Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
TOGIAK: Local Winners selected for 2012 Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar Contest
Alaska Region, March 7, 2011
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Togiak Refuge judges carefully weigh the merits of poster entries.
Togiak Refuge judges carefully weigh the merits of poster entries. - Photo Credit: n/a
Colorful, imaginative posters were the rule rather than the exception.
Colorful, imaginative posters were the rule rather than the exception. - Photo Credit: n/a

Togiak Refuge recently concluded local judging for the 2012 Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar Contest. On March 7, five judges gathered together in the conference room at the Bristol Bay Native Association building to determine the winners; those entries have since been sent on to Anchorage for the statewide contest. This year’s contest for Togiak Refuge saw 24 winners selected from seven area communities, including Goodnews Bay, Togiak, Twin Hills, Clarks Point, Dillingham, Aleknagik and Koliganek.

This year’s judges were Kenda Horan, Esther White, Ward Hurlburt, George Nielsen and Debbie Reiswig. The judges did not have an easy job. Togiak Refuge receives a fairly large number of entries each year (typically ranging from 200-400) and some grade categories alone can have close to a hundred entries. It’s no easy task to narrow so many outstanding works down to just three. Here were some observations by this year’s judges:

I enjoyed being a judge for this year’s Migratory Bird Calendar. I was amazed at the large number of entries and the artistic ability of the kids.          Kenda Horan

Being a calendar judge, how hard could it be? Well, let me tell you it is not as easy as it might seem. It is amazing that so many variations of a single theme could be imagined and created. It indicates to me that our young people are proudly connected and active participants in the circle of life (this year’s theme) as they portrayed their views in bright, vibrant colors. Such beautiful renditions of the important birds in their lives and culture!          George Nielsen

Judging the calendar entries is a huge honor and privilege. I really enjoy the process but it certainly takes its toll- it's hard!  It is really difficult to choose between the entries - sometimes it takes a while to see the thought process behind what the child drew or wrote. I think the challenge is to take the time to see beyond the artistic talent and spend the time to really "see" all aspects of the entry.  For me, it is a humbling experience to realize how much thought and understanding of the topic goes into these drawings and poems.  I am surprised at how deeply the kids understand environmental issues and I think that each time the calendar opportunity comes along, those who enter understand even more, making this way more important than just producing a calendar.          Debbie Reiswig

Togiak Refuge is extremely grateful for the time and thought given to these entries by the people who volunteer to serve as judges. While the calendar is also a wonderful product to view and hang on our walls, it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort by so many people. The effort of the kids and teachers involved, as well as the support of parents and family members, is critical. Also critical, and not without difficulty, is the role of the individuals who serve as judges.

Contact Info: Terry Fuller, 907-842-1063 ext. 8419, terry_fuller@fws.gov
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