Sarah Graham, Chattanooga, Tenn. – The Wildlife and Zoology Club aims to make the campus more wildlife friendly as one of its goals.
The club holds two meetings each month, including one class and one event.
Current President Jessica Collins recalled one recent event where the club joined another organization in building squirrel and owl houses.
“We had 15 members show up and really pitch in, we kind of saved the day because besides the other club, hardly anyone showed up,” said Collins.
The members of the zoology club are always looking out for opportunities to aid Chattanooga’s wildlife.
Owls are a frequent focus of the zoology club, as the members participated in an “Owl Prowl” earlier this month at the Chattanooga Nature Center.
“The group hiked through the woods at night and looked for owls and other nocturnal animals. At the same time we were having fun, we were constantly learning new things,” said Collins, who elaborated that the club always aims to have fun and learn.
Other events includes a “Herp Walk” that revolved around salamanders.
“We spent hours searching the woods for salamanders, which are quite difficult to find. We ended up finding 14 of them, but only the professors that lead the group could touch them for their safety,” Collins said. “All the salamanders we found were swabbed to check for diseases and the swabs are currently being tested here at UTC.”
They also regularly make trips to aquariums and zoos to look behind the scenes, and spend time in local nature preserves doing activities like hiking and canoeing.
Last month, club members attended the Sandhill Crane Festival in Birchwood and their event this month is a wildlife rehabilitation build on March 27.
The Wildlife and Zoology Club has been a presence on campus for the last four years, and are currently seeing the highest club attendance they’ve ever seen, Collins said.
Giveaways of items like prints of the photography of UTC graduate student Jeremy Hooper and gas mask bags with military equipment happen frequently at meetings, where the club either hears from a guest speaker or discusses future projects and events.
Meetings are at noon on the second Wednesday of every month, typically in the Heritage room in the UC.
Meetings are open to any student with an interest in learning about and helping wildlife, regardless of their field of study.
Joining the club is free of charge, members need only sign a waiver form before participating in off-campus trips.