Sheila McCartan, visitor services manager and park ranger at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA, received the 2012 Sense of Wonder Award, recognizing outstanding contributions in interpretation and environmental education. McCartan has worked at Nisqually Refuge since 1995, when she was instrumental in starting the refuge Friends group and its nature store. Proceeds from the store support McCartan’s many environmental education projects, including an outdoor Nature Explore area that hosts preschool groups as well as families with young children.

McCartan has remained closely involved with the Friends, which she feels is critical to nurturing a spirit of cooperation and partnership in meeting the refuge mission. With Friends help in 2013, McCartan will spearhead one project to attract more birders to the refuge and hire a local artist to paint a mural of the Pacific flyway on the walls of the new education center.