students presented:
  • Water Quality in Acequias Used by the Pueblo of Sandia - Jason ‘20
  • The Effect of Pack Size on Captive Mexican Gray Wolves Using Fecal Glucocorticoids - Isabel ‘20
  • Stable Isotope Analysis of Select Albuquerque Riparian Breeding Birds - Allison ‘20
  • Factors Leading to Engagement of New Mexico Youth in Environmental Activism - Madison ‘20 and Annathea ‘20
  • Comparing Bat Species Along the Rio Grande Between 2012 and 2019 Using Echolocation Call Detection - Annabelle ‘20, Ian ‘20, and Neil ‘20
  • Mapping the Spread of Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in Efforts to Protect Species of Amphibians Across New Mexico - Alyssa ‘20
The three days at the conference were filled with presentations and activities. When the students first arrived, they engaged in a lively game of “Quiz Bowl” and competed against college-level teams. The Bosque team ended up losing by only one question. 

The following day, Bosque students presented the projects that they have been working on all year. Eight studentsJason, Isabel, Allison, Madison, Annie, Annabelle, Ian, and Neilpresented their posters on the conference floor for eight hours, while attendees walked around the exhibits. The students actively engaged with hundreds of professionals and college students, explained their research findings to them, and answered many questions. That evening, Alyssa, had the opportunity to share her project as an oral presentation–a noteworthy achievement as a high school student.

The experience was invaluable and inspiring to the Bosque students who were involved. “I met with a lot of fish experts who gave me helpful feedback about my presentation,” said Jason.

“With my presentation, many people were coming to learn about my research technique because they didn’t even know stress hormones were excreted in species,” Isabelle shared. “It was really cool.”

The rigorous projects have had a tremendous impact on both the students and our community. Ian, Neil, and Annabelle identified a bat that is not known to regularly be sighted in the Middle Rio Grande. Madison and Allison engaged with youth across the state about climate action. Alyssa worked with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Isabelle had to get a permit and permission from the Federal Government because she was working with an endangered species. Allison worked at a lab at UNM to do stabilized isotopic analysis. Jason partnered with the Pueblo of Sandia to determine whether the water coming into the acequia was appropriate for the pueblo’s agricultural needs. 

“Everybody was reaching out way beyond Bosque School in partnership to answer research questions that were sophisticated and are now going to be used by agencies to help manage these animals,” said Mr. Shaw. “Alyssa’s work is already in a scientific publication and is currently being used in a recovery plan for the boreal toad, an endangered species.” 

The progress these students have made in science is a huge feat!

If you’re interested in seeing their research for yourself, the public is invited to attend the 2020 Crawford Symposium on March 11. Get more details here.