PHONE: 627-4521

DATE: 4-7-02



Members of the Haywood Community College Outdoor Club recently earned first place in the Academic Quiz Bowl held at the 2002 Southeastern Wildlife Conclave. HCC competed against 17 four-year universities to win the coveted first place title.

Murray State University hosted this year’s Conclave at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in western Kentucky.

The Quiz Bowl involves four student teams from each school in a double elimination tournament. Questions are drawn from a broad variety of subjects such as general biology, genetics, wildlife management, and wildlife techniques. After a slow start the team came from behind by 80 points to beat the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a final score of 110-90. Quiz bowl team members were Nick McCracken, Nick Shaver, Shenan Thompson and Robert Price.

How did the HCC team feel about competing against university teams that included not only undergraduates but also graduate students? HCC student, Nick Shaver said, "At first, we were a little intimidated, but after the first match, I realized that we were very prepared. The other universities almost seemed embarrassed to be beat by the only community college team in the competition."

Team member Robert Price said that the team started preparing in January for the competition. "I think that we had more practical working knowledge—a lot more hands-on than the university teams." Shannon Rabby, a former HCC graduate and the team coach, said that team members had to learn a lot about anatomy, and had to recognize bird, frog and toad calls plus be able to identify some animals from nothing but a skull.

The HCC team received second place overall in the total competition because of high scores received in all competition categories. Jordan Miller took first place with a perfect score in archery. Seth Palmer, Dustyn Reece, Josh Brooks and Rock Hilton took second place (with less than one-second time difference with the first place UT team) in the obstacle course. Melanie Handford took third place in the photography competition.

Twenty-one HCC Fish and Wildlife Management students participated in the competitions. Team members were Travis Beard, Daniel Bell, Josh Brooks, Nathan Green, Jo Hammett, Melanie Handford, Rock Hilton, Matthew Holbrook, B.J. Keener, Nick McCracken, Jordan Miller, Richard Mosteller, Barry Oldham, Seth Palmer, Leonard Perkey, Robert Price, Dustyn Reece, Billy Rogers, Nick Shaver, Jake Taylor and Shenan Thompson. Instructors Rick Lindsay, Dave Dudek and Shannon Rabby also attended the competition.

Competition categories included individual creative talent (essay, art, photography, and game calling), individual field (wildlife population estimation, identification of wildlife sign-plants, trees, birds, frogs, skulls and animal taxonomy. Students also gained hands-on experience from a variety of field trips which included elk reintroduction, fresh water mussel industry, wildlife forensics, herpetology and paddlefish gill netting.

Seven years ago, at the invitation of The Wildlife Society, HCC became the first two-year school in the nation to receive a charter for a Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society. HCC will host the 2003 Southwestern Wildlife Conclave. For more information about the Fish and Wildlife Management program at Haywood Community College contact the Natural Resources Department at 627-4561.