Student attends wildlife leadership academy

JOHNSONBURG – Johnsonburg Area High School senior Michael Kennedy was selected as one of 20 students across the state to attend a wildlife leadership academy this past summer. The intensive one-week Wildlife Leadership Academy located in Ligonier is part of the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education. Selected students are chosen to attend one of three field schools to learn about the ruffed grouse, whitetail deer or brook trout.To fulfill a requirement for the outreach program, Kennedy presented what he learned of the ruffed grouse at the Johnsonburg Area School District Board of Directors meeting."They keep you busy all day and it was a lot of fun," Kennedy said. "Every day we were required to perform daily team building exercises."Kennedy said one of the first things he learned at the academy was how to properly dissect a ruffed grouse to gain a better understanding of its digestion system.The goal of the academy is to empower students to become ambassadors for wildlife conservation in order to sustain the legacy of wildlife for future generations.Students participate in many hands-on activities learning about: wildlife biology, habitat and management, research and monitoring techniques, role of hunting in wildlife management, nature photography and journaling and community service training.The academy selects high achieving students interested in biology, wildlife, hunting, conservation, or the outdoors who are 14-17 years of age, are able to demonstrate extra-curricular and scholastic achievements.Pick up a copy of the Monday, Oct. 24, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.