Exactly where Artwork and Science Meet up with

Developing up I normally doodled. I scribbled on anything and every thing I could get my hands on (even factors I shouldn’t, like my bed room walls). It was how I was able to categorical myself and share the entire world via my eyes. 

Drawing of waterfowl by Mesha Wood

As I moved from crayons and natural styles, I commenced to uncover a deep enthusiasm for drawing. This was in middle university when I was able to decide on an elective of both art or band. Every single A person of my older siblings had realized to participate in tunes, but I desired to take artwork. And so, although my siblings didn’t think it was good, I was afforded the area to pursue my interest.

From that age, I uncovered that when other art kinds ended up enjoyment, drawing was the place I felt most linked to the artwork I established. I began getting into contests and transcribing what I noticed all over me to paper.

I went to college or university seeking to train artwork and math, with my real wish to instruct art. I still left university with degrees in Graphic Design and Promoting on the other hand, as my curiosity all through that time shifted to be extra targeted on the business side of the artwork world. It was my motivation at that issue to get the job done for an “outdoor company” as a innovative. What I did not understand at the time was that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Assistance was a spot the place I could function for an corporation centered on the outdoors wherever my passions and techniques in speaking by way of the arts also experienced a home.


As a Park Ranger for the Ridgefield Countrywide Wildlife Refuge Complicated, I serve a amount of roles to help ensure readers, volunteers, and companions participating with the Refuge Advanced come to feel welcome, supported, and their associations with the outdoor are improved. For lots of, fulfilling this role is done by major training industry outings and volunteer restoration efforts. Although I assist possibilities for local community engagement, the place I truly sense I glow is in the progress of outreach supplies, educational handouts, and visual models to assist the community superior realize the Provider, have interaction with the Refuge Complex, and character in general.

About the 9 several years I have worked for FWS, I have improved my personal being familiar with of birds, phenology, and wildlife in general by drawing the species, looking at when particular plants bloom and recording it, and photographing the refuges for different multi-media tasks. Making use of the arts to join me to mother nature has served me to not be overwhelmed in attempting to memorize every single bird’s name, but to pay out notice to characteristics of this kind of. I can recall the names of birds when I have specified my have name to them based on the hues of their feathers, just as Black-capped chickadees and Red-winged blackbirds are named. This presents me the skill to recall them based on my desire and what I can swiftly recall. A person illustration of accomplishing this is a male Northern Harrier seems to be like it is sporting a pair of white underwear to me, so that is what I glimpse for when attempting to decipher if the chicken of prey traveling overhead is such or a Crimson-tailed Hawk (which truthfully, I assume it ought to be named a Rust-tailed Hawk as an alternative to be precise).

What we see and how we decide on to interpret that in artwork, typically is some thing we can go away to the artist. When drawing a male Wood duck (banner image), what colours are depicted will depend on the mild I saw it below, the angle, and the contrast of the background or residence it was observed in. When touring in California, I sat with a fellow Park Ranger mesmerized by a Scrub Jay. We could not put the identify of the fowl, but just imagined it was beautiful. The blue of the birds’ head and physique paired with the vivid orange rocks and drier soils of Joshua Tree National Park, just built the colors pop, a lot a lot more so than when viewing a Scrub Jay back at the Refuge…  

Junior Duck Stamp Best of Demonstrate for Washington’s 2022 contest, submitted by Yvonne, age 13

The Junior Duck Stamp Artwork Contest is a free of charge contest for K-12 pupils in formal, Tribal or homeschools throughout the country. It is held per year by every point out and U.S. territory to present a way for students to share what they have realized about wetlands and waterfowl at the end result of the Junior Duck Stamp Method. See some submissions in this article.

The contest simply necessitates that any college student submits their authentic artwork of a indigenous North American duck, goose, or swan. When there are various species of waterfowl located across the state, it seems that typically the most colorful species are selected by learners for their submissions.

For the next year in a row, Ridgefield NWR Elaborate is web hosting the 2023 Washington Condition Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest. As the Washington Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator, I see this contest as a worthwhile and impactful way to link a lot more youth to mother nature, just as I did growing up. And a way to introduce learners to STEAM professions that aim on art.

I was not aware of the Junior Duck Stamp Artwork Contest when I was more youthful, and so though I didn’t take part in it, it is now a intention of mine to broaden who is aware about it, to hopefully garner more pupils to categorical their observations of waterfowl as a participant. Each and every entry earns a certification of participation and a prospect to compete for major honors in their age team. A person “Best of Show” entry from all submissions will be entered in the National Competition, the place the prime entry over-all will be produced as the Junior Duck Stamp and sold to guidance the program and conservation.

To understand additional and come across free of charge developed academic curriculum dependent on the contest, stop by: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/ridgefield/visit-us/functions/instruction-programs. The deadline to post artwork and the accompanying needed varieties to the Ridgefield NWR Intricate Admin Business in Ridgefield, WA is February 15, 2023.