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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
REGION 8: 'Great Communicator' Awards Given at Region 8 All Project Leaders Meeting in Monterey
Region 8, June 26, 2008
Public Affairs Specialist Scott Flaherty presents Ed Newcomer's
Public Affairs Specialist Scott Flaherty presents Ed Newcomer's "Great Communicator" award to Erin Dean, Resident Agent in Charge of the Torrance OLE office and Ed's boss. (USFWS Photo: Steve Henry) - Photo Credit: n/a
External Affairs ARD Alex Pitts presents Scott Hamelberg with his
External Affairs ARD Alex Pitts presents Scott Hamelberg with his "Great Communicator" award. (USFWS Photo: Steve Henry) - Photo Credit: n/a

By Alexandra Pitts, External Affairs, Region 8 

In the Region 8 tradition of acknowledging outstanding contributions, the External Affairs Team for the first time chose six recipients to receive the Region 8 External Affairs “Great Communicator” award in recognition of their unique contribution to Region 8’s Communications priority.


Although we have trained communications professionals in the region, our employees and partners are often also very skilled at communicating the facts of and passion about our mission. Some are naturals and some have gained “on the job” experience.  To a person, the Service employees who excel at external communication care deeply about the resource and people. 


The External Affairs program applauds these “Great Communicators” efforts and we hope others in Region 8 will follow their example. The 2008 “Great Communicator” recipients are as follows:


Greg Mensik- Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex for his role in the publication of a San Francisco Chronicle feature story on the refuge that resulted in increased visitation on the refuge. Read the Chronicle's storyView the Journal report. 


Ed Newcomer- Office of Law Enforcement Special Agent for his role in giftedly communicating the many illegal wildlife investigations he has successfully led which have resulted in stories in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Audubon and Backpacker Magazines and National Public Radio. Listen to one of Ed's NPR interviews .


The Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office for enthusiastically embracing the communications potential of the Fish and Wildlife Journal and their outstanding work in submitting articles to the FWS Journal. Their many quality submissions have made the Journal a success throughout the region.


Jane Hendron- Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office for her willingness to handle difficult communications challenges such as coordinating California’s avian influenza response and feral cat removal and her outstanding work and willingness to get the job done to communicate the work we do to protect the habitat of California’s many wildlife and plant species.


Scott Hamelberg- Coleman National Fish Hatchery for his communications marathon surrounding the 2008 trucking of salmon smolts from the hatchery to San Pablo Bay over a several week period.  The high, nationwide interest required Scott to be available for interviews at all hours while he was supervising a challenging operation. View a slide show of this story. 


Tracy Schohr- California Rangeland Conservation Coalition for her outstanding work to further the mission of the CRCC and role in bringing the effort and dedication of the coalition signatories to the public through her development and support of the CRCC website and publications. Her work has made a real difference in solidifying the many partnerships within the coalition.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov