Marketing Coordinator Tena Cook
A team of students from Chadron State College placed first in the Rangeland Cup competition at the International Society of Range Management (SRM) meeting in Albuquerque Feb. 6-10. They are Emma Pendleton from Hemingford, Nebraska, Brolin Morgan from McCook, Nebraska, and Hayden and Sage McGinnis from Buena Vista, Colorado. CSC faced six other teams. CSC has won the competition once before in 2009. Chadron State College associate professor Dr. Anthony Perlinski said the problem-solving competition is designed to promote critical thinking and collaborative work on topics of topical or historically significant to rangeland ecology and management.
Perlinski said the students received the topic before the semester break, so they had a few months to do their research and create their poster and presentation. Perlinski said he thought this year’s topic was particularly difficult.
“As we progress in our careers, a lot of our work is done within a group. The Rangeland Cup competition aims to develop interpersonal communication and group problem solving skills, two qualities that are highly sought after in the workplace,” said Perlinski. “I was really proud of the performance of all our students. We took a few experienced students, but for the majority this was their first SRM meeting and student competition. It’s great that they have the Rangeland Cup at home and we have a group of motivated and eager students for next year.
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In addition to the four students from the winning team, seven other CSC students attended the meeting and participated in the undergraduate course management exam which includes plant identification and improvisational expression. The students are Camryn Klein from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Robert Hansen from Camp Crook, SD, Makennen Havlat from Seward, Neb., Julie Geiman from Rapid City, SD, Savannah Solon from Kadoka, SD, Rebekah Pobanzof Grand Island, Neb. , and Timothy May of Rapid City, SD
CSC’s winning presentation was on urban sprawl and its impact according to Sage McGinnis.
“Winning the award was so satisfying because all of our hard work over the last few months has really paid off and we are all so grateful for that. I am so grateful for the experience and being able to represent ourselves and the program well. course management and Chadron State College,” said Sage McGinnis.
Morgan said she was impressed with the intelligence of her peers at the conference.
“Learning and listening to the amount of knowledge from the judges and other members has opened my eyes and made me realize just how much there is to learn. Ultimately, I think competing in the Rangeland Cup at SRM has really broadened my horizons in the pastures and made me a better student overall. I want to thank and acknowledge the other members of my team for their great work and the immense amount of effort that has been deployed in this presentation,” Morgan said.
Pendleton said it was wonderful to take an issue the team is passionate about and champion it internationally as representatives of CSC.
“I am honored to be included in a group with the other competitors from various colleges who showed up at the Range Cup to present with an equal passion for the courses and a drive to solve problems to move the future of this domain,” Pendleton said.
Perlinski said the CF Coffee Foundation funded the students’ research and travel expenses.