The Rangeland Cup team problem solving competition is an activity to promote critical thinking and cooperative, collaborative work on current topics and/or topics of historical importance to rangeland ecology and management. As we progress in our careers, much of our work is performed as part of a group. This competition is intended to build skills in interpersonal communication and group-problem solving, both of which are highly desired qualities in the workplace. All colleges and universities are invited to submit teams for this year’s competition.
|November 17, 2021||Guidelines and Rangeland cup topic posted on website|
|January 22, 2022||Deadline for teams registered for contest via Google Forms link|
|February 8, 2022 (afternoon, time to be announced later)||In-person judging during poster session. At least one team member must be present at poster to answer questions.|
|February 9, 2022||Results presented at Awards Ceremony|
Each college or university may enter one or more teams into the event. Teams shall be made up of no more than four students and one professional mentor (i.e., ag producer, agency personnel, faculty, etc.). Teams are limited to one graduate student (with three undergraduate students), but can be made up entirely of undergraduate students if desired.
Each year’s competition will be centered on an issue or problem of interest to rangeland management. New topics will be assigned each year. The competition may address real case studies submitted by agencies or individuals searching for alternative management possibilities. Teams will design an approach (accounting for ecological, economic, social, and political aspects) to solve or manage the issue. Issues and topics may include, but are not limited to: rangeland ecology, hydrology, rangeland wildlife, socio-political, endangered species, grazing management, inventory and analysis, human dimensions of range management, and rangeland hydrology. Creative and innovative approaches are highly encouraged, but approaches must be realistic and achievable.
The topic will be distributed to each participating team by November 20th, giving all teams equal time to work on the project. The topic will be posted in SRM member resource news and will be distributed electronically among SRM sections and the student conclave.
Each team will present their approach/solution in poster format during the assigned poster session during the SRM Annual Meeting. The poster session will be open to meeting attendees and judges will be circulating during the session. Posters will be limited to 36 by 48 inches, preferably landscape orientation.
Student posters displaying their problem solving approach will be judged on content, organization, and presentation. Points will be assigned based on the criteria listed below. Judges scores and comments will remain anonymous and will be provided as typed summaries for each team.
Content refers to the employment of a creative, logic-based approach to the problem. The approach should be bolstered by scientific evidence, in a similar manner to a grant proposal. The poster should display a clear rationale behind the approach, but should attempt to expand on existing knowledge pertaining to the topic. 60 maximum points.
Professional manner: Do the students exhibit confidence and enthusiasm? Do the students effectively communicate their ideas verbally? 15 maximum points.
The students’ ability to address questions and provide comments on their approach should clearly demonstrate their individual involvement in the creative process of problem solving. Do the students’ display insight into how their ideas fit into the larger context of range management? 25 maximum points.
There will be a traveling trophy that will be housed at the winning institution until the following year’s competition. Each year, the date and name of winning institution will be inscribed onto the trophy.
2022 Rangeland Cup – Albuquerque, NM
Rangeland sustainability across North America is heavily influenced by previous generations of management decisions and practices. In addition, there is a rich tradition of culture relative to the land and its management; however, there is also the need for innovation of management on rangeland. The delicate balance of preserving culturally-sensitive sites and managing the land is a constant challenge among land managers and can have long-lasting impacts for rangeland systems.