MU partners with U.S. Tiger University Consortium

1 year 7 months 3 weeks ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 3:16:00 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in Top Stories
By: Brianna Stubler, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA – MU, Auburn, Clemson and LSU are announcing their partnership in the U.S. Tiger University Consortium Saturday.

Clemson president James P. Clements is the founder of the consortium, which has the primary goal of supporting the Global Tiger Forum’s mission of doubling wild tiger populations by 2022.

This coalition is very new, so it’s still in the early stages of planning. The schools know what they want to achieve, but the details on how they will work towards their goal are yet to be determined. The provosts have been discussing their collaboration and what they will each do at their respective schools in order to contribute to the solution.

Although this consortium is just beginning, the idea is not new – one MU student group has paved the way for the coalition that was formally announced Saturday before the game.

The group is called Mizzou Tigers for Tigers, and is led by current president Shannon McKinley and Dr. Matt Gompper, a professor in the College of Natural Resources. He leads the group as the professor faculty advisor, drawing from his research experience.

Gompper has researched Tigers in India and Nepal to help understand how to better conserve wild tiger populations, including collecting data on tiger habitat use and getting specific field ecology information.

In Nepal, he has worked to better understand how tigers use different kinds of habitats, and in India, the likelihood of pathogens moving from domestic animals, like dogs, to carnivores like tigers.

Gompper’s work shows the long history of MU tiger research, and the national effect it has had. In 1999, Mizzou Tigers for Tigers started as the first student group of its kind, inspiring other schools to start tiger student groups of their own. In 2007, they were recognized nationally by the World Wildlife Fund.

“The success of Mizzou Tigers for Tigers has resulted in Tigers for Tigers at other institutions,” Gompper said. “There are about 17 programs now, with varying degrees of involvement. Clemson’s is quite successful, so certainty the administration at Clemson is aware of their program’s success, and that had a role in forming the consortium.”

Student chapters occasionally meet and share goals but usually work independently. Though MU’s student group primarily focuses on research, they inform the public and increase awareness when the opportunity is available. Dr. Gompper thinks this will continue.

He also thinks Mizzou Tigers for Tigers has and will continue to help MU internationally.

“The goals are twofold—to enhance international stature by becoming involved in research efforts in Asia, while it is simultaneously designed to give students an understanding of what it requires to run a small but globally focused organization,” Gompper said.

The student group raises money and directs it towards field tiger conservation efforts, Gompper said, as well as indirectly facilitated research.

They have also facilitated interest in tigers, which Gompper said led to today’s consortium.

Both have some overlap; they have similar goals and have both donated to the World Wildlife Fund. But they have their differences too. The school organizations are primarily concerned with research, while the consortium is focusing on advocacy and education. The schools involved in the consortium all have a similar goal – to train the next generation of researchers and leaders, Gompper said. Yet awareness of the threats to tigers was raised by the student groups, so the coalition today may not have happened without them.

It is still too early to predict what the consortium will look like, Gompper said. Right now, each school plans to take students, but their background and training will depend on the resources available at each of the institutions.

“At this stage, we’re just meeting with provosts and planning,” Gompper said. “Auburn is here to discuss programs, moving forward in positive direction, and what the future will look like, but it is very early. There’s no dollar amount set yet because it’s still early on in setting the agenda.

He is unconcerned with the dollar amount and prefers to focus on training students.

“Here at MU, our strength lies in research and education, so if we can tap into those strengths by tapping into our resources here on campus, we will be able to continue to make an impact,” Gompper said.

Because education is a strong point here, Gompper wants to see an exchange program between MU and countries conducting tiger research. He would like to have those students here pursuing graduate degrees involving tiger research, “while simultaneously enhancing the opportunity for MU students to go research in Asia. It would be wonderful to have them and to share the wealth of knowledge we have.”

For now, the schools comprising the “U.S. Tiger University Consortium” all share the same mascot in common, and are using this commonality to unite and raise awareness.

“The shared mascot is what unifies us,” Gompper said. He sees football as a great platform to use in their advocacy.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A Holts Summit woman pleaded guilty Monday to the 2018 shooting death of David Grant in Callaway County.... More >>
4 minutes ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 8:15:56 AM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- A working smoke detector notified a Jefferson City family of a fire Monday night. They were... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 10:00:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Governor Mike Parson announced Monday night President Donald Trump approved his request for a major flooding disaster... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in Top Stories
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department announced it is cracking down on speeding, especially in school zones. The department... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 7:02:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will discuss the future of medical marijuana facilities within city limits at its meeting... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 6:04:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Bicentennial Committee wants people to weigh in on the design of a mural to be... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 5:54:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick has a very unusual commute from the Capitol to his home in southwest... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 4:45:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - People who live in the neighborhood where a naked man was entering homes are talking about making the... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 4:01:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri Police Department says it wants to make sure people are safe in the worst-case... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 3:36:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport and United Airlines aren't saying much about an unusual, and lucrative, issue Sunday, but passengers... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 3:22:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT - The Missouri River Bridge at Rocheport is almost 60 years old and it is in desperate need of... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in Continuous News
CAMDENTON - Firefighters struggled to get water Sunday as a house in Camdenton burned completely. The home was located... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 2:52:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Data released by the Columbia Police Department on Friday show the rate at which black drivers are stopped... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 2:14:58 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - Two men were arrested after sheriff's deputies with a K-9 in tow searched a wooded area in... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 2:11:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A Kansas man is seriously injured after falling out of a boat at Lake of the Ozarks... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 1:15:00 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia will pay $3.4 million dollars in its settlement with the family of Gabriella Curry,... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 10:55:00 AM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri's American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood organizations have spoken out against Missouri's abortion ban bill.... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 10:47:00 AM CDT May 20, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has arrested and identified the man accused of breaking into homes around Columbia while... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 10:20:00 AM CDT May 20, 2019 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
9am 55°
10am 57°
11am 60°
12pm 64°