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HGTC students band rare ducks

HGTC Forestry and Wildlife Students Band Ducks at the Yawkey Center

Yawkey and HGTC Pictured above; Matt Strever; Ashton Reilly; Kenneth Sutton, holding a black bellied whistling duck; Sheldon Banks, holding the fulvous whistling duck; Logan Pollock, Matt Fowler and Jacob Bratz.

Georgetown (Sept. 1)—The Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center became a classroom for forestry and wildlife students from Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) recently. Hunter Evans, an HGTC alumnus who now works with the S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources (SCDNR), provided a volunteer waterfowl workshop, where current HGTC students succeeded in banding 13 ducks. Zach Simpson, another HGTC alumnus working with SCDNR, also assisted.

Wildlife Prof. Jim Westerhold said one of the ducks was a rare fulvous whistling duck that has only been encountered in South Carolina a few times in the last two decades. He said, “It’s important for forestry and wildlife students to have real experiences when and where they occur.  This activity provided student education, assistance to the Yawkey Wildlife Center staff, and important biological information.”

The HGTC Forestry and Wildlife associate degree program prepares graduates for careers in forestry and land management in a variety of jobs. Paid internships are often available and some students transfer to Clemson or other universities to earn bachelor degrees in forestry or related fields of study.

Forestry and Wildlife Dept. Chair Brian Clark said, “In addition to our regular lab classes, our students value these extra opportunities for hands-on involvement with working professionals.” More than 112 students at HGTC are majoring in forestry and wildlife this fall.