Student Chapters of The Wildlife Society serve the parent organization as a source of new members while promoting professional development among aspiring wildlife biologists. However, little is known about the operation of the Student Chapters across North America. I conducted an online survey between March and May 2006 to learn about variation among chapters and to define successful chapters with a quantifiable, objective parameter (e.g., the active members or budgets). I sent chapter advisors and student officers the online survey via e-mail. Of 92 Student Chapters known to the parent Society in 2005, 66 active and one inactive chapters responded. Activities, sizes, and budgets varied greatly among chapters. Additionally, perceived values of membership by survey participants matched the parent Society's goals. No clear definition of a successful chapter (e.g., those with the most money or members) emerged, but chapters faced some evident problems including apathy from students and advisors as well as a lack of support from the parent Society. Based upon the survey, I recommend Student Chapters have strong projects and activities as well as consider collaborating with other professional organizations. I recommend the parent Society continue to expand student programs and incorporate students into the Society.
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Vol. 72 • No. 2