Thank you for making this year’s conference a success!

PLEASE NOTE: Registered conference participants can continue to access the recorded content (talks, posters, plenary session, awards ceremony) on the conference platform for 6 months after the conference.  

Montana Chapter Annual Conference

“Fostering Diversity in Species, People, and Perspectives”

February 22-25th, 2022

MT TWS Goes Virtual…again!!
Please join us online for our [second ever] virtual annual meeting.
Sponsors can donate to our annual meeting using the green button below

Fostering Diversity in Species, People, and Perspectives


Throughout the registration and virtual conference process, you will receive emails from  To avoid these emails going into your spam filter, you may wish to ask your IT department to allow/white-list emails from this address. 

Please note: If you need to use different forms of payment for registration and membership, please first renew your membership (either via our website or TWS National) and send your receipt to Kerrell Dunsmore (, so she can make you eligible for conference registration at the member rate. 

To purchase a t-shirt with a different form of payment, first complete and pay for your conference registration. Then, return to the registration website, add a t-shirt (so that only the price of the shirt shows as needing payment), and use the desired form of payment to complete the second transaction.

Thank you for your patience!

Click here to register 1 person for the conference.

Click here to register multiple people for the conference.

There will be a small PayPal fee charged in addition to the registration cost, because PayPal charges us for each transaction. This way all of your registration fee goes towards the chapter, including putting on events like this conference, student scholarships, etc.

As part of the registration process, you can order a MT TWS t-shirt, with our chapter logo on the front and a Northern Flicker on the back (art by John Kuntz)!

Need help with registration?  Contact Kerrell Dunsmore at:

Abstract Submission (for Talks and Posters) – due 7 Feb

  • Submission deadline – Monday, February 7 at 11:59 pm MT (This is a hard deadline.)

NOTE: We will not extend this deadline.  Please start working on your abstracts now!

After submission, you will receive an email notification with info on recording/uploading your presentation.

  • Presentation upload deadline – Wednesday, February 16 at 11:59 pm MT
    • Poster Presenters will upload a pdf of their poster and may record a short video/audio description of their poster
    • Oral Presenters will be able to upload a video file (MP4) or record their talk via their acceptance notification and will be assigned to a live QA session.

Submit Abstracts Here

Need help with abstract submission? Contact Tricia Fry at:


Plenary Speakers

Gayle Joslin
retired Area Biologist, MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Kqyn Kuka
Tribal Relations Liaison/Diversity Coordinator, MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Dr. Erim Gomez
Assistant Professor, University of Montana

Dr. Chad Bishop
Director, Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana

Janene Lichtenberg / Brett Stevenson
Department Head, Wildlife and Fisheries, Salish Kootenai College / Alumnus, Salish Kootenai College

Dr. Serra Hoagland
Biologist/Liaison Officer, US Forest Service


Workshop Information


Tuesday, Feb. 22, 9 am -12 pm: Grazing Planning for the Wildlife Manager. Steve Riley, Northern Great Plains Joint Venture, and others. This workshop will provide participants with background information to prepare wildlife habitat focused grazing plans when working with private ranchers and ranch managers.

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 1-2pm: Strategies to Create a Student Resume’ and Navigate Drs. Bob Garrott (MSU), Dave Willey (MSU), and Dan Tyers (USFS). This workshop will include tips, examples, and strategies for creating and refining an effective resume for students, including navigating USAJobs.

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 3-5pm: From Birds to Big Game – Up Your Game on Butchering, Brining, Charcuterie and Sous Vide. Tom Healy. Learn all about different ways to prepare your hunting harvest.

Business Meeting

As usual, MTTWS will have a business meeting at the close of the conference (Thursday, February 24, 10 am – 12 pm). If you have any agenda items to discuss, please e-mail Andrew Jakes at 

Art Contest (deadline has passed)

Calling all creative types! Although we’re still virtual this year, our program will be printable and we’d like to make our online platform pretty!

If you’d like to submit a design for our program cover (preferably one that fits the conference theme), e-mail it to Andrea Litt at The winning artist will receive free conference registration and $100!  STUDENTS ONLY.  Deadline extended to 7 February 2022.

Small Grants deadline has passed

Award Nominations deadline has passed

Poster and Oral Presentations Available On-Demand

Poster and Oral Presentations Available On-Demand



9 am – 12 pm: Grazing Planning for the Wildlife Manager

1-2 pm: Strategies to Create a Student Resume and Navigate USAJobs

3-5 pm: From Birds to Big Game – Up Your Game on Butchering, Brining, Charcuterie and Sous Vide

Working Group meetings

9-11 am: Bird Conservation Partnership Working Group

1-3 pm: Montana Bat Working Group

3-5 pm: Harlequin Duck Working Group

Poster and Oral Presentations Available On-Demand


9-11:30 am: Welcome and Plenary Session 

12-1 pm: Brown Bag Lunch – Student/Professional Mentoring

1-4 pm: Live Q&A Sessions

4:30-6 pm: Awards Ceremony, followed by Happy Hour (BYOB!)

Poster and Oral Presentations Available On-Demand


10 am-12 pm: MT TWS Business meeting

12-1 pm: Brown Bag Lunch – Student/Professional Mentoring

1-4 pm: Live Q&A Sessions

4:30-5 pm: MT TWS Board Wrap-Up



Nominee #1: Chad Bishop

Director and Professor of Wildlife Biology, University of Montana

It would be an honor to serve as your next President-Elect of the Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society. I am the Director and Professor of the Wildlife Biology Program at University of Montana. I have been a member of the Montana Chapter for six years now and have been thoroughly impressed with how the Chapter operates. I especially value and appreciate the collegiality among members and the Chapter’s focus on student engagement and professional development at annual conferences. I would be excited to work with Andrea Litt and the Executive Board to continue the impressive work of the MT Chapter and to help advance strategic priorities of the Chapter. I am running for President-Elect as a way to give back to the Chapter. I just completed service as Past President of the National Association of University Fisheries and Wildlife Programs and now have the capacity to step in to this role with the Montana Chapter should I be elected.

Previously, I served five years on the Executive Board of the Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society and as President in 2004. During my time in Colorado, I organized three annual meetings and two workshops. I also served as the Student Awards/Scholarships Chair for the Colorado Chapter during 2005-2012. I have been a member of The Wildlife Society since 1996 and am presently a member of the Biometrics, Native People’s Wildlife Management, and Nutritional Ecology Working Groups.

Prior to my work at UM, I worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife as the Assistant Director of Wildlife and Natural Resources (2012-2015), Mammals Research Leader (2009-2012), and Wildlife Researcher (1999-2009). I earned degrees in wildlife biology from Montana State University (BS, 1995), University of Idaho (MS, 1998), and Colorado State University (PhD, 2007).

Nominee #2: Mike Borgreen

Wildlife Biologist, Bureau of Land Management 

Mike Borgreen is a Wildlife Biologist for the Bureau of Land Management in the Glasgow Field Office. Mike was born and raised in Lewistown, MT and received his B.S. in Ecology (2003) and an M.S. in Animal and Range Sciences (2010) focusing on bison reproduction from Montana State University.

Mike started his federal career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2004, he joined the Regional Wildlife Health Office in Bozeman, MT working on a wide array of wildlife health and disease issues throughout the Mountain-Prairie region. In 2012, Mike became the Refuge Biologist at Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Medicine Lake, MT. There, his research focused on investigating the effects of prescribed fire and grazing on mixed grass prairies, wetland management, and the effects of oil and gas development on USFWS fee-title lands.

In 2018, he transitioned into his current position as the Wildlife Biologist for the BLM in Glasgow, MT. Current research projects include crested wheatgrass reconstructions and the role soils play in success of native seedings, habitat selection by greater sage-grouse hens, and roost site selection of 2 bat species, among others. Mike works closely with numerous state, federal, university, non-profit and NGO partners to leverage funding and capacity to maximize conservation efforts. His achievements in this area were recently recognized when Mike was awarded the 2021 BLM Director’s Excellence in Stewardship Award.

If elected, Mike would seek to bring his diverse and unique background and passion for mentorship to the President’s position to further research interests in addressing land management challenges.

Nominee #3: Katie Benzel

Wildlife Biologist, Bureau of Land Management

Katie Benzel is a wildlife biologist for the BLM Dillon Field Office (DFO). Growing up in Dillon, she spent her free time in the mountains where she cultivated respect and appreciation for the outdoors and wildlife. Since the age of eleven, she couldn’t think of any other occupation she’d like to pursue other than becoming a wildlife biologist. She attended Colorado State University for 2 ½ years before transferring to the University of Montana and graduating with a B.S. in wildlife biology in 2004. To diversify her knowledge of range management and wildlife habitat, she completed a M.S. in Range Science from Montana State University in 2008. Throughout college she worked as a seasonal wildlife technician for the Forest Service and BLM in Dillon. Under the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) with the BLM Missoula Field Office, she continued to work as a wildlife technician through grad school. The stars aligned around the time she was graduating, and one of her mentors and supervisors at the DFO was retiring and through the SCEP she was offered her current position. Public lands are vitally essential, and she is grateful to work on the landscape that is deeply important to her. As a wildlife biologist for the BLM, she advocates for wildlife and habitat while navigating the complexities of managing multiple use public lands. Communication and willingness to hear all perspectives is required. She continues to spend her free time in the mountains hiking, skiing, running, hunting, camping, and backpacking.


Nominee #1: Brandi Skone

Nongame Wildlife Biologist, Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks

Originally from western Pennsylvania, Brandi received her Bachelors in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University (2004). She worked for the next six years as a technician and crew lead with multiple organizations including U.S. Geological Survey, Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, Virginia Tech, and Science Applications International, moving her way west with each job, before earning her M.S. in Biological Sciences from Montana State University (2014). Since 2014, she has worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as a nongame biologist in southeast Montana where she resides with her husband and ever-growing farm of animals. Brandi has always enjoyed participating in the Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society. She is running for secretary to take a more invested role, learn how things work behind the scenes, and give back to such a great organization.

Nominee #2: Shannon Hilty

Nongame Wildlife Biologist, Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks

Shannon is a wildlife biologist and bat specialist with over 14 years of research and management experience related to nongame species. She received her B.A. in Ecology and Organismal Biology from University of Montana, Missoula and her M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University, Bozeman. Between schooling, Shannon worked for the Montana Natural Heritage Program for many years where she studied a variety of taxa, including bats, small terrestrial mammals, amphibians, reptiles, songbirds, raptors, invertebrates, and special status plant species. After graduate school she dabbled in environmental consulting before becoming the Nongame Wildlife Biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 4.

Shannon has been a board member of the Western Bat Working Group since 2016 and has several years of secretarial experience. She is passionate about Montana and the wildlife that reside here and welcomes the opportunity to work with the Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

In her free time, Shannon loves to backpack in the mountains, cross country ski, birdwatch and see new places while traveling with her family, Haendel, Bridger, Rice, and Bean.