UW student sees success at SRM contest
At the 2013 SRM contest in Oklahoma, UW junior Katy-Jane Angwin placed 20th out of 260 participants in the Undergraduate Range Management Exam (URME). This secured her a spot in the top 10 percent of contestants with her score of 72.6 percent.
Angwin, originally from Bishops Stortford in England, came to the United States in 2009 where she started her academic career at Northwest College in Powell. In 2012, she transferred to UW to continue pursuing her degree in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management.
“I am passionate about agriculture and fascinated by the land and all it can do for us, so [a major in] Range was a pretty easy choice,” Angwin said, “I know that rangelands are a very fragile thing and need to be preserved, but I don’t think this means that they can’t be used.”
The URME, a test given at the SRM competition, is the same exam given to certify range specialists. It is comprised of 300 questions that have to be answered in a strict two hour time limit. The questions, written and submitted by professors all over the United States, are pertinent problems that will be faced in the field, such as stocking rates and eco-regions.
Colleges from all over the nation went to Oklahoma to compete for the top spot at the contest. There were also teams from Alberta and Mexico vying for top honors out of the teams in attendance.
“The fact that I scored that high and ranked in the top 10 percent means I am a qualified Range Specialist now,” she said “There are other things that I have to do to get certain levels of qualifications, but I will never have to take that exam in a practical sense again.”
Angwin is following a winning legacy established by UW, which has one of the most respected rangeland ecology programs in the nation.
At the 2012 contest, Sage Askins, a recent graduate from UW, earned the highest URME score on record – 81 percent. The team also placed second overall that year.
Angwin plans to stay in field of rangeland ecology after she graduates and is contemplating a Masters or PhD in Rangeland Ecology.
“My biggest interest is the actual ecology side of range. For example, how the range land interact with the wildlife and agricultural producers. I really like seeing how the three mesh together,” she said. “Wildlife is a huge part of range management. You have to manage your land to leave some for the wildlife but still have some for production agriculture. Everything needs to be sustainable.”