Year: 
2021
Project Leader: 
Matthew Springer, Laurie Thomas, and Ashley Osborne
Department/Program: 
Forestry & Natural Resources and Forestry Extension
Funding Received: 
$1,000

The Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP; http://www.whep.org) is a hands-on conservation education program intended to teach youth aged 8-19 about wildlife and fisheries conservation. Students are able to test their wildlife and fisheries knowledge in a friendly competition at the state level with the hopes of representing their state on the national stage at the National WHEP Contest. The WHEP is the only 4-H and FFA Career Development Event focused on wildlife and fisheries conservation for youth. The annual competition has participation from more than 25 states across the U.S.  At the National WHEP Contest, students apply the knowledge, concepts, and terminology learned through the program to solve real-world wildlife and fisheries conservation scenarios. Students must identify various wildlife species by sight and sound and answer general ecology questions about those species. Students must also write a wildlife management plan for a specified site for specific wildlife species. To do this, students must evaluate the habitat condition on site, understand certain wildlife species habitat requirements, and prescribe the right management practices to improve the habitat for those species. Students must also present their management plan to professional wildlife and fisheries biologists.