The Wildlife Confessional

image003Call for Submissions

The Western Section of The Wildlife Society is excited to announce a call for submissions for consideration in The Wildlife Confessional, an anthology of stories by wildlife professionals about their adventures, misadventures, revelations, reflections, mishaps, and pivotal experiences in the field.

In its finished form, The Wildlife Confessional will serve three primary purposes: (1) to record the oral histories, memories, and experiences of wildlife professionals in a way that promotes collegiality and camaraderie, (2) as a recruiting tool to educate and attract students to enter the field of wildlife biology and join The Wildlife Society, and (3) to apply money raised through book sales to support student involvement in the society by funding scholarships, grants, and training opportunities.

The Wildlife Confessional will endeavor to show the humor and poignancy in the day-to-day adventures that sometimes define and enlighten us or that, sometimes, we’d rather forget.

Submissions Guidelines

Who Can Submit: Anyone in the wildlife profession (wildlife biologists, game wardens, land managers, researchers, students) with a good wildlife story to tell. If you’ve told – or been told – a good yarn over a campfire or a cold beer or a long car ride… yep, *those* are the stories we’re looking for. Now’s the time to put your story on paper, or to nudge that old-timer collecting dust in the corner office to tell theirs…

Subject Matter: Submissions can be humorous, reflective, poignant, inspirational, but should ultimately embody professionalism and a respect for the natural world; submissions should be non-fiction, but should *not* be technical or how-to in nature.

Submittal Deadline: Submissions must be received no later than May 15, 2015.

To Learn More:


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  1. #1 by Don Stephens and Barbie, too on October 1, 2014 - 9:17 pm


    I find it disappointing to see that The Wildlife Society elects to limit those who’s stories are worthy of inclusion to so-called “professionals” or those training-to-be…Whether a person was in the employ of another, ie: a “paid” person, at the time of their notable experience, or not, or degree-holding or not, may have little to do with its entertainment and/or informative value….I might remind them that under their rules, Darwin would not have “made the cut”!

    I see this as just furthering unfortunate and subtley-divisive prejudices between the various groups that should be working together, to expand both biological discovery and species conservation.

    I would point to the Island Press compilation “ENDANGERED SPECIES RECOVERY – FINDING THE LESSONS, IMPROVING THE PROCESS”, in which the , time and again, point to the failings arising from such isolations between the “paid” and “unpaid”, the academic and bureacratic, those working for NGOs, local entities, states and federal goverments. It’s a shame to see the WS, consciencely or not, perpetuating such counterproductive biases!

  2. #2 by Matthew Bettelheim on October 2, 2014 - 11:21 pm


    Seeing as how I conceived the idea behind this anthology, please understand that by publishing under the TWS brand, we had to set some limitations to filter the type and number of submissions. Because the final product will represent TWS, whose stated mission is to, in part, “represent and serve the professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners, and others who work actively to study, manage, and conserve wildlife and habitats worldwide,” it is likewise appropriate to solicit those same individuals for submissions.

    We expect that the final product will be one of many tools to help bridge the gap between professionals and non-professionals, but also to encourage students (of all ages) to consider wildlife biology as a profession.

    I hope this clarifies what we hope to achieve and removes any doubt that such an anthology could be divisive. There are plenty of outlets for professionals and non-professionals alike to share their wildlife experiences (blogging, freelance writing, editorials, self-publishing), this one just happens to target those who chose ‘wildlife biologist’ as their professional career.

    Thanks for voicing your concerns,


  3. #3 by Don Stephens and Barbie, too on October 5, 2014 - 11:01 pm


    Sadly, your above justifications seem to simply confirm my point….and to disappoint us “gentle-person scientists” who have devoted much of our lives, without the inducement of monetary seduction, to the study and conservation of wildlife also…

    However, in as much as we lay-zoologists and conservation advocates all work and pay taxes on incomes we earn else wise, which then help support universities’ and goverments’ wildlife departments etc, such insidious “professional elite-ism” seems a bit insulting …(kind of like the “professional” prostitute looking down on his/her parents and siblings for giving away “love” without remuneration… )

    As a point of personal interest, I’d ask if you’ve read the above-referenced compilation by a range of insightful scientists, more open to introspection without knee-jerking insider defensiveness. I respect your efforts in the wildlife field, and your writing and sharing with us all, but don’t feel this reply was up to your usually open-minded standards…I just ask that be given some thought…

    Self-funding my research and conservation efforts
    with Pacific Pond Turtles since the 1960s…

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