Extraordinary Volunteer Duo Enhances Wildlife Refuges with Ardour and Dedication In The Western United States — The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation


Mark Ackerman and Joyce Atkinson, the dynamic conservation ambassadors, have left an indelible mark on quite a few nationwide wildlife refuges, showcasing their unparalleled dedication and unwavering dedication. Supporting the needs of 11 nationwide wildlife refuges, together with Arapaho Nationwide Wildlife Refuge in Colorado, Desert Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Advanced in Nevada, and Malheur Nationwide Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, they’ve volunteered over 10,000 hours of their time prior to now seven years. This extraordinary feat speaks volumes about their unwavering dedication and dedication to supporting refuge applications. Their distinctive contributions have earned them the celebrated Volunteer of the 12 months Award for the 2023 Wildlife Refuge Awards introduced by the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation.

This esteemed accolade celebrates the excellent achievements of volunteers who passionately help the operation and administration of the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System. The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation’s 2023 Wildlife Refuge Awards ceremony and dinner will happen on September twenty sixth at 5:30 pm on the famend Mayflower Resort in Washington, D.C., and media protection of this occasion is very inspired.

“Lots of our volunteers get pleasure from main nature walks and interacting with guests, which is so vital. Mark and Joyce actually get their arms soiled, working tractors, excavators and backhoes,” mentioned Keely Lopez, Arapaho Refuge Supervisor. “They go the additional yard to know how refuge wants match into the general administration of those lands and the objectives driving every venture. Since they began volunteering on refuges, they’ve logged over 10,000 hours with many extra hours labored they didn’t report.”

Amongst their notable accomplishments are:

  • Conducting analysis and implementing low-cost, efficient water remedy options to eradicate foul-smelling and foul-tasting water, making certain a greater expertise for guests at Arapaho NWR.

  • Mentoring seasonal technicians and Youth Conservation Corps enrollees, imparting invaluable expertise in building, welding, and small engine restore.

  • Putting in 5 automated Motus Wildlife Monitoring System (MOTUS) telemetry stations throughout 4 refuges in southern Nevada. This contribution enhances worldwide collaborative analysis and training on migratory animal ecology and conservation, facilitated by Birds Canada and partnering organizations.

Mark Ackerman and Joyce Atkinson’s exceptional achievements exemplify the transformative energy of volunteerism. Their unwavering dedication and hands-on involvement have elevated the conservation efforts throughout a number of nationwide wildlife refuges. Be a part of us in applauding their distinctive contributions on the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation 2023 Wildlife Refuge Awards, honoring their exceptional dedication to preserving our cherished nationwide wildlife refuges.


The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation is a non-profit solely centered on defending, selling, and enhancing the 850-million-acre Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System, the world’s largest community of lands and waters put aside for wildlife conservation.

For all media inquiries and questions, please contact Eden Taylor, Communications Supervisor at etaylor@refugeassociation.org.

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