WEST LIBERTY, W. Va., November 9, 2023 – WLU’s Dr. James Wood and his BIO-207 Fundamentals of Ecology & Biodiversity class have been positively impacting the environment through meaningful service projects. At the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge on Buffalo Creek, near Wellsburg, students engaged in removing both invasive species and litter from the refuge. Monitoring and removing invasive species is important for protecting pollinators and wildlife habitats.
“Getting students outside of the classroom provides students with hands-on experiences that create personal and educational connections that enrich students’ college careers. Actively engaging students in wildlife management and restoration projects like this allows students to connect with community partners on a professional level, potentially opening the door for meaningful job opportunities,” explains Dr. James Wood, Assistant Professor of Biology
Throughout the semester, students are given the opportunity to participate in multiple wildlife conservation and restoration projects. Service projects like these help students connect concepts taught in the classroom with real-world experiences while also benefiting the local environment. Students of Fundamentals of Ecology & Biodiversity find the service projects to be fruitful for learning and connecting with nature and peers on a deeper level.
“Thanks to the support of Dr. Wood and Elaine Barr from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, I have had the opportunity to learn about and actively participate in the conservation of our local environment. I am happy to report that by visiting the Buffalo Creek Wildlife Refuge, I have successfully identified and eradicated various invasive species, among other things, which has helped me further overcome my sense of “plant blindness” and deepen my appreciation of the natural world.” says Ally Post, Undergraduate Student of Dr. Wood
Beyond reinforcing course concepts West Liberty University’s students gain valuable skills such as how to remove invasive plants and the safe use of herbicides. The next WLU wildlife conservation project will take place at the Schrader Environmental Education Center at Oglebay this weekend.
West Liberty University is West Virginia’s oldest public university, and it offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and 12 graduate programs, both online and on campus. Learn more at westliberty.edu.