Montana Chapter annual conference:

February 3-7th 2020

Copper King Hotel, Butte, America
Conference details and registration, call for awards nominations, small grants, and presentation abstracts coming Fall 2019. Stay Tuned!

If you would like to donate/sponsor the annual conference please use this button to do so.  Thank you!


Tuesday, February 26 – TWS MOVIE NIGHT!!

Following the welcome reception in the Natatorium – at 9:00 pm.  There are 4 movies that will be shown.  This event is sponsored by:



We will be giving away a free All-Access Pass to the 42nd Annual International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, April 13 – 19


The 4 movies are listed below, and specific details about each movie can be found here.

Running Wild (7:06) Director: Danny Schmidt


Explorers for Bats (13:28)  Ravenswood Media


A Few Steps Further (12:54)  Director:  Erik Petersen


Jumbo Wild (60:00)  Sweetgrass Productions, Bullfrog Films


2019 Conference Schedule


  • News Media Communication Training: 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Trapping Matters: 8:00am – 5:00pm


  • Harlequin Duck Working Group: 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Bat Working Group: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Montana TWS Conference Welcome Reception: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Movie Night: 9:00pm – 11:00pm


8:00 am – 12:00pm
Digital tools for recording species observation and survey data

Partners of America: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Plenary Session & Panel Discussion: 1:00pm– 4:45pm

  • Rachel VandeVoort, Director, MT Governors’ Office of Outdoor Recreation
  • Lauri Hanauska-Brown, Nongame Wildlife Management Bureau Chief, MTFWP

  • Ryan Busse, Vice President, Kimber; Chairman, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

  • Caroline Byrd, Executive Director, Greater Yellowstone Coalition

  • Hal Herring, Contributing Editor, Field and Stream Magazine

Evening Meetings

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Montana Association of Fish and Wildlife Biologists

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Student and Professional Mixer

Business Meeting: 7:00am – 9:30am

Morning Concurrent Sessions: 8:20am – 12:00pm           Detailed Morning Schedule

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions: 1:20pm – 5:00pm          Detailed Afternoon Schedule

Poster Session: 5:00pm – 6:00pm

Awards Banquet & Silent Auction: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Concurrent Sessions: 8:20am – 12:00pm               Detailed Morning Schedule

Summary of 2018 TWS National Meeting – by Kristina Boyd

This year, at the national TWS conference in Cleveland, Ohio, I did something uncharacteristic.  On the last day, I took a break and went on a field trip.  We drove past the railroad bridge on the Cuyahoga River, where a spark from a passing train ignited both the polluted water and the national environmental movement.  We walked through a $4 million anonymous gift to Cleveland Metro Parks: the 194 acre Valley View golf course, which is being restored to a nature reserve.  And we toured the Cleveland Natural Science Club’s Look About Lodge, a tiny home version of the grand Yellowstone Lodge that I considered hiding out in for the rest of my life.   But, lucky for you, an inscription was etched into a supporting beam of the lodge, “I come here often to find myself.  It is so easy to get lost in the world,” and my mind’s eye refocused on the view from my own backyard.  Holding back sentimental tears, I gladly hopped back on the bus and, as we drove back to the convention center, checked into my return flight home to Montana. 

My flights were graciously supported by the Montana Chapter, and in exchange I represented it at various meetings throughout the conference.  I attended the Section and Chapter Collaboration meeting, where we discussed ideas to solve common problems such as supporting student conclaves, increasing annual meeting relevance and attendance, and passing the torch to successive executive board members.  I attended a symposium on the foundations of Student Chapter operations, and asked some very pointed questions for the Montana chapter.  I also led my own symposium on alternative career paths in the wildlife profession and recruited our own Jason Hanlon to speak (he rocked it.)  And I attended a symposium on moving forward from the MeToo movement, which was simultaneously somber and uplifting.

As with all conferences, there were a lot of ideas generated from the talk and excitement.  For instance, to revive our own student conclaves it was suggested that we send a few Montana TWS Student Chapter leaders to an active conclave in another section.  Or to create a meaningful event for public outreach outside of our annual meeting, we could host an annual Bio-Blitz.  And to ensure a safe work environment, we could collaborate with the national TWS Ethnic and Gender Diversity Working Group on guidelines for initiating conversations within field crews about the complexities of social dynamics and sexual harassment.  Of course ideas are one thing, and making them reality is another.  For that, we need people power.

Have you had any conversations lately about what you would like to see happen in your profession?  If not, come to the Montana Chapter annual meeting!  I guarantee you’ll have some there.  And when you’re ready to make a difference, offer yourself up to serve on a chapter or section committee, or run for a seat on the board.  You have nothing to lose (well, maybe a little of your free time) and we have so much to gain (so much!) by your involvement.

Cleveland Natural Science Club’s Look About Lodge