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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
SACRAMENTO NWRC: 2010 California Junior Duck Stamp Winners Announced
Region 8, March 31, 2010
Judges display David Zhou's entry, judged Best of Show. (Photo: Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl)
Judges display David Zhou's entry, judged Best of Show. (Photo: Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl) - Photo Credit: n/a
Best of Show by David Zhou, 14, from Union City, Calif. (photo: Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl)
Best of Show by David Zhou, 14, from Union City, Calif. (photo: Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Lora Haller, Sacramento NWRC
A folvous whistling duck by 14 year-old student artist David Zhou of Union City, Calif., was named this year's winner of the California Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Zhou's entry was one of nearly 1,800 works entered in this year's contest in Willows, Calif., and hosted by the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWRC).

State Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator Marilyn Gamette and 30 volunteers, judges, and guests gathered in Willows,for this year's contest, which marked its 21st year. Judges selected one entry as California’s Best of Show, as well as 99 other entries to receive honors. Artists earned first, second, or third place or an honorable mention within four age groups. Zhou's entry was awarded "Best of Show' honors, and will be submitted to Washington D.C. for the national competition on April 23, 2010, at the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul.

In addition to artwork, three conservation messages selected from each age group received awards. The messages are submitted on the artwork entry form and judged for originality, understanding of wetland and waterfowl conservation, and inspiration. “It only takes a tiny action to make a ripple in water. Let us all make a small change for conservation, and create that expanding ripple.” Janet Chan,17, from Arcadia received first place in her age group for this message.

All 100 winning artwork entries and 12 winning conservation messages will be on display at various events throughout California for the next year.

This year's guest judges included: Gary Kramer, retired manager of Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex;Dean Kwasny, wetlands biologist, Natural Resources Conservation Service;Dan Yparraguirre, waterfowl coordinator, California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG); Steve Cordes, interim manager, CDFG Upper Butte Basin; Marie Strassburger, chief, migratory bird program, USFWS Pacific Southwest Region and Scott Huber of Altacal Audubon.

Volunteers from the Sacramento NWRC, California Waterfowl, and Central Valley Joint Venture worked on the daunting task of laying out all the artwork, tallying scores, and recording the 100 winners. These groups, as well as many other state and private partners, help sponsor this program each year.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program combines science with the arts to bring conservation education to students around the country. The program is two-fold: students gain knowledge about wetlands and waterfowl; and students use this knowledge to create waterfowl artwork for the competition. Teachers can incorporate the program into their curriculum, or may have guest speakers for classroom presentations. Interns from California Waterfowl and the Sacramento NWRC reached over 1,000 students through Junior Duck Stamp classroom presentations this year.

For the first time in California, several public schools and their teachers will also be acknowledged for their continued contributions to teaching conservation education. Some of the students from these public schools will receive Special Achievement Awards from the Sacramento NWRC for their artistic efforts, as well as being recognized at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association Festival in Sacramento this July.

Contact Info: Lora Haller, 530-934-2801, lora_haller@fws.gov