Long Point Waterfowl’s commitment to youth begins with its Youth Hunting and Conservation Course which provides provincial-class training for an appreciation of natural resources and an opportunity to acquire firearms and hunting licences.
It extends by providing youth, undergraduate and graduate training opportunities designed to increase interest in conservation, promote careers in wildlife ecology and prepare future wildlife professionals for rewarding careers. The organization supervises and supports graduate students (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) conducting research on waterfowl and wetland related projects and also provides diverse educational opportunities for undergraduate students through classroom training, field courses, employment, volunteering and honours projects.
The effectiveness of the latter initiative was proven at the OFAH AGM by the fact three of five OFAH Zone G Wildlife Research Grants were awarded to LPW graduate students at the 86th OFAH AGM/Fish & Wildlife Conference last weekend in Mississauga.
Matt Palumbo, currently pursuing a PhD at Western University in London, was awarded the OFAH/Dave Ankney/Sandi Johnson Award for Avian Ecology for his study of habitat selection of American Black Ducks and Mallards in the Lower Great Lakes Region; Lena Vanden Elsen, a resident of Scotland (Ontario) and UWO Masters student received the OFAH/St. Catharines Game and Fish Association Fish & Wildlife Research Grant for her study of environmental factors influencing the autumn and winter distributions of dabbling ducks in the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways of North America; and Port Rowan resident and Western Masters student Matt Dyson received the OFAH/Oakville and District Rod & Gun Club Conservation Research Grant for his study of nest success, survival and habitat selection of female wood ducks and their broods from nest boxes at Long Point. Dyson’s findings will contribute original ecological knowledge and help refine conservation and management techniques.
“For three of our students to get research awards just validates for us the work we are doing and the fact it’s recognized,” Petrie concluded.