FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2011
Janice Bengtson (218) 847-2641
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Receives National Award
Mudderman installing a camera into a beaver lodge. USFWS photo.
Denis Mudderman of Rochert, Minn. has been selected as the 2011 Refuge Volunteer of the Year by the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was established to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of volunteers in the operation and management of the Refuge System. The award is presented to volunteers who demonstrate dedication to the goals and objectives of the Refuge System, superior organizational skills, innovation in handling refuge assignments, effectiveness in dealing with the public and dependability.
Mudderman has been volunteering at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge since 2005 and has donated more than 7000 hours of service. He has contributed to the refuge in many ways. He designed and launched the Friends of Tamarac website and was coordinator of the Joint Refuge and Friends nationally recognized newsletter. The Friends of Tamarac is a non-profit organization which supports the mission and purpose of the refuge. He has researched, developed and presented refuge history tours and other interpretive programs including "Photo Safaris” which connects families with nature through digital photography. He especially enjoys leading environmental education activities for elementary school students emphasizing technology by using digital photography and GPS. He also co-chairs the Tamarac NWR Photo Contest planning committee, conducts wildlife surveys and serves as refuge photographer at special events. Most recently through a Nature of Learning Grant which he wrote on behalf of the Friends, Denis researched, purchased the needed equipment and worked with refuge staff to install a camera into an active beaver lodge.
Mudderman not only donates his time and talents to Tamarac, but is just winding up a third winter at Brazoria NWR and San Bernard NWR (part of the Texas Mid-Coast Complex NWR) leading environmental education programs, hosting the Brazoria Discovery Center, assisting with their Migration Celebration Festival, and organizing their photography contest among many other assignments. He has accumulated nearly 3000 hours in Texas.
According to Denis, “the motivation for volunteering is working as part of a community towards a greater goal with Friends, volunteers and staff working as colleagues; it is seeing results from one’s effort, it is using one’s skills and satisfying interests and it is being out and experiencing nature.”
The award was presented on March 17, 2011 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director's Reception at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Kansas City, Mo.
With nearly 43,000 volunteers contributing in excess of 1.6 million hours of their time, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service volunteer program continues to grow. Volunteers complete more than 20% of the work conducted annually on national wildlife refuges alone.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.