FEBRUARY 15 - 18, 2021
Want to impress your current or potential employers with your strategic thinking & communication skills? Want to have fun doing it and possibly win a cool prize?
Contestants working solo or in groups of two will select an controversial issue (e.g. wild horses and burros, sage grouse, off-road vehicle recreation, mineral extraction, post-fire grazing) then video a communication role-playing scenario. A team of judges comprised of working field professionals from NRCS, BLM, USFS, Extension, and an NGO or two will judge your submissions based on a rubric. The top three scoring teams in each division (freshman/sophomores; juniors/seniors; young professionals) will receive cool prizes (i.e. field equipment), and possibly their video showed at the SRM annual conference award ceremony. (If not we will post videos to YouTube with your permission.)
Think of how many people attend the SRM awards. Think how many are in positions to hire or influence hiring. Even if you don’t have a winning video, hiring managers and influencers will be judging your video! You don’t want to miss out on this!
The 2021 URME will be online to reach as many students as possible. The exam platform is still being determined, stay tuned to future Range Flashes and website updates. If you have questions please contact Justin Derner.
This competition will be hosted this year virtually through a Zoom session. The topic will be distributed to each participating team by November 1st, giving all teams equal time (roughly one semester) to work on the project. The topic will be posted in SRM member resource news and will be distributed electronically among SRM sections and the student conclave.
Each team will present their approach/solution in poster format during a zoom session at or before the SRM meeting. The poster session will be open to meeting attendees and judges will be circulating during the session. Posters will be limited to 36 by 48 inches, preferably landscape orientation.
Rules and Regulations:
1. At least one student must be present at the Zoom session to present their project and address questions; all team members are encouraged to be present if space permits. The mentor is encouraged to be present at the poster session as well, but the team will not be penalized if the mentor is unable to attend the poster session.
2. Each institution may enter two teams.
3. There will be 5 judges with different affiliations (i.e. government agencies, private industry,
university faculty, agricultural producers) to reduce bias in the judging.
4. Scores will be based on the Judging and Scoring criteria as agreed upon by competition officials. Criteria will be distributed to the teams prior to the competition.
5. Final scores will be calculated by eliminating the highest and lowest scores for each team and adding the remaining three scores. In the event of a tie, rankings of tied teams will be decided by judges’ consensus.
November 1, 2020: Guidelines and Rangeland cup topic posted on rangelands.org
December 15, 2020: Teams registered via Google Forms link
February 1, 2021: Teams email poster in PDF format to Alex Orozco-Lopez and Kevin Kunkel, Committee Chairs
The time honoured tradition of the SRM Plant Identification Contest will convene for the SRM 2021 Virtual Meeting. The exam will be held on Thursday February 11 at 5PM Mountain (Denver) Time. Note that this is the week before the Annual Meeting. The Plant Identification Contest will be a virtual, live streamed exam of 100 stations drawn from a Master List of 200 of the most common western North America range plants.
COVID restrictions have driven some major change to the 2021 contest. The contest will be live streamed from a secret location in Edmonton, Alberta. Students can participate in the contest from wherever they can obtain an adequate internet signal. We have been practicing the streaming method and will continue to practice until the week before the contest. Students, Coaches, and the exam proctor have been interacting since November, mock testing both skill and delivery method while engaging in the cult of the lifelong learner in regards to plant ID.
Based on the current and continuing situation with COVID we will not be asking Coaches to assemble their students for supervision during the contest. Thus, for 2021 we will be giving awards based on achievement and will not be giving awards based on standing or placement (no First through Fifth place awards). For the first time we will offer achievement certificates or plaques for individual and teams in four categories:
1. Outstanding Academic Achievement
2. Superior Academic Achievement
3. Academic Achievement
All schools who field a team of 3 students who score greater than 60% on this challenging exam will receive a plaque noting at least Academic Achievement.
All individuals who achieve Outstanding Academic Achievement and all Teams who achieve Academic Achievement or above will be recognized at the Student Awards Ceremony, which will be Wednesday, February 17 in the afternoon.
The 2021 exam itself will be a little easier than a typical in person exam; the virtual format results in significant added difficulty because some finite details are not as visible. The exam will be built on the philosophy that this contest should challenge yet encourage every student who participates. Thus, students who are early in their learning process and do not achieve 60% can be encouraged and continue to study and learn the key characters for identifying the plants on our master list. This exam will also challenge students who are at the higher levels of preparation with some samples that require either single or subtle character recognition and interpretation. For the 2021 contest there will be a modest reduction in the number of samples meant to challenge and an increase in the number of samples meant to encourage students.
If you are a strapping professional eager to retest and/or renew your own rangeland plant ID skill you are welcome to join the fray and participate in the 2021 SRM Range Plant Identification Contest. All you need is to notify the exam proctor to make sure there are adequate virtual seats to accommodate you.
If you have questions about the Contest please contact Barry Irving at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to the 2021 Contest.
Each University or College Chapter/Club elects to create a website (this can be an actual website, blog, or facebook account) and develop an online presence that promotes:
1) Their club.
2) Rangeland science.
3) Their university
4) The theme of the Annual Meeting for that year, once announced.
If you have questions about how your club/chapter can participate please contact Kim Gibbs.
The deadline to submit abstracts was November 10, 2020.
Contact Loreen Allphin (801) 422-5603) if you need information or have questions.
These 5-7 minute presentations will be given virtually. More information will be provided, stay tuned to future Range Flash announcements. If you have questions about the contest in general please contact Marji Patz.
Graduate students presentations are imbedded in the technical sessions along with professionals and academics. This contest offers graduate students an opportunity to compete in the presentation of their research in technical paper and poster sessions throughout the week. The four categories are M.Sc., Oral; M.Sc, Poster; Ph.D., Oral; and Ph.D., Poster. First and second prizes will be awarded in each category. Please contact Marc Horney if you have questions about anything related to this competition.